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  1. #1
    Newbie timothyaron's Avatar
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    Unhappy Am I the only one who finds GAN cumbersome to use?
    I'm surprised that there is no negative feedback about GAN in this forum. I find it to be very annoying to use, especially compared to CJ's interface. There are no product links for those of us who don't want to deal with setting up an FTP site for datafeeds, and the BYOL tool doesn't let you just create one link after another unless you go back and refresh the form. I know you can upload your own links, but they (and the BYOL) links take like an hour to start working. So basically, if you like pulling links on the fly for something link a blog, you're SOL.

    Don't even get me started on the super-annoying way which GAN displays banners in the interface so that you can't even see the whole creative without clicking on it first (which for some reason takes you back up to the top of the page -- super frustrating). And you can't sort links, change the number displayed or do a search for keywords in the link name. You also can't view creatives across merchants (like if you want to find 120x60 banners from any program you've joined).

    I have had a few of my merchants move to GAN from CJ and at this point I'm ready to just drop them. Using the Google system has more than doubled the time it takes me to update my sites, so it's just not worth it.

    Am I the only one who is frustrated?

  2. #2
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    there is lots of negate info about GAN on this forum, and formerly performics, connect commerce or whatever.

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    No, you're not. My biggest beef is the same as yours -- access to product links is way more trouble than I'm willing to invest. So for now I have a few GAN banners on my sites which of course are non-productive.

    I'm waiting for the folks at GAN to make it easy for us to access product links so I can drive sales to their merchants.

  4. #4
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    I find it extremely difficult to use the GAN interface. It just isn't affiliate friendly. So you are not alone in your frustration

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    I'm also with you on this one. For me it's crucial to be able to create product links quickly. I'll alway go to Goldencan or a SAS or CJ merchant to build product links and GAN is my last choice. My stats show it. My lowest converting merchants are in GAN. It's not that they're bad merchants, but my lack of interest in using the interface.
    ~Ernie

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Problem won't be solved until Google/Performics/GAN hire some folks who are experienced in sales.... not advertising. No one at Google has any real experience moving merchandise or responsible for physical inventory turns etc. This observation comes from years talking to the Adwords staff and others in Google management. They are all just advertising trainees and not capable of running a webshop or real store.

    Keep yelling and Performics and Google will have to acquire the people who do know what it takes to generate a great conversion ratio without applying just one liner incentive band aids. A gizmo tool like the one used by CSNstores or a "make a page" app would work wonders for GAN.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    GAN has some great merchants but the process of getting their links, checking back on them, etc. is extremely time consuming and of course lowers the likelihood of searching for new merchants there. I put up some 125x125s in August and I know they have expired now so I removed them, but there aren't any new ones to take their place so that spot has now gone to another network's merchants. Trying to check the links to see when they expire is another time consuming chore. It's like an obstacle course.

    There is a merchant on GAN that I joined in July, a perfect match for one of my sites. I went back and forth with the AM who promised they would at least make links available via PopShops or GoldenCan; As of today there are only half a dozen poorly made banners to work with for that merchant so I'm thinking I should probably just quit the program as it is too late in the season to hope for any holiday sales for a page that doesn't yet exist. Another merchant is still offering an invalid link that I have written to them about, and to GAN as well. Other than their interactive link that doesn't function, how do they expect affiliates to promote these folks? Where are the tools? GAN is promoting banner farms??

    Orangelinks come in without warning and without any clue as to which merchant they are for so that they could be properly organized with the right merchant when you go to update that merchant's promotions. They end up all in one folder called orangelinks where their anonymity protects them from doing any actual work.

    There's BYOL that sort of needs a current list of the proper codes to be useful. The only way to get a datafeed is to accept an unending string of them that takes 2 weeks to start and another 2 weeks to end. This is without question the most difficult network to work with unless you fit their ftp/datafeed mold or their PPC mold. I sometimes wonder why they accept affiliates that don't fit their molds. It is very frustrating.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Only GAN merchants I use are those in PopShops -- and I really only use a few of those. SAS merchants do pretty well for me, and they're the ones I understand best.

    Of course, I use a lot of PopShops for the SAS merchants, too.

    I recently had a merchant move from SAS to CJ -- and I'm really at a loss even finding my way around much of the CJ interface.
    Generate more fake news.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    I agree. Building links in GAN is tedious and tiresome. I really hate it when a merchant moves to GAN.

    Just today I received a response (from GAN, not the merchant) to my question about a banner for 2008 Christmas ornaments not working. The response was "unfortunately, these offers have expired. " Huh, this was not a special offer (no discount or coupon), just a very timely banner link to their holiday products. I also asked about linking to the individual ornaments since they were not all in the datafeed and the response was the merchant "currently does not support the BYOL function." Why make it so hard for us to promote the merchant?

  10. #10

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    Performics sucked. Google buys it. It still sucks.

    Not sure why google felt the need to buy it when it would not have been hard to built it's own platform, or perhaps choose a better one say like SAS (Brian and gang would have sold out in a heartbeat. )

    There are very few merchants I even want to work with on GAN at this point. You would have thought merchants would have shot over to it like gangbusters when google attached it's name to it... oh wait... there is froogle fiasco that might have set a bad taste in some peoples' mouths.

