&amp, in URL's

Discussion in 'HTML' started by T.J., Jan 28, 2005.

  1. T.J.

    T.J. Guest

    I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    these links use & in the links rather than &
    I'm not sure whether it effects the tracking if I
    correct these so haven't bothered to date.
    What problems can it actually cause by just leaving the
    links with & in them (apart from the fact it stops the
    pages validating) and how can I be sure it doesn't
    effect the links if I adjust them?
    TIA.
     
    T.J., Jan 28, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. "T.J." <> wrote:

    > I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    > my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    > these links use & in the links rather than &amp;


    If "affiliate links" are a form of trying to fool search engines, then I
    would not be surprised at technical incompetence in doing that.

    > What problems can it actually cause by just leaving the
    > links with & in them (apart from the fact it stops the
    > pages validating)


    So you apparently know what's correct, and you're asking whether doing
    things wrong will hurt. Well, the links stop working some day, on some
    browsers. Other things could happen too, of course. A browser may refuse to
    render a malformed document. But that will probably only happen after a few
    years, unless you move to XHTML.

    > and how can I be sure it doesn't
    > effect the links if I adjust them?


    I don't know the game you're playing, so I can't tell whether you could
    avoid losing.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jan 28, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. T.J.

    Richard Guest

    On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 00:26:15 -0000 T.J. wrote:

    > I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    > my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    > these links use & in the links rather than &amp;
    > I'm not sure whether it effects the tracking if I
    > correct these so haven't bothered to date.
    > What problems can it actually cause by just leaving the
    > links with & in them (apart from the fact it stops the
    > pages validating) and how can I be sure it doesn't
    > effect the links if I adjust them?
    > TIA.



    www.validator.w3.org/

    Run your links through the validator and see what happens.

    "Error: & is not acceptable in the url. Instead, use &amp".

    There should be no reason for any browser not to accept the &amp.
    After all, it is one of the 255 defined ascii character codes.
     
    Richard, Jan 28, 2005
    #3
  4. T.J.

    T.J. Guest

    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns95EC1A00AEC0Bjkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "T.J." <> wrote:
    >
    >> I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >> my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >> these links use & in the links rather than &amp;

    >
    > If "affiliate links" are a form of trying to fool search engines, then I
    > would not be surprised at technical incompetence in doing that.
    >
    >> What problems can it actually cause by just leaving the
    >> links with & in them (apart from the fact it stops the
    >> pages validating)

    >
    > So you apparently know what's correct, and you're asking whether doing
    > things wrong will hurt. Well, the links stop working some day, on some
    > browsers. Other things could happen too, of course. A browser may refuse
    > to
    > render a malformed document. But that will probably only happen after a
    > few
    > years, unless you move to XHTML.
    >
    >> and how can I be sure it doesn't
    >> effect the links if I adjust them?

    >
    > I don't know the game you're playing, so I can't tell whether you could
    > avoid losing.
    >


    The links have nothing to do with fooling search engines, it is just
    a way of tracking the leads I am sending to the merchants.
    If the tracking isn't working I don't earn my commission and may as
    well not have the links there at all.
     
    T.J., Jan 28, 2005
    #4
  5. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > "T.J." <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >>my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >>these links use & in the links rather than &amp;

    >
    >
    > If "affiliate links" are a form of trying to fool search engines, then I
    > would not be surprised at technical incompetence in doing that.


