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Can I create my own links in Commission Junction?

merchant provided links useless, can I make my own?

     
8:44 pm on Oct 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Most links from merchants are ads for the merchants, unintresting. I wrtie info material about products, and I want to link to products. Unfortunately most merchants seem to use one link (label & id) for ALL products and then simply use the url parameter to point to the right product page. But this makes it hard to track.

I there any way I can define my own links? Create new link IDs and labels and then use the url parameter to point to the target page. So I can track products, or add positions or combinations of that, and improve CTR and conversion via split run testing.

Is this somehow possible in CJ?

Thanks,

SN

2:59 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You can add a 'sid' variable to CJ links - it's supposed to be used to track individual customers, but you could just as easily use it to track products. Eg

genericmerchantlink?sid=product1
genericmerchantlink?sid=product2
etc

The SID will show up in your transaction reports. If you also want to track EPC per product, you'll have to use your own click tracking script and match up the data to CJ's transaction reports.

3:04 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



A bit of OT.

I used CJ links in AdWords and had 233 clicks and CJ recorded only 67. How is that possible?

8:03 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)



I've had similar problems with two affiliate programs, and in both cases I reported it to them and they found a coding error, admitted that it was down to them and the merchant and paid me compensation based on my average for the month. Might be worth contacting them.
3:20 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Some CJ merchants let you link to individual pages. When you go into the "Get links" thing, look for something that says "Advanced options." Mostly, it's just letting you put in an sid, but sometimes you can also put in a full URL to a particular page.
10:44 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



you can ALWAYS use a full url. just add url= after the CJ link.

The question is to seperate accounting. It's kinda stupid to let the merchants design the links, as I haven't seen a decent campaign yet. All of htem are so full of themselves that they think the mere mention of their websites name will make people wanna buy "stuff". In reallity people FIRST wanna buy "stuff" and THEN find the merchant through the affiliate. And more often then not the affiliate already has done the job of showing the visitor the particular product, just to deposit them on the front page of a huge mall for them to search for hte product again? Stupid.

I'll try the SIDs soon. In hte meantime I mix and match whatever links th emerchant made, and ALWAYS use?url= to target the right pages.

SN

6:08 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



I used CJ links in AdWords and had 233 clicks and CJ recorded only 67. How is that possible?

Depending on your target demographic, you may run into many users who are unable to actually get past the link code.

What I mean by this, is that if they install Kazaa lite on their computer or certain other "spyware"(adware) blocking tools the links will not work. So they may be clicking on the links and nothing is showing up on their computer.

Here are some related posts:
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

One way I bipass this is to use the ip address of qksrv.net, which is 216.34.209.13.

7:31 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



All of htem are so full of themselves that they think the mere mention of their websites name will make people wanna buy "stuff".

If you designed the ad you'd put it in text/editorial and your goal will be to get the visitor to click on it. You have no incentive to promote their site/product to those visitors who are NOT going to click on the ad.

However, the way they see it is that they'd like every visitor to see the ad AND THEIR LOGO whether such visitor is likely to click ... or not. That way they get some sales which they pay you a commission for and they get a lot of FREE "branding" assistance for all your visitors who keep seeing their logo but which they never pay you for ;-)

(But that's the nature of the CPC advertising beast)

9:07 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Erm CJ ain't CPC it's CPL.

SN

9:46 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



typo. But it applies to CPC and CPL, same difference as far as the advertiser's free branding is concerned :-)
10:01 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



One way I bipass this is to use the ip address of qksrv.net, which is 216.34.209.13.

Werty,

That is very useful information, but can you please show someone who is not very "tech minded" an example of exactly what a link like that would look like?

Thanks for sharing this.

11:16 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yeah, I replaced all my qsrv (database driven) with the ip. I just hope there are no known side effects as It would be tedious to test them all.

SN

3:01 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



you can ALWAYS use a full url. just add url= after the CJ link.

Killroy, is this documented somewhere at CJ?

4:06 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



erm, honestly, I didn't check. But you will notice that most "product links" are "product catalog 1" and just use the url= feature to select the target page. Then I wanted to track two ads to the same item, a text link and a banner. I just grabbed the ID of a site link (not product link) and added the url= parameter. It works fine, tracks the two ads and I get a fair comparison of their relative performance.

SN

10:23 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



That is very useful information, but can you please show someone who is not very "tech minded" an example of exactly what a link like that would look like?

Allrighty...

You would go from
http ://www.qksrv.net/click-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXX?url=http://www.affiliates-site.com/unique-product.html

to:
http ://216.34.209.13/click-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXX?url=http://www.affiliates-site.com/unique-product.html

Make sure to test it at least once before you apply it to all of your links!

