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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Got this email from one of my visitors. I don't have AOL so haven't checked it out yet. Here is the email:

    Did you know that for certain stores, the AOL browser takes over and knocks
    your logo right out? And the URL turns into a commission for AOL and not
    you. I used to have that linksynergy (spelling?) where you get commissions
    on the stores, so I know what the web address looks like when someone used a
    link from my account. I don't think it's right that AOL is knocking your
    commission out and theirs is taking over. Try gap.com for instance from an
    AOL account. Watch what happens to the url. Your commission number changes
    into AOL's commission number, along with an aol screen where yours was up
    top, as soon as the first piece of clothing is viewed. I wonder if you can
    do anything about it. How greedy AOL is. They have enough money as it is
    without ruining the business of someone else. People are clicking on links
    from your site and AOL is ending up with the commission. Play around with it
    and see what I mean if you or someone you know has an AOL account. I wish
    you luck if you try and fight this. It's not right at all.
    Jean
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif[/img] :eek:

  2. #2
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    I just tried and when using their browser if you click on an affiliate link, they have their aol shopping browser popping up over where the normal aol browser was. I don't know maybe someone else can take a look.
    Whoa, i just tried cling on a few different links:
    Best Buy seemed normal
    CCB Paris seemed normal
    but when i click on a Gap link the aol shopping browser pops up and when a hit the back button to go back to my site, i'm in the aol shopping browser frame.

    [ 08-08-2002: Message edited by: johnniebry ]

  3. #3
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    I am on AOL. I haven't seen any problems with any of my links but it could just be the merchants I am useing.

    I have seen though certain stores come up in the AOL shopping browser - but it has never happened with any of my merchants or from any affiliate link. Mostly it happens when I am doing a search on Google for something and click on the store - but not all of them. Actually it doesn't happen much. But then again, I hardly ever shop online - lol

    Vicki :-)

  4. #4
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    quote:
    Mostly it happens when I am doing a search on Google for something and click on the store
    Hmmm ... Google is now showing the results in AOL so many of us have seen a traffic increase lately ... in other threads people are complaining about record numbers of clickthroughs but no proportionate increase in sales ... Hmmm ... co-incidence? Hmmm ...

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    RE: Google/AOL--Dunno about that, I've gotten a fairly good spike in actual sales, not just clicks, since the AOL deal went through (except for today which is sucking).

    The speculation about the diversion only hitting *some* stores may explain it, though...maybe the ones complaining are promoting the stores that are being diverted!

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    johnniebry said in THIS THREAD that he saw a GAP.com issue.

    If anyone has any screen shots, videos or the like on any merchant who allows this I'll be on it like WHITE on RICE! Email or PM me if you want to remain anon, but I'll get this taken care of in a NY Minute if it is, indeed, true.

    Haiko

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    That other thread got closed before I got a chance to post!

    But I copied my response. Here's the paste:

    quote:
    That sounds really bad. I do not have AOL and I am glad I do not. However, a LOT of people use AOL. If AOL starts stealing commissions, the world will end for affiliates.~Witness


    Oh, it will not. Ever since I got into this, there has been one thing after another which supposedly would "kill the business" for affiliates. None of it has even dented it and a few AOL deals won't either!

    Most internet users use IE for a browser. Somewhere way down there under IE are Netscape and AOL, although I forget the order of popularity for those lesser lights...

    A few sites may have a majority of non-IE users, but that's hardly the death of an entire industry. Even those few sites would most likely say that NETSCAPE is their visitors' favorite, not AOL.

    Plus, AOL doesn't have deals with every place. The reports showing up here at ABW say that *some* stores show up with the commission-eater frame, but most others don't have it.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    If this is a copycat of Morpheus/Buyersport using a captive user base like the AOL 27 million users then it's time to crank up traffic to Haikos Parasite site. Now is a good time to make AOL come clean since they're under federal/congressional investigation for cooking the books starting with the TimeWarner merger. Over inflated revenues from Ad sales amongst other Enron/WorldCom type activity. They commanded premium fees from advertisiers and with CPM tanked they might have the darkside salesmen at CCJ -BeFree/ValueClick and LS pitching them on the virtues of shopping bar/BHO scumware thievery. The guys on cable channel MSNBC might be interested with running some AOL con-games, since they're owned by Bill Gates.

    If the merchant list on this ID# swapping parallels the Whenu/Morpheus gang then the evil force behind this are the ones brainwashing guys like Brook at Famous Footwear on the virtues of working with just parasite Duperaffiliates. Gap.com (BeFree merchant) is about bankrupt so they'd be first on the list of desperate merchants to join. If this proves out to be true with affiliate ID# swapping on e-commerce searches by a redirect and their AOL browser monitizes our ABW member site affiliate links then the war is on! This will spread to other SE portals and the affiliate networks will do away with any catering to smalltime publishers. The eyeball wars start with the fact that 95% of all web traffic come from 8 major SE/directory players..

    The P2P wanks with their FREEBEE theftwarez hijacked crowd added to BHO adwarez viruses all point to the abusive immoral nature of those in the online AD industry. The fact that affiliate marketing has refused to distance themselves from the industry that burned through hundreds of billions of VC funded .com bomb monies speaks volumes.

  9. #9
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    Just to add a little clarification -
    AOL is not a browser, it is the #1 Internet Service Provider with 26.1 million subscribers in the United States alone. AOL uses the IE browser.

    I downloaded the newest version of AOL and am looking for evidence of commission pilfering now.

    Here's a link to
    AOL shopping. Check out the A-Z store list. I certainly hope they are not hijacking affiliate links!

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Kat,

    quote:
    Just to add a little clarification -
    AOL is not a browser


    AOL has a proprietary browser!