  11. #11
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    "You would have thought merchants would have shot over to it like gangbusters when google attached it's name to it... "

    They're getting a lot of new merchants because of it.

    There is room improvement. What I pointed out about the deactivated merchants many times. Agree with Timothy on the banners. Needed to get one the other day and it was annoying. Don't do product links (except thru PopShops) but have heard that needs help as well. Heard on a video I think, don't remember, that they're working on getting things switched over and then later come new features and stuff. We'll see how that goes. They should start a new thread and ask for input, like the SAS fix it thread.

  12. #12
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I must be doing something wrong because I favor GAN over LinkShare and CJ any day. I really don't have too many problems with them now.


  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    @ bumpaw: I guess it might make a difference depending on which other networks you are comparing them to and what methods you use to build sites with. I don't work with CJ or Linkshare so I was comparing them with SAS and AvantLink. No comparison. GAN makes it too hard to get the materials you need to build with. If you're doing FTP/datafeed sites then it would be fine to work with GAN.

    I joined several merchants that indicate they offer a datafeed, then I found out you need to receive one every day or you can't have one. In SAS I can download the datafeed, edit it and make pages, then check back to see when the datafeed changes and do it again just merging the new prices/products/discontinued items but on GAN you get a new one every day even if there has been no change and I don't have time to run through the exercise every day for each program just to see if there have been any changes. For folks who have automated the process it works - otherwise it's impossible.

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    For folks who have automated the process it works - otherwise it's impossible.
    Yes we are well automated for GAN, AvantLink, and SAS.

    I saw a notice from GAN that they are going to an ftp only distribution for feeds and it will happen this month.


  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Once Google's usability guys gets a chance to do a revamp on the site things should be much better.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Bay
    Once Google's usability guys gets a chance to do a revamp on the site things should be much better.
    Right, here's that video I was talking about -

    start about the 1:47 mark. First integrate core technologies, foundational work then come the features

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKhMp9zm4n4

  17. #17
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    I agree, GAN is very cumbersome to use.

  18. #18
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    I have just been trying to download an 88x33 banner for a merchant but I now see that if I click the "size" link (which has changed recently) I get a status message saying "Loading" and nothing happens, it has basically crashed the browser for the site and I can not go anywhere else. I'm using IE 6.1

    Besides that I have seen that they improved the interface for getting links and it was quite bad a year or so ago. It is not too bad for that but I can see that people are not happy about some features like getting product links etc and the smoothness of CJ's great interface.

    I also hope my current method of getting datafeeds when I want stays like this as I like to process them locally and developing the sites takes time so not of of us want datafeeds uploaded daily. I would hate to have an FTP account required and have them all uploaded daily.

    Edit: yes I can confirm this issue described above does crash my browser for the GAN website and I can not go anywhere else but I go to another website it is not affected.
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  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Agreed, there are so many things wrong with the GAN web UI, I don't know where to start. My biggest annoyance... Their reporting doesn't have the concept of "give me all transaction based on the posted on date". This means that you can't see the reversals from a particular day. I like to do daily ROI calculations to get a general idea of how much money I made. I need to know of any reversals that posted on that day in order to calculate ROI.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothyaron
    Am I the only one who is frustrated?
    No.
    Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. -- Homer Simpson

  21. #21
    Full Member Cymax Stores's Avatar
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    I hate to bring up this old thread again, but I wanted to do a little research on these guys. There seems to be a lot of talk about how it's difficult for a publisher to get merchant links and what not, however, what about experiences with GAN's list of publishers?

    How do the publishers on this network compare to those of SAS or CJ (both of which I am with). Reason I ask, my company is interested in having a 3rd program! Sigh... lol

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothyaron
    Am I the only one who is frustrated?
    No you are not. Getting a banner of the size you want is challenging. First you click on all-same-size-looking-partially-shown images. Its like a mystery, what are you going see after the full banner displays. When it displays, you have to close that screen if you don't like it. Sometime the floating window covers the entire screen and beyond, so that the close button is hidden.

    Whoever designed this interface and thought its useful is a genius.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_park
    No you are not. Getting a banner of the size you want is challenging. First you click on all-same-size-looking-partially-shown images. Its like a mystery, what are you going see after the full banner displays. When it displays, you have to close that screen if you don't like it. Sometime the floating window covers the entire screen and beyond, so that the close button is hidden.
    Whoever designed this interface and thought its useful is a genius.
    I can't even get the banners. I must not have the screen resolution GAN like. The floating window is completely off and I can't see the banners.
    If they had a technical team it would be corrected ASAP. The thieves in charge of this network are too busy pushing their merchants to OneCause...

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    If they had a technical team it would be corrected ASAP. The thieves in charge of this network are too busy pushing their merchants to OneCause...
    In that case it's just as well that the links are too difficult to bother with. Who wants to pave the road for crooks?

  25. #25
    Full Member Cymax Stores's Avatar
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    I thought OneCause was just LinkShare's problem. In that case, it may be better to stay clear of joining GAN altogether....

    still though...any feedback from the merchant's POV?

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