View Poll Results: Should you host your own banners

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  • Yes

    23 88.46%
  • No

    3 11.54%
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  1. #1
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Default Should you host your own banners?

    I remember reading a discussion about this recently, but wanted to get a quick hands up. So... should you host your own banners?

    From what I see the pros/cons of this are:

    PROS:

    Faster page load - less DNS lookups etc...
    Not relying on a third party
    Can geotarget all banners (with effort)
    You get your own stats to compare against the programs

    CONS:

    Time required to maintain banners (update etc...)
    Stats (impressions/click through percentages) are unavailable from the aff program
    Some programs geotarget banners for you - this would be lost
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  2. #2
    Simmo! is offline Public Member
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    I mix it up. On a busy site I'd often do remote hosting. The biggest PITA to self-hosting is constantly monitoring banner freshness.

  3. #3
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    I use a mixture of both as well although these days, to cut down the workload, I tend to let the affiliate program host them.

    One question though, should you/can you nofollow the banner file? Essentially using nofollow twice.

    ie.

    <a href="http://www.doolallyscasinosite.com/" rel="nofollow"><img alt="Casino Site" src="http://banners.doolallyscasinosite.com" rel="nofollow"></a>

    Maybe a nonsensical question!

  4. #4
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    I use a mix too. It really depends on the program. I prefer image banners over i-frames so I can alt and title tag the image and i-frame or flash won't allow the attributes. The other advantage of self hosting is if the source (aff program) goes down it can slow or even prevent your page from loading fully.

    As far a the nofollow attribute, I don't think you are giving away anything on the image code. But I might be wrong. On the url path, I always use nofollow even with the url pointing to my php file.
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    I always do - I don't want to link out to the casinos so hosting banners (if I decide to use them) is necessary

    As for your cons

    Stats (impressions/click through percentages) are unavailable from the aff program - set up a new tracker specifically for the images...problem solved.



    Some programs geotarget banners for you - this would be lost - use a geo script instead

  6. #6
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    I am also following a mixed strategy tending more towards own banners bacause remote hosted banners are less performant and in some cases inactive for hours or in some cases for days which looks horrible. Another disadvantage is due to iFrame tags which have compatibility problem with FireFox.

  7. #7
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    I tend to host my own banners for reasons others have said in this thread. As for rel="nofollow" I think that is only applicable in an <a href= ...> tag, I don't think it has a function in an <img /> tag.
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  8. #8
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Seems pretty clear cut! I should get my banner copying hat on.

    I did wonder why aff managers kept emailling me banners!
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  9. #9
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    I also use mixed strategy; some banners are hosted by me (especially ones that are on the front page), others, like geo targeted I leave to remote hosting.

    I also prefer HTML code banners and try to avoid javascript ones as much as possible. Flash can be difficult too - just good old plain html gifs are perfect for the job

    You don't have to use nofollow in the image tag, that is not important for google, he will not follow image tags anyway

  10. #10
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    I'd like to chime in with an argument from "the other side". I much prefer my affiliates use our hosting rather than doing it themselves. One reason is that affiliates who are not 100% sure on coding can accidentally remove their trackers from the banner, which then cuts into acquisition and revenue.

    The biggest issue, however, is that when banners are taken off our hosting platforms, this can mess with expiration dates, meaning a banner from 2007 that is outdated is still running. Within our servers, when a banner expires the coding changes the image over to a default banner. Affiliates who code themselves interrupt this process.

  11. #11
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    100% agree with Tanya..

    While it may be quicker etc to host your own banners, you then miss out on the stuff that the program offers like auto updating of banners etc..

    The hardest thing about this is that if you still have a banner from 2007, and an incorrect email address in your account, and we receive complaints from players about your offer, we can't tell you. So essentially we are both losing players because of an old banner, as well as your site losing credibility with your visitors because it's showing incorrect information.. The player probably wont return.

    Just another POV from the other side..
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  13. #12
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    50% agree with Tanya and Renee...

    I have plenty of examples where old banners have not been updated. It is just not true that every banner with an outdated bonus offer or tournament offer is automatically updated.

  14. #13
    Christoff is offline Public Member
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    I agree with Tanya/Renee as well as affiliates' comments.

    I know plenty of affiliates who would rather host the banners themselves as they have their own weighting systems etc.

    It comes down to an affiliate's preference but all I would say is that the affiliate should be responsible for maintaining correct contact information is up to date.

    Then it's up to the AMs to keep affiliates in the loop about expiring promotions/bonuses/banners and recommend/suggest new ones.

    AMs on the other hand don't have time to check all their affiliates' websites - it just pays for everyone to be in the loop as relevant and current information is what will be best for the players.

  15. #14
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    I think it depends on the program. I've not been doing this very long but I've already started to notice a huge difference between programs that update banners and those that don't.

    So maybe a mixed solution is best? Allow the programs to host banners if they update them regularly, and do it yourself if they dont?
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  16. #15
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    This may be a dumb question, but what do you mean by hosting them yourself? I put banners in a php file then add them where I want throughout my website but the file still goes out and retrieves the info from the affiliate website. How do you host from your own site?
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltimatePokerBonus View Post
    This may be a dumb question, but what do you mean by hosting them yourself? I put banners in a php file then add them where I want throughout my website but the file still goes out and retrieves the info from the affiliate website. How do you host from your own site?
    Upload them to your own site. So the URL for the image is "yoursite/images/banner1.gif" or whatever rather than "sponsorssite/banners/banner1.gif"
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  18. #17
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    Oh awesome - its that easy. I just never tried it because I didnt think it would work. Just thought it would appear as a picture and not "move or flash"

    Thanks!
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  19. #18
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    OK, so quick question. I got this to work on some but not all banners. Does that make sense or should they all work?
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  20. #19
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    I think there's an advantage to hosting your banners for those programs you promote most. It decreases the load times and DNS look ups. Also, I suspect google will give you a slight advantage too due to the fact that you are hosting them and not having image urls sources from other sites. It will reduce the "footprint" of an affiliate site.

    You have to be changing them frequently though to make sure that they are the most updated banners. Programs try to help you convert your traffic by analyzing which banners convert better. Take advantage of that.

    For beginners I would suggest copying the code as it appears in the affiliate program. As Everest mentioned the banners will automatically update themselves to possible better performing banners.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltimatePokerBonus View Post
    OK, so quick question. I got this to work on some but not all banners. Does that make sense or should they all work?
    It should 'just work' if the banners are .gif, .jpg, .png etc. - i.e. ordinary image formats. If the banner is a flash animation (that is flash as in Adobe, not just showing off) that is slightly different and you may well find it easier to leave those served from the sponsor - but I am just saying that because I don't use flash on my site, others here may/should have better advice if that is your problem.
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