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  1. #1
    Newbie bradmc's Avatar
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    Can they Leach onto a specific site?
    A question that bothers me lately...
    One of my affiliate sites is showing very erratic behaviour. This may be normal (changes in traffic, good days vs bad days, etc.) but the feeling always creeps in that this might be due to malware and commission theft.

    Question: can the bad guys attack a single site, or is this just widespread?

    To clarify:
    I know there are spyware programs widespread on numerous PCs, where if the PC owner clicks an affiliate link the link gets replaced with the bad guy's link. That's bad, but that's everybody's problem, and depends on te existance of spyware on the client's computer. This is NOT what i'm asking about.

    What i'm asking is:
    • let's say you have a site, X.com, which sells using affiliate links and is very profitable.
    • Let's say a Bad-Guy finds out you're profitable.
    • Can the bad guy install something some leach specifically onto your site, where every Nth click is replaced with the bad-guy's affiliate link?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    I'm looking forward to hearing the answer on this one.

    I do notice about once a week I get a spike on one of my sites where someone has clicked every single link, which is not normal visitor behavior.

    Does this happen to you very often? Is this likely someone going through all of my links and copying my stuff for their own site?

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You may be the victim of the affiliate marketing industries dirty little secret. Your fellow affiliates paying for a BHO train ride from the likes of 180Solutions/Zango and their copycats. Just install their BHO and Searchscout toolbar and click your links. See if your merchant or a competitor pops-up. Also check the target URL list placed within the theftware apps on your hard drive to see if your site's listed.

    Most BHO Super Affiliates,offering affiliates a keyword train ride , allow individual site targeting. Sad fact is the inhouse major network datamining reveals popular high commission earning affiliate websites. They then either sell this info to the BHO operators or use this info to empower their internal SEO/SEM and BHO marketing team. Amazing how these networks operate a competing SEO/SEM fee based service directly effecting the earnings of their domain bound affiliate base. This allows them to secretly bleed legit referral commissions, pad their Super Affiliates pockets ,while double dipping their merchants via forced cookie stuffing. you can bet the networks know every affiliate who stuffs multiple merchant cookies on thie sites PPCSE landing page using forced redirects.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    >>Can the bad guy install something some leach specifically onto your site, where every Nth click is replaced with the bad-guy's affiliate link?

    Yes, on a specific site.
    They can also leach from your cart as well.

  5. #5
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    I have noticed from my link log that two of the spider bots - one Google IP (66.249.70.78) and a Yahoo family IP range (74.6.67.xxx) follow my links toward CJ and LS for a total of 3000 bogus click-throughs per day.

    CJ does not see them or at least does not count them in my reports; LS does see them and counts them as click throughs (not helping my stats). Most of the Yahoo and Google spiders do not perform this way - strange

    Charles

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    No, parasites work by installing themselves on consumers' computers, not on web sites. Once they're on consumers' computers, they target everything they can, which may include your site (but will likely just include "merchant" sites, which will affect you just the same). Only those consumers whose computers are infected by these parasites are affected.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Bumping this old thread because I have a similar question. A couple of my merchants get hundreds of clicks and no sales. The clicks stop if I rename the page or put identical but competing merchants' links in the same place. What would cause that? A few days after renaming the page the clicks start up again, build to the former level and stop immediately again if I rename the page. Renaming the page wouldn't stop ordinary browsing or surfing, only targeted visitors I think. It isn't thousands a day but it is a noticeable pattern. It makes no difference whether the links are php redirects or straight ugly links. I don't see this 'pattern' on the same merchants links on my other sites. Just curious about somthing that doesn't look right.

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's probably just bots trying to spider your links. Check your logs and block the ones doing that.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Thanks Michael,
    I have been checking through the access logs and the only bots comining in are google, yahoo and msn. I use both the robots.txt and .htaccess files to keep out the unwelcome spiders. G, Y & M all have instructions to ignore .gif, .jpg and .php files. It just doesn't make sense to see 10 or 20 or 30 clicks a day on one particular link. I check through using the SAS 'Daily Stats' feature and then look through my access logs. Occasionally a 'new' bot shows up but they "GET" a page and that's it. I just keep moving things around, actual people can find what they want easily but not programmed things.

  10. #10
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    A couple of months ago I switched to Hostmonster's inhouse program instead of CJ links, and most of the traffic I got through them was from bots (they show you the ip address of each "click"). It would be nice to have that level of visibility with CJ, otherwise there's no way to know if the clicks are from people or bots.

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