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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    What consititutes a LEGITIMATE Click?
    (Yes/blatant attempt to let the name-calling thread die)

    MY Definition:

    Hovering a mouse over a link on an affiliate site, where a visitor has the expectation of having ONE browser window go to a specific merchant (As in "Click here for Wal-Mart")

    or having the expectation of having ONE browser window that goes to a particular product, as in "Click here to buy this product"

    and the visitor CLICKS the mouse, and is either taken to the merchant or a product - in either the same browser window, or a new one

    Can another window be popped by the visitor's ONE click?

    IMO, yes, if it pops up something like a relevent coupon a customer can use.

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Good thread, Billy. A clear definition (not necessarily concise or eloquent, but clear) is definitely needed.

    Geno

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    I think a legit click is one that happens when a customer actually clicks the link, banner or product image only. No other scrolling menus, or pop-up should set a new cookie on the customer coming from another location or is viewing a page on one site or accidentally went to a site and received a forced cookie or click once there.

    If you are coming from any search engine, from another affiliate site or any other channel and land on a different affiliate site, there should be no pop-up or anything that automatically forces a click or cookie to be set by that new site or particular affiliate.

    There could have been no rules set in place or perhaps not sure what rules and so many variations and scenarios can be said of what should be allowed but basically this should not be allowed by any network or merchant and that 'rule' if it does not exist now it should be in place.

    Anything else I think makes it unfair pratice and for the previous affiliate.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    i'm nitpicking for fun here...

    mouse in your definition won't work, there are other ways to "click" things, like touch screens, handicap access devices and hyperlinks that aren't conventional text or banner links in the first place (like a domain name you have to type in, printed on a direct mailer piece that can be programmed to be redirected in many ways)...

  5. #5
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Hovering a mouse over a link on an affiliate site, where a visitor has the expectation of having ONE browser window go to a specific merchant (As in "Click here for Wal-Mart")

    or having the expectation of having ONE browser window that goes to a particular product, as in "Click here to buy this product"
    Are you saying this is the definition of those times when they expect to go to only one site? And there's more to define when there's more than one destination expected? Or are you saying the definition of a click means that there's an inherent definition that a hyperlink, whether it's a text link, banner / image or button or something else, must be, by definition, destined for one place only?

  6. #6
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Always the devils advocate Donuts, good points, I always enjoy your posts!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Do we not need to figure out a way to find out then what the visitor's expectations are first? How do we know that someone isn't expecting to go to the merchant site? How do we know they aren't expecting the merchant window to open?

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    When you open the merchant pop up are you showing the coupon codes on your site while at the same time opening a "convenience" window so the customer is already at the merchant? Is your intent to produce the cookie or to help the customer?

    Do you not satisfy the same customer desires by adding Click here to use this coupon code: "XXXXXX" so you know the customer really wants to go to the merchant?

    We have never used pop ups but if it becomes the norm under any circumstances we would be foolish to not jump in there and start too. Right now, though, I think everyone should have clear calls to action so the consumer knows what they need to do if they want to go to a merchant site.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    These definitions still don't cover deceptive clicks. I can't can't how many sites I've seen that have what looks like internal links, but that actually redirect to an affiliate link instead. For instance, on one site I've seen, there is a list of merchants that the affiliate has coupons for. It looks like this:

    (Merchant Name) - 1 Coupon available
    (Merchant Name) - X Coupons available
    (and the list goes on)
    The ONLY links are the merchant names. But when you click on the merchant name, instead of getting a list of the "coupons available", you go to the merchant. It's just an affiliate link.

    So, is THAT a legitimate click? I think not. I think it's considerably less desirable than an affiliate site that opens both a merchant window and a coupon window when you click on a merchant link from an internal page.

    UPDATE: I've been contacted by the affiliate whose site I quoted. The site was supposed to pop up a list of coupons and the merchant's site (similar to what Flamingoworld is doing), but it doesn't work that way on my browser. I've removed the detail from the quote above at the affiliate's request.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; July 31st, 2007 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Removed Detail About Affiliate Site & Added Update
    Michael Coley
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  10. #10
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    These definitions still don't cover deceptive clicks. I can't can't how many sites I've seen that have what looks like internal links, but that actually redirect to an affiliate link instead. For instance, on one site I've seen, there is a list of merchants that the affiliate has coupons for. It looks like this:

    The ONLY links are the merchant names. But when you click on the merchant name, instead of getting a list of the "coupons available", you go to the merchant. It's just an affiliate link.

