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When you become an affiliate.

... what kind of URL do you get?

     
2:29 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We are attempting to start an affiliate program with our site.

Problem is that mgmt doesn't want the URL to be given to the affiliate to have any parameters - eg. www.example.com/index.htm?affiliateID=231 whatever.

I kind of thought something like that was the norm. Just wondering what type of URL you get when you sign up to become an affiliate. I'm pretty new to this.

2:34 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Obvioulsy it varies according to the affiliate program, but I think you'll find most URL's are as you describe.
3:36 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Problem is that mgmt doesn't want the URL to be given to the affiliate to have any parameters - eg. www.example.com/index.htm?affiliateID=231 whatever.

That's the most common way.

Another common way, mostly used for co-branded sites, is affiliateID.example.com.

Yet another way is example.com/affiliate/affiliateID. You can do whis by either making a new subdirectory for each new affiliate or doing some server-side programming to parse out the affiliate ID from the URL.

4:30 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yet another way is example.com/affiliate/affiliateID. You can do whis by either making a new subdirectory for each new affiliate

How do you avoid duplicate content penalties with this method, assuming each directory has the exact same content?

5:34 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How do you avoid duplicate content penalties with this method, assuming each directory has the exact same content?

I would just use the directory for setting the affiliate cookie then redirecting to the main site. I certainly woudn't copy all the site's files into each directory (although I know there are companies that do this)!
5:49 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Problem is that mgmt doesn't want the URL to be given to the affiliate to have any parameters - eg. www.example.com/index.htm?affiliateID=231 whatever.

You could sign up with a network, then the tracking runs through the network site.

>>I would just use the directory for setting the affiliate cookie then redirecting to the main site.

Would that work for specific product or landing page links?

6:23 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I certainly woudn't copy all the site's files into each directory (although I know there are companies that do this)!

This is exactly what they want to do.

I was hoping to avoid bring in a "middle man" (network), but that might just be our simplest solution.

8:01 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Bringing in a network is by far the simplest solution, but it can also be done with rewrites to avoid having any parameters. I definitely wouldn't build a unique directory and copy in all the files. Aside from taking up space rather quickly it makes signing up affiliates a real pain. I would guess that about 90% of the affiliates that signup will never make a sale so it could be work for nothing. I have used rewrites on a site before to have domain.com/4DigitNumberHere so it is an easy site for people to remember and the site is built in PHP so I did a mod rewrite to make it pull info from a page that was domain.com/search.php?s=4DigitNumber.

Aside from the fact that a network simplifies this process for you, it also helps credibility with the program. Personally, I won't join an individual site's affiliate program. Ever. I will find a similar merchant in Linkshare or CJ because I have a track record with them and I KNOW I will get paid.

In addition to that they also help find affiliates for you. Have you thought about how you would market this to potential affiliates? In Cj your site would be on the main page after logging in for about a week to let everyone know about you. Just my 2 cents.

1:35 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How do you avoid duplicate content penalties with this method, assuming each directory has the exact same content?

This is exactly what they want to do.

Just manage the bots using robots.txt, noindex meta tags, and/or other techniques.

 

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