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  1. #1
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    I've been working with this Norton software since last night and here are some observations:

    1) Yes, it does blank out all of the qksrv . net links. Images also if they're served from qksrv. I think the one byte pixels seem to be served properly, but I haven't been able to confirm that. Serve the images from your own server if you can.

    2) The software is s-l-o-w. There is an immediate performance hit, but it tracks practically everything that it's doing and writes everything to a file somewhere. It's nice software to have, nevertheless, and I see great advantages in having it, especially the small business/enterprise versions.

    3) The only way that I've been able to see to avoid the blanking of the CJ links is to use a meta-refresh page. I'm using php so it wasn't any great deal to code this up and install, but if you're not using php (or something like it, whatever it is), then you may have a problem. I'd suggest reading up on it.

    4) The software blocks variations of the wording 'advertise' and a lot of permutations, like 'advertises', 'ads', 'advertising', etc. You can get around this by renaming. Another blocked word is 'banner/banners'. To get around the block, just change 'advertising' to: 'bluefeathers' and the software won't block it.

    5) The software blocks advertising images, but it 'appears' to do it based on size, and nothing else. If you have a button sized width=88 height=31, just change it to width=87 height=31 and the software won't block it. There are other blocks based on the common advertising sizes, but I got all to reappear just by taking one pixel off the width.

    6) The 2004 version apparently will be available in the first couple weeks of October, at least according to the Symantec site, so these may change.

    I'm not sure what the impact of this software will have, but this version clearly targets qksrv and the more common sized 'advertising' graphics. However, there has to be a limit to what the software is capable of blocking, because it's not selective enough at this point... if it's a graphic that's 88x31, then it's blocked. Period. Banners, skyscrapers and the more common 'in-your-face' graphics are also obviously blocked.

    I also have had a look around at a few of the other more, ah, 'popular' firewalls, and it seems to me that ad blocking has become the "feature-du-jour", because they all seem to have some mention of it, so maybe we're looking at a future trend. We just have to be quick enough to throw a wrench into the motor.

    FWIW.

    CodeJockey.

  2. #2
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    did you use with default settings.. i use this software but my ad blocking is switched off, can't remember if I did that or that's was the default setup

  3. #3
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    quote:
    Originally posted by CodeJockey:
    I've been working with this Norton software since last night and here are some observations:

    --thanks!--

    1) Yes, it does blank out all of the qksrv . net links. Images also if they're served from qksrv. I _think_ the one byte pixels seem to be served properly, but I haven't been able to confirm that. Serve the images from your own server if you can.

    -- serve your own images but then the links still wont work??---

    4) The software blocks variations of the wording 'advertise' and a lot of permutations, like 'advertises', 'ads', 'advertising', etc. You can get around this by renaming. Another blocked word is 'banner/banners'. To get around the block, just change 'advertising' to: 'bluefeathers' and the software won't block it.

    -- do you know if it blocks the word "sponsors"? as in please visit our sponsors? and wouldnt it also block googles ads, since they say ads by google??--

    5) The software blocks advertising images, but it 'appears' to do it based on size, and nothing else. If you have a button sized width=88 height=31, just change it to width=87 height=31 and the software won't block it. There are other blocks based on the common advertising sizes, but I got all to reappear just by taking one pixel off the width.

    ---- hmmmm, doesnt sound like they thought this out too well!---

    -- thanks for taking the time, this is a real ominous situation ---

    CodeJockey.

  4. #4
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    quote:
    did you use with default settings


    The default setting is 'off'.

    However, the control panel highlights the fact that the setting is Off in red letters and a Windows Information triangle. If I was the one that wrote this, the unwritten implication to the Red 'Off' would be: "Yo. Fool. You forgot to turn this on. If you don't, then the world as you know it will cease to exist."

    CodeJockey.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    THANK YOU Code Jockey!!! That's the kind of solid info we need, to help try to get around this situation.

    Even though I just found reports from back in January about Norton blocking CJ, my guess is the reason this suddenly came to light with so many affiliate reports of missing links is due to the last big worm. I'm sure a lot of people who previously did not have any security suddenly got personal firewalls and net security software and with Norton being one of the biggest names, looks like a lot of people bought and installed it.

    As more virus and worms hit the news, more will buy security software and most these programs seem to be including ad blocking as an added feature.

    Serving non standard banner sizes is an interesting idea and a very good catch!

    Thanks

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
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  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Good analysis CodeJockey.

    Do you reckon we could get a parasite detection script together for this?

