What The Heck Is A Clean Link And Why Should I Care?
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN: August 26, 2019
I bet you have heard the phrase - use a clean link - in conjunction with Amazon and linking to your book.
If you are like me, you may have asked what the hell is a clean link. If you already know what it is, then this post may seem like a remedial math class.
Here's the scenario. You have just published your book on Amazon, and you can't wait to share it EVERYWHERE. What do you do? I bet you find your book either by using the search bar on Amazon or searching Google. Cuz you know you want to see if you are on Google...admit it... You copy the link that shows up and paste it on every social media outlet you happen to be on...which is probably something like 50 different sites.
But is that the best thing to do? No. Here's why.
If I pull up my book on Amazon, this is the link that shows up.
I can also search on Amazon and get a link that looks like this:
You may be wondering what the difference is - a couple of things. In the first link, you can see the title of the book, followed by dp, followed by the ISBN.
In the second photo, you see gp followed, by product, followed by a different number. This is the ASIN that Amazon assigns to your book.
What's the difference? Probably a shit ton and more than I can begin to explain...but to make it easy, the one with the book title and ISBN makes it easier for Google to catalog the page. (OR I bet that is what Amazon has told Google.)
Here's the deal. What you need to be concerned with is the picture below. Everything after the arrow is not needed. (This holds true for the second link I showed you as well.)
The stuff after the number (whether it is the ISBN or the ASIN) contains tracking information. I can't tell you what each thing showing in the address bar represents, but in a nutshell... it can provide third-party vendors with information. That may include information about the link's characteristics and who/how/when someone is clicking it. Something I'm pretty sure those you are sharing this link with don't want.
It could affect your ability to receive reviews. If Amazon thinks something fishy is going on with tons of people using this link to purchase books and then review, or to just review, they won't let the review post. And it may affect your ALSO BOUGHT. It has the ability to have a far reaching effect on things you don't want messed with.
The point is, cut all that stuff away so you end up with:
These are clean links.
To get these, delete everything after the numbers. BOOM! Now you can share the links with everyone.