    Why is it that many replies assume that someone is doing something
    'vilain' by asking a certain question?
    It surprises me, that a lot of the replying 'pros' think, that a lot of
    the OPs are most certainly planning or doing something which is not
    allowed. Why is this? Is it because we made the experience that there is
    a *bad* world outside, and we have to fight abuse at all costs and any
    time, or is it just because we assume there must be something wrong
    because of the slightly weird nature of the question?
    If the later is the case, then we should consider the fact, that we were
    once asking the same questions to someone we considered being a
    professional as well, hence we were (and hopefully still are) learning
    by asking weird questions.
    Is my observation just plain wrong, or do others have this feeling here
    as well?

    cheers
    bernhard
    --
    www.daszeichen.ch
    remove nixspam to reply
     
    Bernhard Sturm, Jan 28, 2005
    #5
  6. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > "T.J." <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >>my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >>these links use & in the links rather than &amp;

    >
    >
    > If "affiliate links" are a form of trying to fool search engines, then I
    > would not be surprised at technical incompetence in doing that.


    Why is it that many replies assume that someone is doing something
    'vilain' by asking a certain question?
    It surprises me, that a lot of the replying 'pros' think, that a lot of
    the OPs are most certainly planning or doing something which is not
    allowed. Why is this? Is it because we made the experience that there is
    a *bad* world outside, and we have to fight abuse at all costs and any
    time, or is it just because we assume there must be something wrong
    because of the slightly weird nature of the question?
    If the later is the case, then we should consider the fact, that we were
    once asking the same questions to someone we considered being a
    professional as well, hence we were (and hopefully still are) learning
    by asking weird questions.
    Is my observation just plain wrong, or do others have this feeling here
    as well?

    cheers
    bernhard
    --
    www.daszeichen.ch
    remove nixspam to reply
     
    Bernhard Sturm, Jan 28, 2005
    #6
  7. T.J.

    T.J. Guest

    "Richard" <Anonymous@127.001> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 00:26:15 -0000 T.J. wrote:
    >
    >> I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >> my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >> these links use & in the links rather than &amp;
    >> I'm not sure whether it effects the tracking if I
    >> correct these so haven't bothered to date.
    >> What problems can it actually cause by just leaving the
    >> links with & in them (apart from the fact it stops the
    >> pages validating) and how can I be sure it doesn't
    >> effect the links if I adjust them?
    >> TIA.

    >
    >
    > www.validator.w3.org/
    >
    > Run your links through the validator and see what happens.
    >
    > "Error: & is not acceptable in the url. Instead, use &amp".
    >
    > There should be no reason for any browser not to accept the &amp.
    > After all, it is one of the 255 defined ascii character codes.
    >


    I'm not asking whether browsers accept the &amp;
    I'm asking whether altering the links supplied by the affiliate
    networks can have any effect on how the links are tracked?
    I'm also asking what effect using & instead of &amp; actually has?
    I've seen thousands of pages which simply use & and have tried
    them in a range of different browsers, with no problems occurring.
    Until I am 100% sure that adjusting the links wont effect the tracking,
    I am more inclined to leave them as they are.
     
    T.J., Jan 28, 2005
    #7
  8. T.J.

    T.J. Guest

    Re: &amp; in URL's

    "Bernhard Sturm" <> wrote in message
    news:41f995b2_2@127.0.0.1...
    > Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >> "T.J." <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >>>my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >>>these links use & in the links rather than &amp;

    >>
    >>
    >> If "affiliate links" are a form of trying to fool search engines, then I
    >> would not be surprised at technical incompetence in doing that.

    >
    > Why is it that many replies assume that someone is doing something
    > 'vilain' by asking a certain question?
    > It surprises me, that a lot of the replying 'pros' think, that a lot of
    > the OPs are most certainly planning or doing something which is not
    > allowed. Why is this? Is it because we made the experience that there is
    > a *bad* world outside, and we have to fight abuse at all costs and any
    > time, or is it just because we assume there must be something wrong
    > because of the slightly weird nature of the question?
    > If the later is the case, then we should consider the fact, that we were
    > once asking the same questions to someone we considered being a
    > professional as well, hence we were (and hopefully still are) learning
    > by asking weird questions.
    > Is my observation just plain wrong, or do others have this feeling here
    > as well?
    >
    > cheers
    > bernhard


    Hi Bernhard,
    I agree with you, but just don't let these things bother me anymore.
    The amount of times a simple question is asked, but the person
    is jumped on, or someone tries to read something else in to the
    question amazes me.
    Like I said, it just doesn't bother me any more.
    Thanks for the comment though.
     
