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  1. #1
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    Richard, I don't know if you can incorporate something to help with this in WebMerge or not, but for right now using WebMerge to build sites using BeFree, Cj, or Linkshare links is almost a waste of time. With Norton blocking the urls and some of the images (some merchants have fixed the images issue) people are creating thousands of pages that won't sell anything. Not even adsense on the pages will be productive.

    There are jump scripts and url cloaking scripts, perhaps you can find one that works reliably and incorporate it into WebMerge? WebMerge is still great as is for independant datafeeds that haven't been targetted by Norton yet, but we need a solution for the Network links. Plus more and more affiliates want to cloak there links as well.

    There are scattered posts here and there about the cloaking options, I think that it has been mentioned that the javascript mouseover doesn't help with Norton or other ad blocking. So perhaps Fred and Frank as well as Richard can come up with a solution or an extra page for the tutorials to help on this matter.

    For now I have put using WebMerge on hold for network feeds and will only use it for indies. I have seen some beautiful datafeed produced websites and when you look at them with Norton's default settings, they are worthless.

    Obviously, as Billy Kay has shown, there are still people that can benefit from the sites being built, but Norton is bundling with many new computers and the default is ad blocking on. So we need to plan for the future.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  2. #2
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Deb,

    I found a post 'bout two weeks ago that said to stick &afsrc=1 at the end of affiliate links.

    I gave it a shot! Worse case scenario, I'd remove it!!

    One of my merchants QUADRUPLED!! Went from consistent "poor performer" to outpace my bread and butter merchants!! They actually emailed me yesterday to thank me for all the extra work I must be doing to promote them!!

    And other merchants - the ones we have that never make a sale, but we keep their links up for whatever reason - are showing up all over my reports.

    I'm not recommending anything - for all I know it's some bizarre coincidence - but for the time being, I'm keeping it!!

  3. #3
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    Billy Kay, that is great, but that is a different issue. That is the parasite issue, not the Norton Ad Blocking issue.

    I may give that a test run on some merchants that used to perform that have stopped.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    First, the link cloaking (or something like it) that you are referring to is more of a programming item done at the server, instead of through a static page built by WebMerge. So the request really ought to be put forth to the PHP, and ASP guru's we have at ABW.

    I am not having the kind of trouble that you are Deborah, but that's just me. I do know that Norton is preventing many affiliate links from being displayed in browsers, and it's not fun at all. My performers go up and down every month, and it isn't clear which are the best performing - either network or independent. Frankly, if I have room at the server, I will continue to develop both network and independent merchant feeds.

    As for the "afsrc=1" added to network links, that is not used to bypass Norton, but is supposed to be recognized by parasite and BHO affiliates as "protected" and not to be over-written. Sounded good when it first started, but I have heard that it is not being honored (what a surprise). I still think it is a good idea to add to affiliate links, and is super-easy to add in your Detail Template.

  5. #5
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I am not having the kind of trouble that you are Deborah, but that's just me. I do know that Norton is preventing many affiliate links from being displayed in browsers, and it's not fun at all. My performers go up and down every month, and it isn't clear which are the best performing - either network or independent. Frankly, if I have room at the server, I will continue to develop both network and independent merchant feeds.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Have you looked at your pages with Norton Ad Blocking on? There is NO buy button, and in some cases, no image, depending on where the image is served from. In my opinion using WebMerge or any other program to build pages with the CJ, BeFee, or Linkshare feeds is a waste of time. A large and getting larger percentage of your visitors will think your site is wacky, and will not know that there is something missing from the pages. There isn't a note that there is text being blocked, there isn't a red x where the image should be, there is just NOTHING.

    Also, your standard size images are blocked, you need to change the size and they show back up.

    Like I stated, this is a problem that will be getting worse as the year goes on, and by Q4 will be an issue. Do you want holiday shoppers going to your pages that you worked hard to build and waited months to get in Google, just to discover there isn't a buy button? They will see the product on your site, and not a way to purchase it, so will go elsewhere.

    This isn't fantasy folks, this is real. WebMerge gives us the ability to create great sites, why waste the time and space if there is no buy button or click here for more info link for perhaps 50% of your visitors?

