Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 26th, 2005
    Posts
    27
    Protection from Parasiteware?
    The following was in an email from one of CJ's merchants. Can someone please explain to me in easy speak...is the article saying if we merely add on the &afscrc=1 to links from cj etc, then parasites can't steal our sales?
    Thanks.

    Protect Your Affiliate Links

    by Shawn Collins

    The Web Publishers' Code of Conduct was created last year to help protect affiliates against ParasiteWare™.


    The Code of Conduct is intended to protect affiliates against the redirection of their affiliate links, and the system seems to be working. But there is one aspect of the new standards that you might not know about.


    If you redirect your affiliate links through META tags, .htaccess, or any other method, you will need to add a parameter to your links, so that the various adware applications will know not to pop up and take over your link.


    All you will have to do is add &afscrc=1 to the end of your affiliate links from Be Free, CJ, LinkShare, or Performics.


    According to the Code of Conduct, "This 'afsrc' parameter option is provided to address the case where affiliates modify or mask the links provided to them from the affiliate service providers and it becomes impossible to determine that they are affiliate links based on their appearance."


    For example, the link ClubMom uses to send traffic to the New York Times Home Delivery program through CJ is:

    http://www.qksrv.net/click-449199-2484376?SID=445622601

    If we were going to redirect this link, we would add the parameter from the Code of Conduct, and the result would be:

    http://www.qksrv.net/click-449199-24...22601&afscrc=1

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    If you use redirects, you should add it. The COC doesn't apply to LinkShare. If you don't use redirects and just use straight network links the parasites, i mean software publishers, are supposed to recognize it and not pop. But sometimes software has a mind of it's own and may glitch on occasion.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Airstrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    665
    Does this apply
    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    If you use redirects, you should add it. The COC doesn't apply to LinkShare. If you don't use redirects and just use straight network links the parasites, i mean software publishers, are supposed to recognize it and not pop. But sometimes software has a mind of it's own and may glitch on occasion.
    Does this apply to using redirects in PPC direct linking as well? If I use a redirect link in a ppc ad that links directly to a merchants page, should I still ad the afrc=1? And does that need to be at the very end or anywhere following the destination portion of the link?

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    I just love it when someone who manages an affiliate program chocked FULL of parasite publishers tells people how to avoid having their links popped on by parasites like he is really anti-parasite.

    And the afsrc=1 has absolutely no effect when the parasite targets a URL. Consider this scenario:



    • The customer clicks on your link to xyz.com/whatever.html and is taken there.
    • Within 1/2 a second, the parasite sees that their browser is on xyz.com/whatver.html and pops up a window opening xyz.com/whatever.html in a new window through their affiliate link.
    • The customer closes the window and continues the purchase with xyz.com, but the damage is done.
    The last affiliate to set a cookie gets the sale and the window that popped up opening xyz.com/whatever.html replaced your cookie with their's. You are screwed out of your commission, the customer is annoyed by a pop-up and some sleezeball parasite gets fat on your advertising budget or SEO efforts.


    Don't believe everything you read about how parasites do not affect the commissions of other affiliate publishers. 99% of it is spin put forth by managers of parasite-infested affiliate programs in an effort to get publishers who don't know the difference to put up their links. This only gives the parasites more food. Just my opinion of course.
    Last edited by UncleScooter; June 6th, 2005 at 07:17 PM.


  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Airstrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    665
    So this type of parasite
    This type of parasite would have to be installed or lurking on the merchants site to work, correct?

    And Uncle sccoter that was a well described scenerio, even I could understand..

    But isn't there actual hijacking of the link that can occur. Not the last cookie playing oput but parasites that can actually install a different PID for example?

  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    Quote Originally Posted by Airstrip
    This type of parasite would have to be installed or lurking on the merchants site to work, correct?
    No, this parasite need only be on the computer of the shopper. Merchants don't install parasites on their server. Parasites are software applications installed on the computers of shoppers, normal everyday people. Very often the application is installed without the consumer's knowledge.

