Why would Amazon product oneboxes turn into 404s?

Hi all. I just did some some searching here on this and it seems like it’s been several months since this topic has come up so I wanted to see what the latest scoop is.

I just noticed that old posts on our site which have Amazon links are showing the onebox version of the link like so:


But for new posts (not sure the exact date this started happening) the forum just shows a regular link, not a onebox. Same thing seems to happen here on meta.discourse when I just tested an Amazon link.

Furthermore, a couple of people here on meta.discourse have said that they got temporarily banned from Amazon affiliate program due to the use of onebox links.

  1. Did Discourse purposely stop supporting Amazon links or did they stop working because there’s not the correct open graph info to pull from or something?

  2. Is the reason why our old posts still show the onebox links that they haven’t been rebaked?

  3. I don’t suppose anyone knows whether it’s really true that onebox links can get you banned from the affiliate program? If so, would be make sense to re-bake old posts to get rid of our the onebox links?

Thanks so much if you have any opinions/insight.

Nobody’s gotten a straight answer out of Amazon as far as I can tell. You can try asking them, but there hasn’t been any recent changes on the Discourse side around links to Amazon.


You can keep the onebox, I think it was more related to the use of their images but as riking said, we don’t really know for sure. Just in case, I added these settings


So far so good with amazon affiliate program (for 4 years)

Your server has likely been blacklisted from Amazon. It still works fine here.


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Testing a onebox link:

And another:

That’s interesting. The exact format of the link seems to matter. See how 2 of the links in my previous post didn’t work but the 3rd one did? The first 2 I copied from the URL browser bar while at Amazon.com. The 3rd one, I copied from your post @codinghorror.

Any idea what makes the format good or bad? Hmm… I’ll do some digging…

So @Steven does this setting just prevent the onebox from showing images?

Actually it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the format of the link. Here’s a link that was formatted like the one you did @codinghorror.

For some reason when I paste an Amazon link here or on our forum, the request to Amazon results in a 404.

@techAPJ any idea what is happening :arrow_double_up:


Is this related to that ampersand change @techAPJ? Or is it product specific?

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Rebuilding all the posts above seems to have worked and I see Amazon oneboxes for all the links. I am not sure what happened here… maybe Amazon blocked our IP temporarily? FWIW, the Amazon oneboxing is working fine on my dev instance as well for all the links.

I wonder if we hit some rate limit :thinking:


No it will prevent your forum to download amazon images in your server. I think it was the use of their logo that was an issue for one user.

You can blacklist amazon oneboxes but I don’t think this is necessary, I never had an issue with amazon onebox if I keep using the remote images from their servers

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This is an interesting theory. I just tried again on my discourse installation and the 1st link I tried turned into a onebox just fine but then I tried 4 more unique links (maybe 10 seconds apart) and those all resulted in a 404. I waited like 15 minutes and tried another link and got another 404.

I’m a little unclear on whether and how often past oneboxes reach back out to Amazon for info. Anyone know off the top of their heads?

It would good info to have for this mysterious situation plus for compliance with Amazon affiliate terms because I think if you are going to pull and display certain pieces of information from Amazon, you are supposed to update it every 24 hours to keep it up to date.

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