Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 106
  1. #1

    Join Date
    June 7th, 2006
    Posts
    1,596
    Ebay defines "Engagement" and what they want
    At the risk of making this post too long, I’ve tried to answer a few of the key questions that have been posted in the thread. Hopefully this will provide some more useful information to the affiliates who are concerned about how we’re evaluating traffic and how they can improve their sites and monetization.

    Also, I wanted to address the folks who are wondering who the person (also referred to in the thread as commie, retard, etc., etc.) is who made this decision. That person is me. I’m not posting on the boards on behalf of others who made the decision, nor am I asking anyone on my team to post on my behalf. With the gravity of this decision and the impact on the affiliates who were expired, it’s only appropriate that I’m out here doing the speaking, so here I am.

    With that, I hope the information below is helpful.

    Thanks
    Steve



    What does “engagement” mean?


    Among other metrics, we measure the time that users spend on eBay after they come through an affiliate link, the number of pages that they view, and their buying activity after coming through the affiliate link. Hopefully this helps to further clarify what we mean. I know that we don’t provide reporting on all of these metrics, but we’re looking at ways that we can improve that visibility so that you can optimize your campaigns for them.

    Can affiliates affect engagement and conversion?

    Definitely. The metrics show that there is a wide distribution of these metrics between affiliates. To illustrate the point with an extreme example, a site that helps potential buyers find and research stereo receivers and then points them to great deals on eBay will probably drive more engaged buyers with better conversion rates than an eBay banner on a ringtone site.

    How can affiliates improve engagement from their sites?

    Many of you are already using these techniques and others, but for those who may not be, here are some tips to improve engagement.

    • Maximize the amount of unique content to your site. Create commerce-oriented content for your site that engages the user in the shopping experience. Conversely, avoid putting eBay affiliate ads on pages that have little to do with shopping – e.g. ringtone sites, non-commerce oriented social network sites, e-mail services, etc. Also, sites that do little other than offer links to redirect to eBay generally don’t perform well. Engage people with content on your site, and make it clear to them on the affiliate links that they will be redirected to eBay to shop.
    • Use more targeted creatives. If all you have is a simple text link to eBay or a static eBay banner ad on your site, consider using one of our flash creatives. Use what you know about your users and your content: consider using banners targeted to specific demographics (e.g. male vs. female) or categories – which are also available on eBay Partner Network. Also consider using our Editor Kit and eBay To Go widgets, which can be customized to show specific eBay listings for a given category or keyword right on your page.
    • Integrate eBay links within your content. Sites that find a way to work eBay advertising into the content, rather than just as a simple ad at a top, side, or bottom of a page, tend to do better
    • Optimize your landing pages. Use what you know about your users to help them find what they want on eBay. If your site is about tennis rackets, avoid landing your users on the eBay homepage, and instead send them to a search results page on eBay for targeted tennis queries.
    • Use our geotargeting functionality. Sending a visitor on your site who is from the UK to ebay.co.uk (our British site) rather than ebay.com (our US site), will significantly improve conversion rates and engagement. You can select this option when you’re generating eBay links in the “tools” tab.
    • Avoid simply incenting visits to eBay or registration with eBay – their primary motivation is typically not interest in eBay or in purchasing from eBay. If you are going to give your users cash back or points, tie those rewards to actual valid purchases on eBay.

    How can affiliates test & improve their performance?

    • Set up specific campaigns to test out any new sites, links, content, etc., and ideally, test these approaches at smaller volumes in comparison to your overall traffic. This way you will be able to evaluate the performance of each new campaign separately, ramp up the ones that perform the best, and prune the ones that don’t perform.
    • Leverage the custom ID reports to further segment your testing. In an upcoming release targeted for September, additional category reporting will be made available that will help you see the categories that your users are converting in (at campaign, tool, and program levels) which should help you further target your content and affiliate links.
    So there you have it. EVERYTHING you need to know to keep IN the EPN program.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    June 7th, 2006
    Posts
    1,596
    So what this basically means is that it is UP to the affiliate to force a user to stay on ebay and look around and buy things. I guess the times of targeting specific items or niches is over. If your buyers don't "look around" ebay and continue to buy buy buy, you WILL be kicked out of the program.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Like I said in the other thread, they need to fire that team. They're really screwing up and what they're posting doesn't make much sense. I wonder if the person/people who hired them are reasonable or have any sense. If so, that would be the person to get in contact with.

