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Build a New Affiliate Program?

Or modify an existing one?

11:55 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


My site currently has an affiliate program in place, using iDevAffiliate software. My main competitor has their own in house software and their affiliate links look like this:


123= their unique affiliate number.

I want to have a similar system rather than the way that my software currently links. I understand that this method would use the http request parameter. I'm not a programmer so I'm wondering how best to set up a new affiliate program. Should I:

a) Get a programmer to develop a completely new system with features I like from a variety of programmes.

b) Get a programmer to make some modifications to an exisiting piece of software such as iDevAffiliate?

I want to steer clear of the affiliate networks, because I don't like the 20% fee they take and the other costs. My site is in a niche area so I don't feel I need to be on a network, although I do see some of the benefits.

Does anyone here have any experience with building an affiliate system? Where did you find the programmers? Are there important factors I should consider?

Thanks in advance.


[edited by: encyclo at 3:03 am (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] switched to example.com [/edit]

2:40 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

Have you looked at some of the script sites for an off the shelf package that is ready to go? This will be cheaper than hiring a programmer to modify what you are currently using.
6:18 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have spent hours looking for other software options. Maybe I'm not searching on the correct keywords. I want software that uses a simple system which allows affiliates to display the link as above, with just a? folled by their affiliate number.

Nearly all the programs I come across use either redirects or long and ugly looking links.

12:59 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You may have implied that you don't wish to use redirects, I'm not sure. But if your existing package has links that don't contain random strings like MD5 hashes etc. you could manually redirect using a 301 e.g.:

http://www.example.com/?old_system_id=8294 -> http://www.example.com/?123

2:23 am on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

Do you want this because you are thinking that you will be getting some link pop from this, or do you want something like this just becuase you don't want ugly URL's pointing to your site?
2:45 am on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You'll regret it later. Every one of such links becomes duplicate content with the search engines.
4:55 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for your replies. Itís not for link popularity, because I donít think it would count anyway, due to the? in the URL. I want it to look like this because it looks better and this is how my main competitor have their links.

So, a text link to one of my pages currently looks like this:


Iíd prefer:


I donít understand why the second option would be classed as duplicate content, if the first one isnít? Could you explain a bit more about that please?

I also donít really understand the 301 redirect suggestion. Could you expand a bit more on that please? Would it mean having to make a 301 redirection for each new affiliate? Are there any disadvantages to this method?



5:01 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If your affiliate links redirect to landing pages then you should be fine regardless of the parameter structure.
6:00 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I'm not quite understanding you properly.

Let's say I have one HTML page called widgets.html, which is located here:


And I have two or more affiliates linking to this page with their own affiliate ID, such as:


Are you saying that this structure will be classed as duplicate content?



6:06 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

6:10 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There have been cases with URLs like you're referring to where the merchant's site disappeared from a search engine, being replaced by the affiliate's URL in the SERPs instead. That can make for commmission with every click that results in a sale, not to mention seriously impacting natural search traffic for the merchant's site.
6:17 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

But for tracking purposes people sometimes use URL's which end?source=google (or whatever). Do these also run the risk of duplicate content?


One of my current affiliates ranks no.1 spot on a few different search terms in the natural listings, particularly on Yahoo and MSN. And this is with the longer php type link. I pay him on these sales. I guess it means he is just better at promoting than me.



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