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Affiliates Forum

    
How to best to create a link for affiliates
philipd




msg:4019223
 8:12 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

I manage a website where we have a number of affiliates with our own home-grown affiliate software. We currently tell our affiliates to link in such a manner www.widgets.com/index.asp?affiliate=123 . Each affiliate is assigned a number, 123 in the above case.

I have two problems with this that I could use your help with..
1. Some of our affiliate links are appearing in the SERPS as widgets.com/index.asp?affiliate=123 - of course, we don't want this.

2. I'd prefer users not see the affiliate link and understand the relationship.

3. It seems using this style linking doesn't help us regarding link development either as Gooogle seems to treat index.asp?affiliate=123 as a different page than index.asp

Any ideas on how to handle this? I just don't have any experience with affiliate links and how it is done.

 

eljefe3




msg:4019382
 1:47 am on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are many threads here on WebmasterWorld where there is a serious debate about linking styles helping out the affiliate program themselves after affiliates did the hard work of getting their sites ranked.

I am sure there is some simple code that you can get someone to write for you to solve your problem.

philipd




msg:4019699
 3:41 pm on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

eljefe3 -thanks..I looked but didn't see much, I'll try again.

I get a sense you don't agree with what I'm interested in doing - but I don't think affiliates nor affiliate managers envision the result being searching google or yahoo for "widgets" and the first item being.. www.widgets.com/index.asp?affiliate=123 I don't believe that is the intent of an affiliate program..if it is then I'm out. What I am looking for is affiliates to create their own creative sites that draw visitors that might be interested in our products (and other affiliate programs if done correctly). The affiliate creates value by sending us targeted potential customers and we pay them for that.

ronin




msg:4020361
 1:02 pm on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

The affiliate creates value by sending us targeted potential customers and we pay them for that.

Yes. They can do that through organic results in search engines too.

I don't think affiliates nor affiliate managers envision the result being searching google or yahoo for "widgets" and the first item being.. www.widgets.com/index.asp?affiliate=123

Why not? Which is better: a potential customer searching for one of your top products and the top search result being

a) one of your affiliates; or
b) one of your competitors

?

I don't believe that is the intent of an affiliate program.

The intent of an affiliate program (as with all advertising channels) is to make more sales than you would otherwise make and thus improve your sales volume. The difference between affiliate marketing and other sorts of advertising is that you only ever pay for AM when the advertising results in a sale.

if it is then I'm out.

That's your choice - but it's quite rash.

What I am looking for is affiliates to create their own creative sites that draw visitors that might be interested in our products (and other affiliate programs if done correctly).

I think you'll find that's pretty much what they do. If Google then highly ranks their affiliate link to your site, your issue is probably with Google, not with the affiliate.

philipd




msg:4020402
 2:24 pm on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thank you Ronin..some food for thought, perhaps I was thinking about it wrong - I agree the goal is more sales. Ideally, my toughts on the affiliate program, is that affiliates would add incremental revenue rather than compete with us.

I'll give it some thought - I really appreciate your feedback. So..this is a common issue with affiliates / affiliate programs and the style of a link?

PHPcoder




msg:4022039
 10:58 pm on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

It it possible to do what you want without using an affiliate link as you stated.

Your affiliate needs to link to your site as normal [yoursite.tld...] .. the landing page on your site needs to retrieve the referer of the visitor, get the affiliates id from your database, set a cookie on the visitors computer with the affiliates and maybe signal in someway the visit to the affiliate system you have installed. however this might not be required until the visitor actually buys somthing.

You might want to consider setting the cookie to expire in quite a long future time because most earnest internet buyers will come back a few times before buying. they want to know that you are good for it and they need to build up a trust relationship with you in their own mind even if they dont contact you.

In this case you must track your visitor and tally them up with the affiliate that sent them

[edited by: encyclo at 2:23 am (utc) on Nov. 10, 2009]
[edit reason] two threads combined [/edit]

ChrisE




msg:4022206
 6:26 am on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you sure the affiliates are cannibalizing sales? Are you seeing decreases in "organic search non-affiliate" customers while at the same time seeing "organic search affiliate" customers increasing? Have you looked at your costs to acquire a customer through the various channels you use?

PHPcoder




msg:4022359
 1:23 pm on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

sorry for my duplicated thread. i did mean to post it in the correct thread but im new and didnt realise i had clicked new topic instead

philipd




msg:4024183
 1:45 am on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting thought PHPcoder..thanks for the insight.

ChrisE, I have not looked at the specific traffic, I'll look. However; if we used to rank for instance 3rd for a term and now 3rd is our site with the ?affiliate=123 - effectively replacing our own organic result then I can only assume the affiliate is benefiting.

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