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12:39 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



You guys think opening affiliate links in another window using

target="_blank"


could screw up the tracking code from affiliate programs? (generally speaking...screwing up our sales) I read somewhere that newer versions of FireFox are screwing things up for us...but what about for all browsers in general?

In the past i've generally like'd having target=blank , as it would increase the 'time spent on site' stats somewhat.. And other small benefits as well.
4:40 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



i assume you are passing the affiliate code in the query string or elsewhere in the url.
if target="_blank" typically munged urls it would be a huge problem in general - not just for affiliate urls.
3:58 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



erghhh... bland un-specific remarks don't help much in explaining the faults in doing so.

As much as you say this, many other webmasters could reply along the lines of "ohh, i've been using "target=_blank" for years with my affiliate links"......no negative issues.
9:36 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



ok then name something specific that could explain in technical terms what actually "went wrong".
when you click a link, the browser sends a request and a server sends a response.
there's no magic involved.
12:29 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



How 'bout this way: The server doesn't know that you said "target = '_blank'". The server only knows that there was a request and, optionally, that the request came with a referer.

It's pretty exactly the same principle as clicking on a fragment link on a page you're already on. (The server can send fragment links, but it doesn't receive them. Information in query strings doesn't count.) The "target = '_blank'" statement is used only by the browser.

Now, if you're doing something javascript-based, the code might be able to detect that the request is going into a new window. Note that I'm not saying it does or doesn't, I'm saying it is theoretically possible. But you'd have to look at the specific code to tell. The advantage of javascript for your purposes is that it's right in the page source-- either the code itself or a link to where it lives. So there shouldn't be any obstacle to snooping.
4:08 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



could [anything] screw up the tracking code from affiliate programs?

since i made an assumption and you didn't confirm or deny that assumption let's try to be more specific.
how are you providing the tracking code to your affiliate program?
8:06 pm on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Good explanation, Lucy.

Phranque, it's different with each program.

But generally something like :


<a href="http://www.example.com/ct/254812?b=1381" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

[edited by: phranque at 2:44 am (utc) on May 20, 2013]
[edit reason] exemplified affiliate url [/edit]

12:42 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



i'm still assuming you are passing the affiliate code in the query string.
the HTTP Request as seen by the server would be identical with or without a target specified for the anchor tag.
2:29 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



But generally something like:

Are you passing along all of this information, or just the URL?
 

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