CJ Switches to JS Links -- a Move in Response to SE's?

18 comments

Affiliate network Commission Junction is switching to issuing affiliate links from being plain HTML to javascript links. Scott Jangro explains the significance of this:

The number one thing about this sort of link is that it offers 100% control to the provider, in this case, Commission Junction, over the code that gets placed on a publisher site. That has benefits in that if CJ or an advertiser needs make a change to a link, they can do that automatically without requiring every publisher to manually edit sites.

Jeff Molander chimes in on the topic, suggesting that this is in response to search engines dislike of affiliate links, and their desire to create solid and direct relationships with advertisers -- many of whom already have tenuous relationships with affiliate publishers due to their effect on brands and their competition for search results.

Will other affiliate networks follow in Commission Junction's footsteps? What are the implications for affiliate marketing if this is the case?

Comments

I'm so pleased...

...to come to a thread on this subject where I find NO WHINNNNNING

Too late, whine time

About 5% seem to have JS disacbled on my site so I expect revenues to go DOWN, not up. Not to mention their ads survived proxy sites with script stripping enabled, kiss that goodbye too.

This is really pathetic because I use CJ as alternative ads for AdSense in the NOSCRIPT tag, so POOF! all gone. Back to Amazon, screw CJ....

CJ are a bunch of Merchant huggers

They'll do anything to keep their merchants happy which is often to the detriment of their affiliates.
No wonder some many affiliate networks can steal their business away.

too bad Mackin :)

Independent Programs Rule

too bad Mackin :)

NP as far as I'm concerned. But it's MrMackin :) & that joke dates back to 2000

I run independent programs + backup with shareresults & shareasale.

NO JAVA for me...

I've never heard of

I've never heard of shareresults before.
I agree with you though, once you reach a certain level of affiliate business you can't beat a well run indi program for transparency, flexibility and commissions.

MrGerBot

Never heard of Share Results before?!?

Heh...glad I stopped by then...

And I have to disagree, networks, managed by the right kind of people, can most definitely run programs with complete transparency, flexibility and competitive commissions/payouts.

Mind the Dinosaur Crossing

Mind the Dinosaur Crossing folks!

Say, Mike, that's not what I

Say, Mike, that's not what I call you <grin> ... but I guess MrMackin works.

It's Bloody Infuriating

I have been adding code to countless pages by hand.
All done as customized text links suitable for the specific page and then the final destination.

Working nicely, now ....
I shall dump them on principal, all this work down the drain

I find this an odd move by

I find this an odd move by CJ - I can see what they *think* they are going to get from this, but from the responses I've seen here and elsewhere, I think they'll be lucky to make this move revenue neutral - and if a few of the big affs dump them totally, it'll hurt, lots.

Essentially, I find myself wondering if the people who run CJ, an affiliate network, understand affiliate marketing. Most perplexing

Essentially, I find myself

Quote:
Essentially, I find myself wondering if the people who run CJ, an affiliate network, understand affiliate marketing. Most perplexing

They understand that without merchants (low supply), having any number of affiliates (high supply) is worthless, and they won't have a business.

That is not to say they are right in their decision. They are wrong. But that is what happens when idiots get let into boardrooms. Wrong decisions get made. Their revenue will go down because as already mentioned a percentage of visitors to websites have javascript disabled.

Note that depending on their javascript implementation there will proberly be a technical way around this, so you can still serve static links to your visitors...

Basically, use a server-side script to grab the javascript from their server, cache it(!), parse it, figure out what would be displayed to the visitor, and then embed that end-user link into your page dynamically without any mention of javascript. Simple.

>> They understand that

>> They understand that without merchants (low supply), having any number of affiliates (high supply) is worthless, and they won't have a business.

I couldn't disagree more. Affiliates are NOT a commodity - a very small number of affs drive most of the traffic. Merchants however are 10 a penny. Whilst it is true that in certain sectors, merchant branding has a significant effect on conversions, and hence EPCs, in many areas, I am firmly of the opinion that affiliates are in the driving seat, and that trend will strengthen over time.

If CJ lose a few of their best affs, that may reduce traffic in their network by 10 - 20%. I don't think that merchants are going to find that especially amusing.

TallTroll: Fair point. I

TallTroll: Fair point. I guess some networks (CJ, Tradedoubler) go for a merchant orientated approach while others (eg, Azoogle) go for a much more affilate centric model.

it's inevitable that online

it's inevitable that online advertising has to move beyond little white boxes and blue links. Delivery based on referrers, context and user profiles has to come into play. Also what has to come into play is more control over the medium. Aggregators, (of which Google is one when it comes to Adsense), want to be able to display what THEY can sell for more money rather than allowing the affiliate to display what format fits best with their site.

In a perfect world the solution for one would be the same solution for the other. But just by looking around the net, a blind man could see that there is a lot of inventory out there that is not optimizing that visible space for advertising revenue, or aesthetics for that matter.

Maybe it is a sad commentary on the gap between technology supply vs technology demand that javascript is arguably the best available option at this time, but that is just a means to an end. The point is that something is going to come that enables a provider to display video files, audio files, flash, alter sizes and/or locations, etc. and deliver it all by remote database driven content that is compiling data from the inventory site, the advertiser specs and the user all at the same time and delivered in real time. Like it or not, at least in theory, this will have a dramtic impact on conversions and conversions means money and that means it will come.

I don’t think CJ have lost

I don’t think CJ have lost the plot on this one, I suspect this is a pre-cursor to something fairly significant in terms of future plans, which is why I am not hopping up and down. I can see the concern for many affiliates about the sheer volume of links that need to be swapped over. I suspect even CJ grand fromages are acutely aware of this and are busy implementing the procedures to ensure a smooth transition from old links to new ones.
Its going to be a huge undertaking for them and this decision was probably not taken lightly. Like most changes, some will be good, some will be bad and some simply wont make any difference at all, what I do know is that the transition will happen and just like google, we either work with, around it or we have the choice not to work with it at all.

what I've never understand

what I've never understand is why CJ could not control where a link redirects to.
I mean they tout this upgrade as being an end to dead links but if I'm linking to a CJ.com controlled redirect url then surely they can redirect that url to a different destination or advertiser if they so please.
But then again my programming understanding is basic and I have to assume there is a good reason why they have not been able to implement such a simple solution.

it ain't about dead links

It's about misdirected commissions. Nobody is willing to say it, but that's what it is... an attempt to squeeze some of the poachers by forcing an image load as an accountability tracker. But as we all know (and as foo highlights) any tech solution can be "managed".

Massa I agree but I always wonder why these networks "roll out" changes. There is no need. Bring it out as a second program, and leave the old one in place. Convenience will follow the new system, and if they are right about their assertions, so will profits. It's so easy to monitor activity in general and much easier to clamp down on bad behavior when an alternative is available... slowly move support staff over to the new plan, demote the oldplan at every opportunity, etc etc etc. When I see this big changes I think either they don't know how to manage a technology company, or there is an ulterior motive/alternate agenda.

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