Rewrite Amazon product links using jQuery, RegEx and PHP

Posted by Jeff Beeman on Sun, 11/22/2009 - 20:56

Over at Gamers With Jobs we wanted to rewrite any outbound Amazon product links so that they include the GWJ affiliate ID (every little bit counts when you're a community site). Deciphering Amazon's generally bloated URLs can be tricky, as can knowing what exactly is required when building a link to a product page. So, I cobbled together a couple different pieces of info into a pretty simple solution that I thought I'd share.

First, we wanted a redirect page that would allow us to get metrics on how many product links are followed on our end. This was super-easy to implement in PHP, thanks to a script from Blogthority.

$asin = htmlspecialchars($_GET['asin']);
if ($asin) {
$link = "" . $asin . "?tag=your-affiliate-id-here";

The trickier part was getting any pre-existing Amazon links, along with any links that users don't enter in the local redirect format, to be rewritten. A bit of jQuery and a JavaScript regular expression, inspired by a post over on MusicBrainz, made a quick solution.

Note: If you're using the latest jQuery, you'll want to drop the @ symbol from the initial selector.

$('a[ @href *= "" ]').each(function() {
var href = $(this).attr('href');
var re = /\/([A-Z0-9]{10})(\/|\?|\b)/i
var asin = re.exec(href);
if (asin[1]) {
var shorturl = '/go/amazon?asin='+asin[1];
$(this).attr('href', shorturl);

The script grabs any links with "" in the URL and rewrites them to follow our redirect page using the 10 digit ASIN that it pulls using a regular expression. That's it!