Support » Plugin: Amazon Link » Does'nt cause Amazon to search for the keywords

  • Hi again Paul,

    In the FAQ says this:

    Can I specify different ASINs for different locales?
    If you want to provide different ASINs for different locales then this can be done using the shortcode country modifiers [country].

    For example if you want to generate a link for a book and the ASIN for France is ’2020479893′, the UK is ’0340993782′ and Germany is ’3548602045′. Then putting the following in the shortcode will ensure that any localised links will use the appropriate ASIN.


    If you have ‘live’ data enabled then if the link is localised all other aspects (Title, images, etc.) will be generated using the appropriate ASIN.

    If the link is localised to a locale that does not have a user specified ASIN then it will use the one from the default locale.

    Alternatively if you have ‘search link’ enabled the plugin will generate a link that will cause Amazon to search for the keywords related to the product rather than a specific ASIN”.

    I have ip2nation ok, aws ok, all amazon affialiate id’s ok and I’ve tried several things to know how the plugin works and there has been no problem at all.

    But having read the above text in your FAQ, I have generated this:

    [amazon asin[us]=B002WM3HC2&asin[it]=8842902144&asin[de]=3453042751&template=iframe image]

    [amazon &asin[us]=B002WM3HC2&asin[it]=8842902144&asin[de]=3453042751&]

    I’m in Spain, so I did that to check if that would work properly. So as a user I get both image link and text link, but the image link takes me to a search page of Amazon Spain, and the text link takes me to Amazon Spain front page. If I understood correctly, in the FAQ you said that it should make Amazon Spain do a search by keywords, right? Notice in Amazon Spain do exist two products by same author and the same title. Am I getting something wrong?

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Plugin Author paulstuttard



    This is an area that has changed (inside the plugin) a few times so I might get this wrong. However your text link should work as expected can you cut and paste the actual link generated when you hover over the text link?

    There is a bug in the current plugin where the setting search text is not being filled in when you install the plugin, make sure this has something like %TITLE% | %ARTIST% in it.

    Some other things to bear in mind:

    1/ The Amazon javascript based templates (like the carrousel, favourites, iframe image, etc) the content is generated by Amazon so the normal linking rules do not apply.

    2/ The plugin only detects that a particular ASIN is not available at a particular locale if it does some sort of lookup to retrive information about that item (e.g. getting the live price or items title, etc.), if no lookup is done then it may show the wrong link (I don’t think this will affect your links though).

    3/ If your default locale is Spain and there is no ASIN provided for Spain there may be unexpected results (the plugin was written with the assumption that your home locale would always have valid ASINs). Again this _shouldn’t_ be a problem but you might find bugs in the plugin in areas that I haven’t checked.


    Hi Paul,

    When I hover over the text link it takes me to:

    BUT, I simply have copied “%TITLE% | %ARTIST%” and pasted into the search string setting as you said, so now the user is sent to:|

    which I think is a better option, of course.

    So if i understand correctly, there is no way to obtain alternative results based on Author or Title IF our link is based on image links, favourites or carrousel. Is that right? If so, it is really a pity, as visitors only get an empty screen, but I understand this is not your fault, of course.
    On the other hand, with a text link we shall get an “alternative product” page based on Author or Title. Are there any more tools beyond putting %TITLE% | %ARTIST% on the search string settings to get across this? Please notice that the text link goes to the Spain Amazon site, BUT it offers you an English edition for the book we are searching for, which is hardly what a spanish (or german, or french) user will want to purchase.

    For example, every product in Amazon has its “Product details”. In our example, we are dealing with books. So in “Product details”, we can see the asin code, but we also get other really useful details, such as Format or Language. For DVD’s, we have other characteristics that can be useful to “drive” our search to something that matches the user’s interest if our link doesn’t get to the exact product.

    So if the Spanish user (or german, or italian) can get easily to a page where he can find a book by the Author=”Iain M. Banks” and Language=”Spanish” (or german, or french), we will reach our target. As we are dealing with international sites and customers, I think this would make a HUGE difference. Maybe in a future version you could add a “Language” string to the other two “Author” and “Title”.

