Simple Way To Stop Affiliate Link Hijackers
Notice anything fishy in your PPC metrics lately? Is your impression share on branded terms lower than normal? Are the conversion rates for one of your affiliates almost identical to your branded paid search campaigns? You may be the target of an affiliate ad hijacker.
While most affiliates don’t engage in ad hijacking, when someone does, the impact can be very damaging to a brand’s ppc programs. Affiliates are supposed to be driving incremental revenue and helping you reach your goals, not stealing clicks and making your paid search programs more expensive!
In this blog, we’ll answer the five most common questions about affiliate ad hijacking and give you the information you need to identify and stop ad hijacking.
There are many ways to earn an honest buck using the Internet, while others just try to find the best deals possible. There was a time when people that were surfing the Net were more prone to click on the affiliate links and buy stuff without thinking too much of it. Not it seems that the things are a little bit different, due to the fact that the prices are higher than they were before and some people try to “Hijack” the commissions by replacing the ID of the affiliate links with their ID.
Let’s suppose that you have an affiliate link such as www.productdomain . com/?affID, and the hijacker will replace your link with his ID, which is “newID”: www.productdomain . com/?newID. This is how he manages to take the money that is rightfully yours.
There are also cases when the hijacker will replace your ID from the link. The visitors will be redirected to the plain URL and buy the products they find there, without even seeing your ID (it would look like www.productdomain . com). In both cases, you will loose your commission.
Here are few tips that could help any affiliate business to fight back those “hijackers” and prevent them to ever “chop” your affiliate link. Those are great tips, but if someone really tries to steal your commission, it might succeed, finally.
You can use a java script redirect page in order to hide the affiliate link. Here is where your affiliate link can be found and the customers can have access to your products. This is a great way to avoid a maximum exposure of your affiliate link in emails or ezine ads, until the customer is redirected to the true affiliate link, where your ID is also viewable.
Here is an example of how cans this be done: http://productdomain . com/productA.html , and the ID can be seen in the address bar – “productdomain”. Even if the hijackers can finally access your affiliate link, they will not access it directly from your websites or newsletters. The free redirect scripts are available usually with free java scripts.
You can also use a zero-frame that will hide the affiliate link and give the impression that you redirect people to one of the pages of your website. This method is used by the redirect services as “sub-domains” and you will be given an URL such as http://productA.productdomain . com .
The most effective way to protect you affiliate links is to use affiliate link cloaker software. Visitors will be redirected to something that looks like your web page but pulls in the affiliate link such as the sub-folder services. (Here is the url example of how it would look: http://ww.productdomain . com/recommends/productA).
Therefore, never send a “naked” link through the affiliate programs. There are always hijackers waiting for this, and they might take your commission without you eve being aware of it.