Commission Junction Mandates Javascript Links

May 31st, 2006 by Chris recently announced a new policy whereby affiliates will have to start using javascript links practically exclusively when promoting merchants in their network. For certain special types if integration, such as for email or datafeeds, the links will stay the same, but for all others they will need to be javascript.

In my opinion this is a very bad thing.

Anything that takes away from the flexibility a publisher has is going to hinder that publisher’s ability to make sales.

I love javascript links, I love having non-standard sized graphical/text/mixed creatives that automatically update without me having to do any work. Amazon has used such creatives for years, many Linkshare merchants use them. CJ has some merchants that use them but very few.

Whether or not javascript links are good though isn’t the point, the point is that only having javascript links is a bad thing.

One of the things I most love about affiliate programs is that you can promote them with as little screen real estate as you want. If you want to monetize a single word on the screen you can turn that word into an affiliate link. With javascript based links, whose anchor text & display properties could change at the whim of an advertiser, you can’t do this.

This will also cause problems for price comparison or other similar systems that need a standard URL to feed into their system. They will not be able to do it anymore.

CJ’s stated motive, to combat ad blocking, is a good motive, but this is not the right method to do it. No ad blocker in the world could block out an HTML link if sent through a same-site redirect first, but any rudimentary ad blocker could be made to identify CJ’s javascript and stop it from loading, it is going to be so much easier for loser companies like Norton to block all CJ ads.

There has been a lot of uproar over this, many claiming affiliates are going to switch. I doubt it, affiliates go where the programs are. In reality I think sales are going to decline and the merchants will switch, then the affiliates will follow the merchants.

4 Responses to “Commission Junction Mandates Javascript Links”

  1. Website Publisher Blog » Website Promotion, Generating Revenue, Website Management  Says:

    [...] Commission Junction’s recent announcement that they would be mandating the use of javascript, as opposed to straight HTML, links caused a significant uproar among publishers and they seemed to have backed off the issue a little. On June 23, 2006, JavaScript links will become Commission Junction’s default link type in the CJ Marketplace. However, we will continue to offer Legacy links through the beginning of 2007. The Legacy links will be available for all your advertiser relationships, including those joined to before and after June 23, 2006. At this time we have not scheduled a date for which the Legacy links will no longer be available or supported. We will notify you at least six months in advance of making this change and will not require the change during the 2006 holiday season. [...]

  2. Arthur mcbeth  Says:

    Permitting native HTML would require that every time I change the code or graphic, that I manually suspend each HTML site, manually email each HTML site, then manually check each and every HTML site for the changes.

  3. Peter  Says:

    I’m now experimenting with CJ. Also wonders what encryption stands for. I thought it means to hide the referral code, but I see there is another option for that.

  4. Francoise Paarmann  Says:

    This new policy is better then the previous one.

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