    Haiko

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    quote:
    AOL has a proprietary browser!

    Haiko[/QB]

    Exactly, and on the computers page there is Tiger Direct, although it's not a bfree link, the computer geeks links are, maybe Andy can find out something.

  12. #12
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    It might be nothing. I had it happen for oldnavy.com and gap.com. But the same thing happens when i go straight to the gap.com and oldnavy.com site. Its just a shop@aol frame that has a search box with it. Just when Connie mentioned it at the start of this thread it got me a lil curious. I don't know much about this kind of thing. I;ve tried a few different sites, just typing the url straight into the AOL browser and just the 2 i mentioned above gets a little aol frame, so i think everything is ok.

  13. #13
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    You're both right, sort of. Try this: AOL is an ISP that uses a proprietary shell for the IE browser.

    (same way that Crazy Browser, Netcaptor and several other "browsers" work)

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    AOL and MSN (the IE browser owner=Microsoft)are at war with each other. AOL/TimeWarner own Netscape yet used a limited version ( low res -limited colors) of IE 5.0 for their internal browser. Most AOL users immediately minimize their internal crappy browser once connected and use IE 5.5 or above to surf the net as it was meant to look.

    I refuse to load the new AOL to let it install spywarez/Adwarez and it's proprietary dialer setup to Windows network connections section. Pain to remove. So you guys with AOL need to research this Morpheus/Buyerport look alike affiliate ID swapping feature before the merchant list grows. I don't put it past AOL to flood their normal 24.00/monthly accounts with spams -Popup Ads -monitized URL redirects to force them into paying a AD free -spam free version at 30.00 monthly.

    [ 08-09-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  15. #15
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Incidentally AOL will be changing from IE to Netscape (or maybe Mozilla) in the future.. this may actually be a good thing as most scumware targets IE.

  16. #16
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    I can't find any evidence of AOL 7.0 overwriting any affiliate links. Also, the aol shopping frame doesn't come up at all, though I recall that happening in earlier versions.

  17. #17
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    Scary. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] Truly scary. I don't have aol or i'd give it a try at connie's site..

  18. #18
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    quote:
    Most AOL users immediately minimize their internal crappy browser once connected and use IE 5.5 or above to surf the net as it was meant to look.


    Mike are there any stats on that? I ask because - anecdotally - I have not found that to be the case. However, I would love it if it were. I've had several support issues with my hosting clients not being able to use iMail from AOL; because iMail uses port 8383 and AOL blocks it from being accessible in the AOL shell. Once I tell them to minimize AOL and use the external browser, they are fine ... but most of them don't even know it's possible let alone do it.

    {

  19. #19
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    quote:
    . Once I tell them to minimize AOL and use the external browser, they are fine ... but most of them don't even know it's possible let alone do it.


    I have to agree, most of the people I know that use AOL only use the AOL Browser. Even after showing them IE they still resist.
    Cazzie [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  20. #20
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    I don't know about stats but everyone I know (possibly moe computer literate than average) who use an isp's special browser just uses it to get connected - then they go to usually IE but sometimes Netscape or Opera or whatever.

    My computer "B" uses Walmart (modified Aol browser). It and the other screwed-up-browser services I've used in the past (Juno, AOL something else) just got used to connect, then back to IE. Never even thought of using their browsers.

    There are programs out there (can't find one right now, dang it) that'll dig out the coded login and password so you don't even need to use it as a dialer.

    It might not be most people just using them as a dialer but it's a lot.

  21. #21
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    quote:
    Originally posted by jaybat:
    I don't know about stats but everyone I know (possibly more computer literate than average) who use an isp's special browser just uses it to get connected - then they go to usually IE but sometimes Netscape or Opera or whatever.

    My computer "B" uses Walmart (modified Aol browser). It and the other screwed-up-browser services I've used in the past (Juno, AOL something else) just got used to connect, then back to IE. Never even thought of using their browsers.

    There are programs out there (can't find one right now, dang it) that'll dig out the coded login and password so you don't even need to use it as a dialer.

    It might not be most people just using them as a dialer but it's a lot.



    edited for typo within "more computer literate" - couldn't leave that one alone.

  22. #22
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    duped a post again

  23. #23
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    According to AOL stats about a year or so ago, 70% of their membership didn't go outside of the AOL content and programming. They chatted emailed and viewed the AOL stuff.

    I hardly support these wanks after taking a decent company and running it into the ground but to me it doesn't seem to be their style.

    If a commission is being hijacked, however, I would see it happening if the buyer was using the AOL Quick Checkout, which stores the customer's billing info to make paying for purchases quicker because AOL does nothing for free.

    I am however surprised that at least one of the merchants that advertise on AOL, has not come here to say yay or nay to this issue.

    Mike
    PS - In my opinion, when going after merchants or dupers for hijacking, it is extremely important that we provide facts and not speculation or supposition to whip the masses up and into action. We need to make extremely sure that when we go after someone that we have conclusive proof of the infractions like was done in previous fights over hijacking.

    (edited to add PS)

    [ 08-22-2002: Message edited by: Dr. Evil ]

  24. #24
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Dr. Evil:
    According to AOL stats about a year or so ago, 70% of their membership didn't go outside of the AOL content and programming. They chatted emailed and viewed the AOL stuff.Mike


    That's interesting - about 25 million people right there who think they're on the internet but aren't.

  25. #25
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    Jaybat,

    That has been the key to AOL keeping folks around. Keep them dumb, make it super easy to use and you've got customers for life. I would love to drop AOL as my ISP but my wife, who just last week finally learned how to unzip a file and install it, thinks that AOL is the big bad daddy and wouldn switch if her life depended on it.

    Mike

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