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  1. #1
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    why even use an affiliate ID in the URL?
    Why don't we just link directly to the product page or main page of a merchants site instead of having to embed our affiliate ID in the URL?

    The vendors site can simply lookup the referrings site and see if its a affiliates url, if so then track the sale.

    The only drawback to this approach is that the affiliates have to disclose all the domains they will be linking from.

    comments?

  2. #2
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    affiliatepopsicle - The vendors site can simply lookup the referrings site and see if its a affiliates url, if so then track the sale.
    You'll be starving the parasites by doing that. No affiliate IDs to overwrite? I'm not sure they could survive without stealing other affiliates' commissions. Too many check to write for the networks... No affiliates to brag about. They will not like it, either.
    If you limit affiliate marketing to affiliates with a real site and an URL, you're going to please Mike and Charly.

    I'm working this way with several merchants, no network tracking, no Google penalty. It works but you need to have your own tracking to verify what's the merchant is doing on his side.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    If you trust the merchant, then go for it. The advantage of the networks (in theory) is that they guarentee the commission as an outside 3rd party.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Not a good idea. The http referer value isn't reliable because some browsers don't report it to the destination site.

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

  5. #5
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    well you could at least have the OPTION of giving your affiliates the ease of linking.

    To verify the process is working, you could simply show a public affiliate code on the bottom of the page in light grey text or something.

  6. #6
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    Snib - Not a good idea. The http referer value isn't reliable because some browsers don't report it to the destination site.
    I can ckeck in real time my visitors info including Referrer, Host, IP, ISP... and I've more than enough stats with my traffic to see if the http referer value is reliable or not.
    Visitors with no http referer are not very, very few, less than 1/1000 for my traffic and anyway, you don't want them as customers. I even think their number is decreasing. I saw more a few years ago.

    I can live with 1/1000 of my commissions not reported.

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliatepopsicle
    well you could at least have the OPTION of giving your affiliates the ease of linking.

    To verify the process is working, you could simply show a public affiliate code on the bottom of the page in light grey text or something.
    Sounds good in theory and there is even a network that is trying it, however it isn't very reliable.

    Affiliate specific landing pages or carts, that would be reliable.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
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    >>Affiliate specific landing pages or carts, that would be reliable.
    that is more of the destination of the URL, is that still including the affiliate code in the URL?

  9. #9
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    Zeus, I checked this when linkconnector was bragging about their refer technology (they claim to be patening this by the way), and found the numbers way off from yours. In fact, way way way off.

    Just noticed i can't find their forum here, are they gone? They really didn't have a good tech grasp of the issues of the technology they were pushing and how it affected affiliates, so I am not surprised.

    Chet

  10. #10
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    I remember their forum and their "naked links"
    I didn't work work with them and I don't know how their tracking system works. I remember them bragging about helping merchant to get "page rank" from their affiliates. I didn't go further.
    I've access only to my own logs. Around 90 000 unique a day spread on several sites. Not much but enough to have my own opinion. My verticals don't include, adult, music, freebies, gaming, geek stuff... so my visitors don't have to hide their referrer or other info. I had a second look at my logs and I can confirm the very, very low level of unknow http referrer value.
    I don't say a tracking system based only on URLs is perfect but it will be an improvement if the networks were able to match the origin of clicks and the affiliate URLs.

  11. #11
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    "You'll be starving the parasites by doing that. No affiliate IDs to overwrite?"

    They target the merchant url/domain/site regardless of where the traffic comes from, so they won't starve. Actually removing the affiliate links and they'll pop more since they're not supposed to pop off traffic from affiliate links*

    *those that follow the rules

  12. #12
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    If they were not paid by the merchants (with the help of some networks) they will pop less. I can't imagine them doing something for free.

  13. #13
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    He's just talking about removing the affiliate id, not closing down the affiliate program.

    "The vendors site can simply lookup the referrings site and see if its a affiliates url, if so then track the sale."

    So the merchants still have a program in the example he is using.

  14. #14
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    I'm not talking about closing down the affiliate program, just removing the parasites from an affiliate program.
    Domain names are unique and can replace an affiliate ID.