    So, is THAT a legitimate click? I think not. I think it's considerably less desirable than an affiliate site that opens both a merchant window and a coupon window when you click on a merchant link from an internal page.
    Yeah but in your example the links are merchant names... I would assume from the LINKS I see in your example, the merchant would open in a new window WITH another pop with the coupons in it, haha. Is that legit if valid coupons also pop? What a complicated web we are weaving... but I DO agree we need further clarity.
    Last edited by Anne; July 30th, 2007 at 06:23 PM.

  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Don't USE MY definitions... just trying to get a group consensus...

    so at some future date we can present it to Networks/Merchants

  12. #12
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    Do we not need to figure out a way to find out then what the visitor's expectations are first? How do we know that someone isn't expecting to go to the merchant site? How do we know they aren't expecting the merchant window to open?
    If the visitor is not already at the merchant site, finds a coupon and clicks on it and is directed to the merchant site, you just earned a legitimate commission. If the customer is already at the merchant site looks for a coupon and another window opens without a click on the coupon than I would say that a new window was not their expectation. Why would they need (or want) another window to the merchants HOME PAGE when they are already at the merchant site at a page of their choice.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    No, if they're already there and have things in the cart, they don't need another window - but aside from getting credit for being involved in the sale, how is any coupon site owner supposed to tell whether they are already at the merchant's site in anotrher window, or not?

    And, if they are at the merchants site already and are searching for coupons, might they likely be coupon sensitive / price sensitive shoppers and so the coupon site helped some, in closing the sale?

    I don't overvalue the work couponers do, but it's not valueless.

    This thread seems to be addressing the value of couponers at the same time it's inspecting what constitutes a click or cookie stuffing / forced clicks. Addressing both issues at the same time, won't lend clarity. I'm not avoiding the coupon issue - the same issue comes into play when ever there's two affiliate referrers within the return day window as well, so cookie writing questions apply to more than just couponing.

  14. #14
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    No, if they're already there and have things in the cart, they don't need another window - but aside from getting credit for being involved in the sale, how is any coupon site owner supposed to tell whether they are already at the merchant's site in anotrher window, or not?
    They can't, that's why a physical click not a forced click should be required. Most shoppers are savvy enough to know that if they click the coupon they will be taken to the merchants site. Most don't expect to be taken there when they did absolutely nothing.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    This thread seems to be addressing the value of couponers at the same time it's inspecting what constitutes a click or cookie stuffing / forced clicks. Addressing both issues at the same time, won't lend clarity. I'm not avoiding the coupon issue - the same issue comes into play when ever there's two affiliate referrers within the return day window as well, so cookie writing questions apply to more than just couponing.
    You're right, but I think the same thing applies on any site. If a user visits my site and clicks on a merchant link or product category I think they expect to see what I have to offer in the form of recommendations, comparisons and reviews. If I were to automatically open a window to the merchants site without the visitor actually selecting a product then I feel that would be wrong also.

    However, if it's OK for one type of site, it will quickly become OK for all sites and that's going to be a nightmare.

    THE BATTLE OF THE COOKIES! Coming to a web site near you.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    This thread seems to be addressing the value of couponers at the same time it's inspecting what constitutes a click or cookie stuffing / forced clicks. Addressing both issues at the same time, won't lend clarity
    I agree on that!

    They both may be related to some extend, but the issue of couponers, and the cookie stuffing or forced clicks issues, need to be addressed on different threads, otherwise it will all be déjà vu again, like in the previous years.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Can another window be popped by the visitor's ONE click?

    IMO, yes, if it pops up something like a relevent coupon a customer can use.
    So, the website is only worth if carries coupon? A privilege!
    IRS
    Don't ask why the ball doesn't come.

  18. #18
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    IMO a legitimate click is anything the super affiliates want.
    IRS
    Don't ask why the ball doesn't come.

