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  1. #1
    Just Lurking
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    "Because there are no rules to be broken."

    When Leader agrees with such a statement, it's food for thought.

    Are there or are there not any rules? Are there any standards the members here can agree on?

    ------------------------------
    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

  2. #2
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Yes, in fact there are rules in affiliate marketing. I have changed my position. The rules are set by the merchant offering the program. If you don't follow them, you don't get paid, in theory.

    Some merchants have horrible rules that allow affiliates to abuse other affiliates. Other merchants take the high road. Your success or failure may depend on choosing good merchants with good rules and good enforcement.

    But there are no rules about how you design your site. Whether or not it is a profitable design depends on the merchant, search engine acceptance, your skills at optimization and picking profitable programs.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    This has always been a major failing of ABWers who seek to pressure networks to impose rules on the BHO parasite players but turning a blind eye to their own moves to monopolize Google and set cookies by every conceivable sleezy Tricks for clicks move ever invisioned.

    Your damn right we should have a steadfast set of rules for affiliates to follow. If not adopted or adhired too the rogue affiliates amonng us will get the entire affiliate industry boycotted by consumers and the management of the traffic monopoly Search Engines. Without consumer oriented rules putting value into a click and ending gorrilla marketing tactics the affiliates will follow the Fax Blasters -Telemarketers -E-mail marketers and spammers into the DMA Graveyard.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  4. #4
    Just Lurking
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    Mike may actually have something there. It did cross my mind when I started the topic. Self-regulate or wind up like the Spammers and telemarketers.

    Search Engines have submission policies:

    http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/new#rls
    http://dmoz.org/add.html
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html
    ..just a few

    Do we respect the search engine Submission Policies or not?

    I've been thinking about some of the Network rules some are extremely specific (especially about linking) and might even breech the destinction between contractor/employee?

    ------------------------------
    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

  5. #5
    Just Lurking
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    Take a look at these Commercial Definition & Guidelines from LookSmart:

    http://www.zeal.com/guidelines/style...idelines.jhtml

    So does your livilihood depend on free search engine submissions? For how much longer?

    ------------------------------
    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Consumers are yelling for and demanding their elected officials and government enact new rules and penalities by the Ad Whore industry. If you think the general public gives a rats ass if Joe Blow beer guzzler geek or work at home mom can't make a living by fronting off their privacy info, e-mail address, identity or CC info and buying habits for a dime-a-form lead phoney merchant your crazy.

    The world wants to see the DMA and IAB members flipping burgers for abusing them for years online and off! Info peddlers and professional spamming Dupers are the norm for the affiliate industry. Well I've got news for the network boardrooms and all merchants here thinking they can just let the affiliates take the heat for spamm and promoting identity theft & info peddler posers...read closely the following sample of new laws -rules and regulations on the books.

    _____________________
    LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


    SB 27, as amended, Figueroa. Personal information: disclosure to
    direct marketers.
    Existing law requires a business to ensure the privacy of a
    customer's personal information, as defined, contained in records by
    destroying, or arranging for the destruction of, the records, as
    specified. Any customer injured by a business' violation of these
    provisions is entitled to recover damages, obtain injunctive relief,
    or seek other remedies.
    This bill would, subject to specified exceptions, require a
    business that discloses a customer's personal information, including
    information relating to income or purchases, to a third party for
    direct marketing purposes to provide the customer, within 30 days
    after the customer's written request, a written description of the
    sources and recipients of that information and copies of the
    information disclosed or, in certain instances, alternative
    information, as specified . The bill would also prohibit a
    business from conditioning the sale of goods or services on the
    customer's consent to that disclosure. In addition to the legal
    remedies provided under current law, a customer would be entitled to
    recover a civil penalty, up to $3,000, and attorneys' fees and costs
    for a violation of these provisions.
    Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
    State-mandated local program: no.


    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


    SECTION 1. For free market forces to have a role in shaping the
    privacy practices of California businesses and for "opt-in" and
    "opt-out" remedies to be effective, Californians must be more than
    vaguely informed that a business might share personal information
    with third parties. Consumers must, for these reasons, be informed
    about what kind of information is disclosed, how frequently, and to
    what kind of third parties. With these specifics, consumers can
    knowingly choose to opt-in or opt-out or choose among businesses that
    disclose information to third parties on the basis of how protective
    the business is of consumers' privacy.
    SEC. 2. Section 1798.80 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
    1798.80. The following definitions apply to this title:
    (a) "Business" means a sole proprietorship, partnership,
    corporation, association, or other group, however organized and
    whether or not organized to operate at a profit, including a
    financial institution organized, chartered, or holding a license or
    authorization certificate under the law of this state, any other
    state, the United States, or of any other country, or the parent or
    the subsidiary of a financial institution. The term includes an
    entity that destroys records.
    (b) "Records" means any material, regardless of the physical form,
    on which information is recorded or preserved by any means,
    including in written or spoken words, graphically depicted, printed,
    or electromagnetically transmitted. "Records" does not include
    publicly available directories containing information an individual
    has voluntarily consented to have publicly disseminated or listed,
    such as name, address, or telephone number.
    (c) "Customer" means an individual who provides personal
    information to a business for the purpose of purchasing, renting, or
    leasing real or personal property or any interest therein or
    obtaining a service from the business.
    (d) "Direct marketing purposes" means the use of personal
    information for marketing or advertising products, goods, or services
    directly to individuals. "Direct marketing purposes" does not
    include the use of personal information (1) by bona fide tax exempt
    charitable or religious organizations to solicit charitable
    contributions or (2) to raise funds from and communicate with
    individuals regarding politics and government.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  7. #7
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Ssanf posted
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Yes, in fact there are rules in affiliate marketing. I have changed my position. The rules are set by the merchant offering the program. If you don't follow them, you don't get paid, in theory. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nope, there still are no rules because merchants can be replaced. Actually it's up to them to decide if they want your business or not. If you look at ebates as an example there are definately no rules because money talks and bs walks. They clearly broke the rules of ethical affilaite behavior as well as the COC agreement yet ebates still come out smelling like roses. As far as search engine rules go, what do you suppose would happen if two equally advantagous search engines were to set rules that were opposite of each other? Something could be bad to do in Google but good to do it in MSN. In that case what would you consider to be the rule? Neither, and that is how it is.

  8. #8
    Just Lurking
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    I have a feeling soon people are going to have to obey the search engine submission guidelines because they are going to be paying for the submissions. The search engines won't be banning sites anymore they'll be banning you personally. That could really hurt in the wallet.

    I would like to see an example of search engines with opposing guildlines?

    ------------------------------
    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    [Just saw Heyder's post. I'm in agreement with that.]

    Warning, ebook sized post! (I didn't think it was *this* long till I posted it...)

    First of all, my statement has been WAY over-expanded and over-simplified. I was NOT saying there were "no rules" in the entire industry.

    I WAS saying, webmasters can design their sites any way they want and if someone doesn't like it that's Tough. IE, I meant that there are no rules on site design!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This has always been a major failing of ABWers who seek to pressure networks to impose rules on the BHO parasite players but turning a blind eye to their own moves to monopolize Google and set cookies ~Mike<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am not one of those ABWers--you will find that I am very rarely for the imposition of any rules. Personally I think those who feel the need to have how to do things dictated to them, should GET A JOB! That's what jobs do! H*ll, they'll even tell you when to p*ss!


    To have rules means there is a BOSS to enforce them and isn't the whole point to AVOID THAT?! I get much more angry when some merchant acts like he's my boss than when I read about some parasite. The fastest way for a merchant to get his links off my site is to come off as if he thinks he's the boss of something or that he can impose rules according to some narrow view of things!

    The "rule-loving" crowd here and elsewhere want to expand from the reasonable to the ridiculous. A rule against overwriting links is reasonable because the buyer had already decided to click Link X and suddenly it gets mutated into Link Y--so it's a definite theft. But a rule about how many sites to have?! That's ridiculous; that'd be like saying *everyone* should only eat macaroni because some people can't get better food. The USSR tried that kind of thinking already and see where it got 'em!!!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> wind up like the Spammers and telemarketers. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    LOL, are you referring to those people who fill up my email and answering machine despite politically good-sounding "rules?"

    "Some merchants have horrible rules that allow affiliates to abuse other affiliates. Other merchants take the high road. Your success or failure may depend on choosing good merchants with good rules and good enforcement.~Ssanf"


    The ability to have freedom for myself is well worth the cost of some eBates pops, IMO. If the freedom to do things the way we see fit is compromised, then this will be nothing more than a glorified j*b and we might as well hang it up.

    Plus--being Legal may not always mean being ethical, but too many times I've seen people's definition of "ethical" depend solely on whether they can compete with it with their present skills or not.

    ~~~~~~~~

    "Do we respect the search engine Submission Policies or not?"~Buddha"

    First, a little bit about my perspective:

    I will note that when I started in this business, Google abhorred my sites despite them having hand-coded, keyword-rich individualized pages (I didn't know about datafeeds or how to automate). So I learned quickly that ADVERTISING WORKS and that Google is NOT where the world ends. Therefore my perspective of Google isn't the same.

    Now--the issue I have with your side of the debate is right in that term: SUBMISSION Policies. I don't submit to any free engines--they find my sites on their own. I do not think it's too far out to say that Submission policies don't count if a site isn't submitted!

    I make my sites how I want to. If the SEs like it the sites rank up. If not, they don't.

    And heck no, I don't just make one site and then hope it ranks. After reading about people with ONE site who have their income go to $0 when the algo changes, I'd be nuts NOT to have spares! That way, if the algo disfavors one there is still a chance that another will be risen up in the ranks.

    When it comes to making lots of subdomains with exact duplicate content like the guy in the other thread, though, I wouldn't. It's ban-bait but that's not all. If a searcher didn't buy from the pitch the first time, there isn't much point in hitting them with THE EXACT SAME PITCH on the next listing!! So it would be a waste of disk space.

