Shorten URLs using and Python

As we all know it, Google has its own URL shortening service called Google’s URL shortener still doesn’t have an official API and it doesn’t offer all the features that are available at, but it works well.

Here is a Python script to shorten URL using

# use Google's URL shortener
# requires urllib, urllib2, re, simplejson
def shorten(url):
    from re import match
    from urllib2 import urlopen, Request, HTTPError
    from urllib import quote
    from simplejson import loads
  except ImportError, e:
    raise Exception('Required module missing: %s' % e.args[0])
  if not match('http://',url):
    raise Exception('URL must start with "http://"')
  except HTTPError, e:
    j = loads(
    if 'short_url' not in j:
        from pprint import pformat
        j = pformat(j)
      except ImportError:
        j = j.__dict__
      raise Exception('Didn\'t get a correct-looking response. How\'s it look to you?\n\n%s'%j)
    return j['short_url']
  raise Exception('Unknown eror forming short URL.')
if __name__ == '__main__':
  from sys import argv
  print shorten(argv[1])


$ python

Expand URLs

def expand(url):
    import urllib
  except ImportError, e:
    raise Exception('Required module missing: %s' % e.args[0])
  f = urllib.urlopen(url)
  return f.geturl()


Q October 5, 2010

Could you do the same thing with or other shortening services ?

Google may be trying to get maximum information about who is browsing through which URLs, by tapping into the URL shortening services. Why make it even easier for Google ? 😉

Arpit February 3, 2011

may I use the above script for my project? No license information is available in the post.

vinod February 3, 2011