Category Archives: Uncategorized

Make Tracking Links With the API

We recently expanded our API to assign passwords and keys for individual user accounts. What that means is that you can now make changes in your own account via our API without having to log in or even visit our site.

This comes in response to users who were interested in integrating our service with another program (TweetDeck for example).

To generate your own API key and see some example uses, log in to your account, click on the “Account” link and look for the API options.

We plan on expanding the API functionality very soon, so if you have any feature suggestions or feedback please let us know.

Google AdWords: Account Under Review

At Linktrack, a portion of our advertising dollars are spent on Google AdWords.  I’ve personally been an AdWords customer since they first started the program (for this and other projects) and have generally been satisfied with their product.

Recently, my account was placed in a mysterious “under review” status that resulted in a complete freeze of my entire AdWords account (no impressions, clicks, etc.) and no notification via email or status message that anything was wrong.  My only indication was a complete stop of all account activity on otherwise healthy and active campaigns.

After searching the internet for cases similar to mine, I discovered the “under review” scenario that a few other advertisers have experienced.  After reading several horror stories of accounts under indefinite review, I was worried that my account would never be re-activated and that AdWords would no longer be an advertising option.  I’ve since resolved the issue and am documenting my communication with Google to help other advertisers in a similar situation.

Since there was no indication from Google that something was wrong, I had to contact them.  Phone support for my account was unavailable, so I took the email route.  Here is the first response, received approximately 12-24 hours after my request:

Hello Keeton,

Thank you for your email. I understand you’re concerned about your AdWords account not working. It appears your account is under review, which may be the reason for this issue. We periodically review accounts for security purposes and to verify billing information. I’ll consult a specialist team regarding the status of the review and will provide you with an update shortly. I sincerely appreciate your patience.

If you have additional questions, please visit our Help Center at http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/, where you’ll find answers to many frequently asked questions. We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.

Sincerely,

Sricharan
The Google AdWords Team

This form response didn’t provide any helpful information, so I was resigned to wait.  I used the time to clone my pay per click campaigns to Microsoft Adcenter for display on the Bing.com search engine.  24 hours after the initial email, I received the following:

Hello Keeton,

Thank you for your patience.  As mentioned in my previous email, your AdWords account has stopped running as your account was under review. Our AdWords specialists have confirmed that our system is having difficulty processing your credit card.

Our AdWords Specialists and engineers have worked to resolve this issue. Please re-submit your credit card number or enter another credit card number to process your charge. Your ads will start running as soon as our system successfully processes your payment, usually within the 24 hours following your credit card re-submission.

To edit your credit card information and re-enable your account:

1. Sign in to your account at https://adwords.google.com
2. Click the “Billing” tab.
3. Click “Billing Preferences.”
4. Click “Edit” next to the Primary Payment Details section.
5. Fill in all fields on this page, including your credit card number.
6. Click “Save Changes” when you’re finished.

If you have additional questions, please visit our Help Center at http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/, where you’ll find answers to many frequently asked questions. We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.

Sincerely,

Sricharan
The Google AdWords Team

This answer was far more helpful and reminded me that I had recently updated my credit card information on the account.  Why I didn’t receive an email that there was a problem with the billing, I will never know.  After updating my credit card information, my account started working after four or five hours.

If you’re investigating your own “under review” account, I hope you find this information helpful.

Hello Keeton,

Thank you for your email. I understand you’re concerned about your AdWords account not working. It appears your account is under review, which may be the reason for this issue. We periodically review accounts for security purposes and to verify billing information. I’ll consult a specialist team regarding the status of the review and will provide you with an update shortly. I sincerely appreciate your patience.

If you have additional questions, please visit our Help Center at http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/, where you'll find answers to many frequently asked questions. We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.

Sincerely,  

Sricharan
The Google AdWords Team

New Feature: Custom Domains

We’ve had a TON of requests from users like you who want to use Linktrack, but don’t like the long linktrack.info domain name.  We heard those requests and listened!

