AvantLink Free Tools: Datafeed Manager

9:40 pm   -   July 5th, 2006

AvantLink Free Tools: Datafeed Manager

Hey All,

The Datafeed Manager was our first tool. In fact, the Datafeed Manager is part of the reason why the AvantLink Affiliate Network was conceptualized and developed. All the other great reasons are reserved for another thread.

This is an advanced, deep-linking tool that is dynamic and highly customizable. And perhaps most importantly, the output pages consist of static, HTML files that are SEO-friendly. These output pages are locally cached on the Affiliate’s web server for a 24-hour period. When the 24-hour cache expires, and a page is requested (either by user or SE crawler), the data is pulled from AvantLink’s servers in real time, including all the most recent pricing and inventory with it (a huge benefit to merchants as well as Affiliates).

Affiliates and merchants alike are cautious about duplicate content so we have added several safeguards to help minimize the impact of many Affiliates using the same catalog. When configuring this tool you’ll have a large amount of control, which helps make your distribution of the merchant’s database unique. For example, you can control how many categories, sub-categories and product groups you use from the feed…this will help you target your offerings to your site’s content. You can also wrap your own HTML around the output template, allowing other content elements to be included on each page (using server side includes, for example).

To get started using the Datafeed Manager follow these steps:
Login to your Affiliate account at www.AvantLink.com. Click ‘Tools’ from the main menu. Once in the tool center, under ‘Datafeed Manager’ select the ‘Sign-up for new datafeeds’ link.
On the ‘Datafeed Manager: Merchant List’ page, filter by the merchant you are interested in configuring a datafeed for.
This will bring you to a ‘Datafeed Subscription’ page for the merchant you selected. Your next step will be to ‘Select a Website for this Datafeed’. If you have more than one Web site configured to your Affiliate account, you’ll have to select which Web site you want to use through the drop down menu.
Once you select ‘Next’ you’ll be taken to the ‘Configure Your Datafeed’ page. Begin the configuration of your dynamic datafeed by following the steps. There are ‘Help’ notes at every stage. Note: For the dynamic option being highlighted on this thread you’ll have to select ‘Datafeed Client’ for the ‘Integration Method’ (first step). Remember, we have three datafeed options from every merchant available for Affiliates.
Once you ‘Save’ your configuration, you’ll be taken to a subscription summary page. This is where you will ‘Download Datafeed Client’. There are links to ‘Script Install Instructions’ and ‘How to change the cache folder permissions’ available on this page as well.

Once you’ve downloaded the client, you can literally plug it in and have the whole feed published to your site immediately. The next step would be to customize the template.php file that comes with your client download. When you have finished customizing, link ‘er up and sit back and watch the Googlebot sniff around, then watch the feed pages index (if you have high PR and SE exposure), and finally, watch the commissions roll in. Remember, this is a few hours of work at most and once you’re done, that’s it. You’ll never have to perform an update again! Although you may want to visit your subscription and change some configuration options (which is entirely possible and very painless) from time-to-time.

In summary, here are the benefits of using our Dynamic Datafeed Manager:
SEO-friendly output
Dynamic pricing and inventory
Highly customizable to your site’s look and feel
Unlimited datafeed configuration options
Once integrated, no maintenance is ever needed
One-to-one Affiliate support from AvantLink

We’ve classified this tool as advanced, although you do not have to be a PHP programmer in order to work through the integration. Plus, if you are in the AvantLink Network as an Affiliate, you’ve demonstrated that you are in the higher tier of Affiliate marketers out there. In short, this means that supporting you in whatever it takes to get this tool in place and functional is in our best interest, and we’re here to help.

After reading this many of you probably have questions so let’s discuss this tool. If you’re thinking this is too good to be true…you’re wrong! Questions? Fire away..

Gary M
Gary Marcoccia
AvantLink Affiliate Marketing Network
Email: gmarcoccia[at]avantlink.com
Phone: 435-785-8067
Fax: 435-487-9083