Update: Approximately 12 days after first being reported, the author of the BestAzon WP plugin closed the open WP support tickets stating the issue has been resolved. We now see the demo links on their site working however, there are still ongoing complaints from BestAzon WP plugin users that the links aren’t working.
Recently we’ve been contacted by a growing number of niche and authority site publishers that were previously using the competing service BestAzon, but have found their Amazon affiliate links no longer work, and are looking for help ensuring their sites are fully functioning for the holidays.
From some quick research, we’ve confirmed there now appears to be something fundamentally broken with BestAzon’s service for Amazon affiliate links and we wanted to share a quick blog post about what we know and some advice for those affiliate publishers that are impacted.
If you’ve been adversely impacted by BestAzon’s CloudFront 504 error and your Amazon affiliate links no longer work, feel free to reach out directly or jump below to read about how to get your links fixed ASAP.
While we aren’t sure who is behind the BestAzon tool (the team behind the service isn’t mentioned) their claim of “guaranteeing 100% uptime, and less than half a second latency.” (source) for the last week has unfortunately been anything but true. We’ve been able to verify this using the online demo that BestAzon provides on their site.
After trying to load for more than a minute the page loads an error page from CloudFront giving a 504 “The request could not be satisfied.” error, stopping the buying experience and resulting in no commissions potential for the affiliate publisher.
Broken Amazon Affiliate Links
The 504 CloudFront error users are seeing after clicking on the Amazon affiliate links handled by BestAzon appears to be an issue they’ve encountered before. They seem to have had this same issue in the past and again just a couple of months ago. But in the recent case, they were very quick to respond. Taking a look at their WordPress plugin support history we see the following posted on September 23, 2020:
“From Monday September 21 the plugin doesn´t work. When I try to connect to amazon from my web site (through afiliatte link) the new url generate doesn´t work.”
This inquiry is acknowledged by the BestAzon plugin creator just over four hours later and fixed 15 minutes after that. This implies it’s an easy fix on their side, which is further evidenced with the comment:
“This was a temporary issue that has been resolved promptly.”
Unfortunately, this time around there may be a larger issue at work or the owners no longer care to support the service. The following comments about the BestAzon plugin, as of this writing, are still unresolved:
Oct. 31st, 2020 by regraham
As several people have said, this plugin no longer works. Since 31/10/20, All links result in the following error: 504 ERROR
Nov. 2nd, 2020 by PodCacher
BestAzon Links are no longer working… The link above gets resolved the LONG link below, and that spins for a long time. Finally it returns this  error
Nov. 4th, 2020 by yuraiss
It is not working on my website, same issue. (504 error)
Our testing of the service, using the demo on their site, as well as verifying the comments above and spot-checking other websites shows us the same behavior — clicking the Amazon affiliate links results in a long load time then eventually an error. The Amazon site is never loaded nor is an Amazon affiliate link passed along.
Is BestAzon Abandoned?
We totally get it, things break, and downtime happens. It sucks for everyone but it’s, unfortunately, a fact of life for online-based businesses. BUT when things break the proprietors of the service have two responsibilities: 1/ keeping their clients informed and 2/ fixing the issue as quickly as humanly possible, especially when someone’s livelihood is on the line. Unfortunately, it appears that the team behind BestAzon may be on vacation and neither of these things has happened for at least a week!
Digging further, it seems that the team behind BestAzon, like another peer in the Amazon affiliate link, manage space — ProURLs — may have lost steam around developing the service years ago and then gave up supporting it in the recent month.
Here is what we are seeing:
- No reply yet for an email to the address they share across their blog and support (firstname.lastname@example.org) that was sent yesterday.
- No response via Facebook messenger from their site that was sent three days ago.
- The last response on WordPress, by the plugin author, was September 27th, 2020.
- The last post on their blog was in the spring of 2017 – Announcing BestAzon Paid Plan — however we are seeing comments from their team as recently as four months ago.
- The last post on their Facebook Page was also the spring of 2017.
