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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Toronto, Ont, Canada
    Hi everyone,

    I am a bit confused as to which tracking method is better overall, and hope that all the experts in this area can lend their insight for those of us who require it.

    I understand that redirect links are better than tracking pixels since using a tracking pixel involves dropping a third party cookie on the user's system, and these days third party cookies are generally blocked by default on most browsers, potentially hindering accurate tracking.

    On the other hand, CJU Online cites that:

    6. Redirects - You might be using redirects in your Web site to track clicks for advertising and to collect information about your site visitors. Your Web site may be indexed but you probably won't rank very well. The engines won't be able to see the relationships that exist between your Web pages because the redirect code blocks their way, unlike direct text links.

    Can someone please help me filter through this information? I want to be sure that whatever method we use at is best for us, and best for our affiliates. What's your opinion?

    Liz G.
    Account Manager

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Winter Park, FL
    Like you, I too am considering redirecting links. I was trying to think out this indexing / crawling problem it creates...

    Seems to me if you create a site map - it'll create the internal page-to-page links needed to crawl properly.

    And since the site map is not the primary landing page, it wouldn't be a distraction to your visitors (and become they're nav method - defeating the purpose of putting up the redirects in the first place.).

    So if on your privacy page or disclaimer page or about us page, you put a single link to your site map (making sure your links back to that one page are regular non-redirected links) - it'd be crawled and all the pages would then be properly indexed and appear in the Search Engine Results - even if the pages themselves are dynamically generated by php or asp.

    Bounced it off my programmer, he said "yep, true". But he's a programmer, not an Affiliate Marketer or Search Engine guru.

    Anyone else see the site map as a good method to solve the shortfalls introduced by use redirect links?

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Toronto, Ont, Canada
    Does anyone else have any input on this?

    Do you agree/disagree with Donuts comments above that using a site map to combat the pitfalls of using redirects is the way to go?

    I'm really interested in learning more about the technical side of affiliate marketing, so any information you can provide is very much valued.


  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I think the question is a bit unclear...which is why you aren't getting responses.

    The 1x1 tracking issue is separate from the redirect issue. The way an image tracks usages is that each 1x1 pixel has a unique id attached to it. The affiliate network can read each time the image is called by a browser. You really don't need a cookie set by the image. (For that matter, I have never checked to see if the image sets a cookie).

    Webmasters might decide that they do not want any CJ hosted images on their site. Such images broadcast to the world that the site is an affilate site. There is a good question here: Does using images from an affiliate program or other third party adversely affect search engine position.

    As for the question of redirect. I think you need to clearer. All links that go through are redirected. They go through the affiliate network to the merchant site. Personally, if I were programming an affiliate program, I would not use such redirects. I would set up the program so all the affiliate links came through my merchant site so that I would build the page rank.

    For affiliates, there is a question as to whether or not to build their own redirect scheme. I have redirects that go to that then go to the merchant...a lot of redirection. I exclude my redirects from robots.txt....cause I don't want the web crawlers to know that I am just an affiliate site.

    Unfortunately, the questions you asked were I don't know if I answered them.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Toronto, Ont, Canada
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my "unclear" inquiries. I am new to the industry after all, and still learning.

    I had been under the impression that redirects were an alternative to using the tracking pixel - I had read in a post somewhere here at ABW that using tracking pixels is not the best option because of the third party cookie blocker issue, and whoever posted it suggested using redirect links instead - I think that's where some of my confusion has stemmed from.

    Now I understand that 1x1 pixels are used solely for tracking impressions, so I'm not sure how redirects serve as an alternative exactly.

    I still want to know:

    A) What the pros and cons of using each tracking method might be,

    B)If anyone has any suggestions for alternatives to such tracking methods due to their respective pitfalls - and

    C)If anyone has any suggestions for solving the issue of third-party cookie blockers that have become so standard in browser versions today.

    I welcome all input on this matter - thanks for reading - hopefully I have posed my questions in a clearer manner this time, if not more concisely.

    Thanks again.

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