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  1. #1
    Newbie fms's Avatar
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    Coupon Sites Trademark Bidding
    I hope I am posting this in the right place. I have been researching trademark bidding and I am still not sure I understand this in relation to coupon sites. For instance, I am affiliated with a merchant who says "Affiliate Publisher will not be paid for any transactions resulting from any keyword or phrase containing search keyword (merchant's name, trademark is listed here). Affiliate Publisher may be required to employ negative keyword matching to prevent violation of this guideline." (Bold added by me)

    However, when I do a search for merchant name + coupon every spot is filled with affiliate coupon sites. I would think that this would be a violation of terms, but perhaps I am misunderstanding?

    I found this post from Donuts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    For some merchants, I've bid on "merchantname coupon" - and at times, I've been accused of "trademark bidding" (even though their policies clearly didn't address "coupon" or cobinations. If you lump "domain" & "domain+otherwords" into "trademark bidding", you're again missing the entire point of things. In the case of +otherwords, the visitor is looking for something else before they buy - if you eliminate the +otherwords, your same affs will still be there for seo/organic traffic and all you've accomplished is preventing your affs from taking those ppc spots - your competitors will be there, so will some weird results, like ebates. If we want to debate the +otherwords part of a merchant's ppc domain-name bidding policy, I can give tons of funny examples where the intended consequences have gone horribly wrong.
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...demark+bidding

    I can see how bidding on merchant name + coupon might add value then to the merchant, so is this why it is allowed? OR are these affiliates in violation of the terms and this merchant is just not monitoring and taking action against these affiliates?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Can you be sure the SE is not just returning a result based on the one word phrase "coupon"

  3. #3
    Newbie fms's Avatar
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    I just went back and checked again and every ad has the merchant name in the ad and appear to have coupons for this merchant, expect for one ad. There is a total of 9 ads. I guess another possiblity is that they have special permission from the merchant?

  4. #4
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    There can be cases where certain "privileged" affiliates are allowed to bid on trademarks, but to be honest, I'm not sure if that's a common occurrence.

    I don't believe this is specific to coupon sites, although perhaps they are more active trademark bidders (where allowed) than other types of sites.

    But yes, I take the view they are in violation of the merchant T&C.

    However, in the spirit of the thread you referenced, some merchants may allow affiliates to do this within the context of the argument supporting trademark bidding. You don't know what terms may be in place for certain affiliates. Again, that's a whole other topic, just keep it in mind

  5. #5
    Newbie fms's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. I am currently building a coupon site and exploring different advertising methods. If I am offering merchant coupons then it seems like the obvious thing to bid on (for relevant traffic) would be merchant name + coupon, however I certainly do not want to break any rules nor do I want to violate my advertisers terms of service. I just want to make sure I am understanding these terms correctly.

  6. #6
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fms
    I am currently building a coupon site and exploring different advertising methods.
    Just my 2 cents, but you may want to re-consider building yet another coupon site. Not trying to discourage, but just giving my opinion. If you do, make sure it's different than the slew of coupon sites already out there.

  7. #7
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    Seymour makes an EXCELLENT point... it's pretty tough to compete with some of the bigger established sites. Try to establish your own brand/concept.

    It's just something to consider before you spend the advertising dollars..

  8. #8
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    If you do, make sure it's different than the slew of coupon sites already out there.
    Slew is an understatement.

  9. #9
    Newbie fms's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the advice. I have already started doing some advertising (even though I am not done adding merchants) and I am starting to see a small profit. I have put a lot of work into this so I will push forward and see if I can make it work.

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