Short Amazon affiliate links – a bookmarklet

October 19th, 2008. Tagged: AWS, bookmarklets, JavaScript

It's a pain to link to a specific product on Amazon if you have to use their UI to build an affiliate link. It's good to have nice, clean and short affiliate links. This post gives you the details and also a bookmarklet to built the links by visiting the product page you want to link to.

Anatomy of an Amazon affiliate link

Let's see the anatomy of a link in its shortest possible form.
Basically you have:

  • http://www.amazon.com/ - self-explanatory, I think
  • /dp/ - standing for "details product" or maybe "details page"
  • /1847194141/ - a 10 character product code, aka ASIN code, Amazon Standard Identification Number
  • ?tag=affiliatecode-20 - your affiliate code, or tag

For example my Amazon affiliate code is w3clubs-20, and an affiliate link to my book would be:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1847194141/?tag=w3clubs-20

Amazon also uses longer search engine friendly URLs containing the book title, like:
http://www.amazon.com/Object-Oriented-JavaScript-Stoyan-Stefanov/dp/1847194141/?tag=w3clubs-20

But the book title/product name doesn't really matter, so this is fine too:

http://www.amazon.com/War-and-Piece-by-Stoyan-Stefanov/dp/1847194141/?tag=w3clubs-20

So I went ahead and created a bookmarklet that lets you visit the product page you want to link to, click the bookmarklet and copy a short affiliate URL.

Install the bookmarklet

Drag the link below to your favorites/bookmarks or right-click and add to favorites. Then right click the new bookmark and change its properties, replacing my Amazon affiliate code "w3clubs-20" with yours.

Amazon aff

After installing the bookmarklet, just go to any Amazon product page, click the bookmarklet and it will create an affiliate link for you to copy.

The bookmarklet code, readable version

Here's the code for the bookmarklet, simply find the ASIN (product code) and build a new URL with it.

(function(){
    var aff = 'w3clubs-20'; 
    if (!document.getElementById('ASIN')) {
        alert('Can\'t find the product ID'); 
        return;
    } 
    var asin = document.getElementById('ASIN').value;
    prompt(
        'Here is the link:',
        'http://www.amazon.com/dp/' + asin + '/?tag=' + aff);
})()

Misc

There's a page in the Amazon affiliates section that let's you check if the links are OK, it's here

Sometimes you might see (usually for non-book products) URLs that instead of /dp/ have /gp/product/, but if you build /dp/ links it's totally fine, according to their link checker, see previous paragraph.

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