    Anyway, for the Image Link image, the result is the same, it takes you to an awful and empty generic search page:

    Regarding this, is there any way of improving the user’s experience? I mean, in the real world text links are really poor, bloggers and site owners do need pictures and banners and so on…

    Thanks again,


    Plugin Author paulstuttard


    The search link _should_ have the product’s TITLE and ARTIST expanded, if it doesn’t something has gone wrong.

    You can create and use any template you want that can include normal IMAGE or THUMBNAIL images, its just the Amazon ones are generated from javascript that is sourced from the Amazon site. It may be possible to cut and paste the HTML source code from the iframe image and create your own template? This would also have the added advantage that it would not be blocked by ad-blocker software.

    I can add a language keyword to the next version of the plugin, you can test how it might work on some of your links now by changing ‘search text’ option to %ARTIST% %LANGUAGE%. Then in your shortcode add the following:


    Not sure if the accented characters will work properly (note I haven’t attempted the chinese and japanese languages!)

    To be honest if you just don’t put the TITLE in the search text the Amazon site should favour the native language versions of the books from that author in the search results.

    Obviously if you only have a few links you can manually specify the search_text in the shortcode: search_text=Iain m banks

    I’d be interested to know if adding the %LANGUAGE% to the search_text improves the results.




    Once again thanks for the quick response, and indeed useful!

    In the first place yes, I have the TITLE and ARTIST expanded, it’s ok.

    I will follow your advice and experiment with normal images and thumbnails, not the ones that are generated from Amazon’s javascript.

    And I will also experiment with options such as LANGUAGE (won’t attempt chinese or japanese either!). You see, I’m not a programmer so I’m just afraid of experimenting with shortcodes, but I will for sure. I’ll let you know the improvements, as I want to be really careful. You are never sure of what users from, say Italia would get when visiting your site, so I want to make things the right way.

    I’ll let you know in a couple of days, and yeah, I think it really would be a big improvement to add a Language Keyword, it would make things easier for making visitors have a better experience and not get awful pages from Amazon.




    is this correct?

    [amazon asin[us]=B002WM3HC2&asin[it]=8842902144&asin[de]=3453042751language[es]=Español&language[us]=English&language[fr]=Français&language[de]=Deutsch&language[it]=Italiano&]

    It takes me to this page:|%20%LANGUAGE%

    Search Text Option has been changed to %ARTIST% | %LANGUAGE%

    Yes, I know I’m doing something wrong. Help!


    Plugin Author paulstuttard



    Ooops! Sorry you are right until I add the keyword it won’t work, instead of using %LANGUAGE% try using an existing keyword like %TEXT4% for now and in the shortcode set:


    Sorry to confuse,


    Haha, you’re welcome, I just thought I was doing something really stupid with that code

    Oh, but…

    I found something really strange.

    I started “playing” with ARTIST and TITLE, like
    [amazon asin[us]=B008KUSUA4&asin[it]=8842902144&asin[de]=3453042751&artist[es]=iain banks&title[es]=El jugador&]

    To my surprise, on the Amazon Page you will get a page where the two first items are books entitled “El jugador” (spanish for “The player of games”), AND after that a list of several Iain M. Banks books. BUT you have to go to the second page to find the right item, that is, Iain M. Banks “El jugador”.

    Then I went on “playing” and there is no way, you’ll never get the right book.


    I just thought: “Do it wrong” “Think with no logic”, and I just put:
    &title[es]=jugador iain m. banks, that is, the title and the author go both into the TITLE string.
    And voilà! you get Spanish Amazon page with only one book: “El jugador”, by Iain M. Banks.

    So 1.- Searching with an artist/title logic doesn’t always work, and 2.- they include the author AND the title together as THE TITLE!!! or at list it works as if it was like so. Funny enough… and misleading.

    Regarding the “text4[es]=xxxxx” thing… I just confess I don’t know how to start experimenting. Would you be so kind to put an example (if you have time, of course)?



    Plugin Author paulstuttard



    I can partially explain your search results, the ‘search link’ that Amazon provides only allows you to set ‘keywords’ for the search not specific attributes.

    So its almost like doing a standard Google search of Amazon site. If we put in ‘Iain m Banks Player of Games’ you would hope to get the English language Player of Games.

    In the original ‘search text’ option we had the syntax %TITLE% | %ARTIST%. In this case the ‘|’ character means OR, i.e. find search results with items that contain the TITLE words OR the ARTIST name.

