Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is hoping to make the short list of Web-address slashers.

The world's leading search engine is rolling out as a URL shortener site, though it's only available within the sharing features of Google Toolbar and FeedBurner at the moment. Go to the website itself, and you won't be able to kick the tires.

The success of Twitter has spawned the need for shorter website addresses. When you have only 140 characters to make a point and provide a link, long links are a Twitter no-no.

When Twitter launched, was the shortener of choice. It's now the even shorter that Twitter feasts on, as it ups the ante with tracking tools and referral counts.

The big boys are moving in. Google now has Faceboook has It's probably just a matter of time before Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) dive in, if only to make sure that Google isn't the only one to the search-engine party.

Then again, could flop. Like Yahoo!, Google has a nasty habit of shuttering products that don't gain traction quickly. If users avoid, watch out.

There also has to be some degree of apprehension about Google's master plan. It's hard to monetize a URL shortener. Folks are immediately whisked to their destination, so the only real marketing moment comes from reaching out to those creating the short Web-page links. In a greedy world, Google can always throw in a page of advertising before serving up the shortened link. It can also frame results in a page with its ads on top. But it's a safe bet that taking a greedy approach to monetizing would kill its potential for popularity.

You also have to wonder why such a rich company is rolling out its own site. Google has $22 billion in the bank. Wouldn't it be easier to just buy Launching may very well inspire Microsoft or Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to make a play on -- or settle for the TinyUrl pioneer -- to stay a step ahead of Google.

In short, why not take the shortcut to shortening?

What do you think of Will it fail or succeed? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Options pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't have a recipe for shortening bread. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.