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XF 1.3 Link proxies significantly affects Skimlinks

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Problems' started by Stuart Wright, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright Well-Known Member

    Having run 1.3 since launch with link proxies on, I have some data on Skimlinks. The guys there have been in touch to ask we test the system by turning link proxies off.
    They are saying that our Skimlinks revenue is significantly down and they are confident this relates to link proxies interfering with Skimlinks in certain browsers. By turning link proxies off for a while, we can confirm one way or the other.
    The Skimlinks team are looking into the situation today to get some firm information.

    Meanwhile other Skimlinks users should be aware that there is likely a problem using link proxies and Skimlinks together.
  2. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

  3. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright Well-Known Member

  4. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    Yep, as per my post in that thread. It basically wiped out the whole of February's income from Skimlinks by having it enabled.
  5. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    However, when I raised it to Skimlinks, I was fobbed off:

  6. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    As I mentioned in the other thread, they're both effectively doing the same thing -- changing the link from what was posted, at least when it's clicked. The link proxy will likely win out.

    Changing this behavior would involve changing the design of link proxies. The proxy link can only be generated on the server (this is intentional), so the link can't be modified on the client.
  7. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright Well-Known Member

    Our stats look different to yours. The revenue hasn't dropped off as dramatically.
    @Mike I don't understand how all this happens but obviously I want to get both working together. Do you think it will be something the Skimlinks tech team will be able to solve? I.e. is it technically possible to have Skimlinks work on top of link proxies?
  8. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Likely not TBH. The proxied link is created before the page is rendered so any JS manipulation would essentially be ignored. I suppose there could be some workarounds based on the current approach, but they'd end up with weird inconsistencies (where links aren't proxied if the link is modified for example).

    I could see some alternate approaches that might have fewer problems, though they have some other trade offs (and would prevent some things that are being done right now).
  9. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright Well-Known Member

    So the official line at the moment is link proxies breaks Skimlinks and Viglink and there's nothing that can be done?
    Ok, unfortunately link proxies will have to be turned off.
  10. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    We use the following approach since several years and it will most likely work with link proxy too:

    We use an add-on that automatically changes the links posted at our site with links that include our affiliate-ids at different affiliate services and partner programs. The links are changed server side before the HTML output is created.

    Of course, it is more work involved registering at such services and adding them to our system, but you also make more money out of it because you don't have to share with Skimlinks & Co.

    And regarding the eBay Partnernet:
    It is true that eBay was a huge source of income and this has seized completely after their recent changes. Their affiliate program (https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com/) simply does not make sense any more.. :-(
  11. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    On a second thought: It may also help, if you activate the link proxy interstitial. In that case the last link from your site wouldn't be proxied, which means skimlinks could trigger normaly.
  12. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright Well-Known Member

    What is the link proxy interstitial?
  13. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    A XenForo built in redirection page, which normally only appears in case of a problem (like a wrong hash in the links proxy call).

    There is a very small add-on which enables that redirection page for all proxied links:
  14. kontrabass

    kontrabass Well-Known Member

    Well, if anyone needs any more confirmation, here's a screenshot of our click volume. Link proxy was turned on Sept 25. Don't turn on link proxy if you run skimlinks! :coffee:

    Screenshot at Sep 29 22-33-04.png
    MattW likes this.
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Well-Known Member

    I just realized why my affiliate earnings have been wiped for the last month :(.
  16. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    If you haven't already, upgrade to 1.5.2.

    We have actually made some changes which address this.

    Amin Sabet and MattW like this.
  17. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    You should have installed a link interstitial add-on [WMTech] External Link Interstitial (which solved that problem) or -as said- upgrade to 1.5.2.
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Well-Known Member

    Thanks, this is great news!
  19. andybond

    andybond Active Member

    Strangely this worked until I upgraded to 1.5.2. I had link proxy disabled. Now it doesnt matter if enabled or disabled , I get the same problem :(

    I have changed nothing other than the update.
  20. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Which particular part doesn't work? The changes to resolve the security issue involves JS to open the link now, but it uses whatever is in the href of the link. If that is being changed on click that might not work, but there isn't another way to resolve the security issue (without other trade offs).

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