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Can someone please explain to me the correct usage of afsrc=1

Want to block the parasites, yet keep the SE's happy

9:19 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am trying to understand how the paramater afsrc=1 works to prevent parasites from stealing one's commissions.

If you are using links from CJ, for example, do you need to append &afsrc=1 to each link in order to protect it from the parasites (those that 'behave', anyway)? Or do you only need to use that code when you are using a method of hiding the CJ url, for example by using htaccess redirects or by using php redirect scripts?

And if so, then where to you place the code? In the link that is used to hide the affiliate link i.e., http://example.com/mylink.htm$afsrc=1 (which then redirects to the CJ link) or http://example.com/jump.cgi?id=1&afsrc=1? OR do you put it in the actually CJ link?

I feel confused on the proper usage of this, and also stuck between a rock and a hard place in that I want to mask my affiliate URLs so that my sites are not devalued in the search engines, yet it seems I need to identify the links as affiliate links in order to keep the parasites away from them (those that are abiding by the COC, anyway)

Is this a catch-22? Get listed in the serps and raped by the parasites, or protect yourself from a handful of the parasites and be buried in the serps?

How are folks dealing with both of these issues?

Any help anyone can provide would be GREATLY appreciated!

[edited by: jcoronella at 10:44 pm (utc) on May 27, 2005]
[edit reason] please use example.com for examples. [/edit]

3:37 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The afsrc=1 parameter was designed as a backup to the affiliate networks' (CJ, BeFree (at the time) and Performics) requirement that the shopping plug-ins recognize when affiliate links from these networks are clicked and not pop-up on those sites. A few of the big affiliates who use this software did cooperate with that requirement and prevented their software from acting when one of those links is clicked.

Linkshare bailed on the cooperative, but they're protected as well.

This afsrc=1 "backup" is there to handle the case when affiliates put the affiliate links behind their own redirect links (for purpose of obscuring, tracking, etc.)

So, just as qksrv.com, bfast.com, and cc-dt.com links are "protected", links with "afsrc=1" in the query-string are too.

You put the parameter anywhere in the query-string of your local urls if they redirect to affiliate links:

www.example.com/jump.cgi?id=1&afsrc=1 or

If you're dealing with straight affiliate links to those networks, you don't need to do anything.

7:53 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the explanation!

Does anyone know which parasiteware products are cooperating with the afsrc=1 to recognize they should not popup or overwrite the links on affiliate sites?

AND, perhaps more importantly, does it pay to use this code? Are there enough parasites that actually listen to it to make it worth identifying the links as being affiliate links to the SE's?

Does adding the afsrc=1 parameter to your links have an effect on rankings in the search engines given their tendency to devalue affiliate sites?

Do folks recommend using the afsrc=1 parameter or do you find it hurts more than it helps?


10:20 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Depends on how you are setup like what has been mentioned above. If you use redirects then add it. If you use straight network links you don't need it and the "software publishers" are supposed to recognize it and not pop. But they have been known to "glitch" on occasion. As far as the SE's, they know which sites are affiliate sites so using it or not using it shoulnd't have any affect on your rankings.

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