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  1. #1
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    Before I head (largely) offline for the better part of two weeks, I thought I'd post a couple quick updates on 180's activities:

    1) 180's software has not stopped targeting affiliate merchants with their own affiliate links. Some of 180's popups now use methods that are more subtle or harder to detect -- multiple levels of FRAMEs, encoded JavaScript, etc. -- so merchants' and networks' testing staff may not always notice what's going on. Furthermore, much or all of the affiliate code replacements may be performed by 180's advertisers rather than 180 itself. But the net effect remains the same as when I released my article last month: 180's software (and the popups it opens) set and overwrite affiliate codes -- causing merchants' tracking systems to indicate that affiliate commissions are payable when they otherwise would not be payable; and causing other affiliates' cookies to be overwritten, such that these other affiliates cannot receive commissions.

    2) 180's targeting list has grown. When last I wrote, I mentioned a 166,000+ keyword trigger list. Now the list is up to 188,000+ keywords in length. Of course, not all of these triggers are active, and not all active triggers are associated with popups that include affiliate codes. But 180's overall scope of activities is not shrinking when measured along this metric.

    3) 180's "exclusion list" is growing. I am copying below the current exclusion list, which may be of interest to merchants and affiliates. If your site is on this list, then your site is not currently targeted by 180's popups (at least not when users visit your site, as distinguished from typing your brand name into search engines, or viewing your affiliates' or partners' sites), even if my prior reporting indicated that your site was recently targeted by 180. Perhaps an enterprising reader can go through this list and think through which entries are 180 and its distribution partners, versus which are major merchants, which are ad-serving sites, and which may have joined the exclusion list for some other reason.


    180's domain exclusion list, as of 8/2/04

    180solutions.com
    205.180.85.40
    3djoe.com
    800flowers.com
    800petmeds.com
    a1wireless.com
    ad.doubleclick.net
    ads.web.aol.com
    allgamesfree.com
    angrynakedpat.com
    avenue.com
    beachbody.com
    boneland.com
    burstnet.com
    casinoonair.com
    cheaptickets.com
    connect.247media.ads.link4ads.com
    cooking.com
    dell.ca
    dell.com
    delta.com
    directv.com
    drugstore.com
    exitfuel.com
    ezone.com
    fastclick.net
    ftd.com
    gamingclub.com
    goonland.com
    grouphug.us
    hallmark.com
    hrblock.com
    ice.com
    internetfuel.com
    jibjab.com
    kabloom.com
    kbtoys.com
    kennethcole.com
    kingsofchaos.com
    kscasino.com
    likemybody.com
    likemytattoo.com
    macys.com
    magazineline.com
    magazines.com
    mcafee.com
    mediacharger.com
    mediapickle.com
    metricsdirect.com
    mikasa.com
    newgrounds.com
    officedepot.com
    overstock.com
    personalcreations.com
    petco.com
    pollen.com
    popup.msn.com
    popupnation.com
    pro-market.net
    register.com
    roses.com
    sharperimage.com
    shopathometv.com
    sirmixalot.net
    sohh.com
    target.com
    timelife.com
    vegasvilla.com
    walmart.com
    www.zango.com
    yves-rocher.com
    captioncity.com
    sexyandfunny.com
    funberry.com
    gibbleguts.com
    1-877-phonecards.com
    3balls.com
    akagourmet.com
    americanblooms.com
    appetizerstogo.com
    auntiesbeads.com
    barberbros.com
    barenecessities.com
    blinds.com
    bloomsusa.com
    boingowireless.com
    botanicchoice.com
    brigadequartermasers.com
    cambridgesoundworks.com
    campingworld.com
    carabella.com
    carlson.com
    cerebellum.com
    championcatalog.com
    changeone.com
    ctshirts.co.uk
    ccmusic.com
    colorfulimages.com
    computers4sure.com
    convoq.com
    ccvideo.com
    cubancrafters.com
    customink.com
    cyberguys.com
    databazaar.com
    delias.com
    delightfuldeliveries.com
    dermadoctor.com
    diamondsinternational.com
    digicelwireless.com
    disney.go.com
    domestications.com
    driversed.com
    dutchgardens.com
    envision-sbs.com
    esalton.com
    etoys.com
    eziba.com
    fields.com
    finestationary.com
    florist.com
    flowerstore.com
    foncentral.com
    forddirect.com
    franklinmint.com
    fromyouflowers.com
    frugalflower.com
    gaiam.com
    gallerycollection.com
    geerwade.com
    giftsense.com
    golfnow.com
    gorillamobile.com
    greatamericanproducts.com
    greatarrivals.com
    greatcleaners.com
    gtctelecom.com
    halegroves.com
    hearthsong.com
    hellodirect.com
    hickoryfarms.com
    hilohattie.com
    homefocuscatalog.com
    homesteadhotels.com
    hostsave.com
    hotelplanner.com
    iflorist.com
    iggold.com
    inest.com
    internationaljock.com
    internationalmale.com
    jerrybaker.com
    jordanmarie.com
    justmysize.com
    klinq.com
    knetgolf.com
    lifetimemothers.com
    lightingshowplace.com
    limogesjewelry.com
    lovefifi.com
    missionorchards.com
    motorcycleusa.com
    movielink.com
    mpsuperstore.com
    music123.com
    nationalbikeregistry.com
    neighborhoodloan.com
    net2phone.com
    newbargains.com
    newroutine.com
    nightingale.com
    officefurniture.com
    omahasteaks.com
    onehanesplace.com
    organicbouquet.com
    orientaltradingcompany.com
    outdoorsuperstore.com
    paragongifts.com
    paulfredrick.com
    performanceproducts.com
    petcarerx.com
    pfaelzerbrothers.com
    photogiftplace.com
    pitneybowes.com
    plowhearth.com
    relaxtheback.com
    rewardsnetwork.com
    ringingphone.com
    roots.com
    roxio.com
    scholastic.com
    sephora.com
    shop.att.com
    shop.pgatour.com
    shop.usga.com
    silhouettes.com
    silvo.com
    smallflowers.com
    smarthome.com
    sonymusicstore.com
    spalook.com
    spendonlife.com
    stacyadams.com
    starregistry.com
    starstruck.com
    stevemadden.com
    stonewallkitchen.com
    swansonvitamins.com
    swissarmycentral.com
    teammemories.com
    techdepot.com
    terrysvillage.com
    textbookx.com
    thecompanystore.com
    thingsremembered.com
    ticketsellers.com
    toolking.com
    undergear.com
    uniondiamond.com
    unitedshades.com
    ussearch.com
    verticalresponse.com
    veteransadvantage.com
    viansa.com
    vikingpop.com
    vitacost.com
    webphone.com
    wine.com
    winemessenger.com
    winsave.com
    wwbw.com
    zinio.com
    countryinns.com
    parkinn.com
    parkplaza.com
    radisson.com
    regenthotels.com
    orientalcompany.com

