Bitty links & Instagram
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:25:47 PM
Hi,

I have a few Instagram pages, and each one links to a different Zazzle store or collection.

I used to put my entire store link and RF code in my instagram profile. For Example:

https://www.zazzle.com/flagg_design?rf=238858560818145609



When I discovered bitly, and saw how it could shorten links, I decide to clean up my instagram profiles. Here is that same store and RF code as a bitty link:

https://bit.ly/2EHYwX5



I can go into my profile, click the shortened bitly link, and see that it goes right to my store. But I have no way to know if my referral code is working?

Does anyone know the answer to this? If I need to put the FULL store name in my instagram profile to get my 15% referral code to work, I could easily put it back.

I just want to make sure I am not making a big mistake!

Thanks,

FLAGG
Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 5:31:55 AM
Hi Flagg, I am very sorry but I am not familiar with this. I am going to move your post to "Affiliating theory, advice and generating traffic". You will find more assistance there. Thank you Smile
Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 7:01:17 AM
Thank you for moving my question to the proper area. I am very interested to see if anyone on this forum has any experience with this.

Thank you,

Flagg
Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 9:57:33 PM
FLAGG wrote:
I can go into my profile, click the shortened bitly link, and see that it goes right to my store. But I have no way to know if my referral code is working?

Does anyone know the answer to this? If I need to put the FULL store name in my instagram profile to get my 15% referral code to work, I could easily put it back.

My opinion is don't use Bitly. That's based on research I did some time ago - things change; maybe this answer is no longer valid, so do your research.

There are two kinds of redirects - 301, permanent, and 302, temporary.

A 301 redirect says "this is a permanent move; don't look at the original link every time it's clicked; just go straight to the destination."

A 302 redirect says "this is a temporary move; go look at the original link every time it's clicked to see if it's changed or the same."

So for a 301, for subsequent clicks by the same user (assuming they use caching, and most do by default), the browser does NOT go back to get the original link, which looks something like: zazzle com / store / storename ? RF 0000000000000

A 301 will go straight to the destination, which is zazzle com / store / storename - the 301 does this because the parameters are not actually part of the actual URL.

My understanding is that all Bitly links are 301s (since we can't change them, that makes sense, right?). Therefore, using Bitly llinks will set the Referral cookie on the first click (subject to all the usual nonsense cookie-setting is subject to), but negate that RF parameter on second+ links for the same user.*

*It's been years since I researched, and it may be because Bitlys are served by Bitlys servers, that browser caching doesn't even matter - the RF may be dropped from the get-go.

I would suggest looking into buying a domain for $10/year and setting a forward using a 302 redirect.

Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 2:10:33 AM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
FLAGG wrote:
I can go into my profile, click the shortened bitly link, and see that it goes right to my store. But I have no way to know if my referral code is working?

Does anyone know the answer to this? If I need to put the FULL store name in my instagram profile to get my 15% referral code to work, I could easily put it back.

My opinion is don't use Bitly. That's based on research I did some time ago - things change; maybe this answer is no longer valid, so do your research.

There are two kinds of redirects - 301, permanent, and 302, temporary.

A 301 redirect says "this is a permanent move; don't look at the original link every time it's clicked; just go straight to the destination."

A 302 redirect says "this is a temporary move; go look at the original link every time it's clicked to see if it's changed or the same."

So for a 301, for subsequent clicks by the same user (assuming they use caching, and most do by default), the browser does NOT go back to get the original link, which looks something like: zazzle com / store / storename ? RF 0000000000000

A 301 will go straight to the destination, which is zazzle com / store / storename - the 301 does this because the parameters are not actually part of the actual URL.

My understanding is that all Bitly links are 301s (since we can't change them, that makes sense, right?). Therefore, using Bitly llinks will set the Referral cookie on the first click (subject to all the usual nonsense cookie-setting is subject to), but negate that RF parameter on second+ links for the same user.*

*It's been years since I researched, and it may be because Bitlys are served by Bitlys servers, that browser caching doesn't even matter - the RF may be dropped from the get-go.

