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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    August 20th, 2008
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    18
    Stupid Technical Question about Affiliate Links
    Ok, here's a basic question: but I just want to be sure about something, if someone can help ...

    I know CJ offers the ability to modify links in their control panel to change destination URLs, images, but ...

    I really prefer to do things manually sometimes. I am promoting merchants on various blogs that I run, and I prefer to save images to my own server and upload to my blog sometimes or even to modify images to make them better or more suited towards my site (while preserving the integrity of the merchant brand).

    What I want to know ... as long as I don't modify the affiliate Destination URL, will my affiliate links still work properly?

    In other words, are the default Image URLs for Impression Tracking purposes only? Or do they actually effect conversion tracking also?

    I notice that even on Text links there is a 1 x 1 pixel image -- I'm assuming that's only to track impressions - and if I were to leave off the pixel altogether it would only effect impression tracking and not conversion tracking.

    Is this correct?

    I know it's an almost too basic question, but your help would be very greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Afshin
    Apples of Gold

  2. #2
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Polk County, Florida
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    1,878
    There are merchants who provide images in an appropriate size to suit my needs, but in a lot of cases, I also prefer to host my own images. That way I can size them to fit the format of my site. Also, when a product is discontinued, I move the page to my discontinued section with links to eBay so people can still purchase the product. That way I never have to delete a page from my site. So, I always save at least one main product image for the top of the page to host myself. That way, years down the road when the merchant has deleted the image I still have one.

    I simply put the image on my site, and use the same CJ link used for text to link to the merchant. I just enclose the image in it, as well as using it for a text link.

    You are correct about the 1 x 1 images at CJ. They are for tracking purposes only. I never put them on my site. I used to and still have a few stragglers out there that I have missed deleting, but the way I look at it, that's giving CJ more information than they need to know. I use my own site stats for traffic information. I don't think CJ needs to know how many times one of my pages has been viewed. They only need to track the sales that go through.

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    A. You need to check with merchants before hosting banners from them on your own site
    B. It is against the TOS for *many* merchants to modify their banners/images without their permission
    C. If you use the same landing url tracking will be fine, but impressions may not show up in reports, which can freak out some merchants.

    PLEASE check with your merchants before you end up with a C&D over using their images inappropriately or get booted without warning.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    August 20th, 2008
    Posts
    18
    I appreciate both responses.

    I'm not as concerned about getting a C&D or booted off, because I'm not really modifying the images so much as I'm just saving them to my own server and using the same images. I'm very conscious of preserving the brand and doing nothing that would deter the merchants.

    I'm both a merchant (Apples of Gold) and an affiliate so I understand how sensitive that can be.

    Thanks for the input though--that does answer it, I believe.

    Afshin
    Apples of Gold

  5. #5
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I don't use banners at all. What I was talking about was images of products that are usually created by the manufacturer which can easily be determined by the fact that several different merchants use the same exact image. I don't see how they can get upset about product images being hosted on my server, especially when they don't own the rights to the product image.

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    I don't use banners at all. What I was talking about was images of products that are usually created by the manufacturer which can easily be determined by the fact that several different merchants use the same exact image. I don't see how they can get upset about product images being hosted on my server, especially when they don't own the rights to the product image.
    Some merchants have to license the images they use to show products, and in the past I was contacted by a manufacturer with a C&D to remove photos from my affiliate site of their products. This was from images included in a datafeed as well. (I did host the images myself) The merchant wasn't aware until I let them know, and then all affiliates were required to remove them and the product was removed from the datafeed. This is not an uncommon occurrence actually. If the images had been merchant or network hosted, the merchant could have swapped out the images for all affs without me having to change them or worry about being sued myself.

    My point is to be careful what you are self hosting, I know many large merchants that don't allow you to self host images of their products. It is to protect both you and the merchant in the case of a manufacturer pulling a product or getting a bug up their butt about their products being shown on affiliate websites.

    If the merchant gives you the green light, then you are in pretty good shape. Remember that product photos may also have copyright restrictions that merchants need to abide by.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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