Friday, January 27, 2006

TinyURL AdSense Links

Today in Gmail's RSS/Ad bar, I noticed an ad with a link. That seems odd to me. Why wouldn't you just use your domain? Some Googling seems to point to affiliate marketing. Apparently most Pay Per Click programs don't allow affiliate codes in links. So by using a redirect URL service you can sneak your affilitate code in. This allows those that don't have a site to participate in affiliate programs.

The URL the ad points to is:

That redirects to:

Now, for the topic of the ad, "Email Over 2 Million." That text looks very spammy, but according to the site, it is a double opt-in list and has never recieved a spam complaint. I have no reason to believe otherwise and I am not saying the tinyurl ad link is webspam. I just find it really odd that obvious redirect links are allowed in AdSense. You can't get much more obvious than

I don't like redirect services like this in the first place. I admit they are useful to shorten long links that would wrap in email or Usenet posts. Sometimes that may be necessary. But when you click one you have no idea where you are going to be taken. You could end up at something like or a site that installs malware. And what happens if the service goes out of business? All those links would be no good.

Adsense allows you to show alternate url text for an ad to avoid urls that are super long for dynamic pages. The appended characters on the end of the actual url is the the clickbank affiliate id for the person who posted that ad. That person is getting paid if you click that link and purchase the email system. I don't think there is any malicious intent with the url the guys is just trying to cash in on adsense.
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