    Ever seen someone with one of those pretty screensavers that looks like an aquarium? Ever gotten an e-mail from someone with those cute little smilies in it with a note at the bottom telling you how to get free cute smilies for your e-mail too? Those are perfect examples of how parasites get on to people's computers. These are two examples of how these cute, seemingly harmless, freebies are given away. But there is always something else in there too. It usually starts with a simple toolbar, but now the parasite company can communicate with your computer and can now install whatever application they want to without you knowing it.


  7. #7
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 19th, 2005
    Posts
    22
    CJ has an option to Encript link then link will look something like this:
    http://www.............../c7103ar-xrzEGKMHIFLEGFIMNNNO

    Will it be a solution for using links in any redirections or PPC?

  8. #8
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Edmonton Canada
    Posts
    5,781
    This is yet another load of double speak by Shawn Collins. The afsrc=1 does absolutely nothing to protect your links from the thieving b*st*rd parasites. This has been proved over and over again and certain people here at ABW have videos that will prove it.
    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

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    21,609
    Ahhh ....
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ... but Shawn said it was OK ... LMFAO ... the same ******* *** wiper who was running around suporting iGive [on his manager's only board] durring the .....

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ht=shame+iGive

    fiasco.

    What do you really expect from some one who skillfully "acquires" from infomercials?

    BTW Shawn ... aren't those gaudy suits a (C)? or can any _ _ _ _ _ wear them?

    http://www.affiliatetip.com/adserver...ontenttype=gif

    VS.

    http://www.governmentgrant.com/ Scroll to the bottom to see the nice orange suit usage.

    Who is the desiner of your ad that has been running over six months now Shawn? ... Martha .... um Stewart?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    The list of top 10 affiliate programs on that site is quite funny. The #1 program is associated with nearly every parasite in the book.

    What a piece of work!


  11. #11
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Ok, here we go again with afsrc=1 primer. That info from Shawn is somewhat misleading and the example for how to use it is incorrect. I actually contacted Shawn in the past regarding the proper use for his example and thought he had made the correction. But that was on his web site and maybe the Merchant had the old copy.

    Anyway, here goes (hopefully in easy to understand language):

    1. afsrc=1 is officially a part of compliance of software applications for CJ, BF and PFX (BF is who came up with the idea way back before they were even bought out by VC). Although not an official part of TOS for other Networks, my own personal experience from talking with other Networks is that if the afsrc=1 is present on a link, the expectation is that the software should honor it.

    2. afsrc=1 is intended to be used with server-side redirect links. Software applications are supposed to 'look' for Network affiliate links which are clicked on (ie linksynergy.com, qksrv.net, etc) and when they see these they are supposed to suppress the software from doing anything on the next URL that hits the browser (which would be the Merchant's web site from an affiliate link click-thru). When an affiliate uses server-side redirects (ie http://www.yourdomain.com/script/?linkid=123), the software doesn't ever 'see' the actually affiliate link as it is being called up from the affiliate's server through a redirect call. So in theory, the software application couldn't be 'compliant' by suppressing on that type of link which is clicked on because it couldn't recognize that a Network link (ie qksrv.net, linksynergy.com) was invovled.

    So it was said by CJ, BF and PFX that affs using server-side redirect linking needed to add the afsrc=1 parameter to their links which call the affiliate link redirect as a means for software to recognize it's an affiliate link in the clickstream and to suppress the software on the next URL in the browser (the Merchant's web site).

    So the proper coding example would be: http://www.yourdomain.com/script/?linkid=123&afsrc=1 or http://www.yourdomain.com/script/?afsrc=1&linkid=123 It is appended to the server-side redirect anywhere at the end of the server-side redirect link after the ?.

    If you use server-side redirects and append afsrc=1 to the Network link itself as in Shawn's example, it will not work. As the whole point is that the software isn't able to 'see' the URL's in the actual redirect itself.

    3. Shawn's article seems to imply that you will be automatically protected if you use the afsrc=1 code. That is the part I feel is misleading. The software has to be programmed to both look for and recognize the afsrc=1 parameter and then to suppress the software on the next URL hitting the browser (the Merchant's site). Just as the sotware has to be programmed to look for Network links and suppress on clicks from them. It's nothing more than a flag for the software to look for and say "ahhhh this is an affiliate link and I need not to activate the software."