    I was kind of hoping that Amazon might priorities items with BOTH the TITLE and the ARTIST but looks like you have discovered they don’t do this!

    To get the search string you want you can change the search text option to %TITLE% %ARTIST%.

    To try out if language makes a difference use the shortcode:

    [amazon title=Player of Games&artist=Ian M. Banks&text4[es]=Español&text4[us]=English&text4[fr]=Français&text4[de]=Deutsch&text4[it]=Italiano]

    With the search text option to %TITLE% %ARTIST% %TEXT4%, or just %ARTIST% %TEXT4% for less targeted results.

    The search link should be equivalent to going to the Amazon main page and typing the keywords into the search box, you could do this to fine tune what you want before trying it in a link.

    Hope this helps,


    Aah, so it’s more like doing a search in Google… thats says it all.

    The good part is that you know what to expect.

    Now in this case I think the best way to go is:

    [amazon title[uk]=The player of games iain m. banks&title[es]=El jugador Iain M. Banks&…] Etcetera. Everything inside TITLE and then by user localization (uk, es…). Do you agree with that or would do something different?

    So no language difference, just pure search by words as in Google.

    But then I wonder how we could use the %TEXT4% or %ARTIST%. If only we could utilize boolean AND, OR, NOT, etc…



    Plugin Author paulstuttard



    Bear in mind that the %TITLE% keyword is used in some of the templates, e.g. It is used to create the ‘title’ attribute in the image and thumbnail templates.

    If you just want to change the search link keywords use the shortcode argument ‘search_text’ e.g.:

    [amazon search_text[uk]=The player of games iain m. banks&search_text[es]=El jugador Iain M. Banks&...]

    This should work, leaving you to fill in the TITLE and ARTIST independently if you want. Or change the search text setting to be %TITLE% %ARTIST% (without the ‘|’ character) – I think this is your best option!


    Yeah, you’re right, didn’t think of that…

    uhmmm… So knowing the limits of an Amazon search and with a little thinking and practice I guess we can do pretty much everything in terms of making the visitor get the right pages from Amazon depending of his localization, great!

    Just one more question: let’s supose that you can find the English version AND the Spanish version for “The player of games” in Amazon, which is true indeed. So if you want to obtain an Amazon page with the two different titles of the same book (The player of games, El jugador) for the same country, how would you do it?

    I think this is a fair question because for certain items (not just books) the visitor in Spain would want the, say English or Italian version of a product which IS in the Spanish Amazon. Any ideas?

    Thanks Paul,


    Plugin Author paulstuttard


    Amazon seems to be really annoying when trying to use its search facility. I tried something like:

    (Iain M. Banks The player of games | Iain M. Banks El jugador) but Amazon refuses to do the search properly!

    The nearest I have got to it is to use the Department specific Advanced Search (e.g. in our case Books).

    I think this link gets the results you want:

    But it is really specific! Stripping it down a bit:|+El+jugador&field-author=iain+m.+banks

    A bit more manageable!

    I guess in a template this would convert to something like this:|+%TITLE%&field-author=%ARTIST%

    Which means search for items with the author = %ARTIST% and has the keywords %TITLE%UK# OR %TITLE% => the UK Title OR the localised Title => ‘The player of games’ OR ‘El jugador’.

    I’ll investigate incorporating this style link into the plugin, however I suspect it is specific to books (e.g. field-author is only relevant to books, so might cause other product (e.g. DVD) searches to fail).



    I’ve tried several compositions based on your last post. The Amazon search engine has no problem with “+|+” (as expected), but when I come adding a new string (e.g. &artist=iain+m.+banks), it doesn’t like it, so you get a page full of Banks books in no particular order.

    So I found that it just seems to be able to manage only one keyword from the plugin, then I put it like this:
    [amazon title[es]=the+player+of+games+iain+m.+banks|+El+jugador+iain+m.+banks]

    And then you get a page with the book in English and Spanish. Maybe I’, doing it the wrong way?

    Funny enough, this works:

    And this doesn’t:
    [amazon title[es]=El+jugador+iain+m.+banks+|+the+player+of+games+iain+m.+banks&text=Amazon]

    …which is strange and annoying

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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