eBay Partner Network Domain Validation Changes
As a former member of the eBay Partner Network team, and an avid ePN affiliate myself, I’m always holding my breath when an official ePN publisher email appears in my inbox. This time was definitely a breath of fresh air, however I’m still very surprised by the contents in the email. The long and the short of it is, eBay Partner Network affiliates are no longer required to authenticate their domains with ePN’s domain authentication system. Part of this puzzle was also related to receiving credit for traffic that was from users interacting with a mobile device.
The original story goes like this. In July of 2009 the eBay Partner Network announced that new publishers would be required to “prove” they owned the domains they were going to send traffic from by authenticating their domain. The process involved placing a text file in the their root web directory, a process similar to what Google Webmaster Tools and other affiliate networks use to verify you’re actually an owner, or at least in control of the website in question. This process was reiterated by members of the ePN team in recent times on the ePN blog and in their video casts.
While this is an excellent way to combat fraudulent activity, one of the largest problems with this method is that some 3rd party platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com blogs cannot be validated because it is impossible to place a .txt file in the root web directory. When this requirement was originally implemented, it basically blocked users on these and similar blogging platforms from participating in eBay’s affiliate program. Just months after the original announcement from ePN, the Amazon Associates program took a different approach to cater to this segment by working directly with Google to create a seamless integration with Blogger.com blogs and the Amazon affiliate program.
At any rate, it appears there are some positive changes going on over at the eBay Partner Network. Is the water in Seattle better than San Jose? Only time will tell.