People Stealing Your Landing Pages?

Posted by Methylated on January 01, 2009

If your campaign is doing well, there’s a good chance that eventually, somebody, will use, or worse, expose, your landing page. They might copy it 1:1, they might post it on a forum, or they might just pass it around to a few friends. This is just part of business, and part of life, and it’s only going to get worse as more and more people get into affiliate marketing. There’s one thing you can do about it, and it’s up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons.

[Nickycakes](http://nickycakes.com/) wrote a small script called **AntiAff** which matches your users against a database of known marketer IPs. There’s a good chance that if a user has been on an affiliate marketing forum or AM IRC channel, they aren’t going to your landing page to buy Acai. If the IP is blacklisted (i.e., suspected of belonging to somebody literate about affiliate marketing), the user is shown a different landing page than a prospective lead. The page the unwelcome user sees can be blank, but to remain under the radar, a quick worthless landing page can be slapped up which should deter anyone from visiting your domain again.

I was thinking about writing a similar script, but personally I don’t believe the added complexity and problems outweigh the benefits. Also, I take somebody stealing my shit as a challenge to keep coming up with something better.

### Problems With This Approach ###
- It’ll only work if you have a list of IP addresses that are up to date. (See below on how to [collect IP addresses](#collect_ips))

- You’re going to unintentionally blacklist some legitimate users.

- **Again: You can block an entire network of people unintentionally! If somebody visits WickedFire from Starbucks, and that IP is blacklisted, then anybody in Starbucks who tries to access your authentic LP is shit outta luck.**

- People using proxies, VPNs, dial up, or who only browse from work are going to filter through.

- It adds complexity and slightly increases landing page load time.

- This method will eventually be obsolete, but for now and in the near future, it’s still pretty good.

### Collecting IP Addresses ###
- Good ‘ol fashioned bait. Post an image on a forum. Anyone who views your post will unwillingly download the image, saving their IP on your web server’s access log.

- Sit on IRC and just collect everybody’s IP (it’s public)

- Use the bait method on your blog, or create a thin blog or site and de-index it from google (robots.txt), then link to it in your signature on marketing forums. You don’t want it to get indexed because it will begin pulling in valid IPs. Obviously make sure you whitelist Google’s crawler and any known friendly IPs (Facebook reviewers, etc).

- The bait method above can be used to target specific users instead of just on a wide scale. This can be done anytime you need somebody’s IP, via AIM, Facebook, email, etc. This is how we used to do it back in the sub7 days.

- Anytime you’re directly connected with a user, either using AIM’s direct-connect, or during a file transfer, you can use **netstat** to see the subject’s IP.

- Instead of making a thin blog, you can take it a step down and just start a **[netcat](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netcat) server** and link directly to it.

### Protecting Your Own IP ###
- No Hope For You.

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