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It would be an enormous amount of work to go edit all these links and move the 1x1 pixel images so that they no longer fall between the <a> and </a> tags. Even if I did move all these 1x1 images, will the links still track properly?
No, the aff reporting comes from these.
ie instead of <a href="http...widget-network?id=abc123"><img border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http...widget-network?pixel123">text anchor or product image here</a>
replace with <a href="http...widget-network?id=abc123">text anchor or product image here</a><img border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http...widget-network?pixel123">
I've also been using 1x1's for affiliate tracking in my sites with no problems at all, although as an extra bit of safety I remove the WIDTH=1 HEIGHT=1 part. Not sure if it makes any difference (probably not) but of makes me feel safer.
This is the largest of the networks, L........ and dropping them would mean getting rid of thousands of links that I've put up already. I guess I'll have to edit them and move the images out of the link.
"as an extra bit of safety I remove the WIDTH=1 HEIGHT=1 part"
Good idea. Thanks.
This is bad advice unless you specifically check with the network and merchant whose link(s) you want to tweak. Check with them and
1) Verify that your links will still track accurately without those GIFs tagging along. Some will, some won't; it depends on how things are set up.
2) Make sure that the network and/or merchant won't penalize you in some other way for tinkering with the tracking codes. Taking out the GIFs can cause major abnormalities in your stats, and some merchants get upset about that. (Don't ask how I know that ...)
The bottom line: You want a page that ranks well, but you need to accomplish that with the codes -- and the relationships -- intact that actually put money in your pocket.
Additional comment: <<as an extra bit of safety I remove the WIDTH=1 HEIGHT=1 part>> -- Be aware that taking out the height and width attributes can slow down the display of the page. This does not usually help one's conversion rates.
IMHO, this is a non-issue. (Think about it: What would happen to the quality of Google's search results if it penalized every site that belonged to one of the Web's largest affiliate programs?)