Change in How/When Your Tracking ID is Assigned in AmaLinks Pro

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In version 1.4.9 (or any version later) of AmaLinks Pro and version 1.2.7 (or any version later) of Table Builder – you will notice a change as to when and where you select your Tracking ID when creating a link with AmaLinks Pro.

In previous versions of AmaLinks Pro – you selected your Tracking ID in Step 2 of our user interface. In Step 1, you would search for and select a product. In Step 2, you would edit your link and that is where you would also select your Tracking ID.

In current versions of AmaLinks Pro (starting with version 1.4.9) – you now select your tracking ID in Step 1 BEFORE performing your product search.

Note: If you are using Non-API mode – you still select your tracking ID within SiteStripe at the time you are selecting your product and creating your link.

Why was it necessary to make this change?

Older versions of AmaLinks Pro were not attributing your links to the API. You see, when we first created AmaLinks Pro in early 2018 – Amazon had no restrictions or limitations on who could use the API. They gave full access to every Amazon Associate. Any link created through the API returned a crazy long URL with a whole bunch of extra parameters at the end of the link. We had no idea what the purpose of those parameters was – so we stripped them out of any links built with AmaLinks Pro and returned a much simpler and cleaner URL that included only the product ASIN and the Tracking ID that you selected in Step 2 while building your link. Truthfully – we didn’t really strip out the extra parameters, but instead simply built our own affiliate links manually within the plugin code, which only included the ASIN and the tracking ID.

AmaLinks Pro users were always getting credit for sales (earning money) and they were tracking to the proper Tracking ID’s – but those sales were not being attributed to the API – meaning they didn’t count towards the users ‘API sales’ quota. As it turns out – those extra parameters at the end of the crazy long link are what tell Amazon exactly where the link came from and how it was created. Without those extra parameters, Amazon did not know that links were created using their API – even if the links, in fact, were created using the API like they were with AmaLinks Pro.

This wasn’t a big deal at all… until January of 2019 when Amazon started placing restrictions on who could access the API. As of January 2019, Amazon started to require that you have sales attributed to the API within the past 30 days in order for you to retain access to the API.

We were somewhat aware of this new API limitation change by Amazon, but it did not affect our personal Amazon Associates accounts at all so we really didn’t pay very close attention to it. And for the longest time (many months), none of our customers complained either or brought up any issues. We honestly had no idea that our links were not being attributed to the API. I guess we assumed that since we were connected to the API that Amazon somehow knew the links were coming from the API.

Recently – one of our awesome customers sent us an email through our support portal and explained in great detail why and how our links were not being attributed to the API. This was a huge “Oh Shit!” moment for us and we fixed it right away.

Now – all links built within AmaLinks Pro are the exact links returned to us from the API and they DO get attributed to the API.

Since we are no longer building the affiliate links manually within the AmaLinks Pro code – we needed to tell the Amazon API which tracking ID to use BEFORE the user performed a product search – so it was necessary to move the Tracking ID selection to Step 1 in the user interface, just above the product search box.

How does this affect existing AmaLinks Pro links on your site?

If you have updated to the latest version of AmaLinks Pro (and you should), all of your existing affiliate links that were inserted via shortcode will now be automatically attributed to your default Tracking ID. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause… but if you were using more than one Tracking ID on your site and you need some of your links attributed to different Tracking ID’s – you will have to bo back and rebuild those links.

Note: any text or image links that you inserted using the ‘Insert Link’ button (instead of ‘Insert Shortcode’) – will still use the exact link structure that was used when inserted – meaning they are not being attributed to the API but they are still being attributed to your original Tracking ID.

Don’t worry – all of your existing links still work just fine and you still earn commissions when people buy – AND they are now being attributed to the API properly. The only discrepancy here is that they might be assigned to your default Tracking ID instead of any secondary Tracking ID’s you may have had set up.

For example… you might have a shortcode inserted on one of your Posts or Pages that clearly shows one of your secondary Tracking ID’s – but when you click on the link in the live Post/Page, it now links to Amazon using your default Tracking ID. This only happens on links created in versions of AmaLinks Pro older than 1.4.9 (and Table Builder v 1.2.7) and links that were inserted via shortcode and used a secondary Tracking ID.

Again… we apologize for this inconvenience. If we could have foreseen the changes by Amazon (which is impossible), we could have and would have built AmaLinks Pro differently in the first place. It is truly an overwhelming challenge to build a software product that relies on rules and data from Amazon – but we continue to stay on top of everything as best as we possibly can.

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