  15. #15
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliatepopsicle
    >>Affiliate specific landing pages or carts, that would be reliable.
    that is more of the destination of the URL, is that still including the affiliate code in the URL?
    Landing pages and shopping carts that "belong" to one affiliate. No other affiliate gets credit for sales to that page. So I guess the term would be "white label" or even akin to drop shipping, but seamlessly. Orders go to the merchant and they know what site they came from.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  16. #16
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    Zues, for the most part i found the biggest problem with higher tech stuff that appealed to geeks, but there were still issues across the board. I don't remember where i saved my research, but off-hand, i thought it seemed not so bad on run of the mill shopping sites but really, really bad on geek sites. Linkconnector of course also required javascript for most sites, and that is another issue.

    Chet

  17. #17
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The vendors site can simply lookup the referrings site and see if its a affiliates url, if so then track the sale
    NOT "simple" to fish for particular sites out of a sea of log files.
    (1)Visitors with no http referer are not very, very few, less than 1/1000 for my traffic and anyway, (2)you don't want them as customers
    Numbered for ease of reference.
    1) I get tons of referrerless traffic to GoodBulbs!
    2) What?? Money is money! I can't think of any reason for a merchant to think a referrerless customer was any different than one that came through a link.

    Plus, I thought bookmark and type-in traffic was referrerless--not just paranoid people hiding that info. If someone comes to a merchant through your link, bookmarks that site, and then comes back directly, you'd lose out on the commish.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  18. #18
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    >>NOT "simple" to fish for particular sites out of a sea of log files.
    Its actually very simple, someone comes to the ecommerce site from example.com, you simply do a database lookup for the URL. If it exists, write a cookie with the affiliates ID.

  19. #19
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    Three Words

    Naked Link Technology



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    1) I get tons of referrerless traffic to GoodBulbs!
    2) What?? Money is money! I can't think of any reason for a merchant to think a referrerless customer was any different than one that came through a link.
    Plus, I thought bookmark and type-in traffic was referrerless--not just paranoid people hiding that info. If someone comes to a merchant through your link, bookmarks that site, and then comes back directly, you'd lose out on the commish.
    My type-in and bookmark traffic is not classified as referrerless, it's around 20% of my traffic. I can dissociate also traffic from forums, emails, social bookmarkings...
    The 1/1000 I'm talking about is traffic coming from anonymiser or other anon proxies or from people hidding http referrer with browsers like mozilla 8.

    "Money is money!" Not for me. I'm not going to accept anything for a buck.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    The 1/1000 I'm talking about is traffic coming from anonymiser or other anon proxies or from people hidding http referrer with browsers like mozilla 8.
    Just thinking long terms here, I'd predict that percentage will increase as people get more concerned over privacy issues and move towards anonymous browsing...
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  22. #22
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    Jason - Just thinking long terms here, I'd predict that percentage will increase as people get more concerned over privacy issues and move towards anonymous browsing...
    By a matter of fact, I'm seeing the oppposite. I've a dedicated screen with live information from my visitors, Contact, Country, City, State, Organization, ISP, Connection Type, IP , Host, host State/Province, Operator, Referrer, Browser , Cobrowse Support ... + all the information regarding the visit, SE, KW, Pages, Path...
    I see less and less people using anon proxies. I used to be p@ssed at ---- or ++++ or ????, or nothing in the referrer.
    I don't know why, but it's my experience.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Interesting. To me it seems that cloaking and anonymous browsing is just getting into the mainstream. Modern browsers are just starting to come out with features that really support this for the typical user. It'll take a while (and some sensational news stories like the AOL search term leak a while ago), but I think this will eventually trickle down to the average user.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  24. #24
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    Zeus, i think your results are atypical, it may be the market segment your sites serve.

  25. #25
    Newbie Mr. Krabs's Avatar
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    uum, Zeus,

    I'm working this way with several merchants, no network tracking, no Google penalty.
    :

    Don't want to sound dumb but can you elaborate on which Google penalty you are referring to?

    Thanks.

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