Reviews

Shorte.st vs Adf.ly

Url shorteners are easy ways of gaining revenue on sites since they can be pretty quick and simple to implement, there’s usually no screening process for sites, and you can force people to click through ads by making the shortened links the only option.

Of course, when I was trying it out, I made the link clicking optional since I personally find it a pain to have to wait even 5 seconds before getting to the content I want, but feel alright with clicking a few ad links for a good cause while watching tv. I only experimented with Adf.ly and Shorte.st for a week, but it’s been enough to feel out their features and conclude that these url shorteners weren’t worth the trouble for me or my readers.

 

So first, I’m going to briefly mention some of the features I noticed:

 

Shorte.st Adf.ly
1. It offers a starting bonus of $1 after your first 100 views.

2. There are multiple ways to easily make all the links on your website shorte.st links, such as using the website script or the wordpress plugin

3. It has a quick link for those who just want to earn revenue and doesn’t really need a shortened link.

1. Offers banners and pop ads (w/ irrelevant content that look pretty crappy).

2. There is full page script and website entry script available to make all the links on your website adf.ly links.

3. It has a quick link for those who just want to earn revenue and doesn’t really need a shortened link.

Results of Trying Shorte.st and Adfly

Shortening links is said to be useful because shorter links are easier to share, but my goal in trying these two link shorteners out was just to see if they were a viable option for generating some site revenue. They weren’t.

These were the stats over 7 days. I’m comparing the clicks the link shortener website reported versus the clicks I see in my website dashboard.

Shorte.st Adf.ly
Past 7 Days:

Clicks (bc’s dashboard): 1,787

Clicks (shorte.st dashboard): 221

Generated Revenue: $0.20

June 16:

Clicks (bc’s dashboard): 135

Clicks (shorte.st dashboard): 14

Generated Revenue: $0.01

Estimated CPM (over 7 days based on shorte.st stats): $0.90

Past 7 Days:

Clicks (bc’s dashboard): 415

Clicks (adf.ly dashboard): 254

Generated Revenue: $0.54

June 16:

Clicks (bc’s dashboard): 117

Clicks (shorte.st dashboard): 54

Generated Revenue: $0.12

Estimated CPM (over 7 days based on adf.ly stats): $2.13

 

Conclusion:

I had heard that shorte.st was currently the best link shortener because it had higher payout rates and counted more clicks than adf.ly, but my experience didn’t match that. Adf.ly counted more clicks out of the total amount of clicks compared to shorte.st and also had double the cpm.

When looking around the internet, I saw that shorte.st had stated that they only count about 5 clicks from the same ip address and people saying that most link shorteners did the same. Other explanations for the lower view counts on the website include that the viewer didn’t stay for the five seconds and click onto the next link or that they opened in tabs which often don’t count. However, I’m skeptical since shorte.st’s total ratio was lower than adf.ly’s overall, so I feel like the sites’ algorithms are set to ignore a certain amount of views.


In any case, I was looking for a straightforward, non-intrusive way to monetize my site, and this wasn’t it because at the rate of $3 dollars a week, $15 dollars isn’t even enough for me to buy a meal at my school’s dining hall.