Warning - Using Tinyurl.com

63 replies
Dear Fellow Warriors,

This might be old news to you but was new to me.

I used tinyurl.com to cloak one of my links in an email promotion. I was mailing to a raw website of ours with my list so that my affiliates would get their due credit in commissions.

However I realised that if you mail a raw website link with clickbank payment links. Tinyurl will automatically credit the sale to an affiliate "viglink"

Just a heads up on this.

Regards,
Alvin Huang
#tinyurlcom #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Woodward82
    I didn't know this. Thanks for the heads up!
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  • Profile picture of the author 1byte
    I don't use Tinyurl or any other URL shortener service anymore. I just create a redirect page with a zero second delay to direct my link to anywhere. I have total control over how the link looks and where it goes, and I can change it at any time.
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    • Profile picture of the author gjohansson1
      That's kinda messed up! That person must either be confused as to where all the sales are coming from or just a sneaky genius.

      Personally, since I use Wordpress I cloak all my links with the Pretty Link plugin
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      • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
        Originally Posted by gjohansson1 View Post

        Personally, since I use Wordpress I cloak all my links with the Pretty Link plugin
        Me too! Thank goodness for plugins like this. Quick. Easy. Profitable! And I don't have to worry about silly shenanigans like this.

        BP
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    • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
      Originally Posted by 1byte View Post

      I don't use Tinyurl or any other URL shortener service anymore. I just create a redirect page with a zero second delay to direct my link to anywhere. I have total control over how the link looks and where it goes, and I can change it at any time.
      I was going to post a similar recommendation but one that does use Tinyurl and other URL shorteners.

      I set up the zero second delay redirect page on my own site but then use Tinyurl or other shortener to send people to my redirect page - kind of a two step process but it has worked for me many years now.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie
      Originally Posted by 1byte View Post

      I don't use Tinyurl or any other URL shortener service anymore. I just create a redirect page with a zero second delay to direct my link to anywhere. I have total control over how the link looks and where it goes, and I can change it at any time.
      Exactly. Link Cloaking is pretty much against everyone's TOS's now. Much better to have a redirect. You can use something like Pretty Link Lite in Wordpress which has worked very well for me.
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      Paul Anthony.

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  • I guess tinyurl is trying to make some extra cash... thanks for the heads up!
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinhuang
    Guess that's the price for being lazy. =X

    Yeah tinyurl just made $400+ with some rebills. Lucky I mailed to a sublist and not the entire list.

    Oh well. Lesson learnt.

    Regards,
    Alvin Huang
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    Yes, it's old news but it's good to mention since many people may not know it. The randomly add their own affiliate links (or it seems so)
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Alan
    Never use these services that you don't have control of. A lot of Affiliate links eventually get redirected to a spam warning anyway. Get a domain, install WordPress and then install the plug-in called pretty links. That way you can make your own short links.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveSRS
    thanks for the warning.. you could have a look at Gr8o.fr short URL generator Tool as this is a short url / cloak service specifically for the purpose you are looking for.... however they are not yet fully launched yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      Originally Posted by SteveSRS View Post

      thanks for the warning.. you could have a look at Gr8o.fr short URL generator Tool as this is a short url / cloak service specifically for the purpose you are looking for.... however they are not yet fully launched yet.
      You are kidding, right, in a thread about NOT using a URL shortening service you are going to add a link to a new URL shortening service?

      Get a short domain name name, install WP, get a plugin, pretty links or quick page/post redirect and use it as your own domain name shortening service.
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveSRS
        Originally Posted by JMichaelZ View Post

        You are kidding, right, in a thread about NOT using a URL shortening service you are going to add a link to a new URL shortening service?

        Get a short domain name name, install WP, get a plugin, pretty links or quick page/post redirect and use it as your own domain name shortening service.
        eeh did you read the first topic yourself mate? This is not about NOT using short url this is about tinyurl screwing over their users in the way described.. this doesn't mean all of them do this. I was informing TS about an possible alternative..

        There are 1000nds more if you just google. Of course if you have the know-how easy enough just to install YOURLS, works good or WP plugin (YOURLS also has WP plugin btw)! Just not everybody has that / wants that.
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi SteveSRS,

          Originally Posted by SteveSRS View Post

          eeh did you read the first topic yourself mate? This is not about NOT using short url this is about tinyurl screwing over their users in the way described.. this doesn't mean all of them do this. I was informing TS about an possible alternative..

