Anyone using IAN have any suggestions on getting full property descriptions? Some of the data in the zip file on their site is truncated when the file is unzipped. Also, their elimination of linefeeds causes quite a few runon words.
Ask them if they will do a "special" data feed to your requirements. Acess is via FTP. They do them to your spec - you just have to wait a while ( quite a while!) after they have agreed.
I've used IAN with horrible support. Their support people do not get back to you in a timely matter and their affiliate sections have not been updated in ages (last update was early July).
I've started shopping around at other hotel affiliates like lodging.com and those people want my business. They even got a booking engine ready with my site's logo and some custom programming! Their support gets back to me same day and they are a pleasure to work with.
That is where I think I will go. They have a new program they are rolling out in Jan with better commission structure. Plus I like the PPC model.
I use IAN. After reading this post, I went to lodging.com and searched the areas my sites cover. The list of hotels returned was much shorter, so you may want to do some researching of this nature before deciding.
I am not saying that IAN could not be vastly improved, but their hotels.com datbase just seems to be much bigger...
Since you're using IAN, a few questions since I must not be using all their available resources.
I downloaded their very large hotel and descriptions files. In both cases, the descriptions were very truncated and not suitable for use. They are obviously the first few words of much longer descriptions I can see on other sites. How do you get the full descriptions?
Second, I noticed that they had special downloads for Texas and Florida. these were inconsistent in that one of them included one extra column after HotelID and thus would have required special handling to use on a site. Also, the instructions note that they are pipe delimited and base their instructions on this. A look at the file shows that they are actually tab delimited and thus, again, inconsistent with the main file.
An email to support gets a response wanting to know if I'm downloading and opening the files correctly.
Are you using these files found for download in their affiliate center or are you getting them elsewhere?
I really like the idea of a 40,000 hotel database but at this point I have decided the data provided is not worth the effort.
Would appreciate any thoughts on this.
They will create custom XML stuff for you, sticky me and I'll give you an email address i got from one of their people at last years Pubcon in Vegas.
We have been an IAN affiliate for 6+ years. The best way to get propery description is through XML. You have to sign up for it and have it approved, but you then get the full text (if any) for the property- basically the same as you'll find on their main sites.
It's strange that IAN does not give the full descriptions in the downloadable database, as they strongly discourage people from grabbing static data through XML.
On the tech support issue, they used to be very good, but have been poor the past few times I asked questions.
I wouldn't do anything other than XML with them. I'd also consider using multiple provider's feeds for maximum coverage.
They do need to update their website.
|I'd also consider using multiple provider's feeds for maximum coverage. |
Unless they changed their ToS, using multiple providers is prohibited if you're using the XML feed.
Then again, with their current level of support, it doesn't sound like they have anyone left to actually check for ToS violations.
Funny you should say that LifeinAsia, for the longest time I ran adsense on my IAN hotel results, Google had OK'ed it, then I had a support issue that it took IAN forever to respond on. They finally did, and when they did, they also disabled the Adsense and told me that it was a violation of the TOS...