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  1. #1
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    FYI - Beware of Domain Masking
    I just got an email from Cj's Network Quality because I was using domain name forwarding with masking, and they stated that I was "forcing a click" by just domain forwarding/masking. In fact I emailed them a GoDaddy defination of masking and they still didn't understand. They told me if didn't remove it they would delete my account. I'm just giving everyone the heads up, because forwarding and masking is extremely popular, don't want to see anyone's account killed.

  2. #2
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaketheMoney
    because forwarding and masking is extremely popular
    It is?

  3. #3
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    It is for a lot of PPC users, since most of the advertisers won't let you use their Display URL you have to use your own domain, so usually people will forward it with their affiliate URL. Maybe not everyone masks the domain name, but it no way shape or form should it be considered a forced click.

  4. #4
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    An interesting subject to debate. I try to err by asking permission of such things that could be perceived negatively. Some merchants have given permission to do this type of forwarding (sometimes w/o constraints; sometimes as a trial basis); although it is always a matter of time before the G slap undoes the situation. Also, I always ask by email (vs. phone) so that there is a paper trail in case CJ contacts me (hasn't happened) or an AM changes. Bottom line: be upfront and get permission! Long term relationships are key.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTProf
    An interesting subject to debate. I try to err by asking permission of such things that could be perceived negatively. Some merchants have given permission to do this type of forwarding (sometimes w/o constraints; sometimes as a trial basis); although it is always a matter of time before the G slap undoes the situation. Also, I always ask by email (vs. phone) so that there is a paper trail in case CJ contacts me (hasn't happened) or an AM changes. Bottom line: be upfront and get permission! Long term relationships are key.
    I completely agree with you, it all depends on companys, and if they allow it or not. This was a company that does allow it, I got a separate email from CJs Network Quality department that stated this is a "volation of their Publisher Service Agreement"

    This is part of the email i got from them:

    "Clicks and Transactions are only considered valid when generated by an affirmative-action by a valid End-User/Visitor. Pursuant to the Publisher Service Agreement , Advertisers may charge-back (reverse) any transactions that were driven by a non-compliant promotional method"

    I find it comical, because how is masking a forced click? I sent them the definition of masking and awaiting their reply....

  6. #6
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    That's funny because all affiliate networks "mask" clicks themselves...

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaketheMoney
    It is for a lot of PPC users, since most of the advertisers won't let you use their Display URL you have to use your own domain, so usually people will forward it with their affiliate URL. Maybe not everyone masks the domain name, but it no way shape or form should it be considered a forced click.
    No... this is not how most people work. For Google, your display URL must match the landing page - No iframes, redirects, etc. The page that the user lands on must be the display URL. That means you must have your own landing page first. The way you're currently doing it masks where the traffic is coming from, which most merchants do not like, and are likely to report you to CJ for fraud (and probably did in this case).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    No... this is not how most people work. For Google, your display URL must match the landing page - No iframes, redirects, etc. The page that the user lands on must be the display URL. That means you must have your own landing page first. The way you're currently doing it masks where the traffic is coming from, which most merchants do not like, and are likely to report you to CJ for fraud (and probably did in this case).

    You are matching your display with URL with the landing URL. Do you know what masking is? Domain masking is when it uses a Frame to keep the the domain name in the address bar. I worked for a registrar for 7 years, typically merchants will post that they don't want you to use masking, in this case the merchant did not say. Masking is not iframes.... Google adwords and yahoo will allow you to have your own domain name forward to the specified location. As long as your display URL matches your destination URL there isn't any issues.

  9. #9
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    Also they didn't email me about "fraud" they emailed me because they we're stating that masking was a forced click.... Someone tell me how masking is a forced click....?

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaketheMoney
    Google adwords and yahoo will allow you to have your own domain name forward to the specified location. As long as your display URL matches your destination URL there isn't any issues.
    Exactly... shouldn't matter how you get there as long as you're not forcing clicks along the way (apart from the click you enticed with your ad).

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaketheMoney
    You are matching your display with URL with the landing URL. Do you know what masking is? Domain masking is when it uses a Frame to keep the the domain name in the address bar. I worked for a registrar for 7 years, typically merchants will post that they don't want you to use masking, in this case the merchant did not say. Masking is not iframes.... Google adwords and yahoo will allow you to have your own domain name forward to the specified location. As long as your display URL matches your destination URL there isn't any issues.
    Read Google's TOS before attacking my post - You're not allowed to frame another site (or iframe, same idea) full screen and still claim it's on the correct visible URL. Any human who would check that out from Google's AdWords team would remove your ad.

    As for the forced click, what CJ sees is that someone goes to your domain, and automatically gets forwarded on (or framed) to the affiliate link, hence, a 1 to 1 relationship. Since they can't tell you're sending clicks from a search engine, they think these clicks are forced, such as through a popup or something. Masking is the same method that affiliates using spyware use to try and fool networks about traffic origin - Bottom line, don't do it. If CJ's terms say you're not allowed to use iframes, take that to mean that you're not allowed to full-page frame an offer either. Don't argue with the idea, just follow it.

  12. #12
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    Hmmm... if I may jump in -- it would be very handy to have the terms mentioned here defined along with a clarification as the whether the practice implied by the term violates G/Y/MSN TOS and/or the TOS of major networks such as LS, CJ, SAS, Performics. For me, the exact meaning of these terms is pretty fuzzy and seem to be interrelated.

    Domain Masking
    Domain Forwarding
    iFrame
    Framing

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Joshua, thanks, I was about to sat basically the same thing.

    In addition, he's gonna get burned by G for trying to skirt their rules by using these methods.

    One question back to him/her clears things up about motive and purpose and ethics in play... why don't you just use your affiliate url as the destination url?

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    why don't you just use your affiliate url as the destination url?
    Because you'd have to use the merchant's own URL as the display URL for Google, and most merchants forbid this, since it can knock off their own search campaign.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    If the merchant doesn't allow you to send traffic directly via ppc, then your redirect is not only violating G's terms (for double serving) but the merchants affiliate terms as well. Grow some ethics, for your own sake.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Isn't Ebates a CJ affiliate?

    If compagnies like eBates doing the "toolbar" thing are not considered a forced click, why would MakeTheMoney's technique be considered a forced click ?!?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsol
    Isn't Ebates a CJ affiliate?

    If compagnies like eBates doing the "toolbar" thing are not considered a forced click, why would MakeTheMoney's technique be considered a forced click ?!?

    Diddo! That's what I'm asking. We can save the Adwords discussion for another topic, basically CJ was stating that I was forcing a click by masking a domain name. There is absolutely no way this is the case; unless you call someone clicking on my PPC ad "forcing a click". To me forcing a click is a pop-under, or cookie dumping.

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