I was browsing the site's most downvoted questions (don't ask why, I was real bored this cold morning) when I saw this post:


I was wondering why StackOverflow has a rads.stackoverflow.com, with some sort of a amzn that seems to be a shorter form for Amazon, and it takes in the ID of a book. Lastly, it redirects to the product page on Amazon.

Is that some kind of an advertisement link between Amazon and Stack Overflow? Are the links implemented automatically or posted by the author of the post? How are they implemented?

1 Answer 1


It's the automatic replacement of links to Amazon with SO's own referral links. See this blog post for more detail and background on how it came about.

There's also this here on meta which explains what's going on.

  • ok great! I was looking for rads.stackoverflow.com and I can't find anything. Thanks!
    – mauris
    Nov 19, 2009 at 23:14
  • 3
    It's a good idea to generate referral income and to discourage others from using their own referral links (although third party sites that refer to Amazon referral links may be blocked). Why not do this for other sites that offer a referral program. Amazon is likely the lowest hanging fruit, but I'm sure there are other sites that will pay out for referral conversions when you buy stuff.
    – Sun
    Apr 1, 2015 at 17:35
  • 2
    rads.stackoverflow.com is now appearing in many search results, making it harder to search for questions on this site. Nov 22, 2016 at 3:49

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