A way to make money off of shortened URLs?
There’s not a whole lot of money in shortening links. Go Daddy has devised a way to change that.
The company filed a trio of patent applications (here’s one) for methods of monetizing shortened URLs. The applications were filed in April 2010 and just published today.
The idea is to monetize each visitor to a shortened URL with some sort of advertising. The method parses the URL that was shortened to come up with relevant keywords and then serve ads related to that. Ads could be served in a number of ways, such as a contextually relevant pop-up that is delivered alongside the target URL when someone clicks on the shortened URL.
I’m not sure if this is what’s intended, but this might also be a good way to monetize a URL shortening interface, such as GoDaddy’s x.co: after someone enters the URL they want to shorten you could show targeted ads to them next to the shortened URL.
James Bladel, Director of Policy Planning at GoDaddy.com, is listed as the inventor.