February 6, 2010

Tracker progress – part 1

Filed under: Evolution of a new tracker,Internet,PHP and MySQL — Joe Brewer @ 7:08 pm

So now I can create campaigns for offers, landing pages, offer rotations and landing page rotations.  I’ve only really tested sending traffic directly to offers, but I’ve only got one real report (and that is still not 100% finished).

Here is the report for anyone that is interested.

January 17, 2010

Tracking cost data

Filed under: Evolution of a new tracker — Joe Brewer @ 6:03 pm

Although the major three search engines have apis for their PPC engines, PPV engines do not.  This brings up the question of how to track the cost of each impression.

To get accurate stats I could scrape the reports that are available in each of the engines, and I guess this would be the best and most accurate way of doing it.  However to begin with, my tracker can hold average click costs per traffic source per campaign.  As impressions are made the current click cost is looked up from the relevant traffic source and recorded with the click. I’ll likely implement some kind of scraping code later on when I have got more of the other essential features implemented.

What I would really really like is if each engine could pass the click cost back to the tracker in the url, and my tracker could handle this easily with a bit of configuration, but it is very unlikely to be implemented.

January 8, 2010

More tracker thoughts

Filed under: Evolution of a new tracker — Joe Brewer @ 6:38 pm

Since I had a few more ideas for features, and the progress of coding my dream tracker is going quite well I thought I’d post an update.

Here are a few more features that I’ll be adding in the coming weeks:

  1. The ability to create ads so that the reports can show which ones are performing well.  Prosper already does this, but at the moment there is no support for adding pictures, and as platforms like facebook, myspace and the new plenty of fish platform use pictures I thought it would be a good idea to add this in.
  2. The ability to add campaigns that use dayparting.  This would work a bit like the offer rotation execpt it would use mysql’s date functions to determin which offer to show.  This would enable offers to be show only between specific times, after specific dates, on specific days of the week…. the dayparting would only be limited by what mysql can do with dates.

December 27, 2009

My tracker requirements

Filed under: Evolution of a new tracker — Tags: , , , , — Joe Brewer @ 3:48 pm

Thanks to Think Visibility I have been slightly more active in affiliate marketing – this has inevitably meant tracking where my traffic is coming from, where it is going to, and most importantly what keywords are making or breaking a campaign.

When I first joined ppccoach and cpvcoach (formally called ppvcoach) I was treated (or so I thought) to trackers that would be able to track all of my campaigns. Both trackers would check to make sure that a valid monthly subsciption had been paid for. Both trackers had been encoded because people had been removing the protection, however just looking at the database tables it’s easy to see that it has been badly designed – even for a novice in database design.  Add to that the tracker that comes with ppc coach has reporting that is so slow you might as well go and have a cup of tea before the graphs have finished rendering.  If you join cpvcoach, you’ll find a dead forum (only a few members are active), and a buggy, unsupported tracker. Other xxxcoach bashing can be found here and here.  Rant over.

A great tracker that I have been using can be found at  What makes this tracker great is that it is open source and amazing support – so many people use this tracker.  There is a very active forum, and supporters that watch twitter for people having issues. Although it is great however, I want something a bit more.  Something a bit more special.  Tracking202 doesnt do everything I want, therefore I have started to code my own from scratch.

My features for a dream tracker would start with:

  1. Open source
  2. Outstanding support
  3. Pixel tracking and subid updloading for tracking conversions
  4. Fast loading of reports
  5. Plugin system for reports and other features (something similar to wordpress)
  6. A way of rotating between offers from different networks
  7. Optional subid tracking – many “inhouse” affiliate programs dont support subid tracking
  8. An easy intuative way of generating links with different options dependant on the selected traffic source.

All of these I have either nearly finished coding, or completed in the tracker I am currently using – I’ll post some screen shots soon.

What features would you want in your dream tracker?

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