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  7. #7
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    quote:
    serve your own images but then the links still wont work


    The qksrv click-link and the qksrv image-link won't work because this particular software blocks qksrv . net. If you're drawing the image from someplace other than qksrv . net, the the image should display properly. To get the click-link to work properly, you'll have to use a meta-refresh.

    quote:
    do you know if it blocks the word "sponsors"? as in please visit our sponsors? and wouldnt it also block googles ads, since they say ads by google??--



    These were blocked:

    mysite.com/sponsors/sponsors.html
    mysite.com/sponsors/sponsor.html
    mysite.com/sponsor/sponsors.html
    mysite.com/sponsor/sponsor.html

    This was not blocked:

    mysite.com/sponsors.html

    I went over to a site that I know has the Google ads on it, and they all appeared normal to me, so I'd say it didn't block out Google. Don't forget that it appears to block based on wording, so if 'ad' or 'ads' or some combination of that is not clearly present in the url, then it won't block.

    quote:
    hmmmm, doesnt sound like they thought this out too well!---



    I disagree. I think that it's a useful piece of software for the vast majority of non-technical people out there who are concerned about getting crap on their computer, don't want pron, and don't want ads. Those of us with a little knowledge will realize that there are work-arounds available if we just take the time to look at it. It appears to me that they have done what they could do to a point... the software 'may' block banners and advertising, but it also blocks other images. The other images are a sacrifice to the advertising block... it makes sense from a strange point of view, especially if you're the one writing the software.

    "The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to gum up the works".

  8. #8
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    quote:
    Do you reckon we could get a parasite detection script together for this?



    I don't see how, but I haven't worked with it that long. It appears to be a back-seat-driver product that only appears when it needs to. My guess is that unless CJ makes some move on Symantec to have the qksrv . net links removed from the blocking process, there is little that we can do other than to redirect to a meta-refresh page.

    I re-coded. Not a big deal, especially if the cash goes up. Large, hand driven sites may have a huge problem.

    CodeJockey.

  9. #9
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    It would appear that I was possibly in error.

    Blocking reasons straight from the log:

    Reason: width=125 height=125
    Reason: width=88 height=31

    Reason: width=120 height=60 images.dentalplans.com/images/120x60hello.gif

    Reason: "/banner/"
    Reason: "/advertisers/"
    Reason: "hitbox.com"

    Reason: "/ad." - log shows it as part of ad.linksynergy.com

    Reason: "/ads/" - log shows that the blocked url starts with google.co/search. Oops.

    Reason : "affiliate_banner3.gif" This would indicate that the software is not only blocking based on size, but perhaps also on name. Where is The Hulk (Bruce Banner) when you need him?

  10. #10
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    What about hop.clickbank.net links???

  11. #11
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    quote:
    What about hop.clickbank.net links


    Was not blocked.

    CodeJockey.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, appreciate the clickbank check!

    CodeJockey deserves a raise, I vote that we at least double his salary, this is a great service he's performing here. This could be the birth of a new website????

    Thanks Again,
    Ken

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    If you use a meta-refresh page won't google penalize you?

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN you guys. CJ don't give no whistles no more! I can hear the music of another piper!

  14. #14
    I like traffic lights
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    Have you got any log entries of qksrv.net blocks?

    Could you also please go to eBay and find a mediaplex link (ebay uses them internally) and see if it blocks those?

    (I ask this because mediaplex is listed in many of the poisoned hosts files).

    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Thank you CodeJockey for sharing the info and for checking it out.

    Keep it coming!

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  16. #16
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    quote:
    If you use a meta-refresh page won't google penalize you?


    Aside from the possibility of SE placement disadvantages, you're going to get bandwidth penalized by having to refresh each and everytime someone hits one of your pages.

    When you meta-refresh, content gets downloaded twice. This on top of CJ's spider downloading your entire site each day?

    CJ goes out of its way to give us options like "open in a new window", but not an option to insure our visitors are even aware of those links.

    Norton Internet Security 2004 was just released this month. Judging by the already increased amount of e-mails from customers complaining about how to purchase items which "have no links" ...this could be a disaster ...happening just before the holiday shopping season.

  17. #17
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    The trial version of the Norton Firewall that I have has this LiveUpdate option. I did a bit more browsing around just now while it was updating.

    There is a plain-text file called adblock.dat that I'm going to assume (ya, I know) that the code uses as the blocking file. I've removed a lot of stuff, so don't take it as 100%, but I'd bet money that these are the terms that it uses to block. Note that periods, commas and special characters are important.

    CodeJockey.

