Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amazon has an Integrated URL Shortener - AMZN.COM

Kyle Mulka just tweeted an AMZN.COM url to a product page. I was amazed that this didn't get converted to a longer URL, but that Amazon allows for this alternate page representation. Here's an example:

I started playing with a number of other shortcuts besides product codes and found some other URL's that do redirect to other URL's:

Interestingly, I note that almost no one seems to be twittering these short URL's directly (less than one per day on Twitter right now - and only 15 people have sent updates including them in the last two weeks).

I also note that Google does not have any pages in it's search index using the domain.

As Twitter becomes more popular, I think more sites will be incorporating URL shorteners into their applications, enabling their users to share their pages without resorting to 3rd party services. Amazon's tool, like Digg's "Digg Bar", is also a handy address-bar shortcut; I can envision training myself to type instead of visiting and then navigating to the kindle section.

Update: Analysis of AMZN.COM shortcuts

My curiosity piqued, I decided to see what mysteries lay behind the AMZN.COM domain. I wrote a program to search through an English dictionary looking for valid shortcuts. I found that they break down into a few distinct categories.

Feature Pages

The biggest category (496 shortcuts) I found are "feature" pages. These seem to be highly customized pages about a collection of product types. I'm assuming these are hand crafted by Amazon's editors.

accessories, adobe, ads, advertise, advertising, airborne, aldo, allied, angel, apparel, apple, archery, artisan, artists, arts, ati, atlanta, atlantis, att, austin, auto, automotive, autos, av, avon, baby, badminton, baking, ballet, bargain, bargains, baseball, basket, basketball, beauty, bedding, benefit, bernardo, beverages, bibles, blackberry, blankets, bleachers, blizzard, block, boating, bob, bodybuilding, bolt, bombay, books, borders, bosch, boss, bostitch, bostonian, brass, braun, broadband, broadway, brother, business, calendars, camera, cameras, camping, campus, canning, cannon, canon, car, careers, cars, catcher, cellular, celtic, champs, charities, charity, chat, cheap, chicago, chocolate, choice, christian, christianity, christy, citizen, classical, clearance, clifford, climbing, clothes, clothing, coffee, college, columbia, comics, command, computer, computers, concert, concord, condiments, confessions, construction, contractor, cooking, corporate, costume, costumes, country, crafts, crane, creative, crew, cricket, criterion, dallas, dance, decca, decks, decor, delta, denver, detroit, diamonds, discount, discounts, diving, dolls, dove, drapers, drugstore, drums, dummies, easter, eastman, educational, ei, electronics, emerging, engagement, engineering, entertaining, entertainment, essentials, et, exercise, eyewitness, fans, fantasy, faulkner, feed, feeding, fencing, festivals, financial, financing, fishing, fitness, flash, flashlight, flip, flowers, focus, food, football, footprint, footwear, fossil, fox, fragrance, fragrances, franklin, fresco, freud, fuji, furniture, galaxy, games, gaming, garden, gardening, gateway, gear, gilbert, ginkgo, giving, global, golf, gourmet, gps, graduation, green, griffin, grizzly, groceries, grocery, guess, guitars, gymnastics, hallmark, halloween, halo, hannah, hannibal, hardware, harry, health, hearts, heaters, hefty, hi, hiking, hips, history, hitchcock, hobbies, hobby, hockey, holmes, home, hoover, horizon, horror, household, hue, hulk, hunting, ice, indies, industrial, ink, insomnia, instruments, ironing, irwin, isi, jazz, jello, jet, jewelry, jobs, journey, kaiser, kids, kitchen, kraft, landscaping, latin, leadership, leapfrog, learning, leatherman, lee, levels, levis, librarian, libraries, licensing, lighting, literature, lodge, lucky, lush, macintosh, magazines, majestic, marvel, maverick, may, meats, medical, memory, metal, method, mi, microwaves, milwaukee, mini, minneapolis, mixers, monster, monsters, motorcycle, movies, mozart, murray, music, nabisco, nara, nautilus, naxos, nec, nfl, nick, nikko, nonfiction, nordstrom, notebooks, nuance, nursery, nursing, observer, office, olympics, olympus, oneida, oracle, organic, orvis, oshkosh, outdoors, outlet, paint, palm, paramount, parsons, parts, patio, patrician, patton, pc, pearls, penny, performance, pets, philadelphia, phillips, philosophy, phoenix, photo, pillows, planters, plumbing, po, polar, polaroid, polo, pools, practices, prepare, preschool, presto, princess, processing, professional, progressive, projects, puma, puzzles, pyrex, read, reese, reference, relic, religion, remington, replacements, resolutions, revere, ricci, rival, rockport, rocks, rodeo, romance, roots, rousseau, royal, rpg, ruby, running, russell, safety, sage, sale, salter, sandpaper, sands, sante, sauces, save, scholastic, science, scientific, seafood, seattle, security, sees, services, sesame, sewing, sex, shakespeare, sharp, shoes, shorts, shun, silhouettes, silver, simmons, simplicity, singer, skating, sledding, snacks, soccer, software, solutions, spanish, spices, sports, spreads, spring, squash, stanley, stones, storage, strings, summer, sunbeam, sunshine, survivor, swimming, switch, tang, tape, target, taxes, tech, teens, television, tennis, textbook, textbooks, thanks, theater, thomas, timex, toner, tools, topics, torino, toys, training, transformers, travel, trinity, triumph, truck, trucks, trump, tuna, tuttle, tv, twilight, umbra, universal, university, unlocked, upgrade, urban, used, verve, video, vikings, vinyl, vivo, viz, volleyball, vs, wallace, warner, watches, waterskiing, weber, werner, west, westinghouse, wheeled, wheels, wiley, winds, wire, wireless, wood, woodworking, wrangler, wrestling, write, xerox, yoga, zenith, microsoft

