“Hey Dom, this link looks phishy.” I was amazed when somebody actually noticed I was using a custom short linking tool on a social post. To be honest, my first reaction was a happy one. Somebody had looked before they clicked on a link where the preview very clearly said “youtube.com” but the link was to domk.pro/something. Pretty awesome, great vigilance and awareness!
That said, I do use a short linking tool and it is indeed a fair question. So, here’s a short post on the why.
The Simple Answer: Analytics
My short linker has a couple of benefits. However, for me as a content creator, the chief among them is analytics. You see, I don’t get insights on how many people clicked on any given link that I share from most social platforms. It’s a valuable thing for me to understand. It helps me measure what content you all resonate with and helps me share. It’s also fun to understand how much traffic I push into content I share for Pax8, or compare numbers with Matt.
Long story short, I’m simply trying to understand how many of you click on any given piece of content. You may also notice that this will take you to a link with the classic “UTM Tags.” This is the “?utm_source=LinkedIn” and so on. This simply tells analytics tools on the website where the traffic came from. Same concept.
The Other Answer: Hyperlinks Suck Visually
Modern apps can have some tricky links. If I’m presenting content on a slide or video, it’s just easier for you to type https://domk.pro/shavethatbeard into your browser than it is to type https://www.gofundme.com/f/r76hc-charity-beard-shave?utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer. Both go to the same place. By the way, head over there now and donate to the beard shave charity drive!
But Short Linkers Can Be Dangerous
Yup. They can. Part of my rationale for using domk.pro instead of bit.ly or something else is that I am the only one (unless my account gets compromised or due to a platform vulnerability) that can create short links there. If something goes horribly wrong, I have the ability to black hole the DNS in a quick fashion to tear it down while I investigate. Personally, I feel better about it.
For transparency’s sake, bit.ly also charges for good analytics.
So that’s it. I’m not phishing you, I just want to know how my content performs and make it easier for you to consume. If you want to build your own short links, check out short.io. That’s who I use for 3 different domains (Matt uses them too) and they work great.