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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Hi everyone.

    I've been reading with interest the info posted in the forum about those parasites who modify your link and get your comissions.

    My question is, do these parasites affects to encrypted links too?

    Anybody have an idea?... Thanks!

  2. #2
    Full Member webpartner's Avatar
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    Start reading here at abw... then check out Ben Edelman's site...

    http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/180-affiliates/

    This will give you a good idea of how wide spread the parasites are becoming...
    and whether they can over write encrypted links...

    but... this is just the tip of the iceberg...
    they're getting better everyday...
    <Font size="1" color="99000">Never doubt anybody's word for anything... but... Always double check everything... - Grandpa</font>

  3. #3
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    What do you mean by an "encrypted link"?

    Ultimately you will have to link to a merchant via a tracking link (CJ, LS, whatever). Then the user's browser ends up at merchantname.com, and it's easy for a parasite to intervene with its own affiliate link. That's been 180's strategy, as well as others', and there's ordinarily not much you can do about it.

  4. #4
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    You can frame the links, so merchant.com never shows in the address bar.

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Yes they can and will overwrite encrypted links - use frames if your merchant allows them, if not ask them to allow it or append afsrc=1 to the link and always test your link.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    Do NOT just frame any merchant that allows it. The merchant must be IE6 compliant and if not, no tracking cookie will be created when the link is framed. No tracking cookie means no sale reported and hence no commission. Care should be taken in whose links you frame.

    All of the big 4 (ls, cj, befree and pfx) have issues with and can still be impacted by framed links even though their network cookie is IE6 complaint. Many merchants create their own cookie used with tracking and a bunch of them are NOT ie6 compliant.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by happypoon:
    All of the big 4 (ls, cj, befree and pfx) have issues with and can still be impacted by framed links even though their network cookie is IE6 complaint. Many merchants create their own cookie used with tracking and a bunch of them are NOT ie6 compliant.


    Wouldnt' you think that somehow us affiliates could somehow get the networks in unison to approach every merchant and make sure they are compliant? I would think it would be in their and our best interest. (Or wouldn't it for the networks? gotta take care of their "SPECIAL" affiliates and don't want anything to interfere with their sales )

    It's about time that the networks do something to allow all affiliates protection.

    Poopie

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    The networks have not and most likely will never address this issue but it sure is a shame they haven't.

    While it's stated here that framing can be used as protection from parasites, frames can be "and are" used for many other reasons besides protection from parasites.

    The real issue is that of "does tracking work properly if an affiliate use frames"? In an overwhelming number of cases (probably somewhere around 50%), the answer is clearly no!

    Linkshare has had reports from me on merchants not even creating cookies and more than 45 days, the problems still exist. Befree openly allows tigerdirect themselves to overwrite an affiliates tracking cookie in emails, on search engine queries and probably more. Do you think any of the big 4 have good procedures in being able to identify links not working? It seems all of them are subject to merchants tampering with tracking and it not being detected for extended periods of time.

    You will get paid for every purchase made from visitors you send to our site that make a purchase. Yeah right - somebody can bite my ass too.

    As far as merchants specifying "if they allow frames or not" seems a complete BS issue to me. A merchant can break a site out of frames with one line of javascript if they desire but no, they would rather not set cookies and not pay affiliates fees "for us being so stupid".

    Networks deserving of and their so called desire to get their cut in commissions would seem to dictate some principles and rules in this regard but they don't why? Let me guess, it's bacuase they are so interested in getting their cut of sales from ethical domain bound affiliates! Uh huh right again!

    Test your links under frames and see how many merchant level tracking cookies are not created due to IE6 non compliant issues. You'll be amazed at the percentage of merchants that are not!

    It's an open and shut case of a merchant not adhearing to the terms of their agreements by ignoring this issue IMO especially when they can break a site out of frames and create their tracking cookie "if they really wanted to".

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Your entirely right on the mark Poon. The majority of merchants do know the de-tracking tricks of the trade....if not...their AM's do. How else can they so simply whack those who are prone to using iframes/frames ...the coupon/deal sites. Moving to block them from commissions get's them PPCSE re-direct traffic to go along with iFramed coupon traffic.

    Quandry Question? How could any AM ever profit by not reporting sales through their affiliate's links?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  10. #10
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    Thank you, thank you so much to each one of you who took the time to answer my question... I believe this whole topic is a dilemma for many affilates, isn't?...

    As Edelman says, "there's ordinarily not much you can do about it.", so I guess we just have to learn to live with it...

    By the way, I believe I read a list containing the merchants that aren't working with affiliates who use parasite software, I just don't remember where... it would be a great idea to keep accesible and uptdated that list and work with those merchants instead.

    Thanks again.

  11. #11
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    Proteus,

    Haiko put together a list of "trusted merchants" at http://www.atrustedmerchant.com/ . Unfortunately, the list is overinclusive: Many of the merchants on the list (20% to 50% from my sample of tests) are included in a handful of software downloads for which I happen to know all participating merchants. It's a hard job to keep this kind of list up to date, of course, and I don't fault Haiko for falling behind. Indeed, I know of no better resource than atrustedmerchant.com. But at the same time I can't recommend it enthusiastically.

    If you're concerned about particular merchants, you can always ask in an appropriate ABW forum. Lots of folks here have the skills and information to figure out whether particular specific merchants are or are not clean.


    Ben

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    Ben I have a question because you said we can do nothing:
    the software to change the cookies must have a certain content. This content must have something to do with a search. WOuld it not be possible to write a script to our websites to search for this content on the user's PC and eleminate it or deactivate it?

    carneol

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    Carneol, while this would be a great idea, unfortunately, the way the cookie standards were written, only the site that set the cookie is supposed to have access to that cookie.

    Chris
    Recycled Talent - Architects of custom scripts and snippets, perfectly written to suit any need. We stay on top of the latest technology so you don't have to.
    Total Stupidity - Shining light on stupid things.

  14. #14
    I like traffic lights
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    Through the web browser, yes.

    But thanks to MS Windows having ZERO security on the file front, ANY application can gain access to cookie files and play with them to it's heart's content.

    This is the same problem that allows any application to play with any part of the windows registry and any application to delete or modify other applications or files on a Windows computer.

    Hopefully Apple WILL come out with a budget US$500 iMac and we'll get some more people away form the total disaster that Windows is, and affiliates will see a lower percentage of their revenue being diverted by parasites.

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