  19. #19
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    If someone - including myself - gets to the part of the shopping cart where it asks for a coupon - i immediately open another window and do a Goog search for MerchantName Coupon Code

    So I was just covering my bases. Even my product/content sites include a current coupon right next to the product link

    So if I decide to take the coupon off my product page and make it pop when they click the product (not to set a cookie, that's set when they click the product link, just to save them from having to search later, I think that's OK)

  20. #20
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    So if I decide to take the coupon off my product page and make it pop when they click the product (not to set a cookie, that's set when they click the product link, just to save them from having to search later, I think that's OK)
    I do that with some of my merchants that offer freebies with a purchase over a certain amount that require a code. If my visitor does a click through to the merchants page I pop-up the code for the freebie so the customer has it handy.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    As for what a click is, I can't believe this is being debated! It's like asking what the definition of 'is' is.

    A click, for affiliate marketing tracking purposes, is an intentional user action made for the purpose of navigating to the merchant site.

    If a user visits my site and clicks on a merchant link or product category I think they expect to see what I have to offer in the form of recommendations, comparisons and reviews.
    On my sites, I think it's logical that if a link says "www.merchant-name.com" (or just the merchant's name) that said link will go to the merchant site. Nothing on my sites insinuates that there'd be a review, comparison, or any such thing about them on the other side of one of my links.

    I think the way a site is set up has a lot to do with where the user'd expect to end up. On a review site, it may be reasonable to expect a review. But when the link's in the middle of a sales pitch, I think it's a "well duh!" kind of self-evidency, that it's going to go to where you can buy the thing being pitched.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    When you open the merchant pop up are you showing the coupon codes on your site while at the same time opening a "convenience" window so the customer is already at the merchant? Is your intent to produce the cookie or to help the customer? That would be shopper friendly.

    Do you not satisfy the same customer desires by adding Click here to use this coupon code: "XXXXXX" so you know the customer really wants to go to the merchant?

    We have never used pop ups but if it becomes the norm under any circumstances we would be foolish to not jump in there and start too. Right now, though, I think everyone should have clear calls to action so the consumer knows what they need to do if they want to go to a merchant site.
    The norm is the shopper already has some item(s) in the merchants cart when seeking out a coupon. No way does and second merchant site window add to the shopping experience. Click the couponers link and your NEVER DIRECTED back to your shopping cart with coupon intact.

    Some merchants like Overstock have the coupons and special offers plastered all over their site and auto credit the rebate/discount from either clicking their sites promos or an affiliates link. Same result. Only difference is all my Overstock traffic lands (EcomCity cookie intact) on a product or category page of bargains. What are the odds they're come back to my referral page and click a coupon offer banner or a GoldenCan coupons special offers link.

    MY shopper gets one physical click, one cookie and one landing page. Am I wrong that every Googler and Yahooer also gets one natural SERP click, no cookie,and a landing page. Exceptions: PPC links where they can get all three, if an affiate is involved or merchant plants a house cookie erasing or negating the last referral cookie. Exception is the affiliate scripts a single/multiple cookie load from their domain's SERP and PPCSE landing page.

    Google, the world's largest advertising venue, restrict itself to one physical click generating one landing page. Only the mindset of an affiliate cookie trickster would try to game the one click one page rule expected by Google and their search customer.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    I've got issues with this thread

    - "What consititutes a LEGITIMATE Click?" is a BIG, loaded question, when you think about it. Since the debate arose from automatic cookie setting, the question should be what's cookie stuffing and what's not. So people can express that they think with examples and keep it simple and narrow.

    - Second, in the other two threads, there wasn't really name calling. Only Code Monkey went overboard and immeditately retracted. So there wasn't really a bashing, only pointing out and some passionate arguments. That's all!

  24. #24
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I think the other thread brought up FOUR issues - I picked ONE at random, because that's how my mind works (one thing at a time)

    Barring direct instructions from the Networks, my gut says it's one of those things we'll each have to decide on our own

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager 1av8r's Avatar
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    The ground rules for the AM sandbox has always been that if the aff's messaging can compel a prospect to initiate click through to the merchant site, then and only then, should that mutual cookie be set.

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