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  1. #1
    Newbie kLinshizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 31st, 2008
    Is it ok to mess with the HTML in affiliate links?

    First, thank you to everyone who helped me with my post about applying to affiliate programs and acquiring traffic. I've applied to the programs and am now generating links!

    So now I'm wondering how much, if any, altering of the HTML code that the merchant gives to me is acceptable, and will it mess up my commissions.

    For example:

    If I want to put a picture of a product on my site that I want to sell, I go log in to CJ and get a link from a merchant. Let's say that the code for my picture link looks something like this (this is not my real code):

    <ahref="" target="_top">
    <imgsrc="" border="0" alt="Product - Awesome Product"/></a>
    <img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0"/>

    Alright so if I decide that I don't want to use their image of the product and I want to use a picture that I've taken of the product instead - can I just replace the "<imgsrc=""" and use my own image? Will this break the affiliate link? Will I still earn commission as long as the picture is linked with the <ahref= part?

    Of course I will carefully review the merchant's policies about this, and I'm not trying to be sneaky here. I genuinely want to know if this is an ok thing to do.

    Same thing goes for text links: if the program's text link makes "Product X, 4 oz Bottle" show up on my page, is it ok to tweak the text of the HTML so that it will read "I recommend Product X"? Does this break the affiliate link?

    Thank you so much for your help.

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Tweaking text of HTML--fine, unless the merchant is a real dumbhead. If they don't have any prohibitions, you're set. And if they really don't need to work with one that's that thick.

    Tweaking image links/banners/etc. I *think* the impression tracking on those links is done by the image itself (instead of with a separate imp-tracking pixel like the text links). If that's the case, you'd lose your imp tracking if you change the pic. The *commission* tracking should still work, though (and the amount of hits)--it's the a href part that's important for that.

  3. #3
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    It really depends on how anal retentive the merchant is.

    Some get it, some don't.

  4. #4
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 6th, 2006
    Tweaking is fine as long as you leave the things that are important.

    What's important?

    In the example you posted, it's the product link and the 1 pixel image that's used for tracking. You can swap out the product image link for something else and it'll all still work.

    That being said, if there's no 1 pixel image then they're using the actual product image link for tracking, so watch that (others like ShareaSale do it that way for example).

    You can also add target="_blank" to open the link in a new window.

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