Text Link Ads Adjust Affiliate Links: Give Me My Affiliate Link!

By Ian Fernando

Yesterday, I got an email about TLA and how they are adjusting the affiliate code with tinyurl. Wait, isn't tinyurl.com a link shrinker? an affiliate cloaker? Why is TLA using tinyurl as our new affiliate link? This does not make sense; they state my affiliate link will not work after a week. Why NOT? TinyUrl.com is just a link shrinker cloaker!

I just want my affiliate link as I use my own cloaking tools and database on my blog. So I do not find it useful to use tinyurl.

What is TinyURL:

A tool which creates a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires. It hides the actual link if you don't want people to know what the URL is because it might give away that it's an affiliate link. You can enter a URL into TinyURL, and your affiliate link will be hidden from the visitor, only the tinyurl.com address and the ending address will be visible to your visitors. Its a simply redirection script.

There Terms of Use:

TinyURL was created as a free service to make posting long URLs easier, and may only be used for actual URLs. Using it for spamming or illegal purposes is forbidden and any such use will result in the TinyURL being disabled and you may be reported to all ISPs involved and to the proper governmental agencies. This service is provided without warranty of any kind.

So what I did is sent them an email to Text Link Ads regarding this as to why they are using TinyURL and how I find it pointless.

Subject: TLA Switched over to TinyURL

I would like to know why our affiliate links will not work after a week of receiving this email about the new adjustment of our affiliate links.

TinyUrl is a simple mechanism that redirects long, lengthy, or affiliate links to a specified webpage. How does this affect our prior affiliate code?

With my understanding why would my affiliate code change because of this adjustment? TinyURL simply just hides the URL and redirects.

Please provide a better understanding as to why TLA is using TinyURL.


Other than that email, I decided to Google the blogosphere as to why this is or maybe find something useful. Within the blogosphere here is what bloggers are saying about this:

adClustr says:

I just got this email from TLA. It looks as though they will be using tinyurl.com URLs instead of their own. I bet this has something to do with Google wanting to ban sponsored links. Otherwise, wouldn’t TLA eat up all that link love to it’s site? For SEO purposes it definitely would. We will just have to wait and see what their official word is.

DNSeo says:

After a long run of affiliate marketers to encode and hide those boring affiliate referral links Text Link Ads stepped in action in benefit of their users. Text Link Ads Inc. now uses TinyURL to shorten the affiliate URL for their users and protect them. With TinyURL the affiliate URL gets shorter…but yet, how much will this help affiliate sales to increase since many webmasters consider those kind of hidden URLs pretty much as spam URLs (especially the ones used withTinyURL).

CypherHackz says:

I’m not sure what kind of mechanism TinyURL uses to secure the affiliate links. As far as I know, TinyURL is use to hide and shorten the URLs only but not to secure them. But I need to replace all of my TLA affiliate links that I use on my website to the new URL. I have to do this because after one week from now, the old TLA affiliate link will not work anymore.

thatedeguy says:

Now, why would a large advertiser network such as TLA change all their URLs? Well, the reason that they use in the email is that the old ones were too long and they wanted to use tinyurl to shrink them down to a nice size. I suppose that’s a valid reason. I suppose that another reason could be that they want to eliminate some of the link/paid link bit pointing at them. Yet another reason could be the very same reason that many people use redirects in the first place. To hide the affiliate link. Many people are hesitant to click a link that has an obvious affiliate link in it.

Derek Semmler says:

One would think that Text Link Ads would provide a little more lead-time on a change like this to allow people to update their links accordingly. Further, I find this to be a somewhat odd development for Text Link Ads to pursue as I inherently trust a TinyURL link less than a blatant affiliate link on another site.

I can not find a good legitimate reason as to why and neither can the blogosphere. So when I receive that email response I will let everyone know why they have changed. Since TinyURL is just a link shrinker affiliate cloaker, I want TLA to just give me my affiliate link!

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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