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    What Steve is saying don't make sense to me.

  5. #5
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Land of The NFL Champs!
    Posts
    2,942
    By some accident, I happened to incorporate ebay links into my content sites in places where the viewer might be inclined to buy. Guess that is why I did not get banned.

    But then Steve says to use flash banners and creatives? Seems like the antitheses of content orientated text links.

    All in all, this really flies in the face of the spirit of affiliate marketing. Some ban-happy guy named steve booting you for reasons that may very well be beyond your control with explanation only after the fact. Kind of like the "bad boss" on a day job. And steve wants to micromanage the way you do things. Kind of like the insecure boss that likes to stroll past your cubicle about 5 times a day to keep an eye on you.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  6. #6

    Join Date
    June 7th, 2006
    Posts
    1,596
    As I have said before if any small affiliate program was using these tactics places like this forum would insure their programs never got off the ground.

    Cookie stuffers like Auctiva are still active and going strong, and apparently aren't called "black hat" by EPN. Yet, when others are doing the cookie stuffing it's a bad thing. Ebay needs to make up their minds.

    As for the ACRU or any commissions, hasn't ebay heard of "reversals"? Instead of banning people why aren't they just reversing commissions on those line items they feel are not "quality"? Then in severe cases of blackhatters ban them.

    EPN is acting like this is the first time they have ever had an affiliate program.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    "As for the ACRU or any commissions, hasn't ebay heard of "reversals"? Instead of banning people why aren't they just reversing commissions on those line items they feel are not "quality"?"

    Like what was mentioned in the other thread, I thought that's what the whole tier system was supposed to handle. It's $25 a shot now, but if it's real good, engaged traffic, more than $25. If it's bad or less engaged, less than $25. Dropping good affiliates is just stupid. And what you mentioned, Auctiva and then being on other networks like PJ and because of that, who knows who you have in your program, probably some parasites. It is one of the more idiotic moves I've seen from an affiliate program in some time.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,263
    and make it clear to them on the affiliate links that they will be redirected to eBay to shop.
    Also consider using our Editor Kit and eBay To Go widgets, which can be customized to show specific eBay listings for a given category or keyword right on your page.
    Sounds like if you just use the editor kit, you should be fine since that's engaging the customer by Steve's definition and making it clear the customer will be shopping at eBay. So, if you use that wordpress plugin or anything else that makes it look like the products are sold on your site, or list some in a sidebar, & don't show eBay branding (like the editor kit does), you may need to worry.
    Hi, I'm a signature.

  9. #9
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Land of The NFL Champs!
    Posts
    2,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Celicaphile
    and making it clear the customer will be shopping at eBay.
    oops. I sometimes just refer to the items as buy at this "online auction". So it is only a matter of time til steve sends me my dink letter.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,786
    ...will probably drive more engaged buyers with better conversion rates than an eBay banner on a ringtone site.
    Some merchants love this sort of thing, it's free (or low cost) branding to them. I guess eBay is already branded, so they don't care.

    Maybe some of these problems stem from ebay's mixing of lead marketing (ACRU's) and regular CPA marketing in the same program. Maybe that is making things confusing for them.

  11. #11
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    336
    This still doesn't answer the following:

    How do I, as an affiliate, measure whether my "engagement" is improving or getting worse? How do I tell whether changes I make to my site(s) is getting closer to, or farther away from, the magical mystery eBay EngagementMetric(tm)?

    It's still a hidden target we're shooting at, and the first indication that we've shot wide is being banned.

    That's bullshit.

    Conversely, his explanation of what eBay is looking for tells me why I've not been banned, despite my EPC being much lower than others who have been banned (there was some speculation on the eBay board that low-EPC affs were being targeted for the axe because they are an ineffective ROI from a resource-utilization perspective; this new revelation implies that EPC is NOT what eBay is looking at... or at least not solely). The people I send to the Bay tend to spend a lot of time looking around (and buying) within the categories I send them to (according to discussions I've had with members). I don't use generic banners or links; everything is highly targeted to specific items. As I read Steve's message, that is exactly what eBay wants.

