An affiliate code is an identification option with which website operators can mark outgoing links. In this way, a conversion on another website can be clearly assigned when it comes to remunerating commissions in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate codes are the basis of affiliate marketing. In simple terms, websites in affiliate marketing refer to other websites with the aim that their visitors perform a certain action there – for example, buy a product. To ensure that the origin of the users who perform the desired action on the target page can be clearly assigned, corresponding affiliate links contain a code.
The affiliate code itself is set via a parameter in the URL, which then leads to the creation of a specific cookie. This cookie can then be read at checkout on an online shop that participates in an affiliate programme and the affiliate page (the linking website) receives the commission.
An example of an affiliate link from the Amazon affiliate programme would be:
http://www.amazon.de/dp/B000IOM0DI/ref=nosim?tag=YOURASSOCIATEID, where the affiliate enters their individual affiliate identification number in the parameter tag.
According to Google’s webmaster guidelines, such links must be marked nofollow, as they have a monetary background.
Advantages of affiliate codes
Through affiliate codes, website operators who, for example, offer a page with information on hoover robots, can receive commissions from retailers whose links they have included on their website. One shopping platform with an extensive affiliate programme is Amazon. Beyond that, however, there are many different affiliate programmes for well-known brands, but also for niche sellers.
Disadvantages of affiliate codes
For the payment of a commission, almost all providers only count the affiliate code that was set last. In reality, however, people often look at different websites before making a purchase. Cookie barriers are used to check which affiliate code is the freshest. Against this background, it is not always possible to be sure which website actually caused the purchase.