MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Randomize and Update

April 30th, 2008 Visited 1271 times, 1 so far today

So, we talked last post about Randomizing ads– so that you never see the same ad when click on the site.  We also discussed filtering by category, so the ad is a little bit closer to the topic of the post.

This has a lot of benefits, but it also means a little bit of work if you haven’t organized your blog well.  For me, I have way too many categories that I need to make tags– so if you’re going to employ this mechanism, it’ll work best if you already have just a few general categories.

The next hurdle to try to overcome is actually getting what ads you should display.

Make Sure You Have the Latest Ads

This is the hardest thing to do with affiliate ads, in my opinion.  We’re approaching Mother’s Day, and a bunch of my programs have something special for Mother’s Day:

What happens to these ads when Mother’s Day is over?  (You could check back after Mother’s Day to see what happens!)  On my advertiser dashboard, it starts complaining to me that these ads have expired.  On my site, the image may no longer point to a valid image (you’ll just see “broken image links”).  Worst of all, anyone who goes to see these links or other promotions will find dead promotions.  So, what do you do?

Orange Links and an Ad Manager

Enter the latest tool that I’m building, an Ad Manager.  You see, this particular affiliate program has what they call “Orange Links” which are updated links from the advertisers that have the creative1, the available dates and the link to send them to.

So, every day I get a file in my email that has all of this and I can always make sure– who’s got the time for that!  What I’ve done is build an application on my computer that opens the e-mail, takes out the attachment, places it into a database– ready to be used!

And then the magic happens.  After I have all the links in, I can specify the percentage of times that it gets displayed, and with a click of a button a file is created and uploaded to my site and you get the very latest ads!

So, you may have noticed that the 125×125 ads on the right actually have Mother’s Day ads.  Up until this past week they did not– they only had non-expiring ads.  And those ads will go away after Mother’s Day when I run my program!

Right now, it’s one mouse click2 to read the data from the e-mail, put it into the database, produce the text file for the ad randomizer, and then FTP it to the site.  But that’s not all– let me tell you where I’m going with this!


  1. Creative is a fancy term for a banner or graphical ad []
  2. After the program is loaded []

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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