    As for those "submission guidelines" you linked to--I will put it on record that I couldn't care less what Duh-moz, Zeal, or any other Communist-like "do-it-for-the-love-and-nothing-else" directory thinks. And if I don't get AltaVista's 2 hits/month I won't care!

    As for Google my sites match a lot of their guidelines but I didn't make my sites with their published guidelines in mind. I make my sites in accordance with what I see works!

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I would like to see an example of search engines with opposing guildlines? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't think Inktomi/MSN and Google STATE opposing guidelines outright. But de facto, I think they do look for different--conflicting--things because I have sites that do well in one engine and not in the other.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  11. #11
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    Agreed with Leader.

    I think the last time I submitted by hand to google it was 2000? I make my sites so they make sense to the visitor, and if google likes it good for google.

    But so if google finds my sites and in some keywords gives me the first couple places, what should i do? Take down those sites because I am not giving other affiliates a chance?

    I find the sour grapes crying by some people in this forum is getting louder and louder.

    Google is like the weather, a giant force in many of our lives that none of us have direct control over. And you can either keep crying that other people are dressed for rain while you are getting sopping wet, or you can go out and get a raincoat.

    But quit yelling that those of us with raincoats have done something wrong or are the enemy.

    Chet

  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    But quit yelling that those of us with raincoats have done something wrong or are the enemy.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Amen Chez Noir and Leader.

  13. #13
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I would like to see an example of search engines with opposing guildlines? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It would require some work to find real good examples but here are some things that do reflect what I'm talking about if you throw in time as an issue. (not the magazine)

    At one time it was considered a good thing to use doorway pages then one day someone figured out that doorway pages allow you to beat the google alg rythem.

    At one time is was considered good to get your link in the ffa sites because there would be traffic from these places. Much later google came along with it's new ranking system using the number of links in as a method of deciding importance. Googles only mistake was not realizing the pre existance of ffa sites. So what did they do? They decided to make it look as though the ffa site users were scum and trying to cheat google. Never mind their pre-existance to google.

    My point is you can't allow google or anyone else to make up rules. If they want to list your site (the content you provide and they pass off as their product) they can otherwise it is their call but not a rule you must abide by.

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I will be glad to post a link for rain coats.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  15. #15
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    Amen Chez Noir, Leader and Gatekeeper

    btw:
    Is wearing a clear plastic raincoat like cloaking?

    Mike Mackin

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>First of all, my statement has been WAY over-expanded and over-simplified. I was NOT saying there were "no rules" in the entire industry.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>How else I'm I going to get a good long post out of you?

    I'm still not clear what the rules are but I'll put the next-generation parasite project on the back burner again.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>To have rules means there is a BOSS to enforce them and isn't the whole point to AVOID THAT?!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Professional such as doctors, lawyers and engineers usually have professional standards and many have no boss. Most of those professional standard were developed to protect the public and keep the government out of their hair. Of course some of those professions took centuries to develop standards.

    ------------------------------
    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

  17. #17
    Affiliate Addict Robert484848's Avatar
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    IMHO people are people, some will take the ultimate high ground and some the very very low ground. The rest fall somewhere in between. It's called bussiness. There is nothing new here. What you must decide is what kind of person are you? If you can decieve people and make a buck and get a good nights sleep That's what you are going to do. I like to think that most ABWers are not that kind of person and try to build there sites to make the web a better place.
    To think anyone can get rid of all the unethicial people in ANY biz is pure folly.
    just my opinion (you may flame me now)

    "I did'nt get where I'm at today by worrying about how I'm going to feel tomorrow."

  18. #18
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    I think some people are twisting around words here. In this thread people are not advocating to break the rules. What they are advocating is to know the system and/or know navigation.

    One of the loudest complainers here has a site that is in my eyes - entirely unnavigable for humans or search engines. He continually yells about traffic going away, yet refuses to adapt or learn. His loss in traffic is no ones fault but his own, yet he blames everyone but himself.

    Analogy time. When I used to work in an office, there were many ways to get to and from work. The freeway being the best - except for the last year it was under construction.

    So I had the option of still just blindly sitting on the freeway and being stuck in traffic all day, making my 15 minutes commute a 1 1/2 hour commute - *****ing the whole time. Or I could study alternate routes and take side streets and get home in 30 minutes. Taking the side streets was neither unethical nor was it breaking the law.

    There are more than one way to do things, I have never advocated spamming or any google spammy tricks. But many people on ABW think - there is one and only one way to do something, if you don't do it their way then you are being unethical, you are killing affiliate marketing. Give me a break, that is a bunch of sour grape's bs.

    We are in not just a sales field, but a technological field, things change you have to adapt - or have had good sense from the beginning. I see people here refusing to adapt who used to just be lucky with their sites. Now they are too lazy to adapt, guess what, do not blame me for your own laziness, I work hard and I work smart - try it.

    Chet

  19. #19
    Just Lurking
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chez Noir:
    I work hard and I work smart - try it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I think I will. Good advice Chet. Thank you.

    ------------------------------
    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

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