Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    896
    Meta Tags--Merchants, Help Me Understand
    This is addressed to the merchants whose terms do not allow affiliates to use the merchant name in the meta information. Help me understand this.

    I received an email today from a merchant saying that I had violated their T&C by including their name in my Meta. I didn't even realize that was in their T&C. That was my fault. But it's just not something I even thought to look for.

    I was told that I had 48 hours to correct the problem and all of my "recent" transactions were being reversed. Lucky for me, I've never had a single sale for the merchant. Obviously having their name in my meta wasn't very helpful, huh?

    I dropped the merchant because our meta is dynamically generated and I'm not about to change that in the next 48 hours as required to stay in the program. But I just can't understand why this T&C exists. I understand keyword bidding restrictions, no downloads...most other merchant restrictions. But this is one that has me stumped.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    5,904
    The T&C requests you don't have it in ANY Meta tag?
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    The T&C requests you don't have it in ANY Meta tag?
    Here's what it says:

    "No affiliate shall be allowed to (i) use our brand names or variations thereof in the domain name(s), or in the metatags or other hidden text, of your website(s)"
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    12,360
    Tricia,

    I suspect the merchant doesn't want any SEO competition.

    I think merchants really need to take a look at who and which sites they're threatening for TOS violations. If the site is respected and basically innocent of obvious evil intent, let affiliates do what they have to do. If you want a sales force, you're just gonna have to deal with letting them make sales FOR YOU.

    The term "affiliate friendly" comes to mind. Unfortunately, many merchants are in "affiliate panic" mode and don't recognize a clean site from a trickster site, looking to exploit their brand or name.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 30th, 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    893
    But I just can't understand why this T&C exists. I understand keyword bidding restrictions, no downloads...most other merchant restrictions. But this is one that has me stumped.
    IMO, it is similar to bidding on a merchants name in PPC. I believe the primary reason is to prevent a site from looking like it is the official merchant site in the organic listings. A secondary reason would be to prevent an affiliate site from outranking the merchant but that is not likely unless the merchant is new or for some other reason has no rankings.

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    When I was building some merchant-specific pages last year, I questioned this rule with one merchant. AND provided examples of competitors who were clearly placing their name in title, description & keyword tags.

    They advised me that the spirit of what I was doing was fine.. and allowed me to include their name in the meta-tags.
    If the site is respected and basically innocent of obvious evil intent, let affiliates do what they have to do.
    Spot on, Rexanne...

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,889
    Not sure I understand "why" either. We have prohibited trademark bidding and affiliates making a site that copies the merchant site but don't prohibit meta tag use. Back in my affiliate days I had a similar issue with EB Games when they asked me to "tone it down" since I had the #2 spot in G for their trademark. I didn't go after their name but had large datafeed sites, which had the store's name listed. I said if I can't list the merchant's name I'm not interested, they dropped me about 2 days later. Of course, all that traffic went to their competitor
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    896
    Apparently this particular merchant doesn't trust even the legit sites because I checked the meta of some of the most respected coupon sites and the merchant name is NOT in there like it is on the other pages. So they must now allow anyone to do it at all.

    Interesting comment about it being akin to PPC bidding on the merchant name. I wouldn't have seen a correlation between the two.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    I guess if they disallow across the board, it's a pretty fair policy.

    One of my content sites is actually VERY high in natural SERP (attracts more readers than buyers, sigh).. so I see first-hand why a merchant might take issue.

    For example, they may not want coupon/discount/deal sites filling up the first page when someone searches on their name. I deal with some premium/luxury sites, and this logic would definitely apply. No one can control the success of your site in natural search, but at last they can limit the use of their own name. Effective meta-tags can move a site up to page one (if content/credibility already support a high ranking)

    While I don't agree with this policy - and I realize it doesn't help you - at least the merchant is consistent, which counts for something

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,327
    You can include a merchant name in the meta tags of your site if you are doing a review of the merchant site can't you?

    There is nothing to stop anyone from placing a trademarked name in the meta tags is there?

    If a merchant forbids it, then obviously you cannot have their name in your meta tag and remain in the affiliate program, but if they kick you out, you can keep the name in the meta tag and just review the merchant.

    Or do I have it wrong?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 30th, 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    893
    If you search google for trademark infringement in meta tags you'll see some opinions.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,327
    There are no laws against it though are there?

    If a merchant kicks out an affiliate for using their name in meta tags, then there would be nothing to stop the ex-affiliate continuing using the meta tags.

    Very negative publicity for the merchant if the ex-affiliate was vindictive enough

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    3,248
    All right, I'll ask -- who is this mystery merchant?? I don't wanna find myself equally puzzled if I should get something going. I guess I'm not bright enough to figure how to keep a merchant name OUT of the metatags if it's a site I've built with PHP automatically generating metatags from such things as categories, page titles, etc.

    Any reason not to tell us the merchant involved here?
    Generate more fake news.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    All right, I'll ask -- who is this mystery merchant?? I don't wanna find myself equally puzzled if I should get something going. I guess I'm not bright enough to figure how to keep a merchant name OUT of the metatags if it's a site I've built with PHP automatically generating metatags from such things as categories, page titles, etc.

    Any reason not to tell us the merchant involved here?
    Amazing Clubs on CJ.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  15. #15
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 17th, 2005
    Location
    Bayou Country, LA
    Posts
    3,432
    Quote Originally Posted by helpingmoms
    I dropped the merchant because our meta is dynamically generated and I'm not about to change that in the next 48 hours as required to stay in the program.
    That would be my case exactly.

    I rarely read the TOS anymore. There are so many merchants, and who can read all that? I feel like we are complying with 99% of the merchants requirements, and if they want to come up with a minority exception then I'll have to go.


  16. #16
    Member niche's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 4th, 2007
    Posts
    197
    It just does not make sense some of the stuff included in the TOS
    We are trying topromote their product so that they can make more sales
    So why slap a gag on us?
    [URL="http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com"]Affiliate Marketing Basics[/URL]

  17. #17
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    12,360
    Quote Originally Posted by niche
    It just does not make sense some of the stuff included in the TOS
    We are trying topromote their product so that they can make more sales
    So why slap a gag on us?
    Because a lot of merchants are getting burned by trademark poachers and affiliates who aren't playing nice.

    Meanwhile, the ethical affiliates who are doing their job properly are gonna feel the heat because of the scumbags. - Not good for anyone, merchants or affiliates.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM
    If you search google for trademark infringement in meta tags you'll see some opinions.
    Reading some of the court cases on this has been very eye opening.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  19. #19
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 26th, 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    61
    Those T&C could be very tricky. Make sure to really evey single word. You actaully go very lucky!

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    3,248
    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    I rarely read the TOS anymore. There are so many merchants, and who can read all that? I feel like we are complying with 99% of the merchants requirements, and if they want to come up with a minority exception then I'll have to go.
    Yeah. I agree. Besides, all that reading makes my lips tired.
    Generate more fake news.

  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 23rd, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,502
    It's a silly requirement.

    All I'd need to do is set a meta directing engines to read the first line of content and name the merchant in that first line. "Latest merchant offers from MERCHANT"

    Then watch the SEO soar.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  22. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Meta Tags
    By Incentials in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: January 20th, 2008, 12:02 PM
  2. Meta Tags
    By Apool in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: October 8th, 2003, 10:24 AM
  3. Meta Tags
    By cazzie in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 12th, 2002, 10:47 AM
  4. Meta Tags
    By cazzie in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: November 11th, 2001, 07:34 PM
  5. Meta Tags
    By cazzie in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: November 10th, 2001, 11:18 AM

Posting Permissions

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