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FreeWare Adserving Look Alike script

     
3:22 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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AGAR is a free script designed to look similar to Google Adsense ads and be used as a replacement for the public service ads. It uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to display current product information and pricing. It can also be used a banner ad to display Amazon links through Javascript and Server Side Includes (SSI).

Agar script [bestdealsdiscounts.com]

3:29 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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nice Brett, exactly what I was looking for.
now to get it working.
4:41 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Great find!
1:35 pm on Feb 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Great. Thank you!
6:30 pm on Feb 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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cool find. I knew if I came back to this forum often enough I would find that one little "gem"
2:06 am on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Looks great! But would this be violating any Adsense TOS. It look too much like Google. Has anybody contacted Adsense support and got a reply?
4:07 am on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I read in the tos that adsence cant be used on the same page as any other similar form of advert, but in theory there will be no Google ads on the page if a psa is to be presented.

Perhaps we could use some clarification from Google.

Mack.

[edited by: mack at 5:14 am (utc) on Feb. 8, 2004]

4:30 am on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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AdSense was initially pretty strict on "look-alikes" as alternative ads, but they have relaxed their view on this in the last month or so. But for those who want to be absolutely sure, it wouldn't hurt to double-check to get their current feedback on this.
7:20 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think I'm missing something here...

You can download the freeware source code as a .txt file. I'm cool with that. Then what are you supposed to do with it? I tried adding <html>,<head> and <body> tags and it didn't do anything.

I'm so embarassed...

7:51 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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ronin, its a perl script.

open the text file and change the amazon id to your amazon id. I suggest you make a copy and follow line by line - there are instructions <comments>as you go along.

if you don't know perl, try find someone who does maybe they can help you with it.

8:21 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, that's a great start. I can follow the commented instructions and I have an amazon id and so on... but what file extension do I give it?

It has .txt, but that can't be right...
Is it .pl or .perl or .cgi or something?

I tried .cgi before I tried .html, but it didn't do anything.

I'm still embarrassed. (Moreso, because the first time around, I spelt 'embarrassed' incorrectly).

9:29 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have added the file to my cgi folder with a .cgi or .pl extension (depending on your server setup). file permissions are set to 755

I'm getting a 500 error :)

Anyone got any suggestions.

9:41 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I saw this 2 weeks ago, at least. Guess I should mention these things :P
2:38 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hello.

I got this to come up:

Technical Information (for support personnel)

Background:
You have attempted to execute a CGI, ISAPI, or other executable program from a directory that does not allow programs to be executed.

Oh, really.

Why is that, then?

5:07 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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jimbo, there are two very common problems people have installing scripts:
1. The permission has to be set to mark the script as executable (755 should be OK).
2. The script has to be uploaded in ASCII mode.
5:55 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Nice find!

Okay, can i use it to just pull the amazon products that suits my pages' content?

I do not want to use agar to replace PSA's, but just want related books to load. I have adsense also on those pages.

Thanks for your input.

Cheers

11:56 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'd be careful about using agar and AdSense on the same page. It may be alright to use agar to replace AdSense but showing both at the same time looks like it might infringe on the AdSense TOS.
2:52 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I undersstand that adsense TOS restricts but the same TOS allows to have affiliate links on the same page provided they don't look similar to text ads of adsense.

Am i wrong?

Cheers

7:16 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Wow, this works great and is a snap to setup

Thanks

12:30 pm on Feb 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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the same TOS allows to have affiliate links on the same page provided they don't look similar to text ads of adsense.

What and you don't think these look similar? >;->

2:40 am on Feb 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've almost got this working. If I wasn't so new to the world of perl I would absolutely agree, it is a snap to set up. I've been battling the learning curve all the way, but I'm almost there...

What I don't understand is that I'm referencing the script from AdSense like so:

google_alternate_ad_url = "http://www.mysite.com/cgi-bin/agar.pl?mode=books&input_string=keyword1+keyword2";

And two times out of ten it comes up with great results.

But two times out of ten it comes up with on-topic videos and dvds, which can be forgiven, but they're not books.

Three times out of ten it comes up with stuff (not books) that is relevant to one of the keywords only and nowhere near on topic.

Three times out of ten it comes up with:

"Sorry no results are currently being returned for this query."

It surely can't be the keywords, because they work fine in the amazon products feed (which I installed in the process, because I thought - somehat erringly -that it was a fairly necessary, if not obligatory, component).

So is it the script? Or do I need to add something else to the script or the referencing URL?

How has agar performed for everyone else so far?

10:18 am on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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ronin,

I have not used the script but I have done a lot of Amazon Web Services scripts.

Last I checked, even the Amazon Web Services "blended" mode search is nowhere near as resourceful as the search engine you get when searching Amazon directly. It appears they left the real muscle of their web site search out of the AWS toolkit. Perhaps not to have their servers overloaded by AWS developers.

Pardon me if my knowledge on this subject is out of date, but that has been my experience.

Thanks.

1:52 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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ronin

I have just put the script on one of my pages and I am getting reasonable results. I have had a few "no results etc" pages but most of the time I get relevant adds.

I guess some adds from this source is better than no revenue from public service adds.

3:42 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I guess some adds from this source is better than no revenue from public service adds.

I'm not convinced.
For me long-term higher relevance is more important than short-term higher revenue.

If the displayed results are going to be this unreliable, I'm better off handpicking the books and writing my own alternative ads.

4:29 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think you may be right ronin the agar adds are only showing up approximately. 1 or 2 out of 3 impressions if that. The rest of the time it says no results available.

That does not give your site a very professional image.

11:55 pm on Mar 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This script is cool.

To avoid displaying "Sorry no results ...", I would suggest to replace this line

error_msg = "Sorry no results are currently being returned for this query.";

with this

$error_msg = "<iframe src=\"http://search.revenuepilot.com/servlet/search?perpage=1&filter=off&id=Your_ID_Here&skip=0&keyword=$textstream\" width=\"728\" height=\"90\" frameborder=\"0\" scrolling=\"no\">";

You may use other pay-for-click search engines as well.

2:09 pm on Mar 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Smart cookie.
2:24 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I just tested this on a page that always triggers a PSA. I get two rows of AGAR ads, the second being a PSA. (My AdSense PSA ads would have shown up in custom colours whereas this second row uses a grey background.

"AGAR" appears in the intervening gap on the right. Am I somehow triggering both AdSense and AGAR or do the latter ads run into two lines?