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XF 1.3 Link proxies significantly affects Skimlinks

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
#1
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.
 

MattW

Well-known member
#4
Yep, as per my post in that thread. It basically wiped out the whole of February's income from Skimlinks by having it enabled.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#6
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.
 

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
#7
Yep, as per my post in that thread. It basically wiped out the whole of February's income from Skimlinks by having it enabled.
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?
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#8
is it technically possible to have Skimlinks work on top of link proxies?
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).
 

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
#9
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.
Bummer.
 

HWS

Well-known member
#10
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.. :-(
 

HWS

Well-known member
#11
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.
 

kontrabass

Well-known member
#14
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
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#16
If you haven't already, upgrade to 1.5.2.

We have actually made some changes which address this.

Other Changes in 1.5.2

In addition to smaller bug fixes, 1.5.2 changes how the link proxy system works. It will no longer attempt to manipulate the URL of the target before it is clicked, instead using a background ajax request to log the click when it happens. This improves accuracy with logging, including successfully logging details that previously weren't logged, and reduces interference with systems that change URLs dynamically (such as inserting affiliate links). However, this may cause add-ons that manipulate the link proxy (such as to show intersitial pages) to no longer function. They will need to be updated to use their own technique for this.
 

andybond

Active member
#19
If you haven't already, upgrade to 1.5.2.

We have actually made some changes which address this.
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.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#20
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).