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Helper I

issue with subdomain forwarding to a short-url

I discovered a bug with the godaddy subdomain forwarding service: it breaks if the subdomain is configured to forward to a URL that in turn is a short URL from a service like tinyurl.com

 

1) from tinyurl, create https://tinyurl.com/mbq3m pointing to https://google.com

 

2) from the godaddy DNS manager, create a subdomain like broken.casaschi.net forwarding to https://tinyurl.com/mbq3m

 

3) browse to http://broken.casaschi.net and instead of reaching https://google.com you'll get to the godaddy error page https://shortener.secureserver.net/error_404

 

Is there anyone here that could verify this is a systematic bug and convince godaddy to fix it?

5 REPLIES 5
Helper I

Re: issue with subdomain forwarding to a short-url

I played around the issue a little bit more and it seems that godaddy is actively breaking their subdomain forwarding service when the destination URL is from a well known other URL shortening service.

 

For example:

 

subdom.example.com forwarded to tinyurl.com short address: FAIL

subdom.example.com forwarded to bit.ly short address: FAIL

subdom.example.com forwarded to goo.gl short address: FAIL

 

Instead, using a branded bit.ly short URL domain (something godaddy would not know about but it's still the same URL shortening engine of bit.ly under a different domain)... WORKS

 

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: issue with subdomain forwarding to a short-url

@ihcsasac. I did some testing with this. I set up forwards on both GoDaddy (x.co) and Bitly (bit.ly) to see how they would redirect. 

 

x.co/bitlyfwd => bit.ly/bitlyfwd
Target = This thread. 

This generates a 404 error. 


bit.ly/GDforward => x.co/GDforward
Target = This thread. 

This generates the following warning from Bitly:

bitly error.jpg

 

 

I also tested a to see how Bitly handled redirecting to a custom domain setup on GoDaddy (which is free, by the way). 


bit.ly/GDcustom => [custom domain]/GDtest

Target = godaddy.com

 

This worked in the same way that the GoDaddy shortener did, as it allowed the double redirect on to the target domain. 

 

I don't know for certain, but my guess would be that the break on our end is intentional to prevent the malicious redirects in the same way Bitly's is. Could we do better than a 404 error? Probably. I will pass that feedback along to our developers. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: issue with subdomain forwarding to a short-url


@JesseW wrote:

I don't know for certain, but my guess would be that the break on our end is intentional to prevent the malicious redirects in the same way Bitly's is. Could we do better than a 404 error? Probably. I will pass that feedback along to our developers.  


Thanks for looking into this.

 

But please keep in mind, this is not affecting only the godaddy URL shortener service where some of those concerns might apply.

 

This is also affecting the subdomain forwarding service, where those concerns are much less obvious and only apply because godaddy decided to implement the subdomain forwarding using their URL shortener service.

 

For example, I discovered the issue because I'm pointing a subdomain to a shared google photo album; google photo gives me the URL for sharing the album in the form of a goo.gl URL, so I used that for the subdomain forwarding... why should I worry whether that URL is a "short URL" or not and in case expand it and so on... it looks really messy, I should be able to point the subdomain to whatever URL google photo points me to without having to think about it.

 

It's really surprising that godaddy made such fundamental changes in their URL forwarding service, downgrading it to a URL shortening service and completely ignoring all potential side effects :-(

 

PS: I looked at your examples; at least bit.ly offers the option to "proceed at your own risk" and still gets you there after the warning... better than showing a 404 error without any context or options...

Helper I

Re: issue with subdomain forwarding to a short-url

Something changed on the back-end server... now my broken.casaschi.net subdomain forwards correctly through the tinyurl shortlink to the expected final destination. Same for my other subdomain forwarding through goo.gl to my google photo shared album.

 

However, your x.co short URL pointing to a bit.ly shortlink gets the 404 error.

 

It looks like someone has changed the behavior for godaddy forwarded subdomains but not for links created through the godaddy URL shortener... that would make sense and works for me!

 

Thanks for the quick reaction!

New

Re: issue with subdomain forwarding to a short-url

Subdomain forwarding is still broken. In my GoDaddy domain, ddd.org, I have entered a subdomain called subdomain.ddd.org which forwards to someotherdomain.org. If I browse to subdomain.ddd.org, forwarding works. But if I add a query string that contains a "." character, like search.aspx, forwarding takes me to the URL Shortener page with a message "Destination unknown."

 

This has caused lots of my links to break.