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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Multiple affiliates, one URL
    Hi everyone, I have a question from a merchant's perspective:

    What is the advantage of 3 different affiliates signing up within 20 minutes of each other, and giving the same URL for their site? It's just a 'shopping mall banner site', but I don't know what the strategy is for this sort of thing. Is it a big deal to me?

    Thanks everyone for your input!

  2. #2
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Best to open a support ticket in the SaS system. If something doesn't look right, they will let you know. It may turn out to be something that needs to be brought to their attention.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    That would be a red flag to me. I would ask SaS to let you know where the traffic comes from for each of those affiliate IDs.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    hi
    I get that sometimers, what i figured out what it is is a shoppers mall template the url is the same at the front but most will have a seperate html
    ex. www.shopers.com/345.html


    No red flags but you can count on it that they will not produce anything other than adding an email address to your newletter.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  5. #5
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I've been getting the same thing. Most have a very similar URL, some have unique domains, but it's all the same site full of categorized banners.
    Last edited by Eathan; July 23rd, 2007 at 04:02 PM.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  6. #6
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Okay, this is getting annoying... What is it like 15 of these apps in the last couple weeks?
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    The issue here, to me, is not the affiliates, the issue is that some people are being suckered into buying these templated sites (banner farm crap) , and calling them sites is stretching it. It's maddening that people still take advantage of other people's desire to work on line in such a fashion.

    Brian as per my post in the Managers forum, can a mail be sent to these people somehow to explain to them that they are being exploited and will never ever get a sale from the banner farms that they are being sold.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  8. #8
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Chris, I completely agree if it's really template sites being sold to the unwary, but I don't believe it is. I've checked some of the IDs in the banners (other networks) in these sites and they've been the same for several different aff apps. I've also emailed some of the applicants without response.

    Obviously I don't have near enough info to say for sure, but so far they don't have the feel of newbies wasting money. It feels more like a single entity is behind the apps I've been seeing lately.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    If we've got the same template then you can trace back the "made by" links to the company that sells these "innovative" malls.... might be we have different people I saw a new template system today... maybe templated banner farms are back in fashion

    Could be some doofus creating multiple sites however the reason all the codes tend to be the same is that the template creation firm, often, not only sells the templates but also collects any commission from a set of core banners, the template buyer can add other banners too.

    All totally goofy and a waste of server space

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  10. #10
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    In any case, I'm with you, the whole thing is pretty silly. Banner farms, templatized or otherwise, aren't great marketing vehicles...

    Have a good one!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    template sites
    deleted
    Last edited by Richard - AMWSO; August 7th, 2007 at 09:00 PM. Reason: duplicate

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    template sites
    wow 9 new affiliates this month using template sites.

    www.megasavingsemall.com/rk7289
    www.allamericanemall.com/pe7480

    the only thing that seems to change is the ending after the /


    Don't know if they pay for them or not but am sure they are wasting their time.

    To me it appears they are all new to affiliate marketing as they have high sas affiliate ids.

    I agree with what Chris says;
    "Brian as per my post in the Managers forum, can a mail be sent to these people somehow to explain to them that they are being exploited and will never ever get a sale from the banner farms that they are being sold."

    Maybe a mass email to them.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I clicked on one of those (the first one) out of curiousity and it tried to set a cookie for SharperImage. I clicked on the "clothing" tab and it tried to set 5 more different cookies. I didn't click any banner, just opened the page. Isn't that what they have been discussing as "cookie stuffing"? Almost all the cookies were from linksynergy.com.

  14. #14
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    None of them have replied to my emails (sent six or so now), nor did the company behind the templates reply when I completed their "interest" form, so I'm still leaning towards it being one entity with a bunch of dummy accounts.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    BUT each one has a differnet sas affiliate id.

    So, Brian... are they the same person? as each as a diferent name but SAS would have info on them.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  16. #16
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    BUT do they all have a different SSNs/FEINs?

