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18 Oct 10 The New Prosper202 Tokens: Cool Stuff You Never Knew Was Possible

Since the introduction of the new [[subid]], [[C1]], [[C2]], [[C3]] & [[C4]] tokens in Prosper202 there hasn’t been much in terms of official documentation of how to best make use of them. This is quite unfortunate because these new tokens and internal prosper202 functionality updates actually quite powerful once you fully understand what you can do with them. This post goes into some of the power user features that were added, but never fully documented and explained.

Let’s Start With The Basics: [[subid]]

Before the most recent updates, you would have to rearrange your affiliate links to ensure your subid variable was at the end of your url

For example a link like the following:
http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0

Would have to be rewritten as:
http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&subid1=

For many people this was a huge point of failure,and we saw more support tickets and emails about errors caused by the incorrect formatting of the affiliate link than anyone should be subject to.

So now using the [[subid]] token on Prosper202 1.5 and higher, getting your link formatted correctly is as simple as grabbing your affiliate link and pasting the [[subid]] token right after the subid variable.

An example is shown below:
http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0

For the average, and not so average user, this is a major improvement and a much simpler non technical way to format affiliate links for correct tracking.

Now About The New [[C1]],[[C2]],[[C3]], and [[C4]] Variables and Tokens

For a while now, the only way to pass extra data into the software was with the t202kw variable on the tracking link generated in step 7

Here’s an example link:
http://tracking202.com/tracking202/redirect/dl.php?t202id=8373&t202kw=myKeyword

In the beginning, this was flexible enough. But, as the software started being used for media buys, email drops, ppv and social advertising etc, there was a need for more tracking parameters. That’s where the C1-4 Variables become really useful.

There are 2 main places you can use the C Variables, in step #3 you can use them as tokens and in step #7 they are available as url variables.

Let’s take a look at the simple way of using the C1-4 Variable and then go on to the more advanced feature, one that I assume many of our users may not have known existed.

During step #7 as you create your tracking link you can use the forms to append up to 4 C variables to your tracking link. Think of them the same as you would the t202kw variable.

For example on a facebook campaign you may use C1 to track the gender, C2 to track the age range, C3 for the ad creative and C4 for you bid type. Here’s how the link may be formatted

In this example we are using the C1-4 variables to track different factors of a Facebook campaign.

The prosper202 interface in step #7 is just there to allow you to easily add these tracking variables, so you can actually manually append these to your links after you generate them. This works great for ad network tags like {placement} on adwords.

To view and analyze the performance of your campaigns you’d use the new group overview screen. Using this screen you can group your reports by any number of factors.

Use the new group overview tab to analyze performance

Getting More Fancy – Dynamic Variable Passing

Have you ever had a situation where you needed to pass dynamic values into your affiliate link? Until version 1.5 this was basically impossible unless you really hacked some code. This is definitely out of the question for most of of our users.

But with the new and hardly documented variable passing system, this is a breeze.

Take a look at this example:

http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&subid2=[[c1]]

I added a subid2 variable and placed the [[c1]] variable as its value. One big thing to notice is that, the [[c1]]-[[c4]] tokens DON’T have to be assigned to a corresponding c1-4 url variable in your link in step #3. Any of the following are completely valid

http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&age=[[c1]]


http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&c1=[[c1]]


http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&gender=[[c1]]&age=[[c2]]


http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&gender=[[c1]]&age=[[c2]]&location=[[c3]]&specialsauce=[[c4]]

Now the question is, where does the c1-4 values come from? You pass them in on the fly via your tracking link generated in step #7

Here’s an example of how this would work:
http://tracking202.com/tracking202/redirect/dl.php?t202id=8373&c1=female&c2=21-26&c3=usa&c4=not-telling&t202kw=myKeyword

When the link above is clicked Prosper202 would automatically perform the following substitutions (assuming your affiliate link in step #3 was: http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&gender=[[c1]]&age=[[c2]]&location=[[c3]]&specialsauce=[[c4]] ):

http://somenetwork.com/redirect.php?a=CD12345&subid1=[[subid]]&b=9315&optinfo=&d=0&l=0&p=0&gender=female&age=21-26&location=usa&specialsauce=not-telling

[[c1]] was replaced by “female”, [[c2]] by “21-26”, [[c3]] by “usa” and [[c4]] by “not-telling”

As you can see, with a little imagination, there are quite a few cool things you can do with this new functionality.

Hot Tip: In all my examples, I didn’t bother trying to encode my c1-4 values. Ideally you’d create an encoding for all these values to prevent competitors from knowing exactly how you are targeting your traffic.

UPDATE: Thanks Wes Brooks for reminding more of this cool mod that makes it easier to use the new tokens: http://ctrtard.com/affiliate-marketing/pimp-your-prosper-with-subid-injection-buttons/

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08 Sep 10 Google Instant Search, Your Adwords CTR, and SEO Traffic

It’s rumored that Google will be launching their instant search or streaming search functionality today. Late last night I saw it in action, for a few minutes. I assume they are randomly testing it out with their users. I would have played around with it more if I had known for sure it wasn’t live for everyone. Here are my initial thoughts and questions based on my quick experience.

Inflated Adwords Impressions and Hijacked Clicks Unless…

As I was typing out me query the entire results page kept updating, including the ads. What this means is that by the time you are done typing you’ve probable seen 5-10+ ads. Any of them will flash by for a second or less. I expecting Google will not count these as impressions on your account, but how will they get reported? Drive-By Impressions? Or will advertisers not get this data. I believe that as users get used to this new feature, people will start to type queries slower in order to glance at the results AND ads. The benefit is that advertisers with ads being triggered by lower key phrase terms will now have first dibs at the traffic.

Let’s say a surfer wanted to search for “Dog Training For Beginners” , and you happen to be bidding on this phrase because you did your homework and only bid on highly targeted keyword phrases. With the new Google, an ad will show for “Dog”, this will probably not be targeted enough for the ad to match the surfers requirement. But the next set of ads and results will be for the phrase “Dog Training”. Depending on how well written the ad is, the surfer may never complete their initial query before they click away.

It will be interesting to see how web search behavior changes and how advertisers will have to modify their keyword selection process and ad copy writing to stay competitive. The same applies to anyone doing SEO.

#1 Position Could Be Worth a Lot More traffic!

I may be mistaken, but I think there is some keystroke or action that automatically or easily navigates you to the first result in the SERP. During my first encounter with instant search I somehow ended up on a website but I know for sure I didn’t click the listing to get there. All I know is that my fingers slipped and hit something that took me to the top results on the page. Whether this is an actual feature or even the results of my mistake, this could be huge for the SEO industry and everyone enjoying first position ranking for any keyword.

All this is going to become more clear at 9:30am PST today and I’ll update my post with thoughts

Update

Here’s more info on how impressions are counted on adwords, from The Adwords Advertisers FAQ
“When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:

  • The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
  • The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.

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