An interesting question! Both approaches serve a particular need and have their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Please read on for the exact details. 


Link Creator:


Build links manually in our dashboard, with the link creator. The end result is "geni.us/xxxxx" shortlinks.


Strengths:

  • Leverage our most powerful features: Pixels, Advanced Rules, Choice Pages, A/B Tests.

  • Advanced rules: when our translation doesn't land where you want, you can repair this.

  • Per-link reporting: You can see how many clicks each individual link is getting

  • Customizable vanity codes: You can select the URL text, with results like geni.us/CoolBike or geni.us/mybandisgreat 


Weaknesses:

  • Configuration takes time: Setting advanced rules can be a process if you're updating a lot of links.

  • You have to build your links one at a time.


JavaScript Snippet / Link Engine WordPress Plugin:


These tools are functionally the same, and they use the same code. Once configured, they automatically convert any raw product URLs into long-form "buy.geni.us/proxy/xxxxxx..." links whenever the page is loaded. 

Raw product URLs look like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Burts-Bees-Moisturizing-Original-Peppermint/dp/B0054LHI5A

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/its-gonna-be-me/303171298?i=303171383


Strengths:

  • Instantly converts an entire page/website of links when the page loads. A great option if you've already got a website with 

  • Configure it once and it can convert millions of links with minimal oversight

  • Preserve URLs until click time”: This lets you stay Amazon compliant with virtually no effort. The link will say "Amazon.com" up until someone clicks it.


Weaknesses:

  • Resulting links are Simple Links: it’s not possible to set advanced rules when translation doesn't land where you want. However, you can resolve this by replacing that link with a manually built geni.us link.

  • Clicks are reported in bulk: These links are created anew every time the page loads, so we're not able to tell you how many clicks each individual link is getting. The closest you can get is a per-article or per-page tracking, but this requires using our group feature to set up a different Javascript Snippet for each page of your site.

  • Cannot be used with Amazon Native Ads, or any other ad plugin that serves up product data dynamically using an iFrame, as these kinds of ads don't contain a product URL at the time of pageload

Note: There are other options for building links programmatically, like using our API or the Quick Build format, but the Javascript Snippet / WordPress plugins are by far the most popular methods of programmatic link building.