  2. #2
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    The majority of these domains are Linkshare merchants. I may be missing someone but I don't see any merchant from any other network. Does this mean that Linkshare is not being targeted and all the other networks' merchants are fair game?

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I was just noticing the same thing, they probably have them on the exclusion list for now so that if Linkshare does testing, they won't find anything.
    But once the testing - scrutiny is over, they just remove those merchants from the list and they are fair game..

  4. #4
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    I agree that the exclusion list is mostly (or entirely?) LinkShare merchants. But 180 definitely has not put not all LinkShare merchants on the exclusion list. Plenty of LinkShare merchants remain targeted. Just 45 minutes ago I made a video and screenshots of TGW (The Golf Warehouse, a LinkShare merchant) still being targeted. I've seen plenty of other LS merchants targeted too.

    So, if I were a LS merchant, I would not want to infer from this thread that I'm automatically home-free. If my domain is on the list, then I'm pretty safe (from 180 targeting), at least so long as I remain on the list. If not, hands-on testing in a lab (with a network monitor, etc.) is the way to go.

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    If you guys remember, Stpehen announced that they had been working with 180 and 180 signed a new Addendum with them. While the agreement had been reached during Ben's first round of testing (end of June), they had not gone into effect yet. I would think they should be in effect now. What I do notice is that not all LS merchants are on that list. I'm not sure what that means except maybe they didn't list Merchant's they are not partnered with. That is just pure speculation on my part.

  6. #6
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Exactly Connie. As Ben says above they are expanding their lists of activities not reducing them as they keep trying to tell us and the Networks they are.

    Seems to me it is only us affiliates that can see through them, I'm glad I don't work for the Networks it must do something to their brains.

    For the life of me I cannot see how in the light of the information that has been released this last few weeks that any of the Networks can allow them to keep on stealing from us.
    Like we all say, once a parasite always a parasite.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  7. #7
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    - - - - -
    For the life of me I cannot see how in the light of the information that has been released this last few weeks that any of the Networks can allow them to keep on stealing from us.
    - - - - -

    Remember, Gordon, "they aren't bad.....they're just misunderstood." Are you ready for the Xmas shopping season glitches? Due any time now.

    Back on topic: If I was a linkshare merchant and NOT on that list, I'd be asking why I am not being treated in the same manner as my competitors, and who is legally culpable for the discrepancy.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  8. #8
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    quote:
    2) 180's targeting list has grown. When last I wrote, I mentioned a 166,000+ keyword trigger list. Now the list is up to 188,000+ keywords in length......


    Is this keyword trigger list viewable online anywhere?

