The Danger Of Dirty Links

I was under the mistaken impression that my Bit.Ly links were “clean,” but apparently that isn’t so. Take a look at this post, and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve fixed mine now, and recommend you do so as well, if you’ve been using Bit.Ly or another similar method. This is a good one to share, too, if you would. Thanks!


With all the attention given among the Indie community to the removal of book reviews by Amazon, I’m amazed at the number of authors who still post dirty links to their books on social media. This is a rookie-level mistake that can actually do more harm than good. 

A dirty link helps the algorithm at Amazon to determine if there are connections between author and reader that might suggest collusion or partiality.. Even if a review is from a verified purchase, a simple connection via a shared link can be enough to make them suspect that it’s not unbiased or from an unrelated party.

If the link used by multiple customers can be traced directly back to the author, that’s one of the reasons they will start flagging and eventually removing reviews. 

The simple solution is to ensure your links are clean before you post them.

A dirty link occurs…

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11 thoughts on “The Danger Of Dirty Links

    • Click on them yourself and check the address bar at the top of your book page. If the URL includes anything beyond this point “dp/B00ET2QR1Q” that particular link isn’t clean. On dirty links, you’ll find a backslash after the number that follows “dp” and a whole bunch of other gobbledy-gook strung out so far it fills (or exceeds) the rest of the URL field. You want it to stop after “dp/XXXXXXX” (whatever the number is. This is what my corrected link to Wake-Robin Ridge now looks like:
      Ignore the asterisks. Had to add them to keep WordPress from showing this as a picture and not a link. 😀

      I have copied each of my links from “https: to that point above”, and pasted them into a doc for easy retrieval when I want to share a link. They should show up clean when used. At least, mine now do. Folks accessing your book pages from sources other than yours will still see the part you’ve cut, but if they aren’t being referred from you or your blog, etc, that won’t matter. The object is NOT to leave a trail from you to them, so removing that portion from the links YOU share should do that.

      Now I have to change my links on this blog’s sidebar, and on the rest of my social media. The good news is, it shouldn’t take too long. 🙂 I hope. 😀

      Good luck with yours! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, Jessica, but selling books is pretty important to me, as well, and losing reviews can cost us sales–so fixing those dirty links is worth it. The good news is, it isn’t hard nor especially time consuming. You just want to be sure that any permanent links to your books on your blog or FB page, etc, are shortened. And shortening them is all you have to do. Open them up on your WP Administrator page, and clip everything to the right of the “dp/XXXXXXXXXX” number.

      Yesterday, I switched out all my book (right sidebar) images on this page to 3D versions (just because I wanted to) and I shortened each link at the same time. The process for 9 books & links took less than 30 minutes. Woohoo. The only other place I can think of where I need to change them is on my Author’s Facebook page. (I don’t have permanent links anywhere else that I remember). That shouldn’t take any longer.

      Once you have your permanent links done, it’s merely a matter of always using the newly shortened ones every time you share your links anywhere else–in blog posts, on twitter, wherever you might put a post and link to a book. And to make that quick & easy, I just saved all my shortened links to a doc file which I keep on my desktop. I can cut and paste from there to add links to any future blog posts, guest posts, tweets, FB posts, etc. I’d be copying & pasting the dirty link to those anyway, if I hadn’t learned about this, so it’s no more trouble than usual. And it’s a far better idea.

      As we all know, reviews are critical to books sales, something that can make or break we indies, so a one time clean up makes sense. And it isn’t hard or terribly time consuming, HONEST!! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Julie. And I do, too, but decided anything that was older would just have to stay that way. I fixed all the permanent links, but I don’t have time to search through old posts. I’m just going to focus on doing it right from now on. 🙂 Glad this is useful for you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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