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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  elalpo's Avatar
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    Angry ISSUE: LinkConnector affiliate network and LCOffers.com - parasite? unethical?
    Hey everyone.

    I am certain most affiliates are bumped with affiliate networks creating coupons sites (becoming affiliates themselves; sort of double-crossing). Here what I have just learned today by accidentally going through some of my links/posting deals.

    ISSUE: LinkConnector affiliate network - the one with "Naked Link" technology and "FraudFREE" Protection (http://www.linkconnector.com/fraudfree.htm).

    EXAMPLE: My affiliate link for Wine Legacy - http://www.linkconnector.com/traffic...76007852002737

    LANDING: http://www.lcoffers.com/index.htm?at...=2737&lid=7852 - LCOffers.com

    SUPPOSED to LAND: http://www.winelegacy.com

    SHOCKER: Well I am shocked that my affiliate links lands anywhere besides merchant OR page stating that my link is invalid (if invalid).

    MORE SHOCKING: http://www.linkconnector.com/sitemap.htm - read the paragraph on that page "LCOffers.com provides access to coupons, deals, offers and more from LinkConnector Merchants. Search offers across various product and industry niches from nearly 300 merchants. Find exclusive coupons, promotions and other deals."

    Can anyone give his/her opinion?

    Many thanks.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    http and a telephoto
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    Looks like someone somewhere read your post and "fixed" the issue. Your link now goes to Wine Legacy.

    I would be leery heading into Q4 that your links don't suddenly redirect again.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  elalpo's Avatar
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    Hey loxly.. Thanks for the reply. I thought it will happen (the link change) and that's the reason I did screen shots for people to see. I don't care how and why it happened, but it did.

    This is not the network I would trust. Pulling out all my companies/links from it. I would recommend for everyone to do the same. A network should cross affiliates like that with their own affiliate site.



    Got an "explanation" from LinkConnector.. Wow.. I've heard it all.. Imagine if CJ, LinkShare or Google would land you on this kind of page and not the blank page with an error message, which the currently do:

    "Thank you for your email!

    The LC Offers page is the default page when affiliates are not approved
    for the campaign or the code is setup wrong.� This is not your
    competitor but a system we have setup that lets us know when an affiliate
    is trying to promote a campaign and does not have the code setup
    properly.� This allows the affiliate to see that the code is not setup
    properly or their account is not approved for the campaign.
    "


    Last edited by elalpo; September 21st, 2009 at 03:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    WOW. Just wow.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    My question is how do you know that they don't send one out of every X clicks to their (affiliate) LCoffer page?

    INSANE, not Wow!!!

    Holy conflict of interest.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    My question is how do you know that they don't send one out of every X clicks to their (affiliate) LCoffer page?

    INSANE, not Wow!!!

    Holy conflict of interest.
    yeah. I'm starting to run out of words.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    My question is how do you know that they don't send one out of every X clicks to their (affiliate) LCoffer page?

    INSANE, not Wow!!!

    Holy conflict of interest.
    Or that they geotargeted her IP because she questioned it. They have the power to change those links whenever they feel like it.

    And Link Connector wonders why people don't use them or recommend them? Who needs parasites with a network like this?
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Response to elalpo post
    First, let me start by thanking elalpo for bringing this to our attention. The issue she posed yesterday made us realize that when we started using LCOffers.com as a place to redirect invalid clicks, we neglected to separate out invalid clicks of the type she experienced.

    Let me explain how our system currently works. For any network there exist invalid clicks caused by malformed code, a broken relationship, or expired links/campaigns. Beginning about 3 months ago, LinkConnector started sending invalid clicks to LCOffers to keep the user experience as stable as possible. If anything is known about the relationship from the link (e.g., a properly formed link from a broken relationship), LCOffers displays relevant merchants. For instance, a user clicks on an invalid link on an affiliate site. The link deals with online dating, so they are directed to LCOffers where they are presented with several offers from LinkConnector’s online dating merchants.

    What we haven't been good about (and will alter our system to correct) is delineating between invalid clicks like the one elalpo experienced (for a dropped campaign) and an invalid click where nothing is really known about the intended merchant destination (malformed code) or the link/campaign has expired.

    In her case, she had dropped the merchant's campaign (creating an invalid relationship) and had not removed the link code. When we started sending invalid click traffic to LCOffers, we hadn't anticipated that an affiliate would drop a campaign and fail to remove the invalid code. Guess we messed up on that. That will be corrected.

    Let me also address some other suggestions made in this forum about our processes:

    1. We DO NOT skim traffic from any affiliate. That is not only wrong, but shortsighted. Anyone that has taken Business 101 should understand that. A business is in business to grow. A business grows because of its customers. Our customers are merchants AND affiliates. We don't knowingly take any action that jeopardizes our customer relationships. That would adversely affect growth.

    2. LCOffers was created for the purpose of showcasing our merchant's offerings all in one place, in a searchable way. It is conceptually similar to sites created by other networks like Valueclick's Pricerunner.com. It gets very little traffic and was in no way created to compete with our affiliates' sites.

    So, where does that leave us? Well, we will be changing our invalid click process over the next week or so, and invite your input. What do you think we should do? Should we send the user to essentially a blank page like CJ does? Should we send the user to the merchant's page even when the campaign is expired? Should we give the user more options in the vertical the link represents?

    I'm truly interested in your input.

    Ernie St. Gelais
    Co-President, CTO
    LinkConnector Corporation

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    Anyone that has taken Business 101 should understand that. A business is in business to grow. A business grows because of its customers. Our customers are merchants AND affiliates. We don't knowingly take any action that jeopardizes our customer relationships. That would adversely affect growth.
    LCoffers is a conflict of interest, how does that not jeopardize your affiliate relationship -- Your competing with them! That's business preschool, forget about 101.

