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Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:44 pm
by ReMichael
Hey. My first post here. Is there a place to talk about ABP's exception rule list? I'd have some suggestions. This is one of them:

I propose to whitelist redirection pages of meta affiliate networks like VigLink, Skimlinks, Adgoal/Bee5 (former adtago) and YieldKit. This does NOT influence any visible ads nor does it allow links to these networks to be displayed. However, these rules are necessary for whitelisted sites that use one of these networks.

Quick technical information:
Meta affiliate networks cover affiliate programs from different affiliate networks and allow webmasters to participate in many different affiliate programs without having to apply for each one. Instead of linking to a specific affiliate program you just add a link to the meta network's redirect URL.

Example: You want to link to Buch.de (German book store), so you add this link on your website:
http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=81e2e5 ... w.buch.de/
This link will be blocked by some filter lists but that's no problem. Now assume there is a website on ABP's exception list because it only contains text advertisement. If this site uses VigLink the tracking will not work for many affiliate programs.
Take a look: http://web-sniffer.net/?url=http%3A%2F% ... buch.de%2F
Instead of redirecting to the affiliate network, VigLink loads the tracking URL in an invisible iframe and redirects to Buch.de after 2 seconds. Without an ad blocker this would set an affiliate cookie but with ABP it will not, even if the original page is whitelisted on the exception list because the iframe is embedded on VigLink's site, not on the webmaster's site.

This problem exists with nearly(?) all meta affiliate networks. Some will redirect to the affiliate program's url which works fine with ABP but they do the same thing when the webmaster uses a deep-link and the affiliate program does not support/allow deep links.

Example URLs:
VigLink: http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=81e2e5 ... %2Fshow%2F
adgoal: http://api.smartredirect.de/api_v2/Clic ... %2Fshow%2F (redirects to /redir/clickGate.php?... first)
Bee5: http://bee5.de/goto.php?hash=uZ4EU&host=go.otaku.so
Skimlinks: http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=34208X9 ... 28724&xs=1

I suggest:

    @@||bee5.de/goto.php^$document <- Bee5 (part of adgoal)
    @@||redirect.viglink.com^$document <- VigLink
    @@||go.redirectingat.com^$document <- Skimlinks
    @@||smartredirect.de/redir/clickGate.php^$document <- Adgoal
    I don't know about YieldKit. :/

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:36 pm
by MonztA
We (EasyList authors) discussed this together and we came to the conclusion that it will not be fixed in EasyList as these whitelists would override our privacy list EasyPrivacy.

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 6:03 pm
by ReMichael
Yes, but I'm talking about exceptionrules.txt. There are already exceptions that work against EasyPrivacy (google tracking, adcell tracking). Imho, the exception list is not compatible with EasyPrivacy and should not be used together.

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:43 pm
by ReMichael
Just want to point out that this is still relevant to the following whitelist entries:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16622
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=17098
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9990

Furthermore it looks like a lot of conversion tracking scripts/images are still blocked by ABP although invisible to the visitor. Since these meta affiliate networks are just 'wrappers' around the 'regular' affiliate networks the website owners don't earn money when tracking urls are blocked.

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:05 pm
by greiner
We're looking into the AdGoal proposal and we might reopen it for discussion.

As for the other cases: I couldn't find a page on which affiliated resources are still blocked. Could you provide us with example page(s)?

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:44 pm
by ReMichael
For VigLink: http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=81e2e5 ... home/show/
(see http://web-sniffer.net/?url=http%3A%2F% ... Fshow%252F )
Tracking via iFrame which is blocked. However VigLink is not whitelisted yet, right?

The other sites use(d?) similar redirecting pages when the affiliate program doesn't support deep links. However most of them do support those links so I don't happen to have examples, sorry.

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:09 am
by greiner
We will not add ad networks to the whitelist when they make the user wait on a page before being redirected to the actual page because it violates the Acceptable Ads criteria which says "Redirects originating from the hyperlink should not present any other webpage than the destination page." (see https://adblockplus.org/en/acceptable-ads#criteria)

Regarding the proposals you mentioned that were already approved we are currently investigating whether or not they also use similar methods. Therefore please let us know if you have any examples for those as well.

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:09 pm
by ReMichael
greiner wrote:We will not add ad networks to the whitelist when they make the user wait on a page before being redirected to the actual page (see https://adblockplus.org/en/acceptable-ads#criteria)

Well it's not like adfly or those networks. It's just for tracking purposes. In case it's not possible to redirect to a deep link while monetizing there will be a blank page for up to 2 seconds to give the browser time to load the tracking iframe. After those 2 seconds the visitor will be redirected to the destination page without any user interaction. Not sure if this method violates the acceptable ads criteria because the link does present the destination page - only delayed by 2 seconds in some cases.

Re: Whitelist redirection site of meta affiliate networks

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:07 pm
by greiner
Technically speaking: The client should only receive one HTTP response body and that has to be the one of the destination page. As with regular links (e.g. URL shorteners) server-side redirects need to be allowed.