- The last major update to the service seems to be between August 2015 when Amazon launched their affiliate program for Mexico, and May of 2018 when Amazon launched the Australia affiliate program, which doesn’t appear to be supported by the BestAzon service.
It’s a bit of a challenge to gauge how much of an impact this extended downtime of BestAzon is making but for those affected it appears to be a complete break and it’s our estimates that websites using BestAzon for the link localization and affiliation of their Amazon links are seeing a near-total loss of commissions.
Taking a look at the Amazon Link Localization by BestAzon WordPress plugin it states that there are currently more than 800 active installs of the plugin.
A check of BuiltWith brings back a total of 918 sites live with the BestAzon code.
Looking at AHREFs, the popular SEO tool, we see approximately 150 domains include a link to “lnks.io” the domain used with the BestAzon redirect links. We also see 173 referring domains for the domain “BestAzon.io”.
Fixing Broken BestAzon Amazon Links
While this is a bummer of a situation for everyone involved, we can be thankful that BestAzon was built in a way so that it is “100% Reversible”. BestAzon further elaborates on this with “If you uninstall/deactivate BestAzon, your site will not break, and will go back to how it was.” (Source). This means that removing the BestAzon service should leave you with your original Amazon links.
Step one in fixing your links is to uninstall BestAzon.
How to do this varies on the process you initially used to implement their service.
WordPress: If you have a WordPress based website you will have likely used their plugin. This process should be as simple as navigating to the “Installed Plugins” in your WordPress dashboard and click on “Deactivate” next to the plugin. From there you click on Delete to finish the process. Of course, be sure to test your site to ensure the change took place and if you use any local or regional caching services you may need to refresh the cache to grab a copy of your site that has BestAzon removed.
Joomla: If your website is based on Joomla then you probably already know what you are doing. Don’t forget to test after you make the change and refresh your cache if you aren’t seeing the expected results.
Did you use BestAzon across multiple websites? Be sure to double-check that now!
Now that you have BestAzon’s service removed from your site your Amazon links should be at least resolving and hitting the Amazon website. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that your affiliate tracking IDs are being added nor does it mean that your international visitors are getting the ideal user experience or that you are monetizing their purchases. This leads us to step two.
Step two is monetizing your international traffic.
The reason you chose to use BestAzon, to begin with, was likely due to a sizable percentage of your website’s traffic being from around the world and seeing an opportunity to increase your total commissions without having to drive more traffic.
Luckily there are a few different options on how to move forward with localizing your Amazon affiliate links.
Geniuslink / Amazon Link Engine
We at Geniuslink would love to help you maximize your affiliate commissions for this holiday season and beyond!
We’ve got a full team (meet them) here and while we occasionally break things, I’m proud to report we typically get them fixed lickity split! We’ve also been doing this for nearly a decade and are a sustainable, bootstrapped, family-run business passionate about affiliate links that have every intention of providing a rock-solid service for at least another decade. Our many thousands of existing clients can vouch for that!
Reach out and let us know if you are interested in learning more or have questions about switching from BestAzon to Geniuslink.
“Regraham”, one of the BestAzon users who we mentioned earlier, shared these comments to other BestAzon users:
I switched out to Amazon Link Engine using genius link, really easy and my site was back to localising links 30 mins later (Source)
I have solved this by switching over to Genius Link’s “Amazon Link Engine” plugin, a plugin for the geni.us link service. Was easy, set up a 14 day trial of genius link. added all my associate ID’s from this plugin to their website. Installed Amazon Link engine and followed the instructions to set up a connection to my genius link account. No other changes and now all my existing links are localised again. (Source)
Besides Geniuslink, some other BestAzon alternatives include Amazon’s OneLink service, as well as some of the time tested and well known Amazon plugins such as AmaLinks Pro, Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plug (AAWP), or EasyAzon.
We are sorry to hear if you were one of the many websites that are being negatively affected by BestAzon’s sustained service interruption and we hope the following notes help you correct the situation before the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear. We know that 2020 has been a crazy year but please know we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do and best of luck!