    T.J., Jan 28, 2005
    #8
  9. T.J.

    Oli Filth Guest

    T.J. wrote:
    > I'm not asking whether browsers accept the &amp;
    > I'm asking whether altering the links supplied by the affiliate
    > networks can have any effect on how the links are tracked?
    > I'm also asking what effect using & instead of &amp; actually has?
    > I've seen thousands of pages which simply use & and have tried
    > them in a range of different browsers, with no problems occurring.
    > Until I am 100% sure that adjusting the links wont effect the tracking,
    > I am more inclined to leave them as they are.
    >


    The answer is that using & instead of &amp; is invalid HTML that the
    majority of browsers happen to accept. In the same way that
    <B>word<I>word</B>word</I> is inavlid, but will generally be parsed
    without complaint either.

    In the future, with the emergence of (X)HTML Strict, such things may no
    longer be tolerated by browsers.

    So yes, if you want valid HTML (which is a sensible aim to have), then
    change the links.

    --
    Oli
     
    Oli Filth, Jan 28, 2005
    #9
  10. T.J.

    Si Guest

    T.J. wrote:
    > I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    > my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    > these links use & in the links rather than &amp;


    From my experience with commission junction, (I cannot comment on other
    ad systems) if you are using their html links within your page, then you
    can change them without issues to &amp; as they are only seeing the
    referrer ID, ad ID and checking their cookie, (unless the cookie is
    blocked of course!) I couldn't comment on the dynamic JS ad sets though
    as they use document.write and you have no access to change the served
    source.

    &amp; in the html link will still render as & in the browser location
    URI so difference would be detected in the referer logs, although it is
    the aff ID that is tracked anyway.

    HTH
    Si
     
    Si, Jan 28, 2005
    #10
  11. T.J.

    Si Guest

    Si wrote:
    > T.J. wrote:
    >
    >> I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >> my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >> these links use & in the links rather than &amp;

    >
    >
    > From my experience with commission junction, (I cannot comment on other
    > ad systems) if you are using their html links within your page, then you
    > can change them without issues to &amp; as they are only seeing the
    > referrer ID, ad ID and checking their cookie, (unless the cookie is
    > blocked of course!) I couldn't comment on the dynamic JS ad sets though
    > as they use document.write and you have no access to change the served
    > source.
    >
    > &amp; in the html link will still render as & in the browser location
    > URI so difference would be detected in the referer logs, although it is

    ^---------------|
    Oops, insert 'no' here |
    > the aff ID that is tracked anyway.
    >
    > HTH
    > Si
     
    Si, Jan 28, 2005
    #11
  12. T.J.

    Si Guest

    Si wrote:
    >>
    >> &amp; in the html link will still render as & in the browser location
    >> URI so difference would be detected in the referer logs, although it is

    >
    > ^---------------|
    > Oops, insert 'no' here |


    ARSE ... Screwed that up, word wrap not on, Oh well...
    Sorry guys

    Si
     
    Si, Jan 28, 2005
    #12
  13. T.J.

    T.J. Guest

    "Si" <> wrote in message
    news:whhKd.3609$...
    > T.J. wrote:
    >> I have recently started using affiliate links on some of
    >> my pages and find that virtually everyone who provides
    >> these links use & in the links rather than &amp;

    >
    > From my experience with commission junction, (I cannot comment on other ad
    > systems) if you are using their html links within your page, then you can
    > change them without issues to &amp; as they are only seeing the referrer
    > ID, ad ID and checking their cookie, (unless the cookie is blocked of
    > course!) I couldn't comment on the dynamic JS ad sets though as they use
    > document.write and you have no access to change the served source.
    >
    > &amp; in the html link will still render as & in the browser location URI
    > so difference would be detected in the referer logs, although it is the
    > aff ID that is tracked anyway.
    >
    > HTH
    > Si