    You and I are smart enough to turn Norton Ad Blocking off, all those people getting new computers this year or getting scared into installing Norton this year won't change ANY of the defaults. They don't know there is a problem. We as affiliates need to work around this, and we can, but we need the tools to do it.

    Most indies are so far unhit by Norton, as is Shareasale, but I have just ante'd up $200 for the CJ feeds and have 50 or so BeFree feeds. So that is around 150 merchants. And I can't/won't waste server space on pages that I know from the get-go won't have a way for my site shoppers to buy.

    I am simply asking that a solution be thought about, I really thought you would be working on this yourself by now. Brainstorming is a way to solve problems, sticking your head in the sand won't do anyone any good.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Deb,

    I agree. What I don't understand - and I've read all the posts in the CJ forum - is why the networks aren't pursuing this vigorously. If we're loosing $1000 (a LOT to us), multiply that by the number of affiliates, and the networks are loosing millions!

    And I don't understand what Norton thinks that we do is bad and worth blocking. Most of us provide a REAL service to shoppers, either we feature all the dresses from all the stores in a mall so a customer doesn't have to go to each one, or we have some price comparison engine so a customer can compare between store A and store B, or maybe we feature coupons and discounts that the shopper wouldn't have found on their own. I think we're the GOOD guys!!

    At least I understand the MOTIVE of the parasites - greed.

    But I can not figure out the reason for the Norton thing at all.

    Lastly, check your PM

    Billy

  7. #7
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    What I don't understand is why Google can't do something about Norton, they are losing an incredible amount of money since their ads are blocked also. The networks are the networks and they don't see an impact yet and are not looking to the future. CJ says they have a solution, but if they change something, Norton will just block that too. BeFree is obviously part of that equation now, I haven't heard if Linkshare plans to do anything and I don't deal with Performics AT ALL after sending a whole lot of targetted traffic to 2 big merchants (plus lots of their other merchants) for 2 years and making not one sale.

    The networks should be screaming but since they are not, we have to protect our livihood ourselves. Proactive is better than reactive, IMO.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
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    WebMerge merely copies content into your templates. If Symantec's Norton has a problem with code in your templates the only solution is to change your templates or change Symtantec.

    There may be legitimate motivations underlying Norton's aggressiveness and like most anti-spam blacklists the "solution" may be worse than the problem. But I wonder what can be done about the core problem itself? What makes such features attractive to Norton's users, and what can be done to make those feature valueless?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  9. #9
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    As I understand it, norton is blocking certain affiliate links to protect users from BHO's etc.

    Basically, if a page has a CJ link on it, the BHO installed on the users computer can spring into action, if the CJ link is removed from the page by Norton, then it can't.

    So Norton is blocking certain ads to protect it's users from parasites. It is the easiest and surest way for Norton to cut them out.

    If the networks stopped associating with the parasites, then there would be no reason for Norton to block the ads, but while they continue to associate with parasites, then I would presume Norton will continue to block.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SeventiesMartin:
    If the networks stopped associating with the parasites, then there would be no reason for Norton to block the ads, but while they continue to associate with parasites, then I would presume Norton will continue to block. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What justification do affiliate managers provide for continuing to do business with thieves?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  11. #11
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    Has this issue ever been resolved? I would love to use webmerge that I purchased over a year ago but have since found other solutions that can mask the urls and show as my own "at checkout".

  12. #12
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    Holy cow, talk about an old thread... this is from 2004 and yes, the issue has been addressed in many threads here at ABW with examples of how to redirect your links, no matter what program you are using to create the pages.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Holy cow, talk about an old thread... this is from 2004 and yes, the issue has been addressed in many threads here at ABW with examples of how to redirect your links, no matter what program you are using to create the pages.
    Sorry Loxly I know this is an ancient thread as far as AM goes. I was just hoping to get some more condenced info in this thread. Your opinions and insight are always appreciated and welcomed.

  14. #14
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    And I believe Norton is now defaulting as "not enabled" on blocking those pesky big affiliate links.

    I might be wrong though.... I redirect anyways so dont follolw that issue very closely.

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