On 05/12/2002 08:54 AM, Randum Ian wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am in the middle of writing a website for affiliate programs on the web,
> which one is the best and why kind of thing. I would like to be able to do
> something similar to what Amazon do on their website but I am struggling to
> work out how they do it so convincingly. Here is an example of what I mean:
> When you select an item to look at, there is a section named:
> <snip>
> Customers who bought this item also bought:
> blah link one - blah description
> blah link two - blah description
> Click here for more blah
> <snip>
> How is this done? Is there a reference to a new db which has the links and
> references them from there or do they look into sessions or cookies?

Amazon keeps track of the referral id in the URL itself. When the person 
purchases a product, Amazon takes note of the referral id taken from the 
current page URL.

It works well because it survives bookmarks unlike cookies, so if people 
bookmark a page and comeback to it later the referral is still earned. 
Also not everybody is willing to accept cookies so that is bad because 
many referrals are lost.

I have a book reviews section in a site of mine. I gave up all other 
book stores because unlike Amazon, they were not accounting any 
referrals. I suppose that is because their referral methods were simply 
not working because they are not bookmark/cookie proof.

The Amazon method is good but it is expensive because to keep of the 
referral id, all pages in your site have to be dynamically built to 
embed the referral ids in links and forms.

I have implemented a better method in the PHP Classes site. It uses the 
site URL domain to embed the referral id. So, instead of using something 
like Amazon does http://www.amazon.com/someurl/referral/id , I use
http://id.referraltype.phpclasses.org/someurl .

Since I have used either in Apache and the DNS to make any domain 
*.phpclasses.org be equivalent, I do not have to do any thing to create 
new referral types or referral ids. I only have to make sure that any 
links in the site only use the URI part of the pages so the browser uses 
the same URL domain in consecutive accesses of the users in the pages.

Currently I am using this to keep track of referrals of new subscribers 
that were lead to the site by mirror site hosts. This way I can compute 
a ranking that shows which are the most active mirrors. This serves as 
encouragement for mirror hosts to attract more users to each of their 
mirror sites, where the users will see their banners on the right side 
of the pages providing some advertising for their services.

You may start here picking a mirror site and follow some links there 
until you are brought back to the main site via a login or subscribe 
link where the domain of the transforms into something like 
mirrorid.mirrors.phpclasses.org .


Another form of referral is for individual links that point new users to 
the site. They can use a URL domain like login.users.phpclasses.org  to 
refer to any page in the site so they can be credited for any referrals.

This has only been announced to some users because I want to gather a 
few (10) user referrals. Soon I will announce this to all users showing 
a top referring users in a chart as a form of recognition for the users 
contribution to help growing the site user community.


Manuel Lemos

PHP General Mailing List (http://www.php.net/)
To unsubscribe, visit: http://www.php.net/unsub.php

Reply via email to