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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    I sent a lengthy email to the affiliate manager of one of the largest affiliate programs with various comments because our conversion ratio is very low. Among my comments was this merchant's condoning of parasiteware and gave Ebates as one example. In my email to this merchant, I cc'd the BeFree person who handles this merchant's account.

    While I have not received a reply from the merchant, I just received a reply from the BeFree account rep. He said "Ebates has actually made sure that do not overwrite site ID's and meet all of the requirements for the Code of Conduct."

    Is this true? My understanding is that Ebates is still overwriting affiliate links.

    BLFH, EcomCity, anyone, what's the latest?

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    BFT,

    The topmoxie program can not identify masked urls or server side redirects, so those, at least, they are still overwriting. Some DB sites have been excluded via an informal list, similar to the public one I supported earlier.

    As I understand it ... the regular network hrefs are safe but to be safe, the afsr=1 should be appended on cut and paste links.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    It's afsrc=1

    Not sure what you mean by "cut and paste" links. But you don't need to append afsrc=1 to regular affiliate links of the major providers.

    Just links that redirect before going to an affiliate link.

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Haiko:
    As I understand it ... the regular network hrefs are safe<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Is this only on current downloads? What about older versions of MMM?

  5. #5
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    It is just out of control and befree is little help (they just seem to hide behind the COC). I have no idea what links will or won't be overwritten because I am not up on all the latest jargon. So what are us regular non-technical people supposed to do? Take a course in the befree/ ebates etchnical jargon?

  6. #6
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    JMO but...it seems that if the networks (LS excluded) are going to admend the COC by adding the clause regarding the afscr code and place the responsibility on other affiliates to bring the software technology companies into "compliance" then the networks need to take the responsibilty of eductating affiliates about the proper use of this code.

    I continue to see confusion and misunderstanding by affiliates as to which types of links are still at risk and how the afsrc code is implemented. And I don't mean a post here and a post there on boards. At least Scott has posted at ABW in some threads attempting to explain the use. Which is more than other networks. But this needs to be published information on their sites which is readily accessible and not buried for all affiliates. Easy to understand explanations and instructions need to be provided.

    Anything less by the networks is nothing less than saying that everyone is well aware that in certain instances commissions are continuing to diverted, but figure it out for yourselves if you are at risk and how you can protect yourselves. We've done our part, there's a document saying it's not ok to divert commissions, we have no further responsibility.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    The networks in the CoC understand that the parasites will identify their href (eg. the qksrv and bfast codes) and will not overwrite them and the afsrc=1 code should be apended onto any server side redirect links.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  8. #8
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    BLFH or Haiko, can you answer my question as to earlier downloads?

  9. #9
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    BFT,

    Sorry about that. It is my understanding that all old copies of the program were to be automatically updated. I can only speak for what occurred on my computer. The software updated. I have not reinstalled an older version again since that time that might be available floating around out there on the web to see what happens.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It is my understanding that all old copies of the program were to be automatically updated. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ditto.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    I will third the comments that the software updates automatically.

    Jimbo, if are non-technical, then you're probably just using regular affiliate links. Right? In that case, as Haiko says, you don't have to do anything.

    BLFH, what? Are you kidding me? All affiliates don't read ABW?

    Seriously, very fair comments. You're absolutely correct that we need to get the word out better about afsrc=1. We've been working on some communications.

    --scott

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  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ScottJ:
    You're absolutely correct that we need to get the word out better about afsrc=1. We've been working on some communications.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why not email all BeFree affiliates a link to ABW

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I have read and read about "afsrc=1" but haven't any clue how or when to use it. WHERE in my links should this be pasted? How about an example? What would a modified link look like? What merchants should I use this on?

    I think I have read about putting it in some file or something.

    And, all this stuff about adding things to htaccess...what's that about? Would I need to modify an existing page that I would find in that file? How and what for?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> should be apended onto any server side redirect links.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What the heck does that mean? What's a server side redirect link, anyway?

    If you want to get the word out to anyone about anything, don't assume prior knowledge. It would be nice if someone would post a page with this information and give us the link.
    If anyone does, try to remember that most who read it don't have a clue what you are talking about. Those who do know what you are talking about probably already do this and so they don't need your explaination.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    SSanf,

    I sort of addressed this already with my above acknowlegement that more communication is needed.

    The good news is that if you don't know what a server-side redirect link is then you are not affected. If you are using regular affiliate links that you cut and paste from the tag generators you don't have to do anything.

    Those links and the sites they land on are left alone by EBates.

    --
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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    To answer your question:

    >>What's a server side redirect link, anyway?<<

    A server side redirect link, at least in this context, is when an affiliate sends a clickthrough to their own server before it goes to the affiliate link. This is typically done for tracking clicks, doing something like opening a frameset, etc.

    I'll use ahugedeal an example (I hope he doesn't mind). His affiliate links look like this:

    http://www.ahugedeal.com/deal.php?id=20062&afsrc=1

    It goes to the deal.php script briefly before redirecting to the affiliate link indicated by that ID 20062 in his database.

