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Is it okay to let affiliates change links or not?

Sarah Prater

New Member
I have recently read about the July Google alogorthm change with the implementation of the quality score and all.

In the week before I read that affiliate managers should create content links so that affiliates can easily create "content-rich" sites that will do better in natural and ppc search rankings.

Then - with the duplicate content aspect of the Google quality score the issue of content links being detrimnetal to affiliate rankings was suggested.

One very well-known super affiliate suggested in a recorded teleconference that one way to get around the prblem is to have your affiliates change the content links.

However, today I go back sifting through forum posts and find this link to the DMA Best Practices where it says, "Altering of offers by an advertising or affiliate network is prohibited."

I have looked in the Terms and Conditions for other affiliate programs and found that many state that they do not tolerate publishers altering banners, content links, text links in any way.

I am confused. Is there something I am missing here?

Which is it - Is it okay to let publishers alter links or not?
 
AdCombo

Linda Buquet

Affiliate
affiliate
I'm not sure about all the ramifications of letting affiliates change their links.
Some very strong 'good' affiliates could have logical honest reasons for doing it.
But there are probably other things that bad affiliates could do if you give them the option.

I don't manage programs any more and have not managed any in CJ for awhile. There may be other good reasons affiliates may want to change links, but is it worth the risk? Maybe ask yor CJ rep for the pros and cons???
 

Nintendo

New Member
For Clickbank links, I change the links using .htaccess, for example

Options +Indexes
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^Dating$ http://XXXXX.XXXXXX.hop.clickbank.net [R=301,L]

domain.com/Dating

and then that URL redirects to the normal URL, to try to keep out spyware that changes links so they get the credit. Plus it also makes the links to the site not look like affiliate links. This is especially good with webmaster affiliate programs.
 

Teli

Affiliate
affiliate
Hi Sarah,
It's not HTML, it's Apache mod_rewrite code (it's the stuff that belongs in an .htaccess file) :)

~ Teli
 

Teli

Affiliate
affiliate
I should also, probably, mention that if you have a lot of affiliate links pointing to Clickbank, instead of filling up an .htaccess file with mod_rewrite rules, it may be a better idea to create a simple redirect script.

Example:
Create a file called 'go.php' or 'whatever.php'

In the file, add:
Code:
<.?php
$id = $_GET['id'];
header('Location: http://yourcbid.'.$id.'.hop.clickbank.net/');
?>

(I needed to add a period just after the < in the above example because it was having problems displaying. If you use the code, remove the period between < and ?php.)

Then, upload the file to your site and anytime you wish to link to a product, link to it using its clickbank name, like:

go.php?id=dating

will redirect to
yourcbid.dating.hop.clickbank.net

Hope that makes sense.

~ Teli
 

Sarah Prater

New Member
Teli said:
I should also, probably, mention that if you have a lot of affiliate links pointing to Clickbank, instead of filling up an .htaccess file with mod_rewrite rules, it may be a better idea to create a simple redirect script.


Teli,

It makes sense to shorten the code - and that this isn't html....a big duh! on my part.

But, wouldn't this work - even if I'm not working with Clickbank - couldn't I apply the same principle to say, CJ links?

Forgive my coding ignorance....thanks for your experitse.

-Sarah
 

Teli

Affiliate
affiliate
No problem Sarah, there's nothing to forgive :)

And yes, you're right in assuming that this could work with other affiliates as long as they use a standard link structure.

I'm not sure, but I believe CJ uses somewhat dynamic links, so it wouldn't necessarily work with them. However, Share-a-sale does and it's the same technique I use on my datafeed and SAS affiliate sites.

~ Teli "Always willing to help whenever I can" Adlam :)

P.S. You can also combine this with mod_rewrite to produce clean URLs, for instance /go/dating/ instead of go.php?id=dating

Code:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^go/([^/]+)/?$ /go.php?id=$1 [L]

With a little creativity, you can create a custom redirect script for each affiliate program and a custom mod_rewrite rule.
 

Nintendo

New Member
For Clickbank, I made an affiliates.domain.com page and for .htaccess I got

Options +Indexes
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ([0-9a-zA-Z]+)$ http://$1.MYID.hop.clickbank.net [R=301,L]

so then the affiliates can link to

affiliates.domain.com/affiliateid

and then get redirected to Clickbanks URL, to help keep spyware out. That code will cover all affiliates.

([0-9a-zA-Z]+) will allow you to still have an index page talking about the affiliate program, since it has a period in the URL, while affiliate IDs are only letters and numbers, so that code won't mess with the index page or any URL that has something that's not a period or number.
 
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