Data feed file integration price comparison shopping script

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This is an old revision of MerchantTargetURL made by admin on 2009-02-11 08:55:19.

How to create Merchant Target URL trackable via Affiliate Network

How to create proper Merchant Target URL?

First you need to know which Affiliate Network the merchant you are trying to create the URL for is using at DFF. Since DFF supports a merchant to exists in multiple affiliate network, you must decide which network you are creating target URL for.

Once you know which affiliate network, you need to familiarize yourself with the syntax (format) of the affiliate network's trackable / tracking URL. A good clue of what this tracking URL looks like may be found in the merchant's product data feed file under the Product URL / Target URL column.

We are going to list the most common type of tracking URL for each affiliate network below. Keep in mind that all affiliate network have different systems and formats, which may differ from the example we are showing below:

> is a place holder. Place holder is a fake value place for visual purposes and meant to be replace with a real value.


there is no definitive way to generate a custom Linkshare target URL. Because the placeholder merchantid can sometime be used for merchantid or certain offer. Linkshare does support Custom Link or URL format, however we have been warned that NOT all merchant support Custom Linking since this is a feature merchant have to pay for. A sure way to make sure your Linkshare target URL will work is to obtain the URL from your merchandiser feed generated by Linkshare Merchandiser department or by creating a text/graphic link from your Merchant Administration panel.

If you are interested, you may read the paragraphs below to learn more about why DFF need merchant target URL.


DFF provides data or web services for affiliates who will use these data on their own website. When a shopper clicks to buy a product, the link should redirect them to the Merchant's website via DFF -> Affiliate Network -> Merchant Website (we call this the click-through). A click-through must follow that some sequence of events because DFF and the affiliate network must record and redirect the traffic to the appropriate merchant.

Sequence of Event during a Click-through

When a shopper click on a link which should take that shopper to a merchant website, the following sequence of events takes place:
  1. The click-through link on the affiliate website should go to DFF's web server first and the URL should look like this: At DFF web server we record the click-through information which includes referrer IP, date + time and which DFF Affiliate ID. Then DFF decide what target URL the traffic should be redirected to next according to the Shared Commission rotating counter. The next target URL will be the Affiliate Network.
  2. After DFF web server redirect, the traffic will then land at the Affiliate Network's web server where the Affiliate Network will record the IP, date + time, Affiliate Site ID / Publisher ID and check for trackable link validity. Most affiliate network may also place cookies on the shopper's browser to tag the referral traffic for conversion matching when there is a sale.
  3. After the Affiliate Network recorded and validated the traffic, the shopper will finally be redirected for the final time to the merchant web site. Where the shopper shops and hopefully converts a sale.

Why we need a trackable URL at DFF

All products and deals advertised at DFF must have a trackable affiliate network URL because all click-through must be able to be recorded by the affiliate network for possible sale conversion. If DFF advertises a link which is not trackable, the shopper click-through will go directly to the merchant site without being tracked by the affiliate network and no one will be given commission if there is a sale conversion.

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