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  1. #1
    Join Date
    February 27th, 2007
    Keyword Protection for Affiliates
    Hi All

    Have been using PPC for some time now as an affiliate to other merchants, however I never really thought about my PPC keyword protection.

    Is it possible for a merchant's webmaster to pull a server log of all keywords that have come via my PPC ads to the affiliate link i am advertising for the merchant?

    I know one can with their own website pull a server log of all the keywords entered into a search engine who have come to ones site, it might be different if comming via a PPC, but can this also be done by a merchant for all of their affiliates ?

    The last thing I would want is my merchant to have access to my keywords,
    what would be the solution to this if it was possible?

    Look forward to your replies


  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Winter Park, FL
    it depends on how you're linking, you might be appending vars, you might be redirecting through a page you own and more.

    remember that there are two pieces of info that they see...

    the url you're landing on (to which you may have appended vars that reveal information)


    the referring page's url (no redirect, can be like, can be mined from their site logs)

    so if you're concerned with them mining your keywords, choose your destination urls carefully (encode info that you can cross reference, but they can't easily cross) and use a redirect from your site if you want control over the referring pages url that ends up in their logs.

    largely though, you're worrying about a minor issue here - most of the time, people are too busy to chase you down and mine your keywords and targets... the only place this would really be an effective strategy is where they also know your returns (roi, conversions, etc), and they still have to track down your ads and guess at your bid amounts and more... so chose your tracking networks with care (i wouldn't use cpa networks without tracking obfuscation, but frankly, i'm the exception - and i don't use them anyhow - so i'm talking out my cheeks here).

    you're more likely to get run over by other enterprising affiliates than you are to get your keywords swiped (btw, you and no other affs "own" any keywords)... taking the time to obfuscate will slow you down (on analysis end of things) which makes you a lesser competitor... so keyword paranoia, while sometimes real, is more likely a self-fulfilling prophecy where you become the slower, smaller fish that gets eaten.

    good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    February 27th, 2007
    I see your point on not beeing to concerned about spending too much time on protection of keywords, however this might be a bit different where as I have been provided with an affiliate url link and a backoffice from the merchant who sold me the product at first.

    In the backoffice they provided me I can see my daily stats including visits/clicks, signups and sales and they pay me too of course. Obviously they can see how many visits and sales I produce, now as I am planning on beeing one of their top affiliates, I am a tad concerned they may be curious to know the keywords I am using to generate so much traffic and sales for their own PPC campaighs which i know they have set up.

    This is where my question came in " would they be able to pull a server log of some sort of the keywords comming to their affiliate page they supplied me through my PPC campaign?"

    As I have got an extensive keyword list that has taken a few years to build I would like to keep it for my eyes only :-)

    What would your feedback be on the above anyone?

    Thanks again


  4. #4
    Join Date
    September 25th, 2006
    if you are direct linking from the PPC ad, then yes, they can mine any keywords that you are driving traffic through.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 20th, 2006
    You could just use a redirect script and create a database of all your merchant's landing pages. Then, rather than directly linking your Google ads to the merchant's pages, just link to your redirect script.

    The merchant's logs will then show the URL for your redirect script and only your server logs will show the keywords.

    The aforementioned notwithstanding, I agree with Donuts, your energy is better spent focused on other areas.

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