    Since it doesn't have bfast.com, qksrv.net, etc. in the domain, EBates can't tell that it is an affiliate link.

    Since he added afsrc=1 to the query string, this is, according to the Code of Conduct, a valid affiliate link. So EBates will acknowledge that and not act on the destination site.

    Again, you don't need to add the afsrc=1 parameter to regular affiliate links. Just affiliate links that are buried behind a redirect link.

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  16. #16
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Scott... you've said this:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>if are non-technical, then you're probably just using regular affiliate links. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    twice now (or the same basic conclusion) and so I feel a need to respond. I don't think that statement is necessarily true. I've been seeing more and more affs purchasing scripts to generate websites from datafeeds. I've also been seeing more and more of these scripts becoming available. Many are being recommend here at ABW, and I've seen tons readily available for both pay and free on the Net. I'm sure you know these scripts come in all kinds of shapes and languages. Some will generate pages with the straight aff link, but some generate using server side redirects. The point being the "non technical" folks are starting to implement these scripts and I doubt they have a clue whether or not the links being created are what is being called server side redirects or not. They are just following the step by step instructions that hopefully come with the script and filling in the blanks in the config file(s).

    I realize that you have been one of the few that have given examples of what server side redirect links look like over the last couple of months in various threads. I just think it's a fallacy to assume just because someone is asking what a server side redirect is that their links are probably safe without the afsrc code.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    To further add to the confusion..
    is it &afsrc=1 or ?afsrc=1


    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  18. #18
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    Just what is this? And who are the chosen few?
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Some DB sites have been excluded via an informal list <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Who's informal list? Why wasn't it announced in the forum for all to see and join?
    Something smells here.
    Cazzie

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Hi MJ,

    I realize that your question may be more of a comment than a question. If I recall, you already learned the answer to this the hard way.

    But just in case your question is real, and taking SSanf's advise to assume no prior knowledge, I'll answer it.

    >>is it &afsrc=1 or ?afsrc=1

    It's both and it depends. The & and ? aren't part of the afsrc=1 parameter, they're part of the HTTP URL specification.

    In a URL, ? separates the path of a URL with the "query string". The & separates the name/value pairs within a querystring.

    Using the example again:

    http://www.ahugedeal.com/deal.php?id=20062&afsrc=1

    The path of the URL is:

    //www.ahugedeal.com/deal.php

    and the query string is:

    id=20062&afsrc=1

    The question mark marks the beginning of the query string. So, if afsrc=1 is your only name/value pair in your querystring, it'll have a question mark in front of it. Otherwise, it'll have a & in front of it, separating it from the previous parameter.

    It could just as easily have been:
    afsrc=1&id=20062, in which case it would have the ? in front of it.

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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    >>twice now (or the same basic conclusion) and so I feel a need to respond. I don't think that statement is necessarily true. <<

    I agree completely, which is why I've been explaining in such detail, used the word "probably" and examples.

    Now had I said, "If you don't know, don't worry. buh-bye." then I'd be all wet.

    --scott

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  21. #21
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info.

    I guess, I have no worries but I do have an indy that does well and wonder if I will need this for him.

    He doesn't appear to be on any parasite lists.

    I will try to digest what you have said.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  22. #22
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    Well, I guess I will wait to get the communication.

    Right now I have links set up in 4 different ways on different pages.

    Basically what happened is that I readon ABW that a methodwill work and so istart implementing it. Then I hear something else, and start switching to that. Then there was going to be a list, so I stopped and waited for that. But that turned out to only be open to afewsites. Then the parasites were going to start recognizing affiliate codes, so it was supposed to be ok.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    Onlinesports

    For me

    Show me the Big Bucks!

  24. #24
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Don't get me goin on Onlinesports as they've reversed ALL my larger sales and never responded to my e-mail questioning this behavior.

    Scott is very helpful in his quest to find a way to enforce the CoC without hurting his BHO Durers steady stream of commission checks. Would be nice to hear Scott tell us that some BHO's have seen a drop of 40-50% of their income now they supposedly have cleaned up swapping Affiliate ID# and cookie wsapping tactics.

    My worrys are on the new rogue affiliates and all the P2P networks backdoors infecting 100's of million of systems with BIOS Adwarez applications. These cannot even be detected and removed by anti-parastic programs as these sleezy affiliates popup 5 thousand Ads per minute on their infected system users. ALL BIOS adwarez is 100% hidden and have no TOS disclaimer -end user permission and are pure Ad spammware. Does the networks monitized thses scumbags??

    Does BeFree and the others tasked with enforcing the CoC poor over network wide stats and find startup PR1 type affiliates who mysteriously jump to top producer status using BIOS Adwarez scripts. Shoulodn't the CoC be amended to negate paying any commissions to any affiliate who uses hidden or drive-by installs??

    Charlie ...

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

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador ShoreMark's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    Shoulodn't the CoC be amended to negate paying any commissions to any affiliate who uses hidden or drive-by installs??<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I for one, appreciate your tenacity. The general average everyday threads will run from porn to war, but you never let the parasite problem dip too far below the surface.

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