Understanding the Domain Validation Change


UPDATE 2/22/13: We have added some answers to most frequently asked questions we’ll be answering over the last couple of days. We hope this is helpful.


Today, we have officially removed the requirement for validating your domains with eBay Partner Network. You may remember that last month we made an initial announcement about this change, and that prompted questions from our partners, such as:  Is there a list of specific third-party sites we’re allowed to use? What about Social Media?

Good questions.

Starting today, we’re launching a pilot of sorts that will allow partners to promote eBay on any site in a manner that fits within the spirit of our Code of Conduct. Specifically, we want to call out the following sections:

Third Party Terms.  You are responsible for complying with all terms of use applicable to third party sites should you place Links or Promotional Content on such sites.

Reservation of Rights.   eBay Partner Network reserves the right to filter, and/or withhold compensation for, traffic that we believe does not comply with any of the terms above.

That means that sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are all acceptable platforms for promoting eBay. So, when we say “spirit” in the above paragraph, what do we mean? Well, promoting eBay on your own Facebook Wall would fall within the spirit of our Code, while spamming the Walls of your Facebook friends with eBay links, would not. Additionally, adult content and gambling websites would also fall outside of our agreement. In short, we’re asking you to think ethically and always keep eBay’s brand in mind when deciding on promotional placement.

From our side, this means that we have to be incredibly vigilant about network quality. Our team will be closely monitoring traffic and placement to make sure our partners continue to send quality traffic to eBay.

Finally, URL shorteners have become an integral part of social networking and we want you to be able to use them. Starting on February 20th, you will have approval to use three popular tools to shorten URLs: Twitter, Google and Bitly.

We hope you’re excited about this change. As we’ve mentioned a few times already, we’re committed to winning your V.O.T.E.S. this year, and we believe this moves the needle in a significant way toward that end. We thank you in advance for your cooperation in making this pilot successful and sustainable for the long term.

We know there is a lot of information to take in from this post. Please share any feedback or ask any questions you may have in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

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  • Rhonda Reid

    Based upon my understanding of the text above and the code of conduct,
    it seems that it is now acceptable for me to use EPN links in a
    transparent manner on sites such as Squidoo, Zujava, HubPages, etc. as
    well as on Facebook and Twitter. Am I understanding this correctly?

    I don’t want to endanger my EPN account by violating any terms of service, so will I get a warning first if anything is wrong?

  • tashreef

    Hi.. i have applied for ebay partnership , and today i received mail from ebay saying that i need to confirm my site by placing txt file in my site, but since by host does not support txt file upload so i cannot verify my site , is there any other way to verify my site , i can place HTML links in my site… please do reply

  • psarema.net

    Hi there!

    today i received mail from ebay saying that i need to confirm my site by placing txt file in my site. I did the proper procedure by placing the code in the txt file. When try to confirm it ,was told that the page does not exist. Why?

  • Elton Murphy

    This is great news. Thank you, EPN.

    I use custom domains on Bitly – http://support.bitly.com/knowledgebase/articles/76741-how-do-i-set-up-a-custom-short-domain-

    Therefore, my shortened urls are through Bitly, but aren’t bit.ly/blahblah

    Is this still okay?

  • http://www.mr-omneo.co.uk Mr Omneo

    What about short URLs that use bit.ly but to a custom domain?

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    Yes, custom Bitly urls are fine and within our policy.

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    As long as it’s through Bitly, you’re fine. :)

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    No need to validate your domain. That message must have come through before the changed was rolled out.

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    No need to validate your domain anymore. That message must have come through before the changed was rolled out.

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    Hi Rhonda – Yes, you can promote via any site that allows it in their terms of service. If you are concerned about violating our TOS inadvertently, please reach out to Customer Service and double-check with them that what you’re planning to do is acceptable. The contact page is here:


    Hopefully this gives you some piece of mind.

  • http://twitter.com/kaseyleebaxter Kasey Baxter

    What about promoting a EPN link via pinterest, this would be ok as well?

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    Kasey – you can promote on just about any site (note the exceptions above) as long as it falls within their acceptable terms of service. Pinterest had a policy against putting affiliate links on their site. You may want to research that and see if it’s still the case.

  • Alan

    What about owl hit short urls? They are the only options on hootsuite unless I pay for a vanity url.

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    Hi Alan – the only services that we have approved for use in shortening URLs are Twitter, Google and Bitly.

  • Alan

    Why have they been approved and not others? Anyone that uses hootsuite has no choice. Implementing vanity urls makes EPN a loss for me. Surely it makes no sense to restrict others.

  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    Each service has to be tested to make sure they handle and render URLs appropriately so that partners get credit for driving that traffic. The shortening services of Twitter, Google and Bitly are the only products that have been vetted and approved by our technical team.

  • Alan

    Thanks Scott. I have not seen any issues using alternatives, if I see any problems I assume it will be down to me to resolve with the short url provider, which is ok.


  • http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/ Scott Parent / ePN

    Using any URL shortener other than the three approved services I have mentioned above is a violation of our terms of service.

  • Alan

    Ok, noted.


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