    Something about these acounts whispers "problem", but I can't point to the specific issue. Maybe 2busy has it nailed?
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Brian (SAS) should investigate these domains and associated affiliate ID's to find out if they're using a single payment address. The obvious cookie stuffing scripts are operated by a single enity regardless of Mall template owners. Simple to identify the templates in the SERPs and do everyone a favor... bann the template URLs from applying to SAS.

    Saves the newbie victims from expecting income from pushing these template cookie exploiters when they try to signup for additional programs and get a declined notice. Hopefully they as a group will tar and feathers the template sellers for fraud.

    Merchant Affiliate Network
    3115 Old Hwy. 41
    Kennesaw, Ga 30144
    866-468-4014 678-797-4014
    Fax Number 770 792 3726
    http://www.merchantaffiliatenetwork.com/about.html
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  18. #18
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    They are just people using a template mall site... not cookie stuffers or anything to worry about from what I've seen. Ecomcity is right in that malls often have problems with cookie stuffing but I looked at it from a few different angles and didn't see any going on. If that changes this would be a different discussion...

    If you don't want to work with them just decline the application - while I realize that there may be many of them, there is nothing against the rules about what they are doing - and it isn't harmful.... just not terribly effective.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  19. #19
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    Brian, did you only check for cookie-stuffing of SAS cookies?

    2busy, did you email Brian the URLs of the pages where you found "cookie-stuffing"?

    Brian wrote:

    > "They are just people using a template mall site... not cookie stuffers or anything to worry about from what I've seen." <

    But 2busy wrote (earlier):

    > "I clicked on one of those (the first one) out of curiousity and it tried to set a cookie for SharperImage. I clicked on the "clothing" tab and it tried to set 5 more different cookies. I didn't click any banner, just opened the page. Isn't that what they have been discussing as "cookie stuffing"? Almost all the cookies were from linksynergy.com." <

    This is a pretty clear contradiction.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I will go back and get the URLs. I am using Firefox with it set to request permission to set cookies so that I can clearly see (but can't screengrab) when they try to set a cookie. There are settings in IE that are similar for anyone to see the cookies requesting to be set. IF I did not have my cookie settings this way, the cookies would have been set, no question.
    Brian -or anyone- can adjust his cookie settings and click on the link just like I did.

  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    There are image cookies and there are tracking cookies. You have to do more than just look at your cookie folder to determine which are being set. It is quite common to get numerous image cookies from networks and/or merchants when there a lot of banners on a page. It's not cookie stuffing however. It's cookie stuffing when the tracking cookie is involved. I really do hate the term cookie stuffing, it seems to lead to so much confusion.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I just went back and no cookies were requesting to be set where I was last night. One did at http://www.megasavingsemall.com/rk7289/health.html when I clicked on the "Health" tab. It was one for something like "3daydietathome"
    I did not permit the cookies to be set so I can't examine them. I am not trying to cause problems for anyone, just curious about the cookie attempts.

  23. #23
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    Wow, I had forgotten all about "impression/image cookies" and "1x1 images." (How quickly we forget.)

    When I was working with BeFree and CJ, I always removed these from every link (I saw no reason to share my traffic data with my merchants nor with these unethical networks - they could only see clicks). For some of my niche sites, I also host all merchant images (only with permission, of course), which adds some work but reduces the data that I'd otherwise be sharing with the merchant and/or network.

    Since I stopped working with CJ last year, I haven't seen any reference to "impression images" or "impression tracking cookies" for many months, and I'd completely forgotten this abusive, obscene aspect of the unethical affiliate networks.

    But as Kellie notes, while I find these objectionable, they certainly aren't "against the rules" nor is this practice "cookie-stuffing."

  24. #24
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    2busy,

    They are cookies associated with the banners. If you run any banners on your sites, some are probably being set on your site as well. It is used to track banner impressions whether the banners are served up by the network or directly by the merchant.

    I just quickly checked a couple of the pages you mentioned. There are no forced clicks happening.

    These types of threads are probably best suited for the Managers forum, particularly if AMs are going to be posting affiliate URLs.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Good thing you had time to look Kellie, I know you are the one we count on to sort things out. Like I said I do not know the difference. My clunky newbie shoes sometimes take me off track, but it is curiosity, not malice that moves my shoes.

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