Using GO

Tags GO

What is GO?

GO is an aliasing and redirection application. An alias is an assumed name, or a false name, that conceals a true name. In this way, GO shortcuts provide an assumed name for a URL. This "false" name is normally something short and easy to remember in place of the "real" name that may be long and difficult to remember. Hence they are often called "GO shortcuts". When the web server encounters "" in the address bar (where XX is a go shortcut) it checks the GO database for a corresponding "real" name and redirects the user there.

GO can also be called a "permalink" application. Even if content is moved to a new URL, for instance "" is moved to "", if the GO shortcut "" is updated, any links using will point to the new location. There is no need to change the link as long as it's destination is updated, therefore it can be considered a permanent link.

GO has become central to the web infrastructure of the institution since its launch. It eased the launch of new sites by allowing links in content to be easily updated in one place.

There are hundreds of registered GO shortcuts; visit to explore or create your own (see below). Try these:

To view this website Type this when ON-campus Type this when OFF-campus
College Directory https://go/dir/ (or go/dir/)
Fitness Center Hours https://go/fitnessctr/ (or go/fitnessctr/)
Oracle https://go/oracle/ (or go/oracle/)
LinkedIn Learning online instruction https://go/LILinfo/ (or go/LILinfo/)

Why use GO?

GO is great for making short, easy to remember, links to resources to be used in print media or simply for convenience. If you use a GO shortcut in your magazine, poster, or sidewalk chalk, you don't need to worry that the link will break if you need to move the site to a new URL.

Additionally you'll want to use a GO shortcut rather than a direct link for any resources you are linking to that could change location. As long as the shortcut admin updates the shortcut when content location changes you won't need to update any of your links.

Use existing GO shortcuts

If you'd like to visit a GO shortcut directly, simply type it into your address bar in your web browser. For instance, type "" then press "Enter" to get to the Tech HelpDesk page. If you are on one of Middlebury's campuses, it may be possible to use GO without including "" or "" in the URL. See our article about configuring your browser for short GO addresses for more information.

Chances are you will use a GO link without even realizing it by clicking on a normal link in a web page. You can use a GO shortcut as a URL in a link on a web page for any page internal to Example: <a href="">helpdesk</a>. Be sure to use the full "" to ensure that links are accessible from off campus. Use GO shortcuts to information on the Middlebury site when available.

If you'd like to see a list of shortcuts that are currently available in GO simply type "" into the address bar. This will bring you to the GOtionary where go links are listed alphabetically.

Create your own GO shortcuts

If you can't find the shortcut you're looking for, you can create your own. It's easy! Follow the steps below; refer to the additional details if needed:

  1. Point your browser to
  2. Click on the "self-service shortcut creation interface!" link located toward the top of the page.
  3. The Middlebury College Central Authentication Service login page will appear. Log in with your username and password.
  4. Click on the Create tab.
  5. Open another tab on your browser then go to the page you want to link to. Copy the URL into your clipboard (select it then press CTRL+C).
  6. Enter the name of the new go shortcut you want to create.
  7. Paste the captured URL into the URL field (CTRL+V).
  8. Enter a description for the go shortcut, add as many alias (shortcut alternatives) as you want, and add at least one other Admin person who can make changes to the shortcut. The value for the Admin field should be the first part of the person's Middlebury email address, before the "@" symbol. Admins must be individuals (not groups) with Middlebury accounts.
  9. Click the Create Shortcut button.

Additional Shortcut Details

  • Shortcut - the name of the new GO shortcut
  • URL - the destination for your shortcut
  • Institution radio buttons - The GO application works on and You can create your shortcut for either site. Click the appropriate radio button.
  • Description - an explanation of why the shortcut was made and where it goes
  • Aliases - These are alternate shortcut names that take you to the same URL. For example, perhaps go/documentation is more descriptive but go/doc is easier to type. If go/doc is not being used for something else you could make it an alias of go/documentation. Now go/documentation or go/doc will take you to the target URL. It's like two shortcuts for the price of one! Don't forget to hit the "Add Alias" button before submitting the form. You can add multiple aliases when creating your GO shortcut so you must "add" each one before submitting.
  • Admins - As the creator of a GO shortcut you are also its admin! This means you can change the shortcut, add or remove aliases and admins from the shortcut, and delete the shortcut. It also means you should take some responsibility for keeping the shortcut up to date. Perhaps you are part of a group and you'd like anyone in the group to be able to update the shortcut in case the URL changes. Simply add each user name here. Again since you can add multiple admins when creating your GO shortcut you must "add" each one before submitting.
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Article ID: 501
Tue 12/20/22 10:43 AM
Wed 5/29/24 12:57 PM

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