I am banning forum members for using affiliate links. Read the rules!

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heirloom hamlet

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As far as I know I have not signed up for any affiliate benefits. I did recently post a link to a product that seemed abnormally long but then it came up as a graphic link. I went back to edit to see if it had that question mark but it was too late to edit. Is there a way to look at the html after the fact?
I would hope Will would understand if we inadvertently and mistakenly posted one. Maybe it's one strike your out though, idk. Usually I think you can tell in context when someone is trying to be helpful vs. make a buck.
 

Gazoo

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Thinking back I know I posted an affiliate link but it wasn't mine and I didn't know better. I don't believe anyone will be banned for an innocent mistake. Moving forward I know what to look for now and will be more careful when posting links!
 

Will Prowse

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I would hope Will would understand if we inadvertently and mistakenly posted one. Maybe it's one strike your out though, idk. Usually I think you can tell in context when someone is trying to be helpful vs. make a buck.
Usually, it is pretty easy to spot a shill or salesman when looking at their past post history. It is never a single post that will get you banned.

Many times they will post redundant information on random threads that do not serve any utility. Then they will try to push an affiliate link in the general discussion area. Usually the intent is obvious.

If it is a new account and every post they make is affiliate/shill in nature, they are blocked as spam instantly.

If you have been posting here for a while and have a history of helping others, I will be sure to see it as an accident and contact you directly.
 
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pawanranta

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Long story short, I just placed an order through one of Will's affiliate links, but the amazon page only gave me the option "from these sellers" only. And when I selected a seller from the window that popped up, all the additional URL code shortened down to the original link plus a few chars.

Battery Monitors - https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/battery-monitors.html

I ordered the "Hall Effect Sensor Capacity Meter/Battery Tester"

Does Will get the credit or not?
When you land on a product page through an affiliate link, the site owner will get the credit always.
 

nekobasu

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By banning affiliate links, @Will Prowse builds trust, which increases the usefulness of this forum, thus increasing its popularity. @Will Prowse has built a following by being transparent when he is using affiliate links, when he is sponsored, etc. Not only is he wise to adhere to the law and to enforce it, he is wise to keep this forum clean of the general pollution from shills. Folks come here to exchange honest information and ideas; not receive a sales pitch. Lowering the standards would quickly turn members away.
 

Xerxes

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The only upside to affiliate links at a forum is it comes up on google searches way more if there are enough of those links.
Google did away with the forum and Blog (info only no profit-not commercialized sites) search function several years back.

Since then forums and blogs don't come up on blind google searches unless they are infested with affiliate links that helps google make money.
Makes it harder for someone just using using their Google Fu skills to find this forum for the first time.
Other than that, yep all downsides that make using the forum less enjoyable-with money on the line it causes conflict and trying to outdo each other.
.....and there is something about being a by referral/recommendation only forum that gives it more charm rather than the masses finding it due to all the money chasing and with it more affiliate linking due to folks seeing it comes up on google searches.
 

Ampster

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Google did away with the forum and Blog (info only no profit-not commercialized sites) search function several years back.
I belong to other forums which are supported by a profit making sites. One has links integrated throughout that forum. Another forum is supported by a solar store but only has one link to that store in the opening header. The third is the Outbackpower Forum. Google searches routinely show posts from those forums. I guess the Google rule has some flexibility.
 

Supervstech

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I have a question about affiliate links to amazon. When I click on the link then change the URL from https://www.amazon.com to https://smile.amazon.com does @Will Prowse still get a commission? If so, is there any way that the affiliate links @Will Prowse uses can be converted to use the smile.amazon address rather than the www address?
If the links are reached through this site, Will has disabled commission on his links.
If you follow links from his YouTube channel, the links are commissioned.
 

Freep

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If the links are reached through this site, Will has disabled commission on his links.
If you follow links from his YouTube channel, the links are commissioned.

That doesn't actually answer my questions. But it is good information to know. Thanks.
 
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Supervstech

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I have a question about affiliate links to amazon. When I click on the link then change the URL from https://www.amazon.com to https://smile.amazon.com does @Will Prowse still get a commission? If so, is there any way that the affiliate links @Will Prowse uses can be converted to use the smile.amazon address rather than the www address?
Ahh...
I would think so, smile just gives an additional commission to the charity. It’s possible Will would know for sure.
 

