Article by: @v1j1key
The best way to avoid SCAM shorteners is to know how to distinguish them, by using a few tips, which I’m going to share with you in this article. It would be also good for you to read the previous article about how the URL shorteners cheat their publishers to protect yourself even more.
Now, let’s go straight to the tips! You can use some of them or all of them in your test of a new shortener. If you use all of the tips, your chance to avoid the SCAM is increasing to 99%. Yes, 1% is always the chance every shortener to pay you, but that desn’t mean it is LEGIT, you should remember that. One shortener can pay you the first time, but not the second one and there is a reason for that.
TIP 1: NO SUPPORT!
If the URL Shortener has no social network support page, or it has, but is not answering to your messages. If you don’t get reply of your emails. You can test the support by sending a message or mail first and wait a day for a reply, if you don’t get one, then most certainly the owner of the shortener is a scammer. The legit owner always take care of his partners and check his mails, however this tip doesn’t apply to old shorteners with thousands of publishers. You can’t expect a single person to answer every day to thousands of tickets. In most cases the owner is only one and he only cares about paying on time or pay at all.
TIP 2: NO LINKS ON THE SOCIAL NETWORKS OR GOOGLE!
Go to facebook or google and search for the domain name of the URL shortener, if you don’t find links, then nobody use the shortener. This doesn’t apply to new shorteners, which are still in the beginning of the their business. You must use this check if the domain is old. About the domain check look at TIP 5!
TIP 3: NO SITE LOGO!
If the URL shortener has a customized logo, that means the admin spend some time to brand his business. You can credit higher such an owner! You must consider the design of the logo, because amateur logos drawn in Paint app are not so important as a professional one.
TIP 4: TOO HIGH PAYOUT RATES!
The URL shorteners announce their payout rates for the different countries on a separate page in their website. If you go to that page and you take a quick look there you may do yourself a big favor. However, this tip must be considered together with the type of ads and ad networks you see on the ad pages of the shortener. How to know which rates are too high, well go to a shortener which is legit and trusted and check the payout rates there. If the tested shortener has twice bigger rates it is kind of OK, but anything bigger than x2 compare to the legit shorteners is a pure lie. After all, they all use pretty much the same ad networks on their ad pages, so they have same income for 1000 visitors of a specific country. The only way for a shortener to pay more is to gain publishers and this is a temporary measure, so at some point the rates will fall hard.
TIP 5: TOO YOUNG OR FREE DOMAIN!
Easy, make a whois check of the domain name of the shortener or check the domain extension if it is a .com paid premium domain or .tk free domain. When you do a whois check you will see some basic information about the registered domain and you will always see the date of registration and of expiration. While the expiration date is not so important, as it can be updated, the date of registration is what you should look for. Usually any domain registered between 1 or 6 months ago is considered as new. Anything older than 6 months is OK for a URL shortener.
TIP 6: TOO HIGH MINIMUM WITHDRAWAL AMOUNT!
Avoid URL Shorteners with minimum amount for withdrawal over $5 for Paypal payment option. I don’t say that all shorteners with amount over $5 for Paypal are SCAM, I just advice you to avoid them as they are risky. The maximum I’ve ever see is $20, but I don’t use shorteners with more than $10 as anything bigger is unreasonable. Have in mind that these amounts are valid only for the Paypal option!
TIP 7: MONTHLY PAYMENT SCHEDULE!
Monthly payment schedule in most cases means SCAM. Some shorteners excuse themselves with the monthly schedule they receive their earnings from the ad networks they work with. Monthly money for them = monthly money for you (their publishers), but that’s unfair and extremely risky for you. Basically it is unfair because the shortener makes money out of your traffic and they pay you a cut of their earnings. The only reason for you to use an URL shortener instead of making your own shortener and work directly with the ad networks is to minimize the risk of the monthly payments from the ad networks. That risk is and should be taken from the shortener owner not from you, that’s why you work with him. That is why he must pay you faster than monthly!
TIP 8: RULES AND TERMS 100% IN SITE’S FAVOR!
If the rules or the terms of the shortener are reserving the owner the right to not pay you, if he considers your traffic as a low quality or anything like that, that means the owner already told you the excuse for his scam. Don’t use such a shortener or test it for a day and contact the owner to examine your traffic and give you green light to continue working. Absolutely don’t work for too long with such a shortener and generate big balance, as you will most probably going to be scammed, if your traffic didn’t bring the owner revenue to cover the money he must pay you.
TIP 9: NO ADS!
Shorten one link and open the short link, if you don’t see ads on the shortener’s ad pages, then the owner has no income. If there is no income, there is no way he can pay you unless he consider paying you from his pocket. Avoid shorteners without ads!