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  1. #1
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    Landing pages for PPC affiliates?
    I am a PPC affiliate that uses Google Adwords to advertise for my affiliates, and for tracking purposes (where they come from and how I have have my ads land on a webpage on my website and refresh onto the affiliate link. I also do it this way so if I want to change what affiliate link I'm using I dont have to change my ads and therefore lose the history I have built with them (which means like, on Google, your ad builds its performance which like lowers the cost and stuff based on history) but now I am being told that these likes are forcing clicks? These links are not misleading at all, the only way they can be accessed is by following links on my website which are supposed to send you to the affiliate link anyway, it just sends you through my link first, and through google's ads. I mean this is not like I'm hiding crap on a page about cars or stuff to try and get clicks I don't deserve all this stuff is only accessible to those wishing to go to these affiliates sites in the first place. Am I not allowed to have stuff like this?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    You aren't forcing clicks so don't worry about it or what people have told you. A redirect is entirely different and your reasoning makes perfect sense.

  3. #3
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    at a minimum it's against adword policy of auto-redirecting or what ever they call it. CJ may have a slightly different view on it, but only slightly. I personally would not call it forcing cookies, but strictly speaking it may be...does the page get any nature traffic?

    Who told you you were forcing clicks?

    best bet is take them direct if you can, using the sid to track productivity using some sort of code that makes sense for you. By building a landing page (minus the auto redirect) with the text to support the offer you might even get free traffic later ;-)

    From the G
    We also monitor and don't allow the following:

    * Redirect URLs: Ads that contain Display URLs that automatically redirect to the parent company.
    * Bridge Pages: Ads for webpages that act as an intermediary, whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company.

    Technically that boots all affiliate revenue that links through tracking servers doesn't it? I'm guessing that would be at least 50% of their adwords revenue, so there is a fair amount of grey in that statement.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    at a minimum it's against adword policy of auto-redirecting or what ever they call it. CJ may have a slightly different view on it, but only slightly. I personally would not call it forcing cookies, but strictly speaking it is.

    best bet is take them direct if you can, using the sid to track productivity using some sort of code that makes sense for you. By building a landing page (minus the auto redirect) with the text to support the offer you might even get free traffic later ;-)

    From the G
    We also monitor and don't allow the following:

    * Redirect URLs: Ads that contain Display URLs that automatically redirect to the parent company.
    * Bridge Pages: Ads for webpages that act as an intermediary, whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company.

    Technically that boots all affiliate revenue that links through tracking servers doesn't it?
    Pure garbage... this isn't true at all. In ColeDow's case, the "display URL" actually matches the landing page, which adheres to Adwords policy, and the display URL never redirects. If the display URL was an affiliate page that automatically redirected to the parent site (i.e. the display URL differs from "landing page URL"), then you'd have an issue, but it's the "destination page URL" that's redirecting. There are 3 distinct URLs in adwords, but 2 must always match (display and landing).

    Bridge pages are where an affiliate sets up a page with only the link or banner showing up that serves no other purpose than to move the person on to the parent site.

  5. #5
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    "but now I am being told that these likes are forcing clicks?"

    Who? Is that a merchant or CJ or someone else? Usually you need a physical click.

  6. #6
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Pure Garbage? Not to throw fuel on a fire, but where does it say what his display URL is....where he mentions he doesn't have to change his ad?

    please tell me how a display url of advertiser.com could ever match a destination url of cj.anything when linking direct? even G's wording isn't truely enforced

    you said and the display URL never redirects?...isn't that what caused the question in the first palce? "my ads land on a webpage on my website and refresh onto the affiliate link" refresh...redirect you choose the word

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    Pure Garbage? Not to throw fuel on a fire, but where does it say what his display URL is....where he mentions he doesn't have to change his ad?

    please tell me how a display url of advertiser.com could ever match a destination url of cj.anything when linking direct? even G's wording isn't truely enforced

    you said and the display URL never redirects?...isn't that what caused the question in the first palce? "my ads land on a webpage on my website and refresh onto the affiliate link" refresh...redirect you choose the word
    Yep... garbage. Destination URLs never match display URLs for affiliates that direct link. Think about it. Do you ever see www.jdocyadare.com (or whatever cj url you want to pick) showing on Google ads? Nope! Because they don't require that the display URL match the destination URL. The landing page URL is different from the destination URL and that's where you're confused. His display URL never redirects. Google doesn't care how you get to the landing page URL as long as it matches the display URL.

  8. #8
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    "www.jdocyadare.com "

    That's not the destination url, the merchant.com is.

    "Affiliate Policy

    We allow affiliates to use AdWords advertising. Please note that we'll only display one ad for affiliates and parent companies sharing the same Display URL per search query. We also monitor and don't allow the following:
    Redirect URLs: Ads that contain Display URLs that automatically redirect to the parent company.
    Bridge Pages: Ads for webpages that act as an intermediary, whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company.
    Framing: Ads for webpages that replicate the look and feel of a parent site."

    He also didn't say he told him this. Was it Google, a merchant, CJ? He posted in the CJ forum so could be a CJ merchant or CJ themselves.

  9. #9
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketguyz
    There are 3 distinct URLs in adwords, but 2 must always match (display and landing).
    I guess I am confused, I only use 2 urls...not including the url where the ad is shown.

  10. #10
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    thanks for the responses guys, let me see if I can clear some things up. It was CJ that sent me the notice that I was forcing clicks (on wednesday and they havent responded to my follow up yet). Everything is fine with Google, my ad is legal, my display url matches my landing page. I'm not sure what you mean when you say natural traffic, do you mean like if people went to like coolcars.com or something's homepage and it went straight to the affiliate link? Its not like that its a page you could only get to if you knowingly wanted to go to the merchant's website.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "www.jdocyadare.com "

    That's not the destination url, the merchant.com is.
    Nope. The destination URL is the URL that Google uses to get to the landing page (i.e. display URL). The display URL and landing page URL have to have the same domain (so the complete URL doesn't even have to match). It could be merchant.com/products/blah/blah/blah.html, but you can have the display URL be only merchant.com. The destination URL is how Google knows where to send the click, be it through CJ's servers or an affiliate redirecting page to end at the merchant, or in most cases directly to an affiliate landing page that may indeed match this destination URL. The only restriction is that the landing page domain match the display domain and that's fact.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColeDow
    thanks for the responses guys, let me see if I can clear some things up. It was CJ that sent me the notice that I was forcing clicks (on wednesday and they havent responded to my follow up yet). Everything is fine with Google, my ad is legal, my display url matches my landing page. I'm not sure what you mean when you say natural traffic, do you mean like if people went to like coolcars.com or something's homepage and it went straight to the affiliate link? Its not like that its a page you could only get to if you knowingly wanted to go to the merchant's website.
    My guess is you might be doing something funny (intentionally or not) with your redirecting page. It can only redirect straight to CJ's servers. It cannot set the cookie on it's own. What is the code you are using to do this redirection? Several ABW members have posted the correct way to do this (appropriately).

  13. #13
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    ColeDow -
    "It was CJ that sent me the notice that I was forcing clicks"

    ticketguys -
    "You aren't forcing clicks so don't worry about it or what people have told you"

    case closed

    Cole needs to explain it better, what he's doing step by step. I read it as he has a Google ad, someone clicks it going to his site and he refreshes onto a CJ link instead of an actual physical click.

  14. #14
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    Am I not allowed to have stuff like this?
    NO, you're a cookie stuffer.
    "I have my ads land on a webpage on my website and refresh onto the affiliate link."
    You should let your visitor click on one of your links and not refresh to the merchant website.
    I agree 100% with CJ. IMHO, you should be deactivated.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    NO, you're a cookie stuffer.
    "I have my ads land on a webpage on my website and refresh onto the affiliate link."
    You should let your visitor click on one of your links and not refresh to the merchant website.
    I agree 100% with CJ. IMHO, you should be deactivated.
    I agree. You are not enticing a consumer click from your web site. You are taking the cheap and easy way out and I too think you should be removed from CJ and from Adwords.

    Try making real pages that give shoppers a reason to buy from you instead of stuffing cookies and essentially stealing from the merchant.

    I would suspect that CJ will reverse all of your sales (and rightfully so), so you might want to think about shutting down your PPC now and saving some money.


  16. #16
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    UncleScooter - essentially stealing from the merchant.
    Don't forget the other affiliates with organic traffic...

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    NO, you're a cookie stuffer.
    "I have my ads land on a webpage on my website and refresh onto the affiliate link."
    You should let your visitor click on one of your links and not refresh to the merchant website.
    I agree 100% with CJ. IMHO, you should be deactivated.
    Maybe I was assuming he was doing it through a php redirecting page, which is perfectly legitimate from CJ's and Google's perspective. There's a correct way to do this where it's no different than a search engine user clicking on a regular affiliate link that goes directly to the merchant site (which has been and still is a legitimate practice).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketguyz
    Maybe I was assuming he was doing it through a php redirecting page, which is perfectly legitimate from CJ's and Google's perspective. There's a correct way to do this where it's no different than a search engine user clicking on a regular affiliate link that goes directly to the merchant site (which has been and still is a legitimate practice).
    As long as the URL in the ad shows either the CJ url or the merchant's URL that is fine.
    When you send a shopper to your site via PPC ad or any other method, then transfer them to the merchant's site without a click, that is cookie stuffing pure and simple. It does not matter if you use a meta refresh or a php redirection. If you send them to a domain outside of CJ or the merchant's domain, then you are responsible for enticing them to click through to the merchant.


  19. #19
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    Exactly!

  20. #20
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    Wait but the ads that land on my webpage are ads for the merchant, and its not like they are reading content on my page or anything and then boom they're on the merchant's website, they click the link wanting to go to the merchants website all it does is send them through a page on my site to track where the traffic is coming from.

    I agree. You are not enticing a consumer click from your web site. You are taking the cheap and easy way out and I too think you should be removed from CJ and from Adwords.
    I don't understand this, how am I not enticing a consumer click? They click on a link advertising the merchant, and it sends them instantly to the merchant I gain nothing from this but tracking and not having to change my ad and lose its history every week. What is different from going straight to the merchant compared go going through a tracking page on my website? The page that redirects has absolutely on it, its there for half a second if anything. What is so cheap and easy about this? Again, I am advertising the merchant, the display url is for the merchant, Im not advertising myself and covertly sending them to the merchants site. I'm not forcing them to click on any link, Im not forcing cookies on them, they click a link intending to go to the merchants site and thats where it takes them, all it does is give me traffic info so I can see where the traffic is coming from and work around that.

  21. #21
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    If you're clean and blameless everyone knows it and no-one questions it - simple.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    >> I don't understand this, how am I not enticing a consumer click? They click on a link advertising the merchant, and it sends them instantly to the merchant <<

    The way I understand what you've written, which still isn't entirely clear to me, when a user clicks on one of your Adwords ads, they are redirected through your domain instantly (and then through CJ) and when everything stops spinning, they're on the merchant page.

    Is that correct?

    Now which of the following looks like your adwords ad?

    1. Display url your site:

    Ad Title
    Ad description text.
    More ad description text.
    www.yourdomain.com

    2. Display url the merchant's site:

    Ad Title
    Ad description text.
    More ad description text.
    www.merchant.com

    #1 is misleading the user as they think they're going to your website. The display URL must represent the final place where the user ends up. Tracking domains are irrelevent.

    #2 is the only legitimate way to do this through Adwords. If CJ didn't get to you first, then Google would have.
    Last edited by sjangro; March 18th, 2006 at 06:21 PM. Reason: typo

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjangro
    >> I don't understand this, how am I not enticing a consumer click? They click on a link advertising the merchant, and it sends them instantly to the merchant <<

    The way I understand what you've written, which still isn't entirely clear to me, when a user clicks on one of your Adwords ads, they are redirected through your domain instantly (and then through CJ) and when everything stops spinning, they're on the merchant page.

    Is that correct?

    Now which of the following looks like your adwords ad?

    1. Display url your site:

    Ad Title
    Ad description text.
    More ad description text.
    www.yourdomain.com

    2. Display url the merchant's site:

    Ad Title
    Ad description text.
    More ad description text.
    www.merchant.com

    #1 is misleading the user as they think they're going to your website. The display URL must represent the final place where the user ends up. Tracking domains are irrelevent.

    #2 is the only legitimate way to do this through Adwords. If CJ didn't get to you first, then Google would have.
    He already stated that he's using the merchant URL as in example #2 which is what I was defending throughout this thread. From what I can tell he has been mistakenly flagged and will be fine in the end. It's amazing that so many believe CJ couldn't be wrong in this case. They make mistakes like this all the time and leave the true parasites alone.

  24. #24
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Cole,

    Based on your last post, stating that your using the merchant display URL and redirecting through your server for the purpose of tracking (*and washing the click data - search string with keywords...reffering URL etc) the click, if CJ says it's a no no..i guess it is..for them at least.

    With this type of traffic just think how hard it is to validate where it actually comes from. It could be anything from black hat cloaking to parisite traffic. Talk to them let them see know what your doing how and through who...maybe there is a chance you can get an ok for such a set up....it's all about communication oh and that PSA thing.

    The bad thing is that you responded and have yet to hear back from them and that's not the first time i've heard that.

    If they give a thumbs down, try linking direct with sid codes that mean something to you, not the advertiser.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    I agree. You are not enticing a consumer click from your web site. You are taking the cheap and easy way out and I too think you should be removed from CJ and from Adwords.

    Try making real pages that give shoppers a reason to buy from you instead of stuffing cookies and essentially stealing from the merchant.

    I would suspect that CJ will reverse all of your sales (and rightfully so), so you might want to think about shutting down your PPC now and saving some money.
    Exactly how does redirecting from AdWords steal from the merchant?! Assuming the buyer came in on a relevant listing/ad, it's a buyer the merchant wouldn't have had otherwise. And, if it's the last referring aff, the buyer was obviously happy just getting to the merchant--which he/she might not have done if it wasn't for that ad.

    Purely as a merchant, I am quite dissatisfied with network prohibitions on this. A sale is a sale, and if an aff brought me the customer I am NOT going to p*ss around about whether they did "work" for it that someone else--for some unfathomable reason--wishes was necessary. My own SERP listings are at #100000 or so most of the time, so if an aff sends a sale it's probably one I would NOT have gotten otherwise (I've not yet had both my Oversure account, and SAS, claim the same customer). To me that's worth the 10%, and someone getting traffic to their own site via AdWords, and redirecting at me, is just as worth the 10% as any other way. It's still a buyer that wouldn't have come to me otherwise.

    (PPCers and redirectors, before you run and sign up with me--SAS disallows these types of redirects. So, they could reverse on you/kick you out, from the network level. )

    Affiliate-wise, the principle is no different than if the customer fished the link out of some spin before clicking it. If no pitch is needed, the redirected person will buy and that aff will be the one who sent the buyer--and the one who deserves the commission. If a pitch *is* needed, a simple redirect won't result in a sale, and the aff who did do a pitch will end up overwriting their cookie anyway (when the customer buys from the page with the pitch on it)!

    Enlighten me if there's some specific way (rather than "feeling" it isn't "right" or something like that) that this actually steals from anyone that I've missed. Because I'm not seeing it at all. Sure, the conversion ratio is often better if the affiliate puts up a pitch page, but being willing to accept the merchant's raw-traffic conversion ratio doesn't fit any definition of "theft" I know of.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

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