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  1. #1
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    Its become abundantly clear that I need to hide links from parasites. My conversions with a merchant that I got started with long before parasites have become dismal. I used to make a ton of money with this merchant. I still refer gobs of traffic, but for little reward. I know parasites are the cause. Trust me, I know.

    I've never really paid attention to this before, since I've been working with parasite free merchants for quite some time. But there's too much money being drained off for me not to revise my sites to restore this revenue stream.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the CJ approach, shown below, will do the trick, because, after all, the affiliate code is showing right in the link. All this does, I think, is hide the affiliate status from visitors. And a right click will even disclose that.

    <a href="http://www.somemerchantsurl.com/?affiliateid=29013" target="_top" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.somemerchantsurl.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=' ';return true;">Wonderful Widgets</a><IMG SRC="http://www.somemerchantsurl.com/?affiliateid=29013" BORDER="0" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="1" NOSAVE >

    Question: Is there an approach using javascript or cgi scripts that will thwart the parasites. I'd like to know what to do before I make a major commitment in time, etc. to revising a huge number of pages. Many thanks.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  2. #2
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Potent Mix,

    Save your time. Unfortunately the parasites are triggered by landing on the merchant's site, not your url's. Now *supposedly* they are supposed to be honoring straight affiliate urls. The ones that they can not *recognize* are links coded with server side redirects. That's where the afsrc=1 code came in to be appended to your links and the parasites are to recognize that and not infringe. But again, depends on the parasite and we've also seen that these conditions have not always been honored.

    There is not much you can do if the parasites are triggering off a merchant's url or the content of your pages as far as coding on your end.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  3. #3
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    OK - Thanks BLHF. Now you've refreshed my memory about this. So, is this how its done?

    <a href="http://www.somemerchantsurl.com/?affiliateid=29013afsrc=1" target="_top">

    Does this apply to just the big three networks, or will it work for all merchant affiliate programs? Just need some clarification as to exactly what this accomplishes. Thanks again.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Yes, that's how it would work. It's supposed to be honored by CJ, BF, LS, Performics links. I believe that kowabunga was also supposed to be integrating recognition into their systems, but not sure about the status of that or if it was just for a particular merchant with them.

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  5. #5
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> somemerchantsurl.com/?affiliateid=29013afsrc=1<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I think it should be written like this, you forgot the ?
    somemerchantsurl.com/?affiliateid=29013?afsrc=1 Ibelieve it is now recomended to put this on all yourlinks now both network and indies, not that the bloody parasitic scum take much notice of it.

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  6. #6
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    Nope - its &afsrc=1 it the position as noted

  7. #7
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    poon is right. sorry, didn't notice there was no &

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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    As a rule, you should know that the '&' symbol is to add another parameter to a url-encoded request. A '?' symbol is a query symbol and lets the server know that all text after that is not part of the URL. So in one URL you can only have one ? mark but multiple & marks since you can have multiple parameters.

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Affiliate Partner Manager
    <TABLE BORDER=0 cellspacing=2 width=500><TR><TD> <FONT SIZE=1>EssentialApparel.com
    CJ/6%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
    Email: akiva@essentialapparel.com
    Phone: 973.696.6200 ext 751
    > Join now! < </TD><TD><FONT SIZE=1>SportsFanfare.com
    CJ/10%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
    Email: akiva@sportsfanfare.com
    AIM: akivabergs
    > Join now! < </TD></TR></TABLE>

  9. #9
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Thank you guys I stand corrected

    No wonder my sales are down


    Good coder wanted
    pay not much
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    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  10. #10
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    I've had conversions fall dramatically for a number of merchants over the past twelve months and have removed them from my site. Maybe parasites were at fault ... I really have no way of knowing, except that my top performing merchant partners actively weed out and reject parasites. They may be top performering merchants because they weed out parasites or they may be top performers because they have professional affiliate program managers. Most likely, it's both.

    Does anyone have some data on the % of sales that are being hijacked by parasites?

    If you are a top performing affiliate, maybe it's time to work out direct, specially coded, online marketing relationships with key merchants/suppliers. Parasites can't hijack one-on-one relationships. I'm running a trial wholesaler/retailer program outside the bounds of the conventional online affiliate relationship. It has taken several months of one-on-one negotiation and website development by both parties to set this up but it's free of parasites, there's no network fees loading the transactions and since it's not an affiliate program the search engines won't reject my pages.

  11. #11
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I guess the % figures are something that only the parasite pushers will know, but in my Real Life Workplace, we've had about 5% of PCs infected with parasites, mostly Gator and CometCursor. The more evil parasites are quite rare. That's in our corporate environment though.. I'd guess you could at least double that for the Real World.

    ________
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  12. #12
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    For cj.com links is it working like that?

    .&lt;a href="http://www.qksrv.net/click-xxxxxx-5020074&afsrc=1"

    carneol

  13. #13
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> For cj.com links is it working like that?

    .&lt;a href="http://www.qksrv.net/click-xxxxxx-5020074&afsrc=1"
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The afsrc=1 is not intended to be used for a direct qksrv link like you have above carneol. The networks say it is not necessary as the parasites can recognize the link already.

    Come on Networks, this is getting really old. Not that affiliates continue to be confused about their links and how they should code them. If they don't know, they don't know.

    But the fact that the Networks put the afsrc thing into the COC shifting the burden of compliance from the parasites to regular affiliates. But none of the Networks have done squat in reality to educate affiliates regarding it's proper use.

    You said the afsrc is to be used, it's your RESPONSIBILITY to make sure the word gets out and is readily available to all affs! It's not for us to have to repeatedly explain.

    Put the information in your FAQ'a, incorporate instructions into your link generator systems, email your aff base,...do whatever it takes. But get your affs educated on this issue!