    Thank you Si,
    I don't actually use CJ but use 3 or 4 other networks and they all
    seem to just use &, it's a bit of a pain having to alter them all and
    assume others find it annoying too.
    Maybe if enough of us complained, they would do something about it
     
    T.J., Jan 28, 2005
    #13
  14. Re: &amp; in URL's

    T.J. wrote:

    >
    >
    > Hi Bernhard,
    > I agree with you, but just don't let these things bother me anymore.
    > The amount of times a simple question is asked, but the person
    > is jumped on, or someone tries to read something else in to the
    > question amazes me.


    I am just afraid that a lot of newbies will never dare to ask their
    questions, because of the fact that they get jumped on.

    bernhard


    --
    www.daszeichen.ch
    remove nixspam to reply
     
    Bernhard Sturm, Jan 28, 2005
    #14
  15. Re: &amp; in URL's

    Bernhard Sturm wrote:
    > T.J. wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >> Hi Bernhard,
    >> I agree with you, but just don't let these things bother me anymore.
    >> The amount of times a simple question is asked, but the person
    >> is jumped on, or someone tries to read something else in to the
    >> question amazes me.

    >
    >
    > I am just afraid that a lot of newbies will never dare to ask their
    > questions, because of the fact that they get jumped on.


    Seeing how many newbies show up in here, I'd say your fear is unfounded.
    And remember, it's a newsgroup, not a cuddling group.


    Matthias
    --
    Swiss Blog Feeds:
    http://www.blog.ch/
    Bloggertreffen 19.03.2005 in Basel:
    http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/alex/Bloggertreffen_2005
     
    Matthias Gutfeldt, Jan 28, 2005
    #15
  16. Re: &amp; in URL's

    Matthias Gutfeldt wrote:
    >
    >
    > Seeing how many newbies show up in here, I'd say your fear is unfounded.
    > And remember, it's a newsgroup, not a cuddling group.


    I absolutely have no problems with being bluntly open, and I think it's
    absolutely neccessary to have straight foreward discussions. I've been
    in NGs for quite some time now (almost 10 years now), and I can tell,
    that I have some experience with the tone of certain NGs (it's very
    different depending on the language, and the subjects ;-)
    But I observed here a tone which is influenced by second guessings and
    sometimes coupled with prejudices about other posters. It's just an
    observation I made in the short time I've been at alt.html, and for sure
    it's not a very founded one :)

    just my two cents
    bernhard
    --
    www.daszeichen.ch
    remove nixspam to reply


    ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
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    Bernhard Sturm, Jan 28, 2005
    #16
  17. While the city slept, Bernhard Sturm () feverishly
    typed...
    [...]
    > Is it because we made the experience that there
    > is a *bad* world outside

    [...]

    There's a world outside??? What happens there??? ;-)

    Cheers,
    Nige

    --
    Nigel Moss
    http://www.nigenet.org.uk
    Mail address not valid. , take the DOG. out!
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is very, very busy!
     
    nice.guy.nige, Jan 28, 2005
    #17
  18. Bernhard Sturm <> wrote:

    > It surprises me, that a lot of the replying 'pros' think, that a lot of
    > the OPs are most certainly planning or doing something which is not
    > allowed. Why is this?


    Because unwillingness to tell what you are really doing
    is so often caused by its being morally or practically questionable.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jan 28, 2005
    #18
  19. Jukka K. Korpela, Jan 28, 2005
    #19
  20. nice.guy.nige wrote:
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > There's a world outside??? What happens there??? ;-)


    I don't know.. haven't checked it for quite some time now :)

    --
    www.daszeichen.ch
    remove nixspam to reply


    ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
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    Bernhard Sturm, Jan 28, 2005
    #20
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