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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Can merchants turn off tracking pixel?
    I'm under the impression that indie/self-managed programs can, depending on the aff program they use, but are network merchants (CJ, LS, GAN, SAS, etc.) able to do this?
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  2. #2
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    They are supposed to be checked for compliance daily. So the answer should be no, but stranger things have happened.

  3. #3
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    Yes!
    Quite often they don't do it on purpose but EACH time you see a design change, you can be sure their coder has messed up the tracking pixel or just forgot to put it back.
    SAS has a routine to check if the tracking pixel is present and report the date of the test.
    With CJ, LS, GAN, you have to trust them.

  4. #4
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    You can almost count on the designers to mess with the code.

  5. #5
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    If you get a message like that from a merchant, it means their tracking pixel was removed during a redesign.

    Your merchant underwent a website update that caused an error in reporting transactions back to LinkShare.
    The issue has been fixed and we are now capturing and tracking sales as usual; however, we were not able to recover full sales data
    Scary isn't it. Several days, weeks without reporting and they don't spot the problem!!!

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yes, the tracking can be messed with even if they're on a network.

    If they do enough volume, the network should be able to easily see when and if a tracking pixel gets removed. The networks are notoriously bad at monitoring for it, though.

    A good AM should be monitoring closely, making sure that any site enhancements don't affect tracking, etc. Some do, but many are just way too busy.

    I can't count how many times I've seen obvious tracking problems and reported it (and it turned out to be real), and the network and AM didn't know about it yet.

    From my experience, problems are almost always unintentional. You do run across unethical merchants once in a while, but unintended consequences of site changes are FAR more common.
    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Yes, the tracking can be messed with even if they're on a network.

    If they do enough volume, the network should be able to easily see when and if a tracking pixel gets removed. The networks are notoriously bad at monitoring for it, though.

    A good AM should be monitoring closely, making sure that any site enhancements don't affect tracking, etc. Some do, but many are just way too busy.

    I can't count how many times I've seen obvious tracking problems and reported it (and it turned out to be real), and the network and AM didn't know about it yet.

    From my experience, problems are almost always unintentional. You do run across unethical merchants once in a while, but unintended consequences of site changes are FAR more common.
    I agree that tracking problems are almost always unintentional. However, they are often a signal of lapsed attention to the affiliate program (sometimes this is how we discover that a company no longer has an active affiliate manager).

    A related problem: merchants who fail to implement the tracking pixel across multiple payment methods (there have been several discussion threads on ABW about merchants who'd failed to implement tracking for orders paid via PayPal or Google Checkout). This can be much harder to detect, and of course there's more opportunity for mistakes.

    Proper implementation also gets much more complex for merchants using multiple affiliate technologies (multiple affiliate networks, or in-house plus a network).
    Last edited by markwelch; February 21st, 2011 at 03:16 PM.

  8. #8
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    SAS has a routine to check if the tracking pixel is present and report the date of the test.
    ?????
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  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    In ShareASale, they actually report both the date that the tracking pixel was last triggered and the date and time that the last commissionable sale was recorded. Merchants are supposed to have the tracking pixel in place for ALL orders, so every time they generate a sale it should trigger.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    That's exactly what my point was (?????). This "compliance test" does not do anything to determine which merchants are not in compliance.
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info! Re: design changes leaving out pixel, explains a lot. That AMs & networks can take so long to find out is just mind-boggling (as well as the multiple payment tracking problem). Would this apply only to a complete site redesign or also something like just adding a new category?

    SAS may not have slick bells & whistles reporting interfaces, but the compliance testing stat (da doh, I did know about that) is up there in importance. Other than making a test purchase, is there any other way for an aff to verify this?
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  12. #12
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    Yeh it can be a little nerve racking when you find out your campaign has been fudged lol... like above usually it's by accident, still sucks though

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