    The reality is that is still up to how the software publisher decides to program their software. Some software will honor the afsrc=1 parameter and suppress. Some software will not, just as they will not if it's a straight Network link on the affiliate's site. Some software tend to be sporadic in honoring the afsrc=1 just as they are sporadic in honoring a straight Network link on an aff's site. The point is using afsrc=1 may give you some protection with some software applications, but it is not a guarantee as it remains dependent on the programming of each individual software application. It is certainly no magic bullet protection.

    It can give some protection but it is not total protection. Without it software will most likely surely redirect off your click-thru from your affiliate click. With it some software will not redirect off your affiliate click-thru or at times not redirect.

    The Networks have stated there is no need to append afsrc=1 to your direct Network link like in Shawn's example. The reasoning here being that if the software is indeed recognizng and honoring afsrc=1 then they would also be recognizing and honoring the qksrv.net, linksynergy.com, etc links.

    I've had some affiliates tell me they don't use afsrc=1 on their server-side redirect links because they are concerned that ad blocking software will also use the afsrc=1 flag to recognize it's an affiliate link and ad block their link. Some affs are using server-side redirects to 'cloak' their links from detection by ad blocking software. I've yet to see any hard evidence that ad blocking software are scanning for afsrc=1 like they do for Network links, but it could happen. Regardless, it is a concern by some affiliates so I thought it was worth mentioning. Especially since I have had Networks express the same concern to me if the afsrc=1 was appended wide-spread to all links especially direct Network links like in Shawn's example.

  12. #12
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 16th, 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    374
    Good detailed explanation, Kelly

    I'm new to affiliate marketing, so allow me to say something naive. I must be missing something here.

    I don't see the purpose for using it in links to redirect scripts. The redirect script will not pass it in the network link, so it doesn't seem to serve a purpose. Does CJ see it in the referer? I don't see how it would protect against parasites or how parasites could commandeer a server-side link.

    I can see why it would be worthless in network links, because it could only work if parasites were honest and followed the rules.

    I too would be concerned about ad blocking software detecting the name-value pair. I think that concern is legitimate.

    What are the downside ramifications of not using it at all in links to redirect scripts? Theoretically, these should not be detectable by parasites.
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
    [url=http://www.topranksolutions.com]Phoenix SEO[/url] :: [url=http://www.tech-evangelist.com/category/affiliate-marketing/]Affiliate Marketing Tutorials[/url]

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    changed my mind - deleted my post - read Kellie's above again - the answer's right there.
    Last edited by Donuts; June 7th, 2005 at 11:01 AM. Reason: i'm being redundantly redundant

  14. #14
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Tech Evangelist, good questions. Others probably have the same ones.

    I think your questions arise from a basic assumption (an assumption I have feeling many have) of how the parasites work: That they are targeting the actual affiliate Network link. This isn't the case however. What most are targeting is actually the Merchant's URL. Keep in mind I'm saying most.

    Basically they are programmed that when http://www.Merchantxyz.com hits the browser address bar to do their thing. The parasites for the most part moved away from commandeering the actual affiliate link quite a long time ago. Again, I get the feeling that many think this is still the case. What they will do for the most part is either a redirect through the original browser window after the end user arrives to the Merchant's site or popping up a separate window with their affiliate tracking code to the Merchant once the end user is on the Merchant's site. So basically, the original affiliate's click goes through, but is overwritten by the parasite afterwards.

    If you think about it from the parasite's perspective, they want to convert as much traffic as they can into potential sales for themselves for the Merchants they partner with. So setting their affiliate tracking/cookie at the time the end user lands on the Merchant's site is more efficient for them. Because it will encompass all traffic to the Merchant regardless of how the end user got to the Merchant. This is in contrast to targeting individual possible traffic sources to the Merchant such as affiliate links.

    So with all that being said, let's put that into context of your questions.

