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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Red face Do you think link redirection really helps?
    I finally set up a free click tracker/redirector software, and it works like a charm.

    Since the pages I'm testing this with all have links that read something like:

    http://www.mywidgetsite.com/cgi-bin/view.php?id=33

    I'm wondering how well this might protect against parasites, as compared to regular old affiliate links?

    Do you think it actually helps anymore to have it redirected like this?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Animal Lover
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    Redirection helps by stopping Norton from picking your links out as affiliate links and then blanking it out so your visitor doesn't get to even see it if they have Norton turned on a certain level to screen out ads/banners etc.

    Also there was some discussion (jury's still out) - you'll need to search the forums here - about adding &afsrc=1 to the end of redirected links ie so that your link reads

    http://www.mywidgetsite.com/cgi-bin/...?id=33&afsrc=1

    which was 'supposed' to tell ebates and other parasiteware to NOT pop up because it's YOUR visitor. Some feel that having the afsrc=1 doesn't help ie they are going to pop up anyway, others say that it's like telling SEs 'hey I'm an affiliate - I use afsrc=1 on ALL my links'.

    cheers,
    Oscar
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Blocking Norton is good news! Didn't realize that would affect that. My clickthroughs seemed to have increased (on certain pages) since implementing this. Wonder if that had something to do with it.

    Yeah, I read up on the afsrc=1 thing-a-ma-bobber. Not quite sure what to do there yet, as I'd like to encourage the SEs to index as much as possible. Now that it is common knowledge, I wonder how many parasites really do follow something like that? If they're stealing money, why be honest in that regard?

    Thanks for the input, Oscar!

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    I wonder how many parasites really do follow something like that? If they're stealing money, why be honest in that regard?
    Many of the parasites do honor afsrc=1. The major networks require that the do. Many don't, though. I switched to using it last year. I can't tell that it helps much, but it doesn't hurt.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    I wonder if now, or sooner or later, afsrc=1 will be coded in to Norton etc. to identify them as affiliate links.
    I use it on some sites and do not on others, but I am very careful in my merchant selection for the most part.


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    I wonder if now, or sooner or later, afsrc=1 will be coded in to Norton etc. to identify them as affiliate links.
    I use it on some sites and do not on others, but I am very careful in my merchant selection for the most part.
    Great point - we will just have to keep close tabs on this one.

  7. #7
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Oscar,

    forgive me for mentioning the obvious, but Norton's and others block cookies not urls (except images) right?

    Got no cookie (regardless of redirect)...you go hungry

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think it's essential in tracking clicks. This information is very important to me for sorting products by most clicked, auditing click statistics within the networks and real time click statistics. Protecting against Norton is mostly a side effect to my primary purpose of tracking clicks to better organize my site.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  9. #9
    Animal Lover
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    forgive me for mentioning the obvious, but Norton's and others block cookies not urls (except images) right?
    This is an example of what your visitors will see if Norton is on their computer. It knocks out the urls so your link isn't there anymore...so no link for your customers to click. So you're right about them picking out the cookies but they wouldn't even have a link to click on.

    http: // www .5staraffiliateprograms.com/phillyblocked.html
    http: // www .5staraffiliateprograms.com/irvsblocked.html

    cheers,
    Oscar
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Oh. So it'll not only block links, but also the cookies? Yikes. Wonder if there's a way to get around that too. I suppose I've got the links part covered.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Hey guys, sorry to bump it, but the last poster brought up a great point. Aside from the wonderful data that redirecting can provide, can it actually thwart Norton at all? Does anyone know of a way to allow the cookie to go through (the links should continue to work fine)?

    I don't have Norton, so no way to really test it right now. Although, that's something I'll be purchasing in the very near future.

    Thanks!

  12. #12
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Is the "Norton" referred to here Norton Antivirus or Norton Internet Security?


  13. #13
    Animal Lover
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    I believe it's Norton Internet Security

    http: // service1.symantec.com /SUPPORT/nip.nsf/docid/2002090915444036?OpenDocument&ExpandSection=4%2C5&Src=w

    Oscar
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  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    The only way I will work on someone's PC with Norton Internet Security is if they agree to let me remove it. I tolerate Norton Antivirus and have it on my three.


  15. #15
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    Question re: Link Redirection for Tracking Clicks
    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I think it's essential in tracking clicks. This information is very important to me for sorting products by most clicked, auditing click statistics within the networks and real time click statistics.
    I have to agree with Scott. I was using http://tinyurl.com/ to shorten all links including affiliate links ... however, now I'm using a combination of this and internal tracking software.

    I found that several major networks weren't tracking the numbers right, in turn I dumped them. As an affiliate manager, I like to know how my own content is doing verse those in the network.

    One problem I was having, that I wonder if anyone has solved, is keeping track of clicks across campaigns.

    Some click tracking is done at Aweber and others through my ThirdShpere Hosting's Automation Station. Right now I hand enter everything into a spread sheet to compare higher traffic campaigns for best conversion.

    Anyone else have a best practice in this area?

    Sincerely,

    Justin
    [i]Always interested in great B2B affiliate programs that serve Sales and Marketing professionals. Private message if you have something.[/i]

  16. #16
    The Google-hatesme! Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    http://www.mywidgetsite.com/cgi-bin/view.php?id=33
    Since you're already using PHP, you can add all kinds of tracking on at any time which is a good thing. But why not throw in an .htaccess rewrite to make your links short and quotable like:

    http://mywidgetsite.com/p33.html
    or
    http://mywidgetsite.com/p/product-name.html

    Norton will never catch those as an affiliate links.

    Also, since you don't want to waste PageRank on your re-directs, you might want to add the attribute rel="nofollow" to such links. It does wonders for conserving your site's internal PageRank.

    - Chad

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