I would suggest looking into buying a domain for $10/year and setting a forward using a 302 redirect.


From my research just now, this is still true.

Reassurance for anyone using my Nifty tools - all bitly links given by Nifty for you to use point to a page on either my niftytoolz or pickfromhere websites that display product grids etc.
Your referral id/tracking code links on that page aren't shortened and so won't suffer in the way outlined by RoyK, above.

So you can continue to use Nifty's bitly links without worry that you might lose out on referrals.
Smile
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 10:35:23 AM
Bittly links aren't 301. A 301 is usually used when a website has a new domain name. As far as I can tell bittly links are just regular redirection links. That said some browsers give a warning when a page is trying to redirect and the visitor bails out of visiting it.
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 10:41:22 AM
waterart wrote:
Bittly links aren't 301. A 301 is usually used when a website has a new domain name. As far as I can tell bittly links are just regular redirection links. That said some browsers give a warning when a page is trying to redirect and the visitor bails out of visiting it.

From bitly's own page:
Quote:
When you create a link with Bitly, clicks on it will be redirected from Bitly to the destination URL you started with.

To do this, we issue a "301 redirect," a technique for making a webpage available under many URLs. Because Bitly doesn’t re-use or modify shortened links, our redirects are permanent.

The article was updated this year (2020)

Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 10:57:33 AM
waterart wrote:
Bittly links aren't 301. A 301 is usually used when a website has a new domain name. As far as I can tell bittly links are just regular redirection links. That said some browsers give a warning when a page is trying to redirect and the visitor bails out of visiting it.

Yes, a 301 is best practice for website moves. Also for anything which is considered "permanent."

There are also 303s and 307s, but they're lesser known/lesser used.

For affiliating, I recommend 302s - but I do suggest people read up themselves and not take my word for it. Unless they want to hire me. ;)
Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 1:26:27 PM
I didn't know that, but I still think it's not good to use url shorteners like bit.ly because people are wary of them. I generally avoid clicking on any shorten links.
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 5:41:37 AM
Lots of great advice and information..........But I am still not sure what to do.

I am thinking I should take off the Bitly link to be sure......But still thinking on that!

FLAGG
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 6:12:58 AM
waterart wrote:
I didn't know that, but I still think it's not good to use url shorteners like bit.ly because people are wary of them. I generally avoid clicking on any shorten links.

Yes, I'm one of those people. Scammers/spammers love shortened links.
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 8:21:11 AM
Colorwash wrote:
waterart wrote:
I didn't know that, but I still think it's not good to use url shorteners like bit.ly because people are wary of them. I generally avoid clicking on any shorten links.

Yes, I'm one of those people. Scammers/spammers love shortened links.


Same here, if I can't read where the link is going to send me, i'm definitely not going to click on a link of a bunch of jumbled up letters. I refuse to use them for that reason alone because, I wouldn't click it I shouldn't expect others to want to click it either.
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 8:38:45 AM
For those worried about clicking Bitlys, they're about as safe as clicking any other link on the internet. See their page explaining at https://support.bitly.com/hc/en-us/sections/206680147-Security-Spam-Blocking-

Every unknown link is risky, but I think Bitly is better
than raw links because they have a system in place to block known bad actors. It's like an extra filter, IMO.

FLAGG wrote:
Lots of great advice and information..........But I am still not sure what to do.

I am thinking I should take off the Bitly link to be sure......But still thinking on that!

FLAGG

In my first reply, I suggested not using Bitly and explained my reasoning from a tech point of view. Also suggested an alternative.

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 9:42:38 AM
I don't often click unknown links either. Bitly is a big favorite of the email scumbags, so I'm not sure Bitly can guard against that. Actually, the onus is on us to delete email unread after adding the sender to the block list, and then to also stop clicking all over the place.
Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 7:00:19 PM
Ok........You all convinced me!

I will get rid of my Bitly links in my instagram profile. I did not realize that people might even be afraid to click it........but it all makes sense when I think about it.

Thank you!!!!

Flagg
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