    I don't see the purpose for using it in links to redirect scripts. The redirect script will not pass it in the network link, so it doesn't seem to serve a purpose. Does CJ see it in the referer? I don't see how it would protect against parasites or how parasites could commandeer a server-side link.
    You are right, it will not pass to the Network link. It doesn't have to. CJ should see it in the referrer, but that doesn't matter to it working or not. CJ isn't controlling the clickstreams on their end. The control is put into the hands of parasite. Here are some clickstream examples of how it could protect and how server-side redirect links can be interfer with a server-side redirect link. Keep in mind the parasite is evaluating each URL that passes through the browser in it's programming logic to decide what action is should do:

    1. http://www.qksrv.com/yourPID (direct Network link on aff's site clicked) --> http://www.qksrv.com (server-side redirects on CJ's end which the parasite can't see but it could see the original call/click to CJ's servers from the click on the aff's site) --> http://www.merchantdomain.com (merchant's domain triggers noncompliant parasite) --> http://www.qksrv.com/parasitePID --> http://www.qksrv.com --> http://www.merchantdomain.com (parasite cookie is 'last in' and gets credit for sale)
    This would be a 'noncompliant' parasite who ignored the fact that a qksrv URL hit the browser and was supposed to 'stand down' at that point and disregard the subsequent Merchantdomain.com.

    2. http://www.qksrv.com/yourPID (compliant parasite sees a Network affiliate link..programming rules tell it to not activate on the next browser page load it can 'see' which is the Merchantdomain.com) --> http://www.qksrv.com (server-side redirects on CJ's end which the parasite can't see but it could see the original call/click to CJ's servers from the click on the aff's site) --> http://www.merchantdomain.com (Merchantdomain.com should trigger the parasite but it is suppressed because of programming in first click overrides the Merchantdomain.com trigger.)

    Your clickstream/tracking/cookie is not interfered with by the parasite.

    3. http://www.affsite.com/script/?linkid=123 --> http://www.qksrv.com/yourPID (but this is happening on the affiliate's server as a redirect and the parasite can't 'see' it) --> http://www.qksrv.com (server-side redirects the parasite can't 'see') --> http://www.merchantdomain.com --> http://www.qksrv.com/parasitePID --> http://www.qksrv.com --> http://www.merchantdomain.com (parasite cookie is 'last in' and gets credit for sale)

    In this example, the rationale goes that in the total clickstream the parasite had no way to be able to detect this was in fact traffic to the Merchant from another affiliate so couldn't stand down even though they wanted to. It's not the parasite's fault because the affiliate didn't use afsrc=1 so the parasite would know.

    4. http://www.affsite.com/script/?linkid=123&afsrc=1 (compliant parasite 'sees' afsrc=1 which flags the click as belonging to another affiliate ..programming rules tell it to not activate on the next browser page load it can 'see' which is the Merchantdomain.com) --> http://www.qksrv.com/yourPID (but this is happening on the affiliate's server as a redirect and the parasite can't 'see' it) --> http://www.qksrv.com (server-side redirects the parasite can't 'see') --> http://www.merchantdomain.com (Merchantdomain.com should trigger the parasite but it is suppressed because of programming in first click overrides the Merchantdomain.com trigger.)

    Your clickstream/tracking/cookie is not interfered with by the parasite.
    Example 4 is how it can possibly protect your server-side redirect link. Example 3 is how they can (and will even if they are indeed being 'compliant') commandeer your server-side redirect link.

    it could only work if parasites were honest and followed the rules.
    All of it only works if parasites are being honest and following the rules no matter how you are coding the links on your site. And then if they aren't what the Networks do about it enforcement wise.

    I too would be concerned about ad blocking software detecting the name-value pair. I think that concern is legitimate.
    I agree it is a legitimate concern. I just haven't documented anything to be able to say for certain if any ad blocking software actually do this and if so to what degree. I do think it's something I will start investigating so people can make a more informed decision in weighing the protection from ad blocking software against the protection from the parasites.

