Amazon Associates has just announced some changes in their service. I received the email requesting me to replace some older product links, banners, and widgets or I will not receive commission from those links after August 1st, 2015.
The old product links including text + image, image-only, banners, and widgets will not send your visitors to Amazon and they will turn into public service announcement ads, therefore you might lose your earnings if you don’t update accordingly.
You shouldn’t be worried if you are using only text links on your website because they are not affected. The transition affects just product links with images. Amazon Associates introduced new affiliate links and banners in July 2013, so if your links are retrieved after that date, you should be alright. If are using legacy ad units, Amazon also showed some easy way to replace them.
Replace Old Ad Units
Amazon created a dashboard providing some information like the number of pages with ad units that need to be updated, the number of pages that could not be scanned and a list of URLs to be updated. For example, here are the links they detected on my website:
Clicking on the “Ad Codes to change” button, you will see the ads that need to be updated in your URLs.
If you are using a CMS like WordPress, you can also find the legacy ad units easily by going to WordPress Dashboard -> Posts and make a search for “ws.amazon.com” and “rcm.amazon.com”, then replace them with “ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com” and “rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com” respectively. Make sure your site doesn’t have links to aws.amazon.com or it might cause a broken link.