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Google PPC and handling affiliate locations

Google Analytics, PPC and affiliates

11:43 pm on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 9, 2007
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Wonder if anyone can help.

I have a client who has an affiliate program on their website that generates locations such as [clientdomain.com...]

From an SEO perspective, it seems that they should setup their web server to strip the "?a=affiliate-company-name" section, write the affiliate value to their internal affiliate tracking system, then and only then issue a 301 permanent redirect to [clientdomain.com...] So, if they have thousands of affiliates, to Google (and other s.e's) there will in fact be only one permanent location - [clientdomain.com...]

Question then: the client uses Google Analytics for their web analytics. In the above setup, given that Google Analytics is JavaScript based, will the client need to do anything in the above process to ensure that the referrer data (or any search engine keyword data if coming from a search engine) is still captured by GA (e.g. somehow execute the JS), or not?

Another question - some of their affiliates are Google PPC based. For those affiliates, in the above setup, again does the client need to do something to ensure that all the appropriate Google PPC tracking happens correctly? i.e. the click-throughs are associated with the affiliate correctly? Particularly if the client is using Google AdWords and Google Analytics together?

And finally - if a Google PPC affiliate sets up an ad with [clientdomain.com...] is the location the user that the user actually clicks on something like "http://www.clientdomain.com/really-great-product.html?a=affiliate-company-name&some-Google-Adwords-stuff"? i.e. does Google AdWords stick stuff on the end of the query string?

Many thanks for any help/advice,

4:40 pm on Nov 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wow! Using Google Analytics to pay affiliates? I would use Google Analytics only for rough statistics and never for definitive tracking like what is needed for paying affiliates. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip in case you do use Google Analytics. You will be involved with plenty of complaints in case you do use it.

Just don't tell the name of this client. Otherwise no one from around here will become an affiliate.

7:13 pm on Nov 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 9, 2007
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Eeeeummm, no, I don't think that's what I said really ......

So, in order that the [clientdomain.com...] url doesn't duplicate content, suggestion is that the client webserver strips out the "?a=affiliate-company-name" bit, updates the affiliate db, then 301 redirects to location without the?a=affiliate-company-name" bit. All to avoid content duplication.

So ..... affiliate payment does not happen via Google Analytics.


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