Your HasOffers account allows you to shorten your affiliate tracking links into tiny URLs and SEO-friendly links. Both shortened versions still contain the fundamental tracking link information, but conceal additional query strings to a reader. Once generated, shortened URLs take a few minutes to propagate to the ad servers and begin redirecting.
This article is part of our Popular Features series.
What’s the difference?
Tiny URLs function as a regular tracking link with a 302 redirect. The affiliate ID and offer ID, along with any additional tracking information, are replaced with a shortened value that refers to the original information. Use tiny URLs if you are using targeting features or are passing any additional parameters.
SEO-friendly links function as if the tracking link is remapped to another URL. Unlike tiny URLs, SEO-friendly links use a 301 redirect and browsers will cache the destination URL. As a result, the shortened links provide better SEO benefits.
Using an SEO-friendly link encrypts all parameters and disables all features that could potentially redirect the user. Some examples include geo-targeting, browser targeting, conversion caps, and secondary offers. Additionally, a custom tracking domain is required to use the SEO-friendly links feature in HasOffers.
To shorten a tracking link into a tiny URL, navigate to an offer’s page, look for the Generate Tracking section, and check the box next to Generate Tiny URL. The Tracking Link field will update to a shortened version. If it doesn’t, click Update to refresh the field.
Note: When shortening a tracking link to a tiny URL, the tracking link must be less than 256 characters in length.
Tiny URL Example
Let’s take a look at this typical tracking link:
Upon checking the Generate Tiny URL box, the above link is converted to something like:
If an additional parameter (such as a sub ID) is added after the tiny URL is generated, HasOffers generates a new tiny URL to account for the added information. The following tracking link is the same as the one we started with above, but with an added parameter:
When the URL is converted to a tiny URL, HasOffers automatically includes and conceals the additional parameter:
You can also append parameters to a tiny URL if you are looking to pass dynamic values into HasOffers. For example, if you want to pass a sub ID on click, you can append that to the end of the shortened URL:
The most important part of search engine optimization is link building, so it’s important to take advantage of the abundance of links published by your affiliates. This feature allows affiliate links to pass SEO-relevant information on to the network, giving the tracking links more weight in search engines and improving search rankings.
When SEO-friendly links are enabled, all tracking links are abbreviated as they would be in the tiny URL feature. However, the links then perform a 301 redirect to the offer URL listed in the offer settings. The 301 identifier communicates to search engines that the page found at the affiliate URL has been permanently forwarded to the offer URL.
This method of redirection is the only way to preserve the recognition of backlinks for improving search engine rankings. Remember to encourage affiliates to display their tracking links using keywords in the anchor text to enhance the SEO impact of each link.
As previously mentioned, a custom tracking domain is required for enabling SEO-friendly links. Once your network has set up a custom tracking domain, look in the Settings panel of the offer and click Edit. There, you can set SEO-Friendly Links to “Enabled”. All new affiliate tracking links generated for this offer will be converted to SEO-friendly links.
Important: By enabling the SEO-friendly links feature, you can no longer redirect offers to any page other than the provided landing page. Conversion caps, geo-targeting, and browser targeting are disabled for those offers.
You can view all previously created tiny URLs and SEO-friendly links by going to Offers > Tiny URLs. Behind the scenes, hash values are what represent larger amounts of data from the tracking links as the smaller values in tiny URLs and SEO-friendly links.
To trace back what shortened URLs point to, look in the Hash column of the Tiny URL table:
Tip: To quickly find a particular redirect string, use the search function in the table. If you have the hash value from the URL, select “Hash” from the dropdown menu to search by that value.