This week we’re introducing http://vlt.me, the first of many new domain names that can be used with Linktrack. We’re calling this feature “custom domains” and it’s available to professional account holders starting today.  If you’re already a professional account holder, you don’t need to do anything to start using custom domain names. Just look for the “Address” drop down box when you make a link to choose which domain you want to use with your tracking link.

Here’s where we’re keeping track of all the custom domains available.

If you’re using one of our free accounts, this is a great reason to try out our professional service.  There’s no contract or obligation, so check it out today!

So why did we choose the vlt.me domain name? Does it mean anything special?

Not really. We choose vlt.me because it was short and easy to say (over the phone for example), but also doesn’t imply that that the link is for tracking purposes (something that a few of our users have mentioned).

If you REALLY need vlt.me to stand for something, here are some ideas:

Virtual Link Tracking
Very Large Turtle
Vacation Lobster Trap
Vaccinate Live Turkeys
Vacuumed Last Time
Vain Life Test

If you have any others, please let me know.

Thanks,

Keeton

Unique Visitor Tracking

Linktrack is proud to introduce unique visitor tracking to our growing list of features! We added unique tracking last week in response to a TON of requests. The new feature is available on professional accounts, and we’ll be tracking unique vs. repeat visitors going forward.

Thanks to everyone who requested this feature, and keep the feedback coming!

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Every business needs a Unique Selling Propostion (USP). Here’s ours until I get tired of it:

Linktrack shortens links and provides comprehensive click-through statistics for every visit they receive. Users have access to lots of options like password protected links, links that expire automatically, and more!

We make it simple and easy to track clicks or split test virtually anything – Google Adwords, Craigslist.org ads, Twitter links, your Facebook status, affiliate programs – ANYTHING. Our data is extremely comprehensive and accessible via online display, sweet charts and graphs, or downloadable reports.

Everything You Wanted to Know And More

The growing list of sites that keep tabs on our web site is insane. Here are just a few where that keep tabs on our site, our Twitter feed, our Alexa ratings, our statistics and more:

http://topsy.com/tb/linktrack.info/
http://topsy.com/twitter/linhktrak
http://dataopedia.com/linktrack-info
http://www.statbrain.com/www.linktrack.info/
http://www.backtype.com/url/linktrack.info
http://twitter.com/linktrak
http://social.implu.com/t/linktrak
http://topsy.com/twitter/linktrak
http://tweetmeme.com/user/linktrak
http://twitreferral.com/profile/linktrak/
http://www.pagesinventory.com/domain/linktrack.info.html
http://www.ownmine.com/results.php?query=linktrack.info
http://www.myrealtwitterscore.com/linktrak
http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/linktrack.info
http://www.quarkbase.com/linktrack.info
http://twittercounter.com/linktrak
http://builtwith.com/?linktrack.info
http://www.twaitter.com/linktrak.aspx
http://www.netsyssec.com/domain/linktrack.info
http://twitrak.com/default.asp?Username=linktrak

Why is My Link Invalid?

This is a pretty common question, so definitely worthy of a blog post.  I’ll get it up on the FAQ page eventually, but it can go here for now.

When you create a new Linktrack tracking link, the only required field is the destination – everything else is optional.  The hitch here is that the destination URL must be a valid URL.  That means it can’t contain any special characters that aren’t allowed in a normal URL.

Here are a few examples of invalid destination URLs:

  • www.mydestination.com (needs the “http://” protocol.  Should look like http://www.mydestination.com)
  • http://www.mydestination.com/some folder (uses an illegal space. Try http://www.mydestination.com/some_folder or http://www.mydestination.com/some%20folder)
  • http://www.mydestination.com/ (you can’t see it, but this has an illegal space on the end)
  • http://www.mydestination (doesn’t include the “.com, .net, .info” or similar second level domain name.  Gotta have that
  • my destination (this is just a phrase.  We’re looking for a destination URL in this box.

For the technically minded, here’s a good read on valid characters in a URL.