Direct Link Tracking - Troubleshooting


If you have tested the Direct Link Tracking add-on and it does not correctly track an affiliate for you, or an affiliate has informed you that Direct Link Tracking does not work for them, then it may be due to one of the reasons below:

Visitor did not come to your site directly from another site

In order for Direct Link Tracking to work, the visitor must directly visit your site from a link on another site (assigned to the affiliate). If the visitor came to your site via a browser bookmark, or by typing your site URL directly into their browser, no affiliate can be tracked.

Your site is HTTP (non-SSL) but your affiliate's site is HTTPS (SSL)

HTTPS (SSL) sites can not send referrer data to HTTP (non-SSL) sites. Since the referrer cannot be obtained, direct link tracking will not work. The solution to this is to add a SSL certificate to your site.

Visit not tracked from affiliate's site in some web browsers

There are certain web browsers, such as Safari on iOS, that have more restrictions on when the HTTP referrer metadata is sent. For example, if your affiliate's site is using http:// and your site is using https://, most browsers will properly detect the direct affiliate traffic here but there are some browsers that will not detect it.

If you are encountering this problem, you can instruct your affiliates to add a special meta tag to their website's header that will enable the transmission of the HTTP referrer information. The tag they need to add to their site is:

 <meta name="referrer" content="always">

Note, it is not guaranteed that this will resolve the problem as not all web browsers support the meta tag, but it should resolve it in many cases.

The direct link has not been assigned to the affiliate

Check that the direct link has been assigned to the correct affiliate.

The direct link has a status of inactive, rejected, or pending

A direct link must have an active status in order to work.

The direct link domain has been blacklisted

If a domain is blacklisted it will not track the affiliate. Go to  Affiliates → Settings → Direct Link Tracking inside the WordPress admin and make sure that the domain has not been blacklisted.

The link on the affiliate's site, that links to yours, contains rel="noreferrer"

If  rel="noreferrer" has been added to the anchor link then the site will not pass any referrer information. To fix this, have your affiliate remove this from any link to your site.


Why do the visits on the Affiliates → Direct Link Tracking admin screen now show as 0 after updating to version 1.1?

Visits on the Direct Links admin screen previously counted all visits from any URL, including visits where standard referral links were used. In version 1.1, only visits from actual direct links are counted. A direct link domain will show as having 0 visits because there haven’t been any direct link visits from that domain. 

In version v2.0.2 of AffiliateWP (released February 16, 2017) visit "contexts" were introduced. Direct Link Tracking now adds a context of “direct-link” to any direct link visit which you can see from Affiliates → Visits admin screen.

Why do the direct link settings no longer appear?

In version 1.1 the settings for Direct Link Tracking were moved from the Affiliate Area's  Settings tab to a new dedicated Direct Links tab. If you are using the Affiliate Area Shortcodes add-on to build your own Affiliate Area, you'll want to place the [affiliate_direct_links] shortcode on your site so affiliate's can manage their direct links.