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Working with Skimlinks auto-linking script

Out of the box, Skimlinks auto-linking script is not compatible with Affilimate.

This is because Skimlinks' JavaScript only converts your links into affiliate links at the time of click. This makes it impossible to know that they are affiliate links, and add the necessary tracking, before the user is redirected.

Our recommendation is to use Skimlinks Link Generator for the most reliable and data-rich tracking setup.

If you've been using the Skimlinks JavaScript until now, it's possible to transition to standard affiliate links with the help of some plugins. Here's how.

In this article, we'll explain:

Skimlinks also allows publishers to generate standard affiliate links using their Link Generator:

To create your affiliate link, paste the deep link on the merchant's website and you'll receive an affiliate link that looks like this:

https://go.skimresources.com?id=123456X1234567&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoogle.com

If you look at the link itself, there are three distinct parts:

  1. The Skimlinks domain
  2. The Skimlinks tracking parameters, including your Publisher ID (the number after ?id=)
  3. The deep link to the merchant website (the text after &url=)

We'll use this information later to replace the JavaScript-generated Skimlinks on your site with standard affiliate links.

Important: Make sure when generating a link with Skimlinks to use the button called Copy full link, and do not use shortened links as they are problematic for tracking.

Once you've integrated Skimlinks to Affilimate, you can use Affilimate's reports to find the most important merchant links to replace.

Then, follow this step by step guide to replacing your links:

  1. Identify your most valuable Skimlinks merchants
  2. Make a list of domains for these merchants
  3. Find and replace direct links to those merchants with affiliate links
  4. Scan your site for new links in Affilimate

Tip: This task can also be outsourced! Just share this tutorial with your Virtual Assistant or another member on your team, and invite them to your Skimlinks account as a "Tools User".

Step 1. Identify your most valuable Skimlinks merchants

Create a transaction report with these settings applied:

  • Grouped by: Advertiser
  • Sorted by: Amount
  • Filtered by Network: Skimlinks

Click here to open this exact report in Affilimate

Extend the timeframe as needed (for example, to Last 365 Days).

Step 2. Make a list of the domains for these merchants

For each merchant, find their website and add it to a list. Make sure that the inclusion of "www" and "https" is correct when needed!

In the example above, the list would be:

  • https://nordvpn.com
  • https://www.bhphotovideo.com
  • https://adorama.com
  • https://hostelworld.com

These are the domains for the links we will convert to Skimlinks affiliate links.

Step 3. Install the Search Regex Plugin (WordPress)

For this task, you can install the plugin and then deactivate it when you are finished, and all your replacements will stay in place.

Important: Search and Replace is a potentially destructive task if done incorrectly. You will be able to preview your changes before executing them. Still, you should back up your WordPress database before performing this task.

To add this to your site, go to Plugins > Add New, search for Search Regex, and install it and activate it.

Then, go to Tools > Search Regex to access the plugin.

Step 3b. Search your site for unconverted links

Take the first domain on your list, and search for it in the field called Search:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com

You'll see an initial match for all the places on your site where you are linking to that merchant without using an actual affiliate link.

Add some code [^"]* to the end of the domain like this:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com[^"]*

And then change the Search Flags to include Regular Expression.

This will allow you to search for the entire link inside your code, and not just the domain name:

Be sure to verify that just the link is highlighted, and not any extra characters. This is the exact text we will replace with your Skimlinks affiliate link!

Step 3c. Replace the link with an affiliate link

Copy the highlighted link to your clip board with Ctrl + C, and then click on the link to open the options:

In other tab, open Skimlinks Link Generator and paste that link in and copy it.

Back on your site in the open window, paste the converted affiliate link you copied from the Skimlinks Link Generator. Verify that the link looks correct, then click  Replace.  

You'll see it disappear from the list of matches, because it no longer matches the original search criteria.

After the replacement is done, you can spot check that the links you've replaced are still working as expected in your posts.

Step 3d. Continue with your remaining links

That's it! From here, you'll simply continue down the list of links to that domain:

  1. Copy the link you want to replace from the list
  2. Paste it into the Skimlinks Link Generator and copy the full URL
  3. Click the link in the list of matches on your site and paste the affiliate link in the Replacement field
  4. Click Replace to perform the replacement

In the end, it should take about 5-6 seconds per link to replace.

Tip: If you link to the same landing page many times on the same domain, you can replace those in bulk through a simple search and replace of the original link and new Skimlinks link (without the Regular Expression setting enabled).

Tip: You can work in batches by focusing on your top merchants first, and replacing lower value merchants later on. No need to replace 100% of your links at once.

Step 4. Scan your site for your new Skimlinks

Once you're done, don't forget to import your new Skimlinks for tracking by running a website scan.

Have questions? Contact us at support@affilimate.com anytime.

Last Updated 4/3/2022

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