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  1. #1
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    Time to give up on status bar rewriting?
    Another thread today mentioned the fact that IE7 defaults to disabling Javascript access to the status bar. Firefox has been doing that for a few versions now as well.

    I guess it is time to strip out all the "onmouseover" and "onmouseout" code in my links, since a smaller and smaller percentage of visitors will see their effect.

    Now my visitors will just have to get used to seeing a redirect URL appearing in their status bar when they hover over an affiliate link.

    I guess overall this is a good thing though, as I'm sure many evil sites out there probably used status bar scripting to mislead the user with more devious intent than merely cloaking affiliate links. As usual, the bad guys cause headaches for all of us.

  2. #2
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    That is a bummer to hear -- the crazy gibberish of affiliate links often can look scary & devious to web users! At least -as you note- it will mess things up for the unscrupulous.

  3. #3
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    The same issue is with new versions of firefox. I would rather have users see BLANK toolbars than xyzlasdf.com redirects.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    We've tested the theory of "user apprehension to redirects" and found that it did not cause sales to decline at all ... in fact, it was the exact opposite ... there was actually a slight increase during our short 3 month study.

    Particulary if the URL reads something like:
    mysite.com/recommends/blah-blah

    It's far less scarier then having
    sometracker.com/aff=0826974210170196&Program=1&c=promo|120x60|6754_merchant=s975685320
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  5. #5
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Guess you could use a PHP script to redirect the link and keep your visitors from seeing all that, there was a good thread posted on it recently...

  6. #6
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    DesignerWiz,

    thanks for chiming in with what you've seen ...about how many visits / clicks in the test case?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Hello mrbshouse,

    It took me a few moments to locate the study stats ... but here they are.

    50/50 Split Page Test
    Case Study: Oct 01, 2006 thru Jan 02, 2007
    Total Days: 94 days

    Unique Visitors: 22,842
    DUVA: 243 (Daily Unique Visitor Average)
    UCTM: 5,362 (Unique Clicks To Merchant)
    DCTA: 57.04 (Daily Click Thru Average)

    Stats below based on daily averages.
    TMP1: 21.46 (Test Marketing Page 1) = non-redirect link clicks
    TMP2: 35.58 (Test Marketing Page 2) = redirect link clicks

    The redirect link name format we used was like this example below:
    domain/pass/product-name-here.php (no &afsrc=1 was used or needed in this study)

    The redirect link also had a 2.86% higher conversion rate over the standard tracking link (after math completed - which was surprising to us) ... the visitors seen the same merchant product page no matter which split test page they were shown to initiate the click through to the product page.

    The biggest revealing factor in our study was the actual click through's to the merchant product page using a redirect name versus a standard tracking URL.

    A difference of 14.12 daily click throughs that equal a total of 1327.28 over the 94 day period.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Those are very interesting stats, thanks for sharing them. As to the original question, my version of Firefox just doesn't show anything in the status bar if javascript is used to override the default value. And I'd rather them see nothing then the affiliate link garbage. But with the stats presented by Ray, I may have to rethink my strategy.

    It's odd because I personally hate redirect pages. But I'm willing to admit that my opinions may not be reflective of the internet community as a whole.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  9. #9
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    Thanks very much for sharing the stats Ray. Quite interesting and helpful.

  10. #10
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    DesignerWiz,
    wow great detail on your study thanks for sharing that ;-)

    so it looks like a 40% bump in click throughs for having the redirect in place right? I wonder which is worst....having nothing show (if mouse over is suppressed) or having the long affiliate id? Wait a redirect is going to clear the issue up...derrr

    Great topic Bayview, but i'm guessing that it would be better to have nothing display than the long affiliate code...don't strip your code yet :->


    side note: DesignerWiz I did a search for &afsrc=1 and your 3rd! do you have &afsrc=1 within the redirected table or leading to it?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think this is for the best. I don't like to see status bar rewriting because it makes me feel like the webmaster is up to no good. Almost as if they've got something to hide. Plus it adds unnecessary code making the page more heavy. I'd much rather see an affiliate link.

    I believe the best reason to have a redirect is for click tracking. But if using one gets more clicks, great.

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

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    mrbshouse said: side note: DesignerWiz I did a search for &afsrc=1 and your 3rd! do you have &afsrc=1 within the redirected table or leading to it?
    It's a little early this morning for me ... I'm not exactly following what your asking in regards to redirect table or leading to it. (still drinking coffee & I only got 1 eye open over here LOL)

    The .PHP redirect manager CMS system we designed and used in this split test was actually added to AU utility site tools list last week (modified) .... and it does offer an on/off switch of the "&afsrc=1" append ... but the case study we did for the split page test was to a merchant site that did not honor/track the append so it was tested without that element.

    In regards to the Affiliate Anti-Ad Showcase Manager #3 listing. I better go update that overlooked page on our server .... the product was discontinued due to lack of interest and/or sales support from marketers. The script required us to update it periodically in order to keep on top of Norton and other security suites that removed marketing links, ad units, etc. from end users browser as it loaded the web page. We really would have loved to have continued to support the product ... but with no interest in the product it was a decision that had to be made.

    Back on topic: I would strongly recommend that marketers always conduct split page tests using multiple types of differences in their marketing pages ... from the headline titles, font styles & colors, redirects and non-redirect linking methods etc. to effectively guage what works best within your niche.

    You'd be absolutely amazed at how even a slight difference in a page can lead to a higher conversion rate. PPC marketers know this to be true from split testing their ad units ... the same rule applies to your marketing pages as well.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  13. #13
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    To simplify my gibberish above:

    A redirect would not only take care of the mouseover issue, but it may add to the overall click thoughs ;-)

    It sounds like you have a niffty tool there with the on/off switch and all, for the time being i just need to figure out how to setup the redirect to a table so that it works proper along the lines of

    onpagelink = domain/sku-redirectpage.php

    fed from
    table:
    column one column two
    sku affiliate link

    am i close?

    :-)

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I follow you now.

    Yes, you can easily create your own version of a redirect page that also embeds the SKU within the url path string.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  15. #15
    CPA Network Rep adFinityJoe's Avatar
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    I think this is a good thing. Unscrupulous webmasters tend to exploit this more than legitimate publishers use it.

    Especially in the "phishing" era, I think we can survive.

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