Google Affiliate Network API PHP Script

Google Affiliate Network

I was excited when I read Google had released an API for their Affiliate Network, as I wanted to automate pulling sales data from GAN. But I quickly became disheartened when I realized how difficult it is to use.

Since this was for myself, and not a web-based service that would be used by others, the Simple API method of authorization was good enough. After getting it to work with Picasa, but not GAN, I asked for some help and was introduced to the OAuth 2.0 Playground. This showed me the headers I’d need to send, and how OAuth 2.0 works.

For the record: the Google Affiliate Network API does NOT support Simple API Access. You cannot access the service with an API Key and IP locking.

I now have a working script, and have written up step-by-step instructions on how you can pull orders from GAN automatically each day.

This script is not complete, as it’s up to you to do something with the data once you have it. You can also modify the final call to pull advertisers, instead of orders.

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Scraping Websites using PHP’s Document Object Model

ScraperI had a need to get some data that wasn’t available in the merchant’s datafeed, and since I wasn’t going to be putting a huge burden on the merchant’s site (ie: if you scrape, be nice*) I decided to write a little scraper to do so.

In this script, I’m using all, pure PHP functions: cURL, Document Object Model, SimpleXML. By using PHP’s built-in functions, the script will be as portable and efficient as possible.

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How To Specify The Thumbnail Image When Sharing A Link On Facebook From Your Thesis Site

Thesis ThemeAt the time of writing this, Facebook’s Like (or Share) button acts the same as sharing or posting a URL to your wall, except you don’t have the chance to leave a comment or choose which image to include with the post.

If you post a link to your wall, Facebook will guess at which images on the page may be best suitable for the page, and allow you to choose from several of them

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Using the Microsoft adCenter API to Automate Reporting in PHP

Microsoft Advertising LogoAfter nearly three months of on & off coding, banging my head against the table and thumbing through the most comprehensive yet incomprehensible documentation I’ve ever seen, I was finally able to automate downloading stats (impressions, clicks, cost) for my coupon site.

For the longest time, the adCenter API was very closed. However, it now seems they’re opening it up, and I quickly was able to get an API account, but wasn’t able to get anything to work. Even adCenter’s most simple script doesn’t work out of the box, and it’s nearly impossible to figure out what has to be done. Hopefully this post will help you.

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Using the LinkShare Merchandiser Web Service

Linkshare Web Services

Linkshare Web Services

Building a product site using the LinkShare Merchandiser Web Service is one of the easiest and most straight-forward tasks you can do. If you’re just getting started with datafeeds and product-based sites, you may want to start here.

If you don’t have an account, you first need to signup with LinkShare. Then login, and click on Web Services under Links. Next, generate or update your token. You’ll need this when making requests.



Handling Products Removed From Datafeeds

I received an email the other day from Garrett, and he asked:

I’m just curious how you might deal with pages/urls on your site that have been indexed (and may be getting good traffic/links), but all of a sudden they’ll disappear if the product happens to drop off the merchant’s feed.

After a couple emails back & forth, I think the best solution would be to find a similar product, and 301 redirect to that product. First, I’m going to change my .htaccess file to pass in the “name” of the item that was requested:


RewriteRule ^(.*)\-p([0-9]+).php$ item.php?ProductID=$2 [L]


RewriteRule ^(.*)\-p([0-9]+).php$ item.php?ProductID=$2&cName=$1 [L]

Then edit item.php, and after $rsData = mysql_fetch_array($oResult); (about line 6), add:

if (!$rsData) {
	// We don't have this item anymore!

	// Get the parts of the product name
	// See
	$aNameParts = explode('-', $_GET['cName']);

	// Look up similar products in the database
	$cQuery = "select * from products where";
	foreach ($aNameParts as $cNamePart) {
		$cQuery .= " Name like '%" . mysql_real_escape_string($cNamePart) . "%' or ";
	} // ends foreach ($aNameParts as $cNamePart)
	$cQuery = ereg_replace(" or $", "",$cQuery ); // remove the last "or"
	$oResult = mysql_query($cQuery);
	$rsData = mysql_fetch_array($oResult);
	if (!$rsData) {
		// No clue
		header("Location:  /");
	} // ends if (!$rsData)
	else {
		$p = 0;
		$nItemID = $cName = '';
		$cOrig = str_replace('-', ' ', $_GET['cName']);

		do {
			similar_text ($cOrig, $rsData['Name'], $fMatch);
			if ($fMatch > $p) {
				$nItemID = $rsData['ProductID'];
				$cName = $rsData['Name'];
				$p = $fMatch;
			} // ends if ($fMatch > $p)
		} while ($rsData = mysql_fetch_array($oResult));

		if ($p > 0) {
			// Best match
			header("Location:  /" . ereg_replace("[^A-Za-z0-9]", "-", $cName) . "-p" . (int)$nItemID . ".php", TRUE, 301);
		} // ends if ($p > 0)
		else {
			// No good match
			header("Location:  /");
		} // ends else from if ($p > 0)
	} // ends else from

} // ends if (!$rsData)

Now, if product 8675309 used to be at, the script will see it’s no longer in the database, then get all products with “New”, “Snow”, or “Sprout” in the title, compare them to “New Snow Sprout” and redirect the user to the best choice (in this case,

By default, the redirect is “HTTP/1.1 302 Found”, so we add “, TRUE, 301” to the header call to change it to a permanent redirect.

Of course, for all this to work, you have to be using .htaccess rewrites, otherwise there’s no way to get the name of the missing (and requested) product.

Thanks for the inspiration to this post, Garrett! Hope this answered your question for you!

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