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  1. #1
    Full Member GoColts's Avatar
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    301 redirect to shorten affiliate links?
    Excuse me for being non-techie but if anyone has a 1and1 hosting account (hosted on their servers) - if you could help point me in the direction of setting up a 301 to shorten links I would GREATLY appreciate it.

    Maybe that's a dumb question - can you even set up 301 redirects when your hosting on someone elses server

  2. #2
    You create 301 redirects in the ht access file of your site. You will find this in the root folder of your domain and is pretty simple to do and does not matter who hosts your website. Have a google for a couple of guides, there are a few out there.

  3. #3
    Full Member GoColts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by healthexpress
    You create 301 redirects in the ht access file of your site. You will find this in the root folder of your domain and is pretty simple to do and does not matter who hosts your website. Have a google for a couple of guides, there are a few out there.
    Thanks HE

    I actually figured out how to do a simple meta refresh using a blank page on my domain and that was enough-but thank you for the feedback.

  4. #4
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    Hi GoColts, I recommend you take the time to learn how to do htaccess redirects. It's quite easy, even for a technophobe. It's a much tidier way of doing the job - every affiliate link goes in one plain text file.

    I used meta refreshes years ago and I can tell you from painful experience that it becomes REALLY messy once you have a few dozen of them.

    Also, if an affiliate merchant switches to a new tracking system and you have to change a bunch of links, you'll be very grateful you used htaccess redirects because it's so easy to change links on dozens or hundreds of pages, just by changing ONE plain text file.

    By the way, the Abestweb forum software calls me a "newbie", but I've been doing affiliate marketing full-time for 10 years.

  5. #5
    Full Member GoColts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Gardyne

    By the way, the Abestweb forum software calls me a "newbie", but I've been doing affiliate marketing full-time for 10 years.
    Hi Allan. I'm well aware of your reputation online and appreciate you taking time to leave the helpful feedback.

    I had not given it much thought until your post.

    Something now I will definitely put on my pulling-my-hair-out-I've-got-too-much-crap-to-do, To Do List!

    I'm starting to think that the people like you at the top of this game are truly professional Outsourcers who just happen to do affiliate marketing.

  6. #6
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    GoColts, have you tried using a PHP array to redirect? This actually cloaks too, and I'm not sure if I used the correct name for this, lol.

    Not exactly a techie either.

    I'll try to explain this so it hopefully makes sense.

    I created an index file with this code:
    PHP Code:
    <?php 
    $link
    =array( 
    1=>"http://www.link1.com"
    2=>"http://www.link2.com",
    ); 
    $url=$link[$_GET['links']]; 
    header("Location: ".$url); 
    ?>
    You can add as many links as you want.

    You then put this in a folder, lets call it, mylinks.

    Now to link to link1, you would do:
    Code:
    <a target="_blank" href="../mylinks/?links=1">
    Hopefully you can see, mylinks is the folder name, links is the name in the PHP code (you can change that), and the number is the line in the array you want. Doing this, you can turn and ugly looking affiliate link in to something better looking.

    Make sense? Or if I made an error, someone correct me, but I'm pretty sure that's how I am doing it.

    Edit: And with this method, to change a link, you just change it once in the index file.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    both the .htaccess and php methods are great to learn.

    I strongly prefer the php method. Too much in the .htaccess can eventually cause performance issues on your server as every hit on the server must go through this list to see if it matches. I don't know how much is too much, however.

    Plus, the php method allows you do do other stuff on the clicks, like tracking and logging, adding tracking parameters (SID) to affiliate urls for reporting, etc.

    One more note, your title asks specifically for a 301 redirect. The default redirect in either .htaccess or with the php header("Location:...") commands are 302 redirects.

    301 means "permanent" redirect. 302 means "temporary". The latter is the more appropriate redirect for this sort of thing as you may want to change where the links go to. browsers and proxy servers may cache 301 redirect locations and at the very least can make things tricky for debugging if you get a url wrong.

    Finally, it is widely thought that a 301 redirect will pass "link juice" where a 302 will not. Some merchants and networks went through some efforts to get affiliate links changed to 301 for the SEO benefit.

    Long story short, I stick with 302 redirects.

  8. #8
    Full Member GoColts's Avatar
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    You guys are awesome - thanks for the helpful and courteous feedback.

  9. #9
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    You're welcome.
    Plus, the php method allows you do do other stuff on the clicks, like tracking and logging, adding tracking parameters (SID) to affiliate urls for reporting, etc.
    Oh yeah, I totally forgot to mention this. With the php method I can see in my logs when and where someone clicks on an affiliate link from. Does make tracking things easier.

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