    This is not a slight at the affs who are asking, you need to know. It's just the Networks need to get off their backsides on this one. It's been almost 4 months since they adopted the afsrc coding into the COC.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  14. #14
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    OK. Regardless of who has responsibility for whatever, can we get total clarity for our purposes here? Is this the correct way to set up the links for the three major networks?

    LINKSHARE
    &lt;a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=xxxxxxxxxx&offerid=xxxxx.xxxxxxxxxx&type=3&subid=0&afsrc=1" &gt;Buy Wonderful Widgets&lt;/a&gt;&lt;IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=xxxxxxxxxx&offerid=xxxxx.xxxxxxxxxx&type=3&subid=0&afsrc=1" &gt;

    BEFREE
    &lt;A HREF="http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=xxxxxxxx&siteid=xxxxxxxx&bfpage=widget&afsrc=1" TARGET="_top"&gt;Buy Wonderful Widgets&lt;/a&gt;&lt;IMG SRC="http://service.bfast.com/bfast/serve?bfmid=xxxxxxxx&siteid=xxxxxxxx&bfpage=widget&afsrc=1" BORDER="0" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="1" NOSAVE &gt;

    CJ
    &lt;a href="http://www.qksrv.net/click-xxxxxx-xxxxxxx&afsrc=1"&gt;Buy Wonderful Widgets&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img src="http://www.qksrv.net/image-xxxxxx-xxxxxxx&afsrc=1" width="1" height="1" border="0"&gt;

    BLFH - Even though you say, or the networks say, that the parasites are supposed to recognize affiliate links from the networks, wouldn't it be prudent to include the "&afsrc=1" appendage with all of our links?

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  15. #15
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    A very clear cut explanation somewhere permanent would be terrific...

  16. #16
    Full Member heisje's Avatar
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    .

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>BLFH - Even though you say, or the networks say, that the parasites are supposed to recognize affiliate links from the networks, wouldn't it be prudent to include the "&afsrc=1" appendage with all of our links? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    same question here!
    any ideas?

    heisje

    .

  17. #17
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>BLFH - Even though you say, or the networks say, that the parasites are supposed to recognize affiliate links from the networks, wouldn't it be prudent to include the "&afsrc=1" appendage with all of our links?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The Networks say. I'm just saying what they have said.

    The afsrc=1 code was designated for server side redirected links. Whether or not it would be prudent to attach them to straight aff links as in Potent Mix's post, I really don't know. I don't know if it would add any additional protection or not. I also don't know if it could possibly muck up tracking in anyway. More specifically, since LS was not part of the COC I don't know if the parasites or LS recognize the afsrc in relation to LS links.

    All I really know is what has alrady been posted here on abw and some info (which is basically covered on the boards) by Scott.

    What has been said is that the afsrc=1 code should be appended to server side redirected links. And that it is not need on straight aff links.

    The questions being raised here are very legitimate questions. I just don't have the answers to them. I don't even know if the answers might vary between networks.

    I do hope that some reps from the Networks visit this thread and answer some of the questions brought up.

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  18. #18
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    BLFH - As a Mod, could you, or could Haiko invite them to come in here and provide clarification?

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  19. #19
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Don't know if being a Mod will make much of a difference one way or another, but I'll invite them to come and respond through their respective help desks. Or they can respond to my tickets and I'll post the responses here for them.

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  20. #20
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    I found a good explanation at:

    http://www.befree.com/code_of_conduct.htm

    As I understood this afsrc=1 code is only for websites that direct to pages where merchant links are. It is not directly for any code of the networks.
    Let me say I have a qksrv links at my page www.x.com/merchant.html. Then I put a link e.g. to that site by my index page with:
    .&lt;a href=http://www.x.com/merchant.html&afsrc=1&gt;

    This should prevent parasites to follow this link to my qksrv or befree or linkshare links on merchant.html.
    Is that right?

    carneol

  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    No. That is not right. The afsrc=1 is NOT appended to links to pages on your site. It is appended to server side redirect links that call your network link.

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  22. #22
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    I understand. This &afsrc=1 thing is for the use in perl or java scripts that redirect to websites. So as my isp does not allow that I am not able to use this.
    a little example if found:

    #!/usr/bin/perl
    if (&robotCheck) {
    print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
    print "Your doorway page HTML";
    } else {
    print "Location: http://www.redirect.to&afsrc=1\n\n";

    carneol
    }

  23. #23
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    I have to say I don't think there are that many parasites overwriting our cookies right now so not sure just how much adding the &afsrc=1 can help.
    Taken from BeFree's COC.
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Publisher may notify an End-User once that End-User has arrived at the Advertiser's Web site of an opportunity to utilize technology employed by that Publisher and obtain the End-User's consent via affirmative action upon each occurrence to proceed with the operation of such technology. Implementation of software application functionality requires that the notification be easily understood by the average End-User, that it occurs on each instance that the functionality is to be activated, and that it is not objectionable to the Advertiser.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    This tells me everything about how the bigger parasites are working now and how they getting away with it.
    As long as they don't pop on your site but wait until a customer clicks on your link to the merchant site then they are allowed to pop up on a merchants site.
    I guess this leaves stopping the theft in the hands of the merchants now.
    Cazzie

  24. #24
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Cazzie...top moxie software will if your links are coded correctly.

    Ok..I put tickets in at CJ and BF requesting an easy to understand explanation I will post for them or that they come and respond to this thread.

    I used Live Help with LS. They didn't even know what they afsrc=1 was, but then they are not part of the COC. They are investigating for me and said they will email me a response. I will post as I receive information from the networks.

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  25. #25
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    BLFH - Thanks - Lets see what, if anything, we get.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

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