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wonder how many seconds it would take to delete merchant names off the list and cue it back into the next autoupdate on the next boot. Not all those names are merchants so some infestation fee partners must be on there.
    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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    quote:
    Originally posted by emione:
    Is this keyword trigger list viewable online anywhere?
    It's on every PC with 180 Zango installed. I'd post it in full on the web, but the full list of 180,000+ keywords isn't what really matters. What could more helpfully be posted is the list of all ads targeted at all keywords -- all keywords with current ads associated, and what those ads are. Unfortunately it's somewhat more time-consuming to generate that list -- especially because it takes many hours to go through the list and figure out which "ads" are in fact redirects, frames, or other references to merchants' own affiliate links.

  11. #11
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    quote:
    It's on every PC with 180 Zango installed. I'd post it in full on the web, but .....

    Is the full list viewable if I was to install Zango on my test computer?
    Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm doing my best to learn and understand this stuff.
    And one other dumb question?
    Does this software like Zango have any type of virus like effect to it? What I mean is, I have a test computer, but it's networked with my good computer. Would downloading Zango for testing reasons infect my good computer?
    Thanks.

  12. #12
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    If you install Zango on a test computer, you'll find the keyword list in a file in your Zango directory.

    In my experience, Zango doesn't spread through filesharing or otherwise over a network, so you can safely install it on your test computer without harming your other computer. (Not so for all programs I've tested!)

  13. #13
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    Thanks Ben

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I wish someone would post the list.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  15. #15
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    SSanf, when you wish for "the list," wish list do you have in mind?

    The 180,000+ item targeting list is, unfortunately, not useful to post. Putting aside the extreme length, some other problems: 1) Lots of merchants and keywords are on the list, for "potential targeting" ("monitoring") but not or any actual current popup ads. 2) Of the popup ads that 180 targets at some of the keywords on the list, not all include affiliate codes. Indeed, most don't! Non-affiliate popup ads are probably of reduced interest to most ABW readers.

    If it were just a matter of linking to a file on a 180 web server, or copying a file from my disk to this board (or my own web server), I'd do it in a second. But none of these procedures would yield answers of much interst to ABW readers.

    What ABW readers want, I sense, is a list of merchants whose affiliate programs remain targeted -- like my double popup targeted merchants list of last month. I can make such a list, and I plan to, but it's many dozens of hours of work. I can't just "post it."


    My apologies if I'mve misunderstood the question.

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Actually, I target some very specific keywords that are relevant to my religious path. I wanted to know if these words and related products are targeted.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    What about affiliates domain/s? Is there such list for that?

    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  18. #18
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    The list of trigger conditions is just a list of strings (letters, numbers, punctuation, wildcards, etc.) to be checked against URLs. In principle, triggers can match against affiliates' sites as much as merchants.

    But recent experience shows 180's most controversial practice to be targeting merchants' sites with their own sites as reached through affiliate links. Targeting affiilates has been seen less, to date -- perhaps because it works better (more commission earned faster) just to target merchants.

    Do folks here remember the Gator Real-Time Testing system I put together last year? I've been thinking about making something similar for 180. Users would either type in a domain name or run a search for a trigger condition (searching against my list of triggers, as extracted from 180 files stored on my hard disk). I'd then send a quick request to 180's targeting servers and find out what ads might be shown in response to the specified trigger condition. If the ads were found to include affiliate links, I'd mention that for good measure.

    Obvious benefits: Increased transparency of what 180 does. Greatly reduced need to install 180 software on a test system.

    Obvious downsides: Risk of complaint by 180. Time required to design, build, deploy, and support the system.

  19. #19
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    @SSanf: There are several factors regarding first the targeted keywords and second whether an ad is actually shown or not. Everytime a computer, the software will look to see if there is any updates to their files on the end user's computer. I've actually seen that data file updated on my computer more than once in one day (most really suck some bandwidth). When I see a new data file downloaded to my computer, it means trigger keywords have changed. It's an always in flux thing what is being triggered.

    Whether an ad is shown or not also depends on such things as the advertisers budget, if more than one advertiser is targeting a particular keyword, and the built in timers of the software to name just a few.

    Think of it along the lines of if a PPSCE had a file you could 'see' which named all the different keywords their advertisers were bidding on. It would be somewhat equivalent to trying to figure out from just that list what ads for who and what order they would be shown based just off that list.

    @Nova: It is possible to affiliate domains to be targeted and I have seen this. As well as with other applications besides zango/n-case. There is not a "list" per se. You would just have to search the file for the domains you are interested in. I have done this for some affs in the past. But again the trigger list changes frequently based on what advertisers are targeting.

    I think it is also important to keep in mind that 180 has been making changes to their software and how it functions. Networks are making statements regarding about changes in their PSA/TOS/Addendums regarding what is acceptable and not. I noticed last night that one site which has extensively advertised through 180 in the past was down with just a splash page up (I have no idea if it has anything to do with everything going on with 180 at the moment or not and they do still have numerous other sites up). My point is that current behavior of both the software and the advertisers may be different at the moment from what has been observed happening in the past to some degree. Personally, I won't even be looking at the software again for a bit.

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