2014 is coming to a close and I’m happy to report that our 3rd party monitoring service shows that we’ve achieved more than 99.9% uptime this year since January 1st! We use Pingdom.com for monitoring and alerts and they’ve done a great job.
Here’s an example of an expired link: http://linktrack.info/expired
Determining unique visitors is not an exact science and everyone has their own formula for doing so. With that in mind, we use the following method:
- Cookie tracking: Our server adds a tracking cookie when a visitor clicks on your link. This cookie is timestamped so we can compare their last visit to their current visit. Visitors without a tracking cookie are counted as unique.
- Visit intervals: Once a tracking cookie is set, we won’t count repeat visits within a 30 minute window as unique. If a visitor clicks your link one hundred times in rapid succession, we’ll count the first click as unique and the other 99 as non-unique. If a visitor clicks your link once then returns and clicks it the next day, we will count that as two unique visits.
Technically, we’re not a startup since we’ve been online for several years. Regardless, Linktrack is realizing every startup’s dream: we’re growing. Not only are we growing, but we’re seeing that growth generate new growth and snowball. Personally, I couldn’t be more proud.
If we were a free service, our kind of growth would be a problem. Fortunately for us every dollar we make can go right back into new infrastructure, new features, and better service.
What does this mean for you?
It means the more we grow, the better we’re going to get. If you’ve been with us for a year or more you’ve already seen improvements. If you’re just now coming onboard, please be on the lookout. We’re improving responsiveness, reporting and our core product daily.
Thank you for being part of a very exciting time.
This week we added another code sample to the API library. This script will pull the link history for the last day and append it to a file on your local server.
If you want to automatically retrieve your history and keep a copy for your own records this is a great place to start. Run it at the same time every day (we recommend a cron job or schedulded job) and retrieve up to 1,000 records at a time.
Get the code sample here.
This week we introduced a cool new method to download link data via the Linktrack API. This kind of thing is useful if you want to integrate our site’s tracking data with another web site or application.
The new API method is called “getLinkHistory” and it’s documented on our API documentation page. There you’ll find a code sample or two and everything you need to get started.
We get a lot of requests to white label our service, so this tool is designed with that in mind. The API is available to anyone with an account – just look for it under your “Account” tab.
We’ve recently rolled out a new version of our Linktrack software, and I thought this was as good a time as any to get some more users participating in our bug bounty program.
Note: This program is intended to last for one month. If this post is more than a month old and you found something, please email us to see if there’s any reward money left.
The rules are simple: Find a bug on the site, and we’ll pay you for your efforts according to the fee schedule below.
Bug reports must include a reasonable number of the following to to find and duplicate the problem (explain it to us like we’re five):
- browser information
Payments will be made via PayPal a day or so after you submit your report. We’ll run this program for one month or until our $250 budget runs out.
Bugs are worth the following:
- Typos: $.50
- Layout (this looks weird in my browser): $1.00
- User interface (I’m clicking the button, but it’s not working!): $3.00
- Broken features (I’m getting an error page): $15.00
Please send your bounty request and supporting documentation via email along with your PayPal email address for payment. We’ll reply to let you know if you’re eligible.
If you have to submit more than one request that’s OK, but please try to group your stuff together whenever possible.
Update: bugs reported
The following issues have been reported and are no longer eligible:
- Typos in the “Follow Linktrack on Twitter” box have been reported.
- The ‘recent’ link in the footer shows an unfriendly XML page.
- You have a post titled “Unique Selling Propostion (USP)” – in the title, proposition is spelled incorrectly.
- on the FAQ page, “yardwork” is not a real word. It should be “yard work”
- Usability concern, not a bug – On the signup page, please have your terms of service open in a new window or popup
- Footer needs to be fixed, the year is right next to Danifer Web Services I think there should be a space there and there’s a > floating on the bottom.
- On http://linktrack.info/p/affiliate the word “affiliate” is spelled incorrectly
- on http://linktrack.info/p/faq — “ebay” should be “eBay”
- Unlimited Clicks, Links Won’t Expire, Turn Links On And Off links not working properly (Under “Features”, left side of page
- Undisclosed security improvements. Includes removal of PHP version reporting.
A quick update for those users using the API:
We’ve noticed a serious decline in the use of XML for APIs for online applications. This is followed by an increase in the JSON format. Personally, I’m not partial to either but there’s no denying the trend.
Going forward our API will default to XML as usual, but will also include a JSON format parameter as standard practice going forward. The current API (1.0) implements this with the [format] parameter. Just append &format=json to your request to get JSON format.
Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.
A customer contacted me the other day and asked if he could plug in to the API to pull certain links out of his account and sort them by the number of clicks they had received.
He wanted to publish the links and their totals on a web page. He went on to explain that he’s running a contest and would like the entrants to be able to check on their stats and compare them with other contestants to see who’s collecting the most links.
There was a workaround with the existing system, but it was cludgy so I went ahead and added a search/sort/order method for multiple links to the API. This will let you pull data on multiple links, either by the link ID or by the group they’re in. You can sort and order them as needed.
You can find details on your API credentials page at https://linktrack.info/api/getCredentials. There’s a real-world opens source code sample here.
This method can also return data in either XML (our soon-to-be-replaced-default) or JSON. We’ve expanded the API system to output both formats and will continue with that as a standard going forward. More on that in another post.
ROI, or Return On Investment is a critical metric for success in online marketing. It’s important to know where your clicks are coming from, but it’s even better to know which ones are turning into sales.
Measuring ROI with Linktrack is simple thanks to our Conversion Tracking feature. If you have a Professional account, just click the “Track Conversions” check box when you make or edit a link. Once it’s turned on, you can download a snippet of HTML code that can be placed on any successful sale or conversion page.
When a click turns into a conversion, it’s recorded in our system!
At Linktrack, we use our own Conversion Tracking feature to measure the success of our advertising campaigns. Here’s an example from our latest Google AdWords ad:
Use conversion tracking to measure ROI from:
- Pay-Per-Click marketing
- Banner advertising
- Traffic exchanges
- Affiliate marketing
- and more