          There are 1000nds more if you just google. Of course if you have the know-how easy enough just to install YOURLS, works good or WP plugin (YOURLS also has WP plugin btw)! Just not everybody has that / wants that.
          I think I understood what he meant - I think he meant that the golden rule is - control your own links - always.

          So it seems a bit ironic that in a thread containing a tale where this rule appears to be proven to be good advice, someone appears to be advising jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

          this doesn't mean all of them do this
          No, but most of them close down at some point. If you've ever experienced long-term, unstoppable commissions from links made years ago, you'll know why this long-term view is advisable, hence the golden rule which is really good advice to give.

          Just trying to help.
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          Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author TomBuck
    Wow... I did not know that. I have a few CPA offers with links cloaked with tinyurl do you think they do this for everything as I was making $XX a day for 10 days and now nothing for 10 days, definitely going to check this.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      This sounds similar to what Pinterest does with Skimlinks.

      @TomBuck, it used to be that you just had to worry about your affiliate manager or merchant doing this with popups in the CPA networks, but it would be a really good idea to check your links out right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author cassandraw
    Didn't know that, thanks for the warning.
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  • Profile picture of the author David James
    Thanks for the warning. Never used Tinyurl, but that's pretty shitty.
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  • Profile picture of the author William Gilreath
    Thanks for the information. I will not use tinyurl then.

    Thanks,
    William
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  • Profile picture of the author kikiwang
    thank you...
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  • Profile picture of the author aroth
    I stopped using url shorteners a while ago but this is good to know
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  • Profile picture of the author nouvellevie
    I use pretty link for wordpress plugin. Ad to much problem with all the other stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    Thanks for sharing this useful information, Alvin. This is something worth sharing to our clients in our content writing services.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimboslice
    Not surprised. I knew a guy who would start url shortener sites and promote them really heavily. After people would use his service and get millions of his shortened urls links all over the web, he would simply redirect all the urls to wherever he liked. Instant traffic! I run this script ==> YOURLS: Your Own URL Shortener on a few of my own domains so i have total control. I don't trust url shortener services anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      I haven't seen this problem before.

      What I have seen is my links being completely redirected to another website. It's the same news website every time.

      This has happened 3 times now. It was almost as if people were buying traffic from TinyURL.

      I had to make the change to Google URL shortener.


      Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi kimboslice,

      Originally Posted by kimboslice View Post

      Not surprised. I knew a guy who would start url shortener sites and promote them really heavily. After people would use his service and get millions of his shortened urls links all over the web, he would simply redirect all the urls to wherever he liked.
      Interesting thought process. I presume he just put a 'site closed - we couldn't afford to provide this service for free anymore' type home page up and did the dirty deed behind the scenes?
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      Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author cycler
    thanks for the heads up, won't be using that service anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamTCW
    Thanks for making me aware of this, I was not aware of this really.
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  • Profile picture of the author JerryKuzma


    You are ALWAYS better off to stay in full control of your links.......even goo.gl is not guaranteed to be there in 6 months time......

    (How many times have the big G chopped and changed major parts of their biz....)

    WP + Pretty Links comes highly recommended.....


    all the best,

    Jerry Kuzma
    cloudy N Ireland
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  • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
    The best solution is use your own domain for shortening of your affiliate links, you can't go wrong that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Hugall
      Wow great post thanks. I had no idea. I could see that happening tough. Perfect set-up.
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  • Profile picture of the author TomYevsikov
    Yeah, I use pretty link lite, I used tinyurl only when I was first getting started online, pretty link lite is much better and it comes with a free version.
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  • Profile picture of the author HostWind
    I have also seen reported on other services like bit.ly filtering links for 'spam'.
    Glad you caught it early..
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  • Profile picture of the author Joey Babbs
    So thats why I havent made any money this year! Damn!
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Using WordPress and a plugin is overkill.

    Just install a redirection script. There are some good, inexpensive ones.

    Garrie
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    • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
      I didn't know this - thankfully I haven't used Tiny URL in a while. That is so not right though. They should be able to do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Khalil Bashir
    Originally Posted by alvinhuang View Post

    Dear Fellow Warriors,

    This might be old news to you but was new to me.

