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Disclaiming V4.2.0 (and other goodies)

Disclaiming V4.2.0 (and other goodies)

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In the previous post (‘The Secret Key of Amazon’) I outlined the procedure for obtaining the AWS keys that Amazon will now be requiring for calls to their data feed (like AOM uses). This time I want to run down a few other wrinkles in version 4.2.0 that will be part of Associate-O-Matic going forward.

The first is the text above, about Amazon services provided ‘as is’, etc. Amazon is insisting that this text appear on every page that shows product. This is done in the program in the Site Disclaimer box under the Site tab. It’s a variable, called with the {DISCLAIMER} tag that appears in the box. You can add your own text above or below the disclaimer if you wish. You can even remove the {DISCLAIMER} tag, but if Amazon catches you without this text, you could face the loss of your Associate account. So forgo it at your own risk.

But wait, I hear you say, what about the duplicate content penalty Google is certain to impose on all the sites carrying this label? The answer is simple; replace the tag (and the text) with an image, as I’ve done above (try to highlight it with your mouse). As long as the text appears and is readable by humans, neither Google or Amazon will care if it’s not readable by spiders.

Another requirement is a timestamp on the pricing. Unfortunately, this can’t be replaced by an image. My gut feeling is that the text is too short (once you remove the actual date and time) to incur a penalty. Otherwise we’d all be in trouble for using “the” or “and”.

A feature many people have asked about is also now included – the ability to create ASIN custom subcategories for an ASIN main category. This means you can create a truly custom product list for your site. The process of getting ASINS is not any easier, but if you have a tight niche and a small list of items, you can set them up in your own subcats, without needing to rely on nodes or keywords.

Something suggested by a user was for category names to autofill when you select a main category node. If you’re setting up a general mall store, it can be tedious to have to type ‘Apparel’, ‘Baby’, ‘DVD’, etc. down the list. Now once you select the category (‘Books’), then that’s what will appear by default as the category name. And yes, you can change it if you wish. But it’s certain to be a timesaver for many.

The previous version (V4.1.5) introduced thumbnail images in several of the boxes, such as ‘New Releases’ and ‘Bestsellers’. You now have the option of turning those images off if you wish. And you can change the number of items that appear in the box. Have a ‘Top 5’ or ‘Top 3’, etc.

An option to provide a link to a custom 404 error page is now available, under the Errors tab. And if you use the built-in tabs, there’s now an easy way to change the tab border color (the Tabs tab, of course).

So some pretty interesting features, plus various fixes and other changes. A reminder that all previous versions of Associate-O-Matic will not be compliant with Amazon’s changes, and as such, will no longer function after August 15th, 2009. If you want to continue using the program, you have to upgrade to this version, or any version thereafter.

And a final note – various posts in this blog that pertain to installation, etc. will be updated shortly to reflect the new procedures, such as the AWS keys, etc. The changes will be made as time permits, but there will be no notice other than this one.

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