In yesterday’s post about Sam Adams using a X.CO url shortener on the back of its New Albion Ale bottles, someone wrote a comment that is important enough to share a follow up post. If you use X.CO, you need to be mindful of capitalization.
According to Mike H and confirmed by me:
The x.co shortener is case sensitive, it looks like they are aware of this as the took x.co/newalbion as well as x.co/NewAlbion, but if a person were to type it in as advertised (all capitalized) they wouldn’t go to Sam Adams. The capitalized version isn’t claimed.
Luckily for Sam Adams and its New Albion Ale product / marketing managers, someone from Go Daddy saw my post yesterday and added the capitalized version to the company’s account, preventing someone else from capturing that traffic and forwarding it elsewhere.
If you are using X.CO for marketing purposes, especially if the marketing is done offline, you need to be sure you grab all versions of the keyword. Someone else could anonymously register (for free) the alternative versions and forward them elsewhere. It doesn’t cost you anything to do, and it can protect your interests or the interests of you clients.
Thanks again to Mike H. for the tip.
Nothing really new, most if not all url shorteners, including bit.ly, are case sensitive in order to maximize the number of character combinations that replace long links.
I don’t have a need to use them (aside from when they are automatically shortened by Twitter), so I thought it was good to share this info.
The case sensitivity after the domain depends on how the Web server is set up. By default, most Windows-hosted sites will not care about capitalization and most Linux-based sites will care. It’s up to the Web site or Web application to override that default behavior–CMSes like WordPress, for example, wouldn’t regard case as important so they’re case-insensitive.
URL shorteners, as you note, can amplify their address space tremendously by caring. Since most people (back in the day) would click on a shortened URL, case sensitivity wasn’t an issue. When they’re orally or visually communicated, that’s when you get the squatters and need to make sure you get all the variations.
Whenever we’re preparing to announce something over social media, you better believe we pre-register everything.
(Note: I’m a Go Daddy employee and the person responsible for X.CO.)
Since we’re at it, do customized short url expire? I heard that they are deleted one year after last use, is that correct?
The footer at the bottom of the site says “Please note that any shortened URL that has not been clicked on for one (1) year will automatically be deleted.”
Our interpretation of this is that any shortened URL that is created and hasn’t been clicked on in its first year of existence is reclaimable. In other words, if a short URL gets a click, it effectively never expires.
this post doesn’t even make any sense to me unless dot co operates differently than dot com. as far as i know capitalization has only mattered after the slash.
I didn’t know it was case sensitive after the slash, and it seems that neither did Sam Adams.
BTW, it doesn’t matter on my blog: