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  1. #1
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Dear Networks:
    Google has it. Some of us even have it. The technology exists.

    A link verifier!

    WOW! What a novel concept.

    That's right - networks need a link checker to verify if and when merchant links (ie: Banners, and text creatives specifically) change/stop working. If they don't work, the campaign is paused, not available to affiliates, and an email sent to the merchant to fix their broken links. Additionally, an email should be set to all affiliates notifying them that the merchant's creative no longer works.

    Get on it!
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Seems a logical part of a network. I have never understood why networks do such a lousy job of keeping the ship afloat. Predict that big networks like CJ, LS and GAN lost 30-40% of revenue to broken tracking. Seems that in the last five years there would have been an emphasis to bullet proof tracking as the cost of development would greatly increase the bottom line.


  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    yeap, one would think they'd be able to run some quite simple daily checks to confirm tracking is working and in place, I'm sure even most merchants would appreciate being able to see that their tracking is working properly, especially if they go through a sudden dead patch and start wondering where the issues may be.
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Playing devil's advocate here.... There is a problem with scale on link checking all datafeed links. I think it is doable, but it might cost a bit and have quite a bit of complexity. So, if I was a big retailer, I would probably want the link checker to only check one link per second. So, a big retailer might have 800,000 items in their datafeed, so 800K image links + 800K product urls for 1.6 million items that should be checked.

    So, at 1 link per second, that would be 19 days of run time. But the response time is probably measured in > 1 second, so let's say 38 days. So, we have to grab them at a faster rate. How much faster? 4 per second? 8 per second? Now I'm making 4+ requests to their website almost continuously, 365 days a year. Merchant might get angry.

    Now I need a network of crawling servers that can handle 1,000's of merchants simultaneously, 24x7x365... Going to cost a bit for this feature, and what does the crawler do when it encounters a problem? I guess it needs to put up an error list in the merchant's portal.

    I think a link checker would be a great idea for the networks. I kindof wonder if they would ever implement it though. Maybe as a extra cost add-on for the merchant?

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  7. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Great point! I would love it if datafeed aside the network would crawl all links and banners to determine if the pages are valid. Cold do it once a month and report any broken links to the AM/merchant. As an OPM we don't always know if a page has been moved, removed or otherwise.

  8. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Yes, I was referring specifically to text and banner links, not datafeeds...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #7
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    I have advertiser who disappear from the network without realizing their link is no longer working ( until one of the users point it out ).

    It would be helpful if all networks waste sometime figuring it out, it is not really that hard of a job

  10. #8
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGoodMan View Post
    I have advertiser who disappear from the network without realizing their link is no longer working ( until one of the users point it out ).

    It would be helpful if all networks waste sometime figuring it out, it is not really that hard of a job
    ?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    ?
    It is causing an issue because the links are no longer valid

  12. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    So you're saying that the network did not notify the merchant AND did not notify you that the advertiser "disappeared from the network" - thereby rendering the merchant's links invalid?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #11
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    Yes, merchants that close their affiliate program off the network, goes down for whatever reason (temporary, i seen websites that offline for months in a raw), and even merchants that their website no longer exist but some how their affiliate program still online in the affiliate network.

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  15. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I understand now. Thanks...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  16. #13
    Member robbinsinteractive's Avatar
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    I am surprised that the smaller more innovative networks haven't jumped all over this. What a great selling point to both the merchant and the advertiser. I am with Chuck, in that many times I am unaware if my client moves or changes a link. Heck, I have had a client update their entire website without telling me. Affiliate marketing can still be the red headed step child that IT and Marketing forgets about despite representing such a large portion of their revenue.
    Stephanie Robbins
    Robbins interactive

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  18. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    The technology does it exists and it should have been done a while back already. I think some networks should think like a 'startup' every day and come up with ways to help track links, banners and even datafeeds. A whole list of ideas that are easy to implement nowadays with just one written script or line of code.

  19. #15
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    If the merchant has >800k links, then why not check links randomly? Maximum 10k?

    Also, one of the biggest mystery to me is why don't networks format their data feed like google shopping or just copy what GAN did and CJ is doing?

    They're making it harder on us, thus earning them less $ in the long run.

    I have to hold back on what I really think about people who manages these networks.

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