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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    I need to ask you all in advance for the best way to do this so it does not create broken links and lost sales for you.

    One of my merchants is building a new site and initially said no links or page names would change. Now they have decided they want to turn all their dynamic .php? pages into static pages for the spiders.

    The programmer said:
    "However. the page names do not change, the URLs change as the query strings are converted to a search engine friendly format. I.E., www.abc.com/default.php?src=234 would turn into something like www.abc.com/default/src/234

    He said the only thing affiliates need to do is pull new feeds but I am afraid this could be a nightmare as I have seen other merchants do this and affiliates got upset and links did not work. Affiliates will need to pull new feeds and have their site ready the same day we switch over and go live.

    My biggest concern is alot of affiliates don't read their mail. I have affiliates with old expired banners and coupons and out of date datafeeds. No matter how often I send mail reminding them to update their feeds and coupons some just never do.

    SO what is the smoothest way to pull this off? They think the new site will be ready in 4 weeks. How early should I warn affiliates and what's the best process to ensure it goes smoothly and no one loses any sales?

    Has anyone been through this before? Merchants or affiliates? Any tips, suggestions or warnings would be really appreciated.

    [This message was edited by Catalyst on March 18, 2004 at 06:42 PM.]

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I would warn them by email once a week with the countdown number in the subject line.

  3. #3
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    "I have affiliates with old expired banners and coupons and out of date datafeeds. No matter how often I send mail reminding them to update their feeds and coupons some just never do."

    Affiliate agreements are a two-way street. Send them an email stating that they are being dropped.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Have them set up an automatic redirect, so that any user that goes to www.irvs.com/default.php?src=234 would be redirected to www.irvs.com/default/src/234. That'll work better for everyone involved.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Pull feeds, my sweet arse! A lot of affiliates don't use the feeds "automatically". We build pages with them and all the pages would need rebuilding. Some affiliates don't even use feeds. They do it ALL by hand. And, then to expect everyone is going to do it on the designated day, if at all, yet! That certainly isn't likely. You might as well try herding cats.

    Sheeze.

    I don't know what to tell you. You are going to have a bunch of upset affiliates with broken pages, period. End of story. Warning will help but it won't prevent there being problems.

    This is a bad move. If there are no other options, best of luck to you. But, don't expect to get off without ruffled feathers. Do it more than once and good-bye to a lot of affiliates so get it right the first time.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  6. #6
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Sandra what you said is EXACTLY what I am concerned about and have tried to warn them and talk them out of it. But I don't own the company or control the programmers, so the only thing I can do is try to get everyone's feedback and ideas to try to make it go as smoothly as possible for affiliates.

    Michael I asked the programmer about that and he said he would re-direct but he also said new feeds still have to be pulled.

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Catalyst:
    I asked the programmer about that and he said he would re-direct but he also said new feeds still have to be pulled. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>If it's redirected right, the old links should work. It's best to pull new ones, but the old ones should still work.

    You can never get around old links. They're always going to be out there. How many years has it been since CJ changed from commission-junction.com links to qksrv.net links? They still support the old ones. Why? Because there are still millions of them out there.
    Michael Coley
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Linda, if he's going to do a redirect why would affiliates be required to pull a new feed? Clarify that and we can steer you from there.
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    There's absolutely no excuse for old links not working in this scenario. Affiliates aside, as Michael said, there are dozens of reasons why old format links will be around for ages/ever.

    Failure of the merchant to totally handle the seamless transition of this is a plain demonstration that they just don't understand what is happening out there.

    All the above is "in principle" and generalized. In this case, it looks awfully like they're going to be doing a mod rewrite to translate static to dynamic so it's especially true. I'd even suspect that the old dynamic URLs will continue to work and that the static URLs are being translated into them.

    And finally ... yes, it's entirely reasonable for them to expect their affiliates to jump into line to help them boost their organic SE rankings

  10. #10
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    As already stated, there is absolutely no reason why the system could not handle incoming links to both dynamic and static pages. If the programmer cannot do this then it is time to look for a new programmer. Just remind him/her that all affiliates who lose commission will expect to be suitably compensated - out of their wage.

    Woz
    [url=http://www.dWoz.com/][b]dWoz[/b][/url] - serious webmaster tools & resources.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Thanks all and thanks Akiva. They have PCS also so that will need to be dealt with too.

    I am probably being paranoid and it will probably work out fine. I will know more next week. I am just concerned because the company is very non tech savvy and has no one in house. They have a designer on contract and a separate programmer on contract then me trying to look out for the best interest of all the affiliates and praying this goes smoothly.

    I will try to get all the details of how the programmer plans to do this and redirect the links and will do everything in my power to make sure no sales are lost and all links continue to track.

  12. #12
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    Are they using this affiliate program to drive sales, or to build up their own pagerank?

    Their agenda seems a little questionable at this point.

    Perhaps they should decide exactly what it is they are trying to achieve with this "affiliate program".

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    It's a CJ program so page rank does not apply.
    They are very committed to the affiliate program but also want to increase their organic SE rankings.

    The issue came up when the Director of Marketing went to one of the recent search engine conferences and was told the SE won't spider their dynamic pages. I tried to set her straight, I used to do SEO for a living. But several SE gurus, including Danny Sullivan supposedly told her they need to make their pages static to be spiderable by all.

  14. #14
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    Linda!

    (1) Show Irv's this thread!!!!!
    (2) Have your top affiliates write responces to this thread and email you directly. Show this to Irv's too.
    (3) Show Irv's the revenue from the PSC and the data feed. Then tell them what would be lost. If you know him or her, go the CFO -- go the number's guy and say, I will loose this much revenue I'm generating for you.

