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CJ not using qksrv links when generating affiliate links
Attempt to combat ad blockers

 6:21 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I went and generated some new affiliate links tonight, and instead of the usual qksrv.net links I usually get, I got six and seven character length nonsense (ie. random alpha characters, not words) domain names (both .com and .net) - with a different one being used for the image and the actual link for each code generation.

I am not sure when the change was made, but it must have been recently because it was still using the standard qksrv URLs last time I generated a link.

This must be a step to try and combat ad blocking software, such as Norton Internet Security, from blocking any URL with the qksrv in it. A good move on their part, since the potential for lost income - for affiliates, CJ and the businesses using CJ - is immense.

<added>I see there is an announcement in the account as well, with a little more detail. All old links will continue to work as usual, but new links will have these new domains.</added>



 1:45 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are a few probles with this as I see it...

This will be trivial for Norton to cover in the next version of their software. Norton could update their ad blocking software on a weekly bases along with antivirus updates to cope with new domains being set up.

Users that have blockers that modify qksrv.net in the hosts file will still get blocked as all links still redirect via that domain.

Standard ad sizes will still be blocked.

The call back images that award commissions will still be blocked (I'm not sure what domain CJ call backs point to, but if they are qksrv.net then this change just gives merchants free traffic)

If the links are blocked at qksrv.net, then this change will just mean that the banners will show but not function, making it more likely that the user will go to Google and search for the merchant than use one of your other links.

This could easily start an ongoing battle between the ad blocking compaines and the networks which would harm the image of affiliate marketing.

Not a good move in my oppinion.


 1:59 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

This could easily start an ongoing battle between the ad blocking compaines and the networks which would harm the image of affiliate marketing.

I think it might bring affiliate marketing to the forefront. A good PR (non-G) campaign could really make the ad blockers look like the bad guy. Besides, there is already a battle going. Why do you think they did this? Doing nothing will let the ad blockers just run wild. They have to try something.


 3:25 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

An organized response with a significant public education component is needed.

If every site dependent upon advertising or affiliate revenue installed a program that was able to sniff for ad blocking and then launched a universally adopted page (let's get organized) that said something like

This website is only accessible without charge because it is supported by advertisers. Without our advertisers we will have no income to pay for bandwidth, web servers, staff, etc. Your computer has software that blocks all forms of ads on our website, even simple text ads. We don't use pop-up ads. If you want to view an ad free site click here to pay the enrollment fee. Otherwise, please click here for instructions about how to disable the ad blocking function on your PC.

When the big websites start taking this type of action it won't be long before Norton et al begin cleaning up their act. Blocking pop-ups is one thing. Blocking everything else is another.

One of the unfortunate outcomes of the dot com bubble 'we'll give it away for free to get traffic' era and the academic era of the internet and the file sharing era is the pernicious residua of thinking that because 'it's on the www it shouldn't cost anything'.

There's also a certain arrogance in one commercial entity - Norton - selling a product that defeats another commercial entity's ability to sell a product. Yeah, kill the pop-ups and pop-unders (do it at the browser level, please) but if you kill all the ads then maybe you kill the ads for Norton.

Okay, I can feel the drift starting to take hold. Sorry, that's not what this thread started out to address.

Besides, I ain't even in the game yet and I'm getting charged up.


 4:10 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

From the CJ Home area:

New Commission Junction Domains

To allow for future system growth and functionality, Commission Junction is expanding the number of domains we use to serve ads and track clicks. Your program(s) will not be affected and no action is required. Your existing links will continue to work as usual. Please note that all link code you obtain in the future, while using get links, will contain new domains.


 4:12 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

If every site dependent upon advertising or affiliate revenue installed a program that was able to sniff for ad blocking and then launched a universally adopted page

I think this would work very well, but the thing lacking is for one of the networks to provide the tools for their affiliates to do this. Many affiliates hardly understand how to put their HTML together and this is far beyond that.


 9:20 pm on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's true that Norton and other ad blockers could easiliy combat this latest move by CJ however consider your available options if you are an ad network trying to defeat this problem. Obfuscating domain names is one of the better solutions. At the very least, it's comforting to see support against ad blocking software. Also - Quinn Street has been using obfuscated domain names for some time so this tactic is not new.


 3:28 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's been a week, has anyone seen a bump in revenue?

I'm just getting around to changing my sites today.

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