    (edited by me to fix the url problems)
    (edited a second time to put a blank space in front of AND behind each period (dot). )


    #CLink
    %23CLink
    %2Fads%2E
    %3Fad%2E
    &ad_
    &banner=
    . ad .
    . ads .
    . ads/
    . net-on . com
    . webconnect . net
    /?ad .
    /199 . 78 . 52 .
    /ad-
    /ad .
    /ad/
    /ad_control
    /ad_image
    /ad_track/
    /adbot .
    /adclient .
    /adcontent .
    /adcouncil/
    /adgifs/
    /adgraph/
    /adimages/
    /adinfo
    /adjuggler
    /adlog .
    /adman .
    /adnet .
    /adnet/
    /adpics/
    /adpopup
    /adproof/
    /adredirect
    /ads-
    /ads .
    /ads/
    /adsales
    /adserv
    /adspace
    /adsrc
    /adv/
    /advert/
    /advertentie
    /advertise/
    /advertiser/
    /advertisers/
    /advertising/
    /adverts/
    /adview .
    /banner .
    /banner/
    /banner_images/
    /banner=
    /banners/
    /by . banclk?
    /clickover .
    /cyberfirst
    /follow_ad?
    /generate_ad .
    /graphics/advert
    /htmlad/
    /jbanner/
    /liveads/
    /nph-bounce?
    /nph-load?
    /nph-redir?
    /promos/
    /promote/
    /promotions/
    /rankem . cgi?action=
    /sponsor .
    /sponsor/
    /sponsors/
    /videobanners/
    /viewad/
    ?acb=acb
    ?ad . cgi
    ?ad=
    ?adlink
    ?adserv
    ?adv=
    _ad .
    _ads/
    120x240
    120x60
    120x600
    120x80
    120x90
    125x125
    125x48
    1-2-free . com
    137x30
    160x600
    170x35
    180x150
    199 . 172 . 144 . 25/2
    200x23
    200x33
    230x33
    234x60
    240x400
    250x250
    300x250
    336x280
    468x60
    588x60
    728x90
    76x24
    88x31
    88x63
    a32 . g . a . yimg . com/7
    -ad . cgi
    ad . doubleclick . net/click
    ad . infoseek . com
    ad . linkexchange . com
    ad . preferences . com
    ad . tw . doubleclick . net/ad/
    adbanner
    adbot . com
    adcenter . in2 . com
    AdClick
    adcount . hollywood . com
    adlink . htm
    adlink . preferences . com
    adman . medius . net
    adoptimizer
    adredir . asp
    ads . adsmart . net
    ads . clickagents . com
    ads . imagine-inc . com
    ads . imdb . com
    ads . infospace . com
    ads . lycosasia . com . sg/RealMedia/ads/
    ads . narrowline . com
    ads . realmedia . com
    ads . softbank . net
    ads . usatoday . com
    ads . washingtonpost . com
    ads . web21 . com
    -ads/
    advertisements
    advertising . com
    alladvantage . com/go . asp?refid=
    allpolitics . com/ads/
    badservant . guj . de
    banner_ad
    bannerad
    bannerexchange . com
    bannerpower . com
    bannerswap . com
    BF_Home_AD
    bfast . com/booklink
    click1 . wisewire . com
    click100 . genesis . com
    click2 . wisewire . com
    click2net . com
    clk_thru^
    commonwealth . riddler . com
    count4all . com
    crosswalk . com/click . ng/transactionID=
    dirtycash . com
    ds . cybereps . com
    exchange-it . com/click . go?
    eyeblasterscript
    fastclick . net/w/click . here
    findcommerce . com/tracking
    flycast . com
    focalink . com
    GeoAD?
    globaltrack . com
    globaltrak . net
    hitbox . com
    home . keyciti . com/addd2000/ok . shtml
    http://us . i1 . yimg . com/us . yimg . com/a
    images/mainad
    imgis . com
    impartner . de/cgi-bin/
    infoback . net
    infoseek . com/redirect
    java . yahoo . com/a/1-/flash
    java . yahoo . com/a/1-/java
    java . yahoo . com/a/a-/flash
    java . yahoo . com/a/a-/java
    linkexchange . com
    maxcash . cgi?
    mediahits . com/click . fcg
    mediaserv . 247media . com
    mirror . qkimg . net
    movielink . com/media/imagelinks/MF . ad
    movielink . com/media/imagelinks/MF . sponsor
    netads . hotwired . com
    netbanner . com/cgi-bin/
    nrsite . com
    pagecount . com
    pathfinder . com/r0/marketing
    pathfinder . com/sponsors
    pegasoweb . com
    pennyweb . com
    progcgi/ads
    qksrv . net
    rd . yahoo . com/M=2
    rd . yahoo . com/M=3
    rd . yahoo . com/M=4
    rd . yahoo . com/M=5
    rd . yahoo . com/M=6
    rds . yahoo . com/M=0
    rds . yahoo . com/M=1
    rds . yahoo . com/M=7
    rds . yahoo . com/M=8
    rds . yahoo . com/M=9
    REGEDIT4
    register-it . netscape . com/
    rmbclick . com/
    safe-audit . com
    showad . asp
    smartclicks . com
    spinbox .
    submit-it . com/images
    telecom-pros . com/images
    texchange . com/cgi-bin/
    tracker . clicktrade . com
    us . a1 . yimg . com/us . yimg . com/a
    valueclick . com
    vk4Voam2y
    vwWzJwWLv9m2Cr
    websponsors . com/cgi-bin/
    webunion . com/cgi-localbin/click . cgi?
    ww3 . cybercity . com . tw/adexe/
    www . 247media . com . tw
    www . admax . com . tw/
    www . admax . com/
    www . ads . warnerbros . com
    www . anonymizer . com/cm/door . cgi?
    www . asiad . net/
    www . banner . com . tw/
    www . bannerwomen . com
    www . clickadhere . com/
    www . clickxchange . com/fr . phtml
    www . cyberone . com . tw
    www . epaper . com . tw/cgi-bin/adm/ad_red
    www . halee . com/advert/
    www . link4link . com/cgi-bin/
    www . marketspace
    www . modchip . com/clickcgi/click . cgi?
    www . netvigator . com . tw/popad/
    www . nj . com/adverts
    www . nrsite . com
    www . search . com/Banners
    www . warehouse . com/netbuyer/ticker/
    www . whispa . com/tracking/
    www . wishing . com/webaudit/
    yahoo . com/adv/
    yahoo . com/CategoryID=0
    yimg . com/images/compliance/