    I used tinyurl.com to cloak one of my links in an email promotion. I was mailing to a raw website of ours with my list so that my affiliates would get their due credit in commissions.

    However I realised that if you mail a raw website link with clickbank payment links. Tinyurl will automatically credit the sale to an affiliate "viglink"

    Just a heads up on this.

    Regards,
    Alvin Huang


    I don't use Tiny URL. If I do use a link cloaker it is usually Bitly
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  • Profile picture of the author Rella
    It may take a little bit more effort on the front-end, but taking control of your own links for the long-term will pay dividends in the long run.
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    • Profile picture of the author ss442
      Hey folks, Google viglink and you get a company that says they help you monetize your website. Not sure what the story is here but the video explains the system.

      That said, there are a lot of vendors that do not like link shortening programs I have found. But, if you have a website with unlimited domains you can use sub-domains that are free and just redirect. I think that is what I will do but I'll need to dig up a new tracking system.

      Ed
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  • Profile picture of the author Rella
    I'm looking for a new tracking system, too. Anyone have a suggestion?
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  • Profile picture of the author jawasismanjanik
    i never use tinyurl for affiliate link cloaking. i am currently using wp affiliate link cloaker plugin on my website
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  • Profile picture of the author Dnutty1
    Wow thanks also and didn't know bout that regarding tinyurl. Anything on using .tk though?
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  • Profile picture of the author turebros
    Most time i building myself shorturl website.
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  • used url shorteners back then, but wordpress have a plugin now like what they said or better use your own domain. pretty easy.


    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers
    Al
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  • Profile picture of the author BocaKenK
    Banned
    Reminds me of the "free" Adsense Wordpress plugins I added to my sites a few years back. The creator of the plugin would swap out his publisher i.d. for mine every now and then, stealing some of my commissions.

    As the saying goes "Trust, but verify."
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  • Profile picture of the author mobiller
    I am using zigs dot me to short my urls and gives me loads of stats, QR Codes, share and total control of my urls.

    Hope to help
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony2010
    Well I would think its illegal to alter your links so they profit from your traffic. If you have proof I would look into some kind of legal action.
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  • Profile picture of the author mindfulness
    Thanks for sharing! I always use tinyurl for cloaking my affiliate links. I'll change it for now
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnGood
    Thank for that.
    I do not use TinyURL, but after this warning keeping the redirects in-house looks good.
    XSitePro has a redirect feature built in, so I am off to see how it work now!
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  • Profile picture of the author jesisco
    Great post and thank for warning. I usually try to see if my id is there before using the link. May be i would change it. let's test again.
    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Jinjer
    I recently started looking into redirect options, so the warning comes just in time. Also, thanks to the replies that recommend self-hosted redirect scripts; I'll look into those, instead.
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  • Profile picture of the author itravel2004
    Thanks for sharing this, Alvin. Like this case then I will stop using tiny url. Will install pretty link later.
    On the other hand, how about bit.ly? Will it affect your affiliate link?
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  • Profile picture of the author junky77
    I suspected as much too. But I did check the url in case I use second tier url, like a url from skimlinks ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ali Thunder
    Thanks for sharing i didn't know that :/
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  • Profile picture of the author Nazbir.Bd
    Thanks for the warning.

    Nazbir
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    Thanks for the heads up. Does it only apply for CB affiliate links or other types?
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  • Profile picture of the author thebasta
    Well I donĀ“t know what to say because I have a product review video rank high in google and today I did check my account and I notice made a sell 3 days ago...
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  • Profile picture of the author RogerzWorld
    Thanks for the heads up! Was not aware of that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacqueline Smith
    Thanks for the heads up! I didn't know this and was considering using them.
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  • Profile picture of the author KLinfluence
    Wait.. so if your're using tiny url and you put an affiliate link in the shortener from a CPA like clickbank... They(tiny url) makes a commission off that sale also and you get the rest?... am I understanding this correctly. I just started using them recently to cloak my affiliate links for a few offers to my list. If this is correct where can I find a good re-direct script resource?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dariuszden
    That's interesting. I haven't notice this myself but then again I stopped using tinyurl after I noticed many people and services see tinyurl as spam, and it hurts the conversion rate.

    Also many US based url shortener won't allow you to use clickbank links anymore so.... it's better to use wp + pretty links or another option is foreign url shortener. They seem to work fairly well considering clickbank is mostly for english speaking countries.
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