Domain Validation

ePN TV: John Toskey Discusses Recent Policy Changes

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Over the last couple of months you’ve probably heard about some significant changes happening at eBay Partner Network in regards to existing policies around mobile, social and domain validation. This week, Tien Huang, sits down with our Head of Publisher Development, John Toskey, to discuss those changes in a bit more depth.

In addition, John is excited about how things have unfolded over his first few months on the job:

“There’s been a lot of changes at eBay in the last four months... My second week we completely redesigned and rebranded the site,” says Toskey. “Besides being a lot more fun to shop, our site conversions are up. We had a really banner Q4 with sales and I think publishers benefit from all of those.”

If you have questions or comments for John, please leave them below. Additionally, we’d love to get your feedback on the recent policy changes and how they’ve affected your business.

Understanding the Domain Validation Change

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UPDATE 2/22/13: We have added some answers to most frequently asked questions we'll be answering over the last couple of days. We hope this is helpful.

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Today, we have officially removed the requirement for validating your domains with eBay Partner Network. You may remember that last month we made an initial announcement about this change, and that prompted questions from our partners, such as:  Is there a list of specific third-party sites we’re allowed to use? What about Social Media?

Good questions.

Starting today, we’re launching a pilot of sorts that will allow partners to promote eBay on any site in a manner that fits within the spirit of our Code of Conduct. Specifically, we want to call out the following sections:

Third Party Terms.  You are responsible for complying with all terms of use applicable to third party sites should you place Links or Promotional Content on such sites.

Reservation of Rights.   eBay Partner Network reserves the right to filter, and/or withhold compensation for, traffic that we believe does not comply with any of the terms above.

That means that sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are all acceptable platforms for promoting eBay. So, when we say “spirit” in the above paragraph, what do we mean? Well, promoting eBay on your own Facebook Wall would fall within the spirit of our Code, while spamming the Walls of your Facebook friends with eBay links, would not. Additionally, adult content and gambling websites would also fall outside of our agreement. In short, we’re asking you to think ethically and always keep eBay’s brand in mind when deciding on promotional placement.

From our side, this means that we have to be incredibly vigilant about network quality. Our team will be closely monitoring traffic and placement to make sure our partners continue to send quality traffic to eBay.

Finally, URL shorteners have become an integral part of social networking and we want you to be able to use them. Please note that in 2015 we updated the list of approved URL shortening services to those offered by: Stumble UponTwitter and Google. Using any other URL shorteners will result in your traffic being invalidated.

We hope you’re excited about this change. As we’ve mentioned a few times already, we’re committed to winning your V.O.T.E.S. this year, and we believe this moves the needle in a significant way toward that end. We thank you in advance for your cooperation in making this pilot successful and sustainable for the long term.

We know there is a lot of information to take in from this post. Please share any feedback or ask any questions you may have in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Update to Domain Requirements Coming January 23rd!

If you’ve been part of our program for any period of time, you’re probably aware of our policies regarding domain registration and validation. For some of you, those requirements meant a bit of extra work, and for others it meant you weren’t able to participate in our program at all. Today, we’re excited to announce a couple of significant positive changes that will begin rolling out on January 23rd.

Mobile Domain Registration

In the past, we’d asked all publishers to register their domains with us in order to be paid on mobile traffic. As of January 23rd, you’ll receive compensation on all mobile traffic regardless of the domain being registered, and will see data on mobile traffic in your dashboard shortly thereafter.

Domain Validation

As part of our program we’ve always required publishers to show proof of domain ownership by validating their websites. Unfortunately, that meant sites hosted on platforms like Blogger or Wordpress.com were not eligible to participate in our program. We’re pleased to announce that on February 20th that restriction will be lifted. From that date you’ll be able to use third-party blog platforms to host your content and promote eBay.

Let’s Make it Easier

Over the last few months, you’ve heard us talk a bit about our V.O.T.E.S. strategy for 2013. We have made a commitment to make things as easy and efficient as possible for our publishers and this was the first step. Over the coming months we’ll continue to evaluate our existing policies and procedures and streamline them as much as possible to make it easier to participate in our program.

We’re excited about these two new changes and we hope you are too. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer quickly.