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  1. #1
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    GAN - Datafeed settings gone, looking for answers
    The GAN datafeed issues need to be addressed once and for all - my saved settings were wiped out today, which I presume I need to reset.

    How are we supposed to promote stores with this type of service?

    I would REALLY appreciate if a GAN rep could provide some insight here - who can we contact (beyond the general support email with I'm sure is flooded), when will it be fixed, and what is the exact syntax of filenames?

    Random & inexplicable filenames displays a lack of understanding of the affiliate process on the part of GAN - and I can't keep throwing money at changes.

    I have an open support ticket, but this is a greater issue for the community.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    From what I have seen there isn't anyone at GAN who understands what affiliates actually do with either datafeeds or links. Your call for clarity is useless with this machine...but I hope I'm completely wrong.

  3. #3
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    I just received this email:
    Hello,


    We apologize for the lack of notice. There was an issue with the legacy
    publishing system overnight and as a result we shifted delivery to the new
    servers sooner than expected.

    If you selected "Advertiser Name.zip" as the file naming convention for
    your feeds the zipped file name will now be AdvertiserNamecom.zip. When
    you unzip or open the file, the name will be AdvertiserNamecom.txt. With
    the legacy feed delivery the unzipped files were named
    21000000000012345_21000000000067890.

    Also note that for advertisers who have .com in their account name, the
    "." in ".com" is now being removed from any product feed filenames, so
    AdvertiserName.com.zip is now named AdvertiserNamecom.zip.

    OR

    If you selected "Advertiser ID.zip" as the file naming convention for your
    product feeds, then the zipped file name will remain the same. However the
    unzipped filename has changed from: 21000000000012345_21000000000067890
    to: K12345.txt (the advertiser's short account ID)

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
    I believe this is being sent to all publishers - it certainly explains recent issues, and I hope we can finally move forward.

  4. #4
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    is it final...?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    From what I have seen there isn't anyone at GAN who understands what affiliates actually do with either datafeeds or links.
    I totally agree... But, they did send out an e-mail after the fact. The e-mail is an improvement over the last 3-4 times that they changed the datafeed file names and left us to discover the changes.

    Links, now don't get me started on the links... I am so tired of datafeed product links that land on the home page due to how GAN handles their links. It seems that no sooner do I update my sites links, than those links go stale on GAN's end and start redirecting to the homepage of the merchant.

    It has something to do with how often a merchant updates their datafeed on GAN. If a merchant, like Target, updates regularly, then old datafeed links go stale really quickly.

    If a GAN engineer is listening.... The secret is to get rid of the darn table lookup and encode all information in the datafeed product links.

    Conversely, another approach is to create a primary key for the table lookup off of datafeed product attributes that don't change very often. e.g. some MD5 hash of a things other than shipping costs/product price/promo text.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  6. #6
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    The above was from my own support ticket - a generic email was sent out with some additional comments:

    Effective today all Google Affiliate Network product data feeds are being sent from Google servers. You may have experienced a delay in your feed delivery overnight but the systems are now updated.

    However, this migration means the file names for all of your advertiser product feeds have changed. Any automation you have in place may not recognize the new feeds so please update your internal settings to recognize the file name conventions outlined below.
    We apologize for the lack of notice. There was an issue with the legacy publishing system overnight and as a result we shifted delivery to the new servers sooner than expected. Please make any necessary changes to your internal systems to accept the updated file names immediately.

    We also suggest that you be sure to check your firewall settings to include all of the IP addresses outlined in our Help Center.
    I'm guessing this is final..

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Darn! I just yesterday got things straight with the last change and set my crons back. No notice of any kind received here. I really don't think they care about the average affiliate.

    Edit: After looking at it the change looks easy.
    Last edited by John Powell; August 20th, 2010 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Checked my code.


  8. #8
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    While I'm not thrilled at the changes, at least there is an explanation.

    On a similar topic, I'm really frustrated with the quality of datafeeds right now - across all networks. Perhaps my own engine has improved, so I'm just noticing now.. but missing images, stale feeds, product links that don't work, and some merchant's complete lack of interest in maintaining a feed.

    How are we supposed to promote products without some minimum standards put forth by networks? I'm not talking about category-harmonization, or product consistency - just images & links that work.

    I recently joined a program, and the feed is stale as of Dec 2009 (fashion vertical, which makes it completely useless). When I questioned the merchant, they said they have far too many products to maintain a feed, and affiliates should just use banners & text links. Then why are they promoted in a network as datafeed-enabled (not a GAN merchant, btw).

    While I have some integration skills, I have taken on a developer, and these types of changes are a waste of our time. I would prefer to spend time promoting stores instead of becoming a database administrator for lazy merchants.

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