    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    we neglected to separate out invalid clicks of the type she experienced.
    OK, no skimming, just negligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    LCOffers was created for the purpose of showcasing our merchant's offerings all in one place, in a searchable way.
    While completely ignoring the fact that your competing with your affiliates, with their own traffic?

    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    It is conceptually similar to sites created by other networks like Valueclick's Pricerunner.com.
    But, it's ok cuz the "other guys" do it also.

    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    It gets very little traffic and was in no way created to compete with our affiliates' sites.
    Of course it gets very little traffic. It always does

    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    Should we send the user to essentially a blank page like CJ does? Should we send the user to the merchant's page even when the campaign is expired? Should we give the user more options in the vertical the link represents?
    What do you think the answer is?

    -- Invalid link page simply because It's not your traffic to try to "monetize" or "showcase" anything!
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; September 22nd, 2009 at 09:55 PM. Reason: toned it down a bit.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by elalpo
    Hey loxly.. Thanks for the reply. I thought it will happen (the link change) and that's the reason I did screen shots for people to see. I don't care how and why it happened, but it did.

    This is not the network I would trust. Pulling out all my companies/links from it. I would recommend for everyone to do the same. A network should cross affiliates like that with their own affiliate site.



    Got an "explanation" from LinkConnector.. Wow.. I've heard it all.. Imagine if CJ, LinkShare or Google would land you on this kind of page and not the blank page with an error message, which the currently do:

    "Thank you for your email!

    The LC Offers page is the default page when affiliates are not approved
    for the campaign or the code is setup wrong.� This is not your
    competitor but a system we have setup that lets us know when an affiliate
    is trying to promote a campaign and does not have the code setup
    properly.� This allows the affiliate to see that the code is not setup
    properly or their account is not approved for the campaign.
    "


    No, thank YOU for bringing this to people's attention. The corporate spin won't help them out of this one...
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 4th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    What do you think we should do? Should we send the user to essentially a blank page like CJ does? Should we send the user to the merchant's page even when the campaign is expired? Should we give the user more options in the vertical the link represents?

    I'm truly interested in your input.

    Ernie St. Gelais
    Co-President, CTO
    LinkConnector Corporation
    How about adding a feature that let affiliates set a site URL where the invalid clicks will be redirect to? SAS has this feature.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly
    How about adding a feature that let affiliates set a site URL where the invalid clicks will be redirect to? SAS has this feature.
    Thanks for this suggestion. We have already decided to incorporate it.

  13. #13
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    As a program manager, I have recommended some merchants to your network but this turns the rules of the game upside down. Guess I should just stick to SAS and not mention LinkConnector.
    Quote Originally Posted by stgelais
    Should we send the user to the merchant's page even when the campaign is expired?
    Well, if a campaign expired for a merchant, why not send it directly to the merchant's index page with the cookie?

    Unless the affiliate is booted and the relationship b/w the affiliate and merchant was terminated, I do not see a good reason to send traffic to LC Offer at all.

  14. #14
    Newbie
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    Hi Wasbie here, I am new here, but have been learning more here then the past few months of following some of the other sites, and e-books that I have been studying for the past few months.

    I am trying to build a word press web site. I wanted to add relevant affiliate links and thought all was well until I read this thread and found out what Link Connector did to me.

    I actually was sent to link connector by the merchant I wanted to feature on my site. They sent me links to do a store front look- I thought great. Well I tested my links and sure enough after reading this I found out they went to Link Connector. I sent an email and here is the response I got

    "The unfortunate part of all this is that we have no control over the code Popshops provides to their customers. They are fully aware of the format we use, and I have never heard of another affiliate experiencing this problem.

    So, here is the action I have taken to get your links working. I have temporarily patched our code to overcome this problem so your links will work. I will have our Affiliate Relations team contact Popshops in the AM to notify them of this issue and get their technical team working on a solution.

    I am sorry that you experienced this issue. Please contact me directly should you experience similar issues in the future."

    OK so number 1 they lied according to this thread and now I have a site that I can't trust has decent links and pretty much have to start over.

    Glad I found this forum.

    Wasbie

  15. #15
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    What was your email to them?

    There are many other networks, namely Linkshare, CJ, GAN and SAS

  16. #16
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Please note the networks Eric mentions above are (probably) not in any specific order. I will give my personal ranking. Other's lists may vary.

    1. SAS
    2. CJ
    3. GAN
    25. Linkshare

    I have never worked with LinkConnector. Although I have a few of their pens laying around. The problem mentioned by the OP above will probably limit our relationship to just using their free writing tools. Thanks LinkConnector!!!


  17. #17
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfcom
    Please note the networks Eric mentions above are (probably) not in any specific order. I will give my personal ranking. Other's lists may vary.

    1. SAS
    2. CJ
    3. GAN
    25. Linkshare

    I have never worked with LinkConnector. Although I have a few of their pens laying around. The problem mentioned by the OP above will probably limit our relationship to just using their free writing tools. Thanks LinkConnector!!!
    You did not mention AvantLink. If you don't use them - you should. They have the best affiliate tools of any network out there.

    Every month I get my check just like clock work. It's never late.

    They also will not let a merchant cancel a commission after 30 days. You get paid for it anyway even if the merchant tries to cancel it.

    http://www.avantlink.com/

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  18. #18
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    True, BB. I don't currently use AvantLink. Based on the opinions of you and other ABW'ers I would say that they would probably end up in my top 5. Probably higher rather than lower.


  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    ok I experienced the LinkConnector crapism too. They don't convert and their "naked link technology" is of no value. No matter what technology I use offered by Linkconnector, I DON'T see any sales. From now onwards, I will work only with SAS, CJ and Avantlink.

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