    What are the downside ramifications of not using it at all in links to redirect scripts? Theoretically, these should not be detectable by parasites.
    Again the assumption seems to be that since they aren't detectable by the parasites you are protecting yourself from interference by the parasites. I know some folks have put out 'cloaking' scripts marketing them as such. However, the reality is actually the exact opposite. Because they can't detect them, you are actually putting yourself at more of a risk for interference by those who are being 'compliant' or whenever (sporadic compliance) they are being 'compliant.' Again the parasites (in most cases) are looking for the Merchantdomain.com to trigger their tracking not a Network link. If and when they are looking for a Network link, it's to tell their software to stand down and not activate.

    So the downside of not using it at all in links to redirect scripts would be my example 3 is going to happen to your links. I have seen instances where a parasite will honor afsrc=1 just as I've seen times where they will not. I also know that several parasites themselves use afsrc=1 on their own links, so I would think there is some protection in using it. I figure these guys have a better idea in true dollar amount figures what is really going on with all the software redirects and such better than anyone else.

    So did that clear it up any or did it just confuse things even more?

  15. #15
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Hey Todd I see you are reading. Let me know if I got any of that wrong.

  16. #16
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 16th, 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    374
    All of it only works if parasites are being honest and following the rules no matter how you are coding the links on your site. And then if they aren't what the Networks do about it enforcement wise.
    That about sums it up. But is there ever any honesty with thieves?

    Thanks for further details. I didn't understand that the real issue is the commandeering of cookies, and not the link itself. That makes perfect sense.

    The world is now vastly brighter and clearer.
    Last edited by Tech Evangelist; June 7th, 2005 at 12:28 PM.
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
    [url=http://www.topranksolutions.com]Phoenix SEO[/url] :: [url=http://www.tech-evangelist.com/category/affiliate-marketing/]Affiliate Marketing Tutorials[/url]

  17. #17
    Affiliate Addict Robert484848's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    334
    Thumbs up
    Thank you Kellie!!!!
    That answers some questions I have had for a long time.
    All your work greatly helps some of us non-tech types.
    Thanx again
    winning is a habit unfortunately so is losing

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    April 18th, 2005
    Posts
    81
    So parasitewares are openly deem as acceptable ? Having it would upset affiliates more than comforting them. Like hiring of thieves to take care of security.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 19th, 2005
    Posts
    1,270
    Kellie aka Ms. B --
    Ok so should we add the code to our affiliate datafeed urls or not..??

    I read the entire thing and I still did not understand it all so I am reverting to the basics.. to add or not to add..??

    If the parasites themselves use the code then I guess that answers my question "maybe".......


  20. #20
    Marketing Mistress Lectrickitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 15th, 2005
    Location
    Broken Bow, OK
    Posts
    336
    Kellie,

    Thanks for all the tech information. I appreciate your patience and willingness to take the time to explain it thoroughly.

    I'm starting to get a better idea of what parasites are. Now I understand the importance of using parasite free merchants.

    Lectrickitty

  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Ok so should we add the code to our affiliate datafeed urls or not..??
    Depends on how the script you use to manage your datafeed codes the click URL on your web pages. Does it put the affiliate URL given by the Network or does it use a server side redirect?

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 19th, 2005
    Posts
    1,270
    Using an affiliate url straight from the datafeed..

    Thanks for the info Ms. B..

  23. #23
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Then in theory no, a 'compliant' application should recognize it's an affiliate link and thus there would be no need to use the afsrc=1.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,158
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    Then in theory no, a 'compliant' application should recognize it's an affiliate link and thus there would be no need to use the afsrc=1.
    Kelly,
    One of my sites was one of the sites Haiko posted last year when they were overwriting again, I used the properly coded url, but I had tracking code in front of it, and it was popping on my links. Nothing ever happened as far as I know, so whatever they were doing must've been okay with the network, so I have been adding it for the "next time" the application "works correctly".

  25. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 30th, 2013, 11:50 PM
  2. Need A Little Site Protection Help
    By ~Michelle in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: October 13th, 2003, 01:44 PM
  3. Parasite Protection?
    By John Kruger in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 15th, 2003, 02:34 PM
  4. Password Protection
    By MrLeN in forum Programming / Datafeeds / Tools
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: October 17th, 2001, 07:19 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •