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  1. #1
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    WARNING: WordPress generates false clicks!
    I did a quick search and saw a post alluding to it and one post that had no responses, but I figured I'd try to save some headaches in the future.

    WORDPRESS GENERATES FALSE CLICKS WITH CJ

    Possibly even with other programs, I haven't gotten that far yet. Truth is, I won't need to anymore.

    After launching a couple of new affiliate sites which I loaded with CJ links via a script, the source of the problem hit me. Because I had mentioned the CJ link so many times per post, one site generated over 4,000 clicks with just 200 posts. 4,000 clicks in one day for a site that has yet to show up in Google.

    The problem is that by default, WordPress wants to 'ping' external links, a setting found under Settings -> Discussions. CJ accepts this as a valid click.

    Once I realized the issue was with WordPress, a Google search confirmed this in regards to a CJ plug-in (which I do not use -- this is a WP/CJ issue, not a plug-in issue). The page also offers a couple of workaround suggestions: WordPress › Support [Plugin: CJ-Datafeed] CJ DATA FEEDS CLICKS
    Last edited by bradk; December 6th, 2010 at 07:01 AM.

  2. #2
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    Brad is this only with datafeeds?

    As i havent run into this with regular paste in a cj link into a post

  3. #3
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    If you have the option turned on to send pings, it should be with ANY link, but if you're only doing a couple of links at a time, it'll probably go unnoticed and I wouldn't worry too much. Just be aware it's still registering false clicks.

    datafeeds will definitely see it. I've had 2 merchants contact me noting that my clicks were unusually high with not enough sales and it was hurting their EPC.
    Last edited by bradk; December 6th, 2010 at 09:10 AM.

  4. #4
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    So which option under General>Discussions do I uncheck?

    There are 2 options

    Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article.
    Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks.)

    They dont seem to tell me that my external links will be pinged

    Also where in CJ do i see click data?
    Last edited by easylife; December 6th, 2010 at 09:15 AM.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Every WP site I have includes this plugin:

    WordPress › cbnet Ping Optimizer WordPress Plugins

    It does an excellent job of controlling unwanted pinging in general. I don't know how it specifically addresses the issues in this thread, because I don't use the CJ plugin or any other plugins currently for displaying merchant datafeeds.

    But anyone concerned with controlling WP pinging ought to look into that plugin.
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  6. #6
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    It's the first option. It may not seem obvious because you're seeing the word blogs. The idea is that wordpress will tell other blogs that support the feature that they're being linked to and it will show up in the trackbacks (second option) and that any blog or site that doesn't support it will essentially ignore it.

    But the reality is that instead of ignoring it, CJ registers it as a click. It only happens once per link per post (at time of posting) but that can be very detrimental to those that automate affiliate links.

    Even when you're not, it will lower your EPC, even slightly, unless someone creates a plug-in to buy the items as well.

    The easiest I've found to see clicks is under the performance option in reporting. I have it list performance by merchant and clicks is one of the columns.

  7. #7
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    Man who would think that CJ would be able to track a PING I mean... a click to me is a physical click on the link not just a notification going to a site saying your link is on this blog

    I still dont get how CJ tracks that... as Yes i can understand the moment you post a page/post to your blog with a cj link in that it registers an Impression but not a click as the link has not been clicked.
    Last edited by easylife; December 6th, 2010 at 09:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    So to solve this problem

    are you just turning off that link?

    Will this effect regular new blog post pinging? As the whole idea behind using wordpress is each time a blog post hits the blog it will ping your list of aggregators

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy View Post
    Every WP site I have includes this plugin:

    WordPress cbnet Ping Optimizer WordPress Plugins

    It does an excellent job of controlling unwanted pinging in general. I don't know how it specifically addresses the issues in this thread, because I don't use the CJ plugin or any other plugins currently for displaying merchant datafeeds.

    But anyone concerned with controlling WP pinging ought to look into that plugin.
    By the way thanks for the heads up on that. I will install that on all my blogs now

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    You might want to search the Blogging forum here. I seem to remember a thread about things getting pinged even if it was disabled, and a workaround.
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  11. #11
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    the initial link i posted to says to add the following to functions.php:

    remove_action('do_pings', 'do_all_pings', 10, 1);
    ?>

    I did both and it does suppress the pings so CJ doesn't see the 'clicks.' it probably does prevent all the pinging services from being notified as well though.

    like I said, if you're only doing 1 or 2 links a day, I wouldn't worry about it, it'll only mess up your own numbers. If you're doing dozens or hundreds a day, it may come to the attention of the merchant because it looks like people are clicking and not buying and that basically affects the metrics in a negative fashion and you do put your partnership in jeopardy. That's the primary reason I posted, I just wanted others to learn from my mistakes.

    It's not really WP's fault though, it's CJ not recognizing and disregarding the WP pingbacks. I assume CJ is programmed to ignore Google spiders for example.
    Last edited by bradk; December 6th, 2010 at 10:40 AM.

  12. #12
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    I wonder if you can just uncheck that box instead of adding that code to functions.php. Seems more simple to just uncheck the box then it wont ping external links

  13. #13
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    I posted about this problem before here and let CJ know but as usual they just ignore it.
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  14. #14
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    I tried doing it without the php code and it still counts clicks on CJ. dunno if there's a way to control pinging for specific sites. i'm sure there is under the hood somewhere.

  15. #15
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradk View Post
    I tried doing it without the php code and it still counts clicks on CJ. dunno if there's a way to control pinging for specific sites. I'm sure there is under the hood somewhere.
    I'm one (or the) people who posted how to prevent this via your functions.php. Its my understanding that even if you disable pings via the control panel, WP will still check each link to determine what type of media is at each url, so it knows if it is a video or something like that. (This probably is "enclosures" checking.)

    Just to reiterate, you can stop ALL Pings as well as the checking of all links for media type (which can not be done via the control panel of WP) by adding the following to your functions.php inside the php tags.
    Code:
    remove_action('do_pings', 'do_all_pings', 10, 1);
    If you do not want to do that the only other good option I can think of is getting involved in the DNS settings of your production computer and set the DNS for all of the CJ tracking sites to point to some URL on your own computer - you will need to make sure it is an active URL that would handle all incoming paths - otherwise you will put lots of load on your computer as it tries to guess what the path should be when it doesn't find the file full URL path requested. I don't recommend trying to deal with that - instead just disable pings as shown above.

    Alternatively you could pay a wordpress plug-in developer to build a plug to block checking the media type (enclosures) and pinging certain sites.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Anyone try to use a redirect for the CJ Link ?


    Example

    *http*://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/redirect.asp?url=*http*://cjtrackinglink
    Last edited by Georgie Peri; December 10th, 2010 at 12:38 PM.
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  17. #17
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    I could easily implement a redirect in my case. I suppose it's worth checking out.

    I actually like the idea of just manually editing the hosts file to redirect the CJ servers. That should work too. I don't foresee a need for my site to directly access CJ.

    I suppose I could also just add its IPs to my firewall blocks (I have a VPS)

  18. #18
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradk View Post
    I suppose I could also just add its IPs to my firewall blocks (I have a VPS)
    My only concern there is you don't do something that causes Wordpress to get in an endless loop.

    I had a problem where I referenced a bad image url on my own site, which ended up getting the wordpress page missing response which had the bad image in it so it looped again, that endless loop completely brought down my server.

  19. #19
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    Hmm.. I'm having trouble following that, sorry. I know if you call a missing image directly, it returns a 404, but if you have an image in a custom 404 that's missing, I imagine it should just present a missing image icon.

    But it's not that something that can be tested easily enough. I appreciate the heads up.

  20. #20
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    image was in a template = 404, wordpress handles 404's in the template directory, the 404 page usually is using the wordpress template which has the image with the 404 = huge loop

  21. #21
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    sounds nasty, so I'll just take your word for it. I really have to imagine that if I block the IPs though, it shouldn't cause any ill effect as far as WordPress goes. If it did, that means that if you put in any bad link in a WP post, it would blow up and that would have to be a huge problem. I'm going to give it a shot and see what happens. Worst case, I just restart the server through ssh.

  22. #22
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    I'm going to try the redirect first, this will be the easiest of the 3 options but also most likely to fail (if WP does a cURL or whatever, it can simply have the follow option on). As I have items to post for a particular merchant almost daily, i should know within a few days if this works.

  23. #23
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    I'm convinced the redirect doesn't work as I expected. As it turns out all CJ domains go to the same server, I just added that IP to my server's firewall deny list.

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