Product Pages

For some reason, Amazon has chosen to create shortcuts to individual products in their catalog. I found 100 shortcuts in this category.

america, apartment, arthur, badlands, balls, barrels, barry, beans, beats, body, bottom, brazil, breakaway, breakthrough, buckets, century, chaplin, chef, commitment, confidence, conversations, cookie, corner, cracker, dash, dating, deadline, deceit, details, dow, drawing, dungeon, eades, earl, espionage, evolve, excel, fish, fit, garcia, gunslinger, hillman, hive, icon, inclusion, indispensable, inspire, intrusion, israel, joss, kimball, kindle, leo, loopholes, millionaire, mira, mummy, noel, nostradamus, nourish, oasis, organizing, oyster, palmer, paralysis, passion, passionate, peacock, persuasion, poe, portfolio, presence, profitable, prosper, revved, santa, sarah, screenplay, seal, self, selling, service, ship, sloan, spies, startup, stocks, stranger, swimsuit, talent, toxic, traveler, waste, we, whistle, wind, winners, wired, wizard, wolves

Sports Team Pages

I found 178 custom pages dedicated to products related to sports or sports teams.

aggies, akron, alabama, angels, arizona, arkansas, army, arsenal, athletics, auburn, avalanche, baylor, bears, bills, blues, bradley, braves, brewers, broncos, brown, bucks, buffalo, buffaloes, bulls, butler, cal, california, campbell, capitals, cardinals, centenary, charleston, chiefs, cincinnati, citadel, colorado, colts, connecticut, cornell, cowboys, coyotes, creighton, cubs, dartmouth, davidson, delaware, devils, dodgers, dolphins, drake, drexel, ducks, duke, eagles, evansville, flames, florida, flyers, georgetown, georgia, giants, hampton, hartford, harvard, hawaii, hawks, heat, hoops, houston, howard, idaho, illinois, indiana, indians, iowa, irish, islanders, jacksonville, jets, kansas, kentucky, kings, lafayette, lamar, liberty, lightning, lions, longhorns, louisville, magic, maine, manhattan, marquette, marshall, maryland, massachusetts, mavericks, memphis, mercer, mets, miami, michigan, minnesota, mississippi, missouri, monmouth, montana, nationals, navy, nebraska, nets, nevada, niagara, northeastern, northwestern, ohio, oilers, oklahoma, orange, oregon, orioles, pacers, pacific, packers, panthers, patriots, pennsylvania, phillies, pirates, pistons, pittsburgh, portland, princeton, providence, raiders, rangers, rays, reds, rice, richmond, rider, rockets, rockies, saints, senators, sharks, southern, spurs, stanford, stars, steelers, stetson, suns, syracuse, temple, tennessee, texans, texas, tigers, titans, tulane, tulsa, twins, ucla, utah, vermont, virginia, volunteers, wagner, warriors, washington, wild, winthrop, wisconsin, wyoming, xavier, yale, yankees

Search Pages

14 pages are shortcuts for product searches.

bowman, browning, buckley, choose, converse, curling, lauder, olympic, pickup, plot, poker, razor, rink, slugger, steiner, thermostat, thermostats, wilson


20 additional shortcuts send users to pages not on the primary domain.

affiliates, associates, auction, cell, de, developer, fresh, investor, meters, news, phrase, phrased, phrasemaking, phraseology, phrases, pr, press, queue, soap, wine


114 shortcuts defied categorization. They are generally special features of the Amazon web site.

access, advantage, agreement, anywhere, atonement, audible, bach, bank, barney, bill, birthday, blacks, cancel, capote, card, cards, cart, chronicle, claim, claims, classics, communications, connect, contact, coop, current, dad, daily, deals, delivers, direct, directory, discover, education, environment, episodes, feedback, garage, gifts, goldberg, greenwood, habitat, hd, heart, help, holiday, honor, horton, howell, images, inaugural, inauguration, international, jaws, journeys, kaplan, labels, library, lippincott, locker, marketing, marketplace, martian, mcgraw, mobile, mom, montreux, morningstar, nolo, nonprofit, occasions, orders, packaging, passes, password, phone, pin, pioneer, prime, privacy, productivity, publishers, push, quiver, refunds, reporting, return, returns, rewards, search, sell, shades, sos, sox, spa, studios, summons, tags, ted, today, tracking, trading, usability, valentine, vault, visa, visual, vote, wastewater, waters, wedding, wishes, zen, zing


Perhaps most interestingly, I found 68 shortcuts that no longer seem to function specially (they default to the home page), or they reference a secured page not intended for Amazon customers

alerts, alien, ash, awards, beta, blocks, board, brooks, buick, community, credit, dell, documents, egghead, errors, es, evening, exec, favorites, fiesta, friends, game, ginger, go, ibm, input, java, join, lifetime, local, manage, mutter, new, orchestras, phantom, preferences, profile, recommendations, reminders, review, reviews, schwab, sellers, star, status, store, tag, text, traffic, wolf, yellow,
anniversary, communities, continue, damages, dexter, discussion, discussions, dylan, forum, forums, japan, japanese, links, madonna, mae, patents, supernatural


Peter said...

Nice find !

Ellie K said...

Interesting find.

As of today, October 4, 2010, Google search shows NO instances of AMZN.COM when I do a site search. Wonder why....

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