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Newbie question regarding affiliate links

 4:52 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

The dumbest question is the one you don't ask, right? :)

I notice on CJ:

"Copy and paste the following HTML code into your web pages.
You must include all the above html in your links. Any missing html, including the image source, will prevent the link from tracking properly and result in a loss of commissions."

Is the above statement accurate in all cases?

Seems somewhat silly that I can't modify the HTML, or at least use the basic link in conjunction with my own style of text link (i.e. my own writing/selling style).

E.g. I don't want the "Widget12665" text description. I want "Buy Widget12655 now at XYZ.com!", or whatever the case may be.

If I modify, am I going to be burnt?



 5:11 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I modify them all the time with no apparent consequences. You need to be careful that the text still accurately describes the offer or the merchant may get upset. I believe they have that policy for two reasons:

1) so you don't rename an offer "FREE MONEY" and then the merchant gets complaints from customers
2) you don't break the link and tracking and complain to cj's support.

Avoid those and you are probably fine. (disclaimer: do this at your own risk)


 5:34 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Technically, in order for tracking to work you only need to use the qksrv.net/click link. In order to stay in compliance, you may also need to keep the same images or anchor text...however if you're making money for the Adv then odds are they will not care what you do with tracking so long as it functions.


 5:41 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most merchants don't care as long as you follow the spirit in which the link was intended, but every so often you come across a real stickler.

me: your link doesn't flow with my copy, there's no call to action ....

them: you need to leave the text as is or we will have to terminate your account ...

The situation described above should not be considered as typical, and your results may vary, please consult with a qualified affilate manager about the specifics concerning your particular situation.


 5:52 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies! I'm feeling a lot better informed now. :)


 1:20 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have always modified my affiliate links. Sometimes the CJ test links are way to long or just worded odd. I've never had a problem with a publisher.



 1:44 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd check with the AM to a) test their responsiveness and b) to make sure you don't get hit for things that you never intended to do.

One gray area where these links without images are used are in 1px iframes. Heard this was definately an issue with a large Amazon advertiser as mentioned on their forums.


 5:08 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I modify the affiliate links all the time with no consequence. You obviously need to follow some common sense guidelines that have been published earlier in this thread.

I also remove the tracking pixel with no consequence. I do this on one of my sites because it's a privacy concern (don't want third party pixels on my site). On another site, where I have multiple affiliate links on the home page from the same merchant, I've removed the pixel on all but one of the links. This eliminates the double/triple/quadruple counting of impressions and provides a much better picture of traffic and epm.


 12:59 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have never once used anything except the "raw" URL inserted wherever I see fit. No problems to report after years of this.


 2:55 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Much appreciated - thanks again for the great response. :)

Michael Anthony

 7:17 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just to add - I'm with mfishy. The raw link works fine. If the ridiculous "warning" scenario described above were actually true then nobody would get away with PPC direct to CJ merchants, which we all do all of the time!

Whether or not CJ actually know how most of their affliates work is an interesting question - I've recently had a call from a CJ "publisher development manager" who didn't seem to have the slightest idea of how most affs work. Still, provided they keep paying me and the tracking's accurate, which it ALWAYS is in my experience, who cares?


 7:26 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Michael Anthony said:

"If the ridiculous "warning" scenario described above were actually true then nobody would get away with PPC direct to CJ merchants, which we all do all of the time!"

That is exactly what I was thinking when I started this thread. Seemed totally crazy. :)


 7:36 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

My problem was with a linkshare merchant who insisted on using the exact wording provided.


 7:39 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)


I guess it is the merchants' right to do whatever they please. It does seem a little silly though. After all, if you're referring customers to them, and not doing anything unethical, why should they care what type of link you use?

If such a thing happens to me, I'll likely not pursue the issue - I'll drop the merchant and find another.


 8:27 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

exact wording

My guess is the share of sales from exactly worded links, excluding portal-ish partners, is no more than 10%.

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