By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
While there are a lot of “link shrinkers” and “URL shorteners” out there, this one caught my eye. Adjix is a link shortening service that has the added benefits of tracking and monetization.
Back in the early days of TinyURL and its ilk, shortening a link was a fairly click-heavy, but necessary process for many people. You could insert your long link for an eBay listing or something similar and voila: the service would provide you with a shortened version, usually no longer than 20 characters.
Things have progressed over the last few years. Link shortening has become so incredibly important in the world of microblogging (Twitter, Plurk, etc.) that many sites have it built right into the update entry box. Many, many TinyURL clones have popped up as well, each not much different from the other. Some have begun to offer tracking of your links, but Adjix really takes it to another level.
When you sign up for Adjix (which is not at all necessary to just use it as a link shrinker), you have the opportunity to select “Linker” or “Advertiser.” Let us not concern ourselves with the latter category except to note its existance. If you want to advertise with Adjix, their Advertiser section is quite easy to understand.
Once you have chosen Linker and filled in your vital statistics, you’ll be presented with a user control panel from which to change your preferences and such. This part appears to be fairly early in its development, so let’s focus on the core features. The first thing you should do is take a link and shrink it. This can be done in several ways.
The easiest way to shrink a link is to go to the front page (make sure your email address is showing below the box so the link will get tracked) and enter your long URL. When you do this, you will be asked if you want no ad, a random ad, or an ad from a specific category. These are not ads to keep the service free…they are actually ads that will directly pay out to you.
Getting back to the links, they shorten to something like: http://adjix.com/XXXX. You can then place these links in emails, documents, Twitter tweets, and just about anywhere else you want them. They’re also great for flyers and such because they are easy to transcribe back into a URL. You can track the number of people who have clicked your links on the Adjix backend I mentioned earlier.
To really understand the tracking, you need to also understand the advertising. The pictured tracking window shows a link (which obviously wasn’t very popular) to a blog post I wrote. A small ad is displayed in banner form above the page that one links to and stays there, even when scrolling up and down. After trying it out, I don’t think it is too much of a nuisance and if you are catering to a fairly normal audience, they probably won’t notice or care.
The ad payout is as follows (though I assume this is subject to Adjix’s discretion):
- 10 cents/1000 impressions (or $0.0001/link impression if you like)
- 20 cents for each valid, unique ad clickthrough
- Once you hit $25, Adjix mails you a check after 45 days
While it may not seem like a whole lot, if you built Adjix into your normal link shinking habits, it could build up over time. Also, if nothing else, it’s fun to be able to see who’s doing what with your links. Every link has deeper tracking so you can see the activity for individual users clicking your links.
Adjix makes it relatively easy to integrate their service into your digital life. There are quite a few bookmarklets available.
- One-Click allows you to make a link from the current page using the default settings.
- Two-Click allows you to do the same as the previous, but choose the ad type as well.
- Adjix -> Twitter allows you to integrate Adjix into your Twitter account by directly tweeting your shrunk link. There is an intermediary page for formatting the tweet.
Overall, I think Adjix could have a bright future ahead of it. For me, I really need some automatic integration with some of the Twitter services, but aside from that, I really can’t find any fault in their application.
What’s your favorite link shrinker? Are you tempted to switch?