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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    2009 The Year of the Toolbar?
    In china this is the year of the OX. In the affiliate world it seems to be the year of the TOOLBAR.

    I was doing some research on google re: toolbars, and happened upon some warez site that lists 50 PAGES of Toolbars (@ 20 ea. page) that's 1000 right there.

    They included Bigger Breasts Toolbar, Cheap Bowling Balls Toolbar 1.0. and more (I'm not making this up)

    Look at the merchants page at onecause. Merchants LOOOOVE toolbars.

    I've always wondered why people are so eager to give up control or even partial control of their browser to some other entity.

    What goes on behind the scenes with these toolbars? The google toolbar is one of the oldest, but does anyone even know exactly what it does, what information it harvests, etc?

    Maybe things need to get really bad before they get better, but peoples computers are getting more complex all the time, while they keep getting more and more viruses, so...

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    One of the questions I asked in the ShareASale toolbar thread (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...5&page=1&pp=25) was if toolbars of other affiliates can in effect spy on what my visitors are doing on my site if they have the toolbar installed on their browser. From your post, I gather that they probably can. That's unsettling, to say the least.
    -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.

  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Google Analytics spies on my visitors too As does a naturally generated SAS cookie.

    One of the questions that never comes up is the one that Simcat posed: Why do consumers download BHO's?

    Is it because....................... They want them? If they do, I guess we better discuss it, eh?

    Personally, I have no use for any Toolbar but Google's. But we must remember that we know more about this stuff than 99% of the planet. We can't fall back on our understanding of the internet to define consumer behavior. Instead, we have to study their behavior, and learn from it.
    Kevin Webster
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  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction [Solution].
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    I was doing some research on google re: toolbars, and happened upon some warez site that lists 50 PAGES of Toolbars (@ 20 ea. page) that's 1000 right there.
    Don't forget that today, anyone can get a free toolbar created in under 5 minutes if you know where to look. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, sooner than later. This is an issue that needs to be brought to light. This is an issue we all need to understand and get our hands around it. It will not go away.

    If you are in affiliate marketing, it needs to be discussed, understood, monitored and controlled.
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    I made a toolbar...makes it easier because i am lazy to get my daughters cartoons up, but it was free and it took way less than 4 minutes to make and install my very own tom and jerry toolbar!
    But for secure purposes i will not divuldge the name of the company i made it through well i really don't remember. but isn't that all we need a couple hundred thousand toolbars floating around. it really needs to be discussed. But discussion aside i will not remove tom and jerry my 2 year old daughter knows where to point the mouse to click it herself now!
    Wear Short Sleeves!!! Support the right to bare arms!

  7. #7
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    Don't forget that today, anyone can get a free toolbar created in under 5 minutes if you know where to look. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, sooner than later. This is an issue that needs to be brought to light. This is an issue we all need to understand and get our hands around it. It will not go away.

    If you are in affiliate marketing, it needs to be discussed, understood, monitored and controlled.
    The best way to address that problem is to don't accept toolbars or downlmoads in a network. PERIOD.

  8. #8
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    The affiliate toolbar should be banned at the merchant level.

    Networks don't mind toolbars as improving the perceived performance of a program benefits them (ie. increased commission proves their worth, even if there really was no commissionable sale)

    But no matter what a network policy is - if the merchant says no to toolbars - there is no problem.

    I have contacted all my merchants directly re: OneCause. THEY need to understand why this is very bad for their bottom line. Networks already know..

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    I just an email from my LS rep telling me that one of my affiliates was about to install a toolbar and wanted to know if I would remove them for doing that...

    YES!
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  10. #10
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Toolbars = Pandora's Box. Accepting them in any form is inviting abuse of your TOS. Don't approve what you can never hope to police and enforce.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    The bottom line is simple:

    If the networks allow the large players like Ebates, etc., to be participate then others will have to compete with those tools at some point or lose too much of their income stream.

    Personally I have not seen enough backbone from the affiliate, merchant or network level for that to come about. It's a shame. But this might in fact become the year of the toolbar.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  12. #12
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    I can tell you right now that if I see some of my main competitors with toolbars, I'm doing it too....

    But.. and this is important.. I abhor this practice. It's an attempt at a commission cash grab - and serves to hijack the user's browsing experience.

    Merchants HAVE to say no - networks won't halt this (see my point above)

  13. #13
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    The sad thing is that toolbars will not be going away any time soon folks.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Definitely not the year of the toolbar. Generally speaking toolbars aren't something the mainstream internet is really interested in. They're interested in Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and mobile apps. Toolbars will always be around, but they aren't going to make or break a business. I wouldn't build a toolbar because I honestly don't think it'll make my business more valuable for my visitors. I don't think it will get me a story on a major news publication or blog. And I don't think a toolbar will increase my userbase or my brand awareness.

    This whole toolbar thing is being blown way out of proportion. None of the recent successes like MySpace, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, or LinkedIn can say they became popular because of a toolbar. It's just not going to grow your business in any long term or meaningful way. So let people spend their time and money building toolbars while we build features and content people actually care about.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  15. #15
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    ... I don't think a toolbar will increase my userbase or my brand awareness.

    This whole toolbar thing is being blown way out of proportion. None of the recent successes like MySpace, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, or LinkedIn can say they became popular because of a toolbar. It's just not going to grow your business in any long term or meaningful way. So let people spend their time and money building toolbars while we build features and content people actually care about.
    - Scott
    Do you think that affiliates without toolbars can succeed by building features & content of interest to visitors? What if the visitors are interested in a site and a product and then gets a prompt: Come to Joe's Coupon Site we have a better offer for you?
    Last edited by Rhia7; February 1st, 2009 at 11:53 PM.
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Yes, it is being blown out of proportion... by merchants who don't understand toolbars. Unfortunately they are the ones driving the craze.



    X

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Do you think that affiliates without toolbars can succeed by building features & content of interest to visitors? What if the visitors in interested in a site and a product and then gets a prompt: Come to Joe's Coupon Site we have a better offer for you?
    Of course! Building a toolbar is *not* going to make you succeed. Building a quality site just may.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Of course! Building a toolbar is *not* going to make you succeed. Building a quality site just may.

    - Scott
    What about toolbar campaigns such as UPromise [as an example]?
    UPromise campaigns/slogans are stated in a small sign on every shopping cart at my local supermarket.
    People are fooled into believing that UPromise will pay for their child's college education.

    How should an affiliate protect his/her sales from being scooped up by a hungry toolbar?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Toolbars aren't going to increase any sites popularity, but thats not what they are trying to do.

    They are trying to squeeze/steal every last drop from people who have already signed up.
    (if I could triple the ROI on my sites visitors, I would be satisified with a flat growth rate)

    And unlike facebook, twitter, etc. these are people with credit card in hand, ready to buy.

  20. #20
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Anyone who is an affiliate please vote in the poll: Should ShareASale Allow Toolbars?

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=115678

    It is important to show a collective affiliate opinion.
    Thank you.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    I was doing some research on google re: toolbars, and happened upon some warez site that lists 50 PAGES of Toolbars (@ 20 ea. page) that's 1000 right there.
    And it takes only one of those toolbars to become mainstream and then that's the whole affiliate industry up in smoke. Don't these netorks see that?

  22. #22
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I think the networks need to start using toolbars. Imagine if a new affiliate site owner read an article about affiliate marketing and in it it was suggested they download this helpful customer service toolbar to lead them to the successful networks... so they download it for FREE..wander onto SAS.. go to join..and a toolbar/popup appears telling them that CJ network is much bigger, with many more merchants and they will make a lot more money. I wonder if the mood