    Good luck!

    Beth

  15. #15
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    &gt;SE won't spider their dynamic pages

    Very outdated and erroneous information, but then you already know that.

    The question is whether the "supposed" increase in traffic due to static URLs will outweigh the loss of sales and affiliate trust if this is not done correctly. I suspect not.

    If it ain't broke, which it isn't, then they would do well to leave it alone.

    Woz

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    &gt;&gt;bob95603 :
    &gt;&gt;Affiliate agreements are a two-way street. Send them an email stating that they are being dropped.

    If the number is just a few,
    you do not care,
    what if the number is large ?

    Besides,
    Drop them will not help the merchant's traffic and sales,
    outdated links and merterials are still there
    whether you drop them or not.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Heed the words of the almighty Woz!
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

    Affiliate Marketing Solutions by affSolutions - Creator of the Product Showcase Creator

    Managed Programs: EssentialApparel.com (Join) | SportsFanfare.com (Join)


    Affiliates: Product Showcase Creator Directory | Merchants: License the Product Showcase Creator!

  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    bob95603 if the merchant does that and the affiliate has high ranking pages, they may break the links so that they don't go to the merchant site (no free sales) or direct the same links elsewhere and leave the pages up out of spite. It would knock some other affiliate pages off the search engine results. Sure google would drop the pages eventually, but meanwhile, the merchant has a broken, poopy page in the top rankings for terms he wants.

    Don't think the affiliates don't have little ways of getting even.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have affiliates with old expired banners and coupons and out of date datafeeds. No matter how often I send mail reminding them to update their feeds and coupons some just never do." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Yep, after an affiliate has made pages for you and put them on the net, they are off working on another merchant and have very little interest in returning to and redoing work already completed. When a page is made today, they want it to still be functional this time next year. And, unless you are really profitable, they certainly are not going to redo your pages. Are they even getting minimum wage for the work they already did for you? The way affiliates make money is by adding new merchants and more products, not by redoing what was already done. I don't take down old pages but if a merchant isn't bringing in at least a couple of hundred dollars a month after the first go round of building pages for them, the chances of me re-doing the pages are nil, nothing and nada. You and all merchants need to keep old pages functional and keep adding new affiliates, not keep trying to wring more out of the affiliates you already have.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  19. #19
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    Vrindavan & SSanf,

    You can't run a business based upon being held hostage by something you can't control. If the sites have old links, coupons, etc., they probably aren't producing anyway. At the least they would get a clean slate from which to base future decisions.

  20. #20
    http and a telephoto
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    You can let Irv's know that affiliates like me that were planning to build a site this week will now wait. I don't do the same work twice when someone is basing decisions on old, bad information.

    Their credibility as a company is on the line with this decision.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    bob95603 :
    for banner, use auto-updating banner can solve the problem easily, you one person do the work once, not your 10000+ affiliates do the same work 10000+ times.

    For text description, if the affiliates have expiry date clearly shown, there is no problem

    about email:
    are the email spam filter blocking your emails ?
    are the affiliates just on a holiday or in a hospital
    not come back until a week or more later ?

    Think about all the possibles.
    Again you at most can afford to drop a few affiliates
    because of these, not a great number of affiliates.

  22. #22
    Member Speedy's Avatar
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    Glad I havent signed up to them yet!

    Hidden Agenda springs to mind.
    Why dont they come straight out and say that they want their pages to be ranked higher than their Affiliates then they do not have to pay out as much commission on sales generated.

    Merchants see Affiliates as a nessecity but extremely expendable and try to come up with ways to cut the affiliate sale returns whilst maintaining the same level of sales. This is one of them situations. Fully understandable from the Merchant side but hard luck on the affiliates already signed up with existing sites/pages.

    As its been said before, they should investigate fully their revised linking strategy and even discuss it with their top affiliates. There is no reason why any existing links can not stay valid.

    Looks like all the existing affiliates who utilise the datafeed are gonna have a load of fun shortly.
    --------------------------------------------------
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    But life at the bottom is harder ....

  23. #23
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know about the technical end but if they can keep the pages functional and do not, questions need to be asked.

    It may be a sleazy attempt to clean house of the affiliates who are not producing much. The heck with the breaking and defacing of the sites of those who were nice enough to take a chance on Irv's in the first place but who did not profit from their time investment and now never will.

    Of course, anyone making money off Irv's will no doubt fix their sites. The others be damned. Phooey on them.

    How rude.

    This will not fly well at all. Who wants to join a program that would do that?

    Linda, I think you need to really get their attention before they do this. Try pointing them to this thread if you think it will help. Maybe, we can explain it for you.

    Good luck with it. No one blames you. You have a tough job there, gal.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  24. #24
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    Linda,

    Here's the deal...they do this they get no more traffic from me. End of story.

    If they are so keen to compete with me for SE traffic then WE ARE NOT PARTNERS, we are competitors.

    It's not rocket science...in the real world if all the sales agents don't get the base deal, eventually you have NO sales agents.

    I look at it this way...as a merchant if you want to make sales so you don't have to pay me commissions, then go for it, but you will not get any traffic or sales from me.

  25. #25
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bob95603:
    If the sites have old links, coupons, etc., they probably aren't producing anyway. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This just isn't true. Why would anyone waste their time building pages if they didn't expect to see results from the pages for months or years to come? As long as the pages are still current and accurate, they should continue to produce results.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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