12:31 am on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That was easy enough... Well thanks very much, I will be sure to do that to my links as well from now on. :)
9:55 am on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Someone has reassurance from cj directly if this is supported by them?

I changed too, all tracking and activities look normal so far.

Good luck to us all, hopefully we could figure out something for the other networks as well?!

Cheers, Jens

1:37 pm on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Not from CJ, but I know merchants who provide the same schema.
7:09 pm on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



> http ://www.qksrv.net/click-XXX...
> to:
> http ://216.34.209.13/click-XXX...

Wow, that sounds crazy to me!

As I understand CJ tracking, no sales will be tracked then.

When the user buys something, the merchant will probably show a tracking pixel from something like www.qksrv.net/track.bla?merchant=123&revenue=456&orderid=789

Now qksrv will look up if there is an affiliate cookie.. and tada! no affiliate-cookie send from the users browser, because 216.34... cookies will not be sent to qksrv. just like webmasterworld cookies will not be sent to yahoo or sumefin.

If the tracking is done on the merchants server, it would be different. But as I understand CJ, the tracking is done by qksrv.

7:49 pm on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



From my understanding a cookie is assigned to the browser when it hits qksrv.net, it then redirects to the site and adds a tracking url.

The reason the image is used, is to track impressions of the ad.

I tend to push mostly through adwords and I do not use the image, just the url with the domain as the IP. My impressions are zero on cj, and my clicks(adwords, and CJ) match.

10:18 pm on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



> The reason the image is used, is to track impressions
> of the ad.

Well, there are images used to track impressions, but I was not referring to these.

So, lets try to figure it out without going into tech details... are you (or anyone here) making money by linking to 216.34.209.13? Would be interested to know. Because if that really happens, obviously CJ tracking works different then I thought.

2:18 am on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



Yes, the method of using the ip address has been working for me.
5:43 am on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I cannot even get to cj.com. I just get 404s. If I visit a site that has qksrv.net banners and images, all the images are missing. Some sites look like the owner accidentally deleted their images folder. It doesn't bother me because I don't use Commission Junction, so I've never looked for the source of the problem. But what if it's a widespread issue?

If I did use CJ, I would be looking for a way to check the percentage of my site's visitors that can't click through to the merchants.

12:45 pm on Oct 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Just got answer from cj regarding the switch to the IP:

/////////////////

[snip]

Sorry, email excerpts can't be posted.

The email basically said the links need to call qksrv.net to track, to not use the IP number.
-D

/////////////////

So, it means the IP switch does not work and if concerned about our users using the "wrong" tools, we should educate them and offer the recommended tool instead.

Cheers, Jens

[edited by: Drastic at 4:05 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2003]
[edit reason] Emails Can't Be Posted [/edit]

3:28 pm on Oct 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



Interesting...I will do a split test and see if either ad converts more.

Thank you for posting that.

12:51 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Todd from CJ just posted today that using IP instead of domain could cause numerous problems and should not be done and will not track right.

"slartythefirst 9:43 pm on Oct. 27, 2003 (utc -8)
I cannot even get to cj.com. I just get 404s. If I visit a site that has qksrv.net banners and images, all the images are missing. Some sites look like the owner accidentally deleted their images folder."

Chances are you either have Kazaa Lite, Norton firewall or Norton Internet security. They all block CJ. Norton is not just blocking CJ in the host file. It's blocking a bunch of other ways too. It blocks standard banner sizes and it blokcs images served by a 3rd party server that passes referrer info. So changing to CJ IP for this reason won't work anyway.

9:02 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Sometimes working on the internet can be very boring and stressful... there are always companies that try to rip you off.
Sometimes I feel that I should quit this, and work on a regular job... with a more stable monthly income.
Those Kazaa guys can be... I donīt even know what to call them... they fill their software with "suspicious"ware, but block (if not worst...) regular, hard working, affiliate links.
This doesnīt affect me, because I donīt work with CJ or regular affiliate programs, but I donīt think itīs right.
10:56 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



werty,

Your idea to fight back against the link hijackers seems plausible. However, there is one scenario that bothers me.

What would happen if CJ decided to stop using 216.34.209.13 and instead switched to a different server? If some webmaster had thousands of links on the web, it would be a major undertaking to revise them, not to mention the commissions that would be lost, while the changes were being implemented.

Given CJ's pending merger with BeFree, this scenario is certainly possible.

To put it in perspective, just look at how easily Google made the www-sj server vanish.

Ted

5:48 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



What would happen if CJ decided to stop using 216.34.209.13 and instead switched to a different server?

This was actually talked about in some of the other threads that I posted.

It would be easy enough to change your ads if you are doing PPC, but could be a real pain if you do it on site.

I guess I will be changing a few hundred links back this weekend... I wonder If I will notice an increase in conversions.

 

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