JoeHam

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Usually, it is pretty easy to spot a shill or salesman when looking at their past post history. It is never a single post that will get you banned.

Many times they will post redundant information on random threads that does not serve any utility. Then they will try to push an affiliate link in the general discussion area. Usually the intent is obvious.

If it is a new account and every post they make is affiliate/shill in nature, they are blocked as spam instantly.

Don’t give away all your secrets! The wolves are listening!!

Signed,

A grateful sheep.
 

Supervstech

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Don’t give away all your secrets! The wolves are listening!!

Signed,

A grateful sheep.
Heck, if the shills would learn and actually provide helpful info, and follow the rules of where they can push their wares, the forum benefits.
 

joe luser

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If someone gives me useful and reliable information, i am happy to pay a fair price for it. That's why I made sure when buying what i needed for my recent build, that i clicked through to amazon from Will's blueprints pages.

But affiliate spam is almost never useful and utterly unreliable by definition. So please please please keep it out of here! Thanks!
 

Charlie Bakken

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The first rule of this forum forbids using affiliate links. Today I had to delete 4 members and all of their past posts for this reason. And a senior member is going through his past posts right now and removing them.

If you see someone using an affiliate link, be sure to use the report feature of a post to let me know. It helps a lot!

I would love for members to post affiliate links, but it is a bad idea. I have considered the idea, and I would love for members to get paid with affiliate links... but as I have seen on other forums, it usually does not work out nicely for these reasons:
  • If an affiliate program operating agreement is breached by posting on forums/ social media, the account can be terminated. This is true with amazon associates.
  • Each affiliate link needs to be labeled to FTC guidelines. Check out my youtube description to see what I mean. I have a disclosure statement and each link states "sponsored link" next to it. If you do not do this, you can run into legal trouble.
  • If we were allowed to post affiliate links, we would have more traffic from marketers trying to push cheap products. I am tired of the shill sales people in the solar energy market. I would rather not contribute to this problem.
  • Google search "solar forum" and have a look around. They are filled to the rim with ads and shills. I do not want this forum to ever turn into this.
Some folks may say "Wait! People are posting your affiliate links here on the forum to support you Will! Is that allowed?": The affiliate link posting rules applies to me as well. And when people post my links, I ensure that this website is NOT listed under my associate account. So I will not get a commission. I really do appreciate people willing to support the forum, but I would prefer taking a pay cut so that I am on level ground with everyone here. I know of another forum where the only person allowed to post affiliate links is the owner. And I dislike that.

I want this forum to be for educational use only. Not a billboard for shills and goofy youtubers trying to milk their audience. I think it is fair for me to post my links on my website and on my videos, but not here. How I support this forum is with the single link "diy solar blueprints". If even a few people trickle in and purchase a couple products, this website is fully funded. So it is not an issue. The link does not get clicked very often, and the website is filled with free information, so I think that it is fair.

I also included the amazon associates disclosure to our forum just in case someone posted a link, and I was not aware. It is best to comply to FTC laws when possible.

I also think that it is fine and dandy to post self-promotion and advertisements to the corporate section. Post away! If you want me to expand on this section with new forum categories, let me know.

What do you guys think? If you disagree, let me know why.
Your videos are thorough enough to provide us with most of the information we need. As long as you remain professional and unbiased as humanly possible, there’s no need to provide detailed seller information. That’s what internet searches and consumer reviews are for. I have the utmost respect for this forum and its participants. However, my wife thinks I watch too many of your videos. LOL!
 

Forbisher

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'Google search "solar forum" and have a look around. They are filled to the rim with ads and shills. I do not want this forum to ever turn into this.'

This is my first comment in here, and I chose this because the quote sets the tone, specifically emphasizing quality. Part of enterprise architecture is knowing what to look for, and where.
Your posts are as bad as any shill.
Posting the same screen shots in random threads is just weird.
What is your deal?
Do you have anything useful to offer?
 

Ampster

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'Google search "solar forum" and have a look around. They are filled to the rim with ads and shills. I do not want this forum to ever turn into this.'

This is my first comment in here, and I chose this because the quote sets the tone, specifically emphasizing quality. Part of enterprise architecture is knowing what to look for, and where.
Sets the tone? I am on several forums and each has its own tone. My experience is that tone doesn't change much. How about introducing youself and telling us what your interests are other than enterprise architecture?

I think most people agree with you that we like this forum.
 
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