    [This message was edited by CodeJockey on September 11, 2003 at 12:42 PM.]

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wonder what Micro Warehouse has done to be singled out by Norton from the blacklist?
    www . warehouse . com/netbuyer/ticker/

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  19. #19
    I like traffic lights
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    CodeJockey,

    Can you please confirm - is this just an image blocker, or are they blocking cliks as well?

    Thanks.

    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

  20. #20
    Affiliate Addict Robert484848's Avatar
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    Wow Codejocky thanks for all the work. I still think that CJ could do somthing about this but I wont hold my breath.

    "I did'nt get where I'm at today by worrying about how I'm going to feel tomorrow."

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    WOW Codejockey - that helps a lot.

    Note that BeFree is on there and Websponsors too. Also the Washington Post and UsaToday.

    PAY SPECIAL NOTICE TO the standard ad size references that it is trying to block.
    If blocking these ad sizes works - than it doesnt matter what affiliate network you are with, standard size banners could still be blocked.

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
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  22. #22
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    CodeJockey,

    Great work!

    We'll get the fix!

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  23. #23
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Code Jockey you are so awesome for sharing this!

    Note: Code Jockey has been testing the Norton Firewall software. Someone needs to do the same thing with Norton Internet Security and post the results here.

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
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  24. #24
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    Drewbert:

    quote:
    is this just an image blocker, or are they blocking cliks as well


    Sort of.. (as a vague response). The software blocks the image (based on the size) AND the link (if there is a naughty phrase in the link like qksrv . net or / ad and so on...).

    So because it blocks the image, AND the link there is nothing on the page to click on. If that is how you want to define blocking the click then I'd have to agree.


    Kelly626:

    quote:
    When you meta-refresh, content gets downloaded twice. This on top of CJ's spider downloading your entire site each day?


    Downloaded twice: no... at least not the way that I was thinking of doing it. If you keep in mind that this particular software blocks out two pieces of your page: the image and the qksrv . net click-link, you have to do two things:

    1) by-pass the image block. You can do this by not using the qksrv . net image (if there is one) and hosting it on your own server. If the image is 88X31, then just change the width="88" attribute to: width="87", and this particular version of the software will allow it through.

    If the image is being drawn from the merchant's server, rather than the qksrv . net server, you'll still still have to change the width attribute to get the image to show.

    2) by-pass the qksrv . net block (or any other on the list): This one is a lot more trickier than the image thing... you'll have to have a second hypertext file (if you're running a manual site) for EVERY qksrv . net link that you have. You'll have to change the current qksrv . net link that has the hyperlink from qksrv . net to the second hypertext page on your own server. The second hypertext page has the meta-refresh coded in it. Awkward, but that's the only way that I can see to go around the software.

    Example:

    Current link: http: // www . qksrv . net / click - (your-affiliate-code) - (merchant-id-code) (etc., etc.,)

    You have to change this link to: http: // www . mysite . com / name-of-second-hypertext-page.htm

    You then have to create the name-of-second-hypertext-page.htm file, and put this in the file:

    < !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
    < html >
    < head >
    < META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0; URL= [Current-link-see-it-above)">
    < title >
    < /title >
    < /head >
    < body >
    < /body >
    < /html>

    It'll work, and it's not a clean solution, but it by-passes this particular version of the software blocking.

    CodeJockey.

  25. #25
    I like traffic lights
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    >So because it blocks the image, AND the link there is nothing on the page to click on. If that is how you want to define blocking the click then I'd have to agree.

    So it actually STRIPS the [a href] code out of the HTML on it's way to the clients browser?

    Yikes!

    Surely, the safer way to remove annoying graphic ads is to just watch for JPEG/GIF/PNG mime types and block those?

    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

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