    Of course it's strictly speculation... since I have no effing way to measure any of it.

    Right now I'm in a holding pattern and absolutely will not change or add anything to my sites re: eBay. Too easy to step on a land mine.
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,587
    EPN - Everybody Panic Now
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  13. #13
    Newbie
    Join Date
    February 24th, 2008
    Posts
    20
    His new "definition" is not a definition. It's more cleaver (or not so cleaver) wording to avoid giving specifics about anything. It's very ambiguous and vague.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Since our site already utilizes most of the suggestions in the OP above I don't believe I have much to worry about. A good way to determine how "engaged" the visitors you send are, is to analyze your ePN downloadable reports. If you use the Custom ID field to identify the page or link associated with individual sales, pair the link/page up with the item purchased. An interesting observation here is that many of the buyers we send not only purchase multiple items on the same day, but they many times purchase items totally unrelated to our webpage, even though our links/pages are highly targeted.

    Example; a visitor today clicked a link on one of our product pages advertising an Indian Jones toy. They ended up buying $75 worth of BSN AXIS-HT supplements from two different sellers. That indicates that the buyer was "engaged" and spent some time shopping around. And from the spot checks I've made, this happens regularly.

    An aside; supplements and herbs seem to be pretty hot sellers on eBay because I've noticed more than a few times that buyers purchase that type of item even though we don't advertise anything like that. Perhaps it relates to the demographic we target, but I really don't think so.

    So, though it would have been nice for eBay to have sent a heads up to affiliates, perhaps the affiliates that were dumped should have worked harder at developing higher quality campaigns in the first place without having to be led by the hand. I think there is a large percentage of affiliate sites/links/campaigns that are just plain junk. As it's stated over and over here, it takes work, knowledge, skill, intuition, time and a rudimentary amount of intelligence to create a successful affiliate campaign. And obviously, ad farms won't cut it... but that's subject matter for another thread.
    Last edited by Boomers; August 23rd, 2008 at 02:53 AM.



    X

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald3
    His new "definition" is not a definition. It's more cleaver (or not so cleaver) wording to avoid giving specifics about anything. It's very ambiguous and vague.
    Seemed pretty explicit to me...



    X

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    "So, though it would have been nice for eBay to have sent a heads up to affiliates, perhaps the affiliates that were dumped should have worked harder at developing higher quality campaigns in the first place without having to be led by the hand."

    Did you read any of the threads on the ebay forum? Looks like a lot of good affiliates got canned as well. Your post doesn't come off too well.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Like I said before, I'm sorry for those who got canned, but I've also come to understand first, that I have no reason to believe those were "good affiliates" as I don't have access to their sites, and second, after years of site development/hosting and email hosting, and the huge amount of misinformation, fraud, and downright lies that come across THE network, I'm leery of what many faceless, nameless people say.

    If they are "good affiliates" let them prove it. Apparently statistical data indicates to the contrary. And yes, eBay may have a contorted view of the definition of a "good affiliate", but since it's their program, they set the bar.

    I don't believe I've heard from any of the regulars here that they've been canned. Perhaps they/we are clearing the bar with little effort because they/we are the ones applying the most effort.



    X

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    "Did you read any of the threads on the ebay forum?"

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Not this time around. The reason I came to ABW in the first place was because of the affiliate bologna I read on the eBay forum. That was before the ePN came into fruition. I did read those threads a while back when ePN was thinning out though, and just figured it would be more of the same this time. I'll take a look though...



    X

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,786
    For ebay to boot these people, they must feel they are actually hurting ebays bottom line ...instead of just not helping it . (unless they are just doing it to be mean)

    Obviously (at least i think its obvious) there is something else going on they don't want to talk about.

    I still think it might be connected to them not managing acru leads well.

    I type acru ebay into google and the first site I see is....
    w ww.freelance-projects.info/data-entry/acru-ebay-signups-and-leads/

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Boomers
    Not this time around. The reason I came to ABW in the first place was because of the affiliate bologna I read on the eBay forum. That was before the ePN came into fruition. I did read those threads a while back when ePN was thinning out though, and just figured it would be more of the same this time. I'll take a look though...
    I read some of those past threads myself and in those threads for the most part, those affiliates stories seemed a little iffy. These current threads, to me, are a little different. Some of them go into some detail and they seem very believable. Take that with

    -the responses Ebay has given which don't quite add up
    -they're in some other network that encourages pushing the gray area, that has parasites. If you want to do some cleaning, start there
    -someone posted about some black hats talking that they're still in while some white hats are getting the boot.
    -that what's happening now is what the tier system is supposed to take care of
    -that it takes awhile to figure out how engaged a user becomes
    -that in some of the replies they say that the affiliates they're dropping aren't fraudulent and it's possible they want to work with them in the future.

    I probably could come up with more reasons that don't quite add up for me.

    I understand merchants looking at the numbers, wanting to cut out fraud, perfectly understandable. But there are times where some affiliate teams are just straight up incompetent and do things haphazardly and this is what I get from all of this.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Still reading over there, but...

    It seems like eBay is working to improve their image/quality. This seems to coincide with the purges and policy changes that have recently come down the pike for the sellers. Perhaps they're weeding out affiliate sites of questionable quality to compliment a higher quality seller. All speculation though, as is so often necessary with eBay's motives...



    X

  23. #23

    Join Date
    June 7th, 2006
    Posts
    1,596
    A LOW EPC is not necessarily a good thing. It indicates cookie stuffing. A lot of cookie stuffers have under $3.00 EPC and that tells ebay that the quality might not be all that great.

    On the other hand too high of an EPC could indicate someone messing with ACRUs or bids/buying.

    EPC is not what concerns me. It's this "undefinable" quality that ebay wants to keep secret that is the big problem.

    BTW, ebay is not improving their image or quality at all by banning white hat honest affiliates. Tell me exactly how is that helping their image? That they don't know what they are doing and can't figure out how to take care of the scammers so let's just ban everybody we suspect.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    I read through four pages of the concerned thread. Here are some observations:

    Posts seemed to be primarily people discussing other people who got canned, a small number of the posters had actually been canned. There was a lot of hearsay about those who did.

    What you can glean from some of the comments is more or less a judgment call but the vast majority is just emotional drivel, non-understanding, sarcasm, and ranting.

    A common thread seemed to be that many (canned or not) are funneling traffic only to their own eBay stores/listings through their affiliate links. This isn't engaged activity at all.

    I checked a couple canned affiliate's eBay seller listings. If their affiliate websites resemble their eBay listings, it's not surprising they drove low quality traffic.

    I'm not seeing a connection with this purge and the new ACRU policy, or that the new policy could be effectively utilized to serve the same purpose as this purge.

    Quote from Steve...
    "Our responsibility in the affiliate marketing channel is to allocate our resources to best drive incremental demand to our sellers."
    Perhaps their "resources" are being deluged with a lot of low quality traffic that they want to clean up.

    Sorry Trust, I'm just not seeing convincing evidence of canned affiliates being "good affiliates". Admittedly, "convincing evidence" as well as the definition of "good affiliate" IS subjective.

    And now it's time to sleep. Goodnight...



    X

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 3rd, 2008
    Posts
    3,955
    Quote Originally Posted by nakedgamer
    BTW, ebay is not improving their image or quality at all by banning white hat honest affiliates. Tell me exactly how is that helping their image? That they don't know what they are doing and can't figure out how to take care of the scammers so let's just ban everybody we suspect.
    Whitehat affiliates does not equate to quality websites/campaigns. BUT, low quality traffic may equate to low quality, poorly targeted websites.
    eBay's image is not related to affiliate marketing. The vast (humongous) majority of eBay users have absolutely no concept of affiliate marketing. As far as eBay users(shoppers) are concerned, affiliate sites represent eBay and they may in some dumb way even believe that affiliate sites are run by eBay. This along with the eBay experience forms the opinion and image in eBay visitor's minds.



    X

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. "Feds say dev's 'cookie-stuffer' app fleeced eBay"
    By Dynamoo in forum Unethical Affiliates
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: May 8th, 2010, 08:01 PM
  2. eBay Editor Kit JS and "Suspicious Website" warning
    By mandalamoon in forum eBay Partner Network
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: April 8th, 2008, 07:55 PM
  3. Your eBay "registration"/"active tegistration" ratio?
    By Kimberly in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: November 19th, 2005, 02:18 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: July 29th, 2005, 01:51 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •