#1 My understanding is that putting in a minimal early bid after being referred by a Search box or "Right Now on eBay" link on Oldgas.com will get us the referral credit even if later bids are placed directly or from snipe.
#2 I don't think there is a chance that any site can get automatic referral credit. They have a sophisticated tracking system that credits only "real" bids and referrals that come from a site.
#3 I doubt that putting an auction on your Watch List only will qualify for a referral credit. I think only actual bids are counted.
One big change in the last couple years is to give referral credit to a site that refers a runner-up bidder who posted a "quality bid" even if he didn't win. But I'm certain that they also track bidders who would play a game with that to generate referral credit repeatedly. Please don't try to play with the system in that way and get us kicked off the program.
We are getting dependable support from many of our members who are posting auction numbers of their own auctions and are bidding through our search box and page top links. It is working and paying the bills consistently. Thanks!