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Redirecting and Cloaking URLs – Easily!

hide.jpgOne of the most popular and most used URL shortening/cloaking services on the Internet has to be TinyURL.com.

Simply, they shorten long URLs (or web addresses) so they’ll “fit” better into emails.

Another popular use is to “cloak” or hide affiliate links from your visitor, so only the tinyurl.com address and the ending address will be visible to your visitors.

The trouble with this is…

  • It does nothing to help with your branding
  • YOU have no idea what URL goes where unless you keep pretty good records of your own shortened URLs
  • You have NO TRACKING mechanism to see what URLs are actually getting clicked on
  • Generally, people KNOW it’s an affiliate link, so they are unlikely to click on them.
While I’ve used them in the past at various times, but I really don’t like ’em!

Especially when you have a totally FREE solution available to you to use right now!

I hinted at this and gave some examples recently in the post on what you can do with a really long domain name.

O.K. It involves a teeny bit of HTML coding, but it’s not impossible. It also involves uploading a file to your server using FTP (or even file manager within cPanel)

But that’s it!

So here’s how you do it.

  1. Firstly create a folder on your web server – call it “go” or “recommends” – something shorter is better. Once that’s done, you’ll have:
    http://yourdomain.com/go/
    to use.
  2. Next, create an HTML file for the link you want to refer (sample code below – just copy and paste the code into notepad or some other text editor). Make your changes as shown, save it, give it a name, and upload to your “go” folder.
  3. And that’s it!

    Now you use http://yourdomain.com/go/here.html or http://yourdomain.com/go/there.html
    wherever you want to, and your visitors will be redirected through your link to the “proper” address.

The really good thing about this is that your web server stats program CAN report on the hits to these links, so you’ll have a much better idea of whether your links are being clicked on.

So here’s your copy and paste HTML code – all YOU have to do is type your URL into the THREE spots shown.


<html><head>
<title>Transferring You... Won't Be Long...</title>
<META HTTP-EQUIV=Refresh CONTENT="1; URL=http://REDIRECT-URL-GOES.HERE">
</head>
<body>
<script language="JavaScript">
<!--
window.location.replace('http://REDIRECT-URL-GOES.HERE');
//-->
</script>
<p>
<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
If you are not redirected within 3 seconds, <a href="http://REDIRECT-URL-GOES.HERE">please click here</a>.
</body></html>

Remember – this MUST be done in a text editor and saved as an .html file – i.e. omf.html if you were sending people over to this site.

The techno-babble?

The javascript tries to do the redirect first. If the web browser has that turned off, then the meta-refresh takes over after one second.

If all that fails (which it shouldn’t) the manual “click here” link would be displayed.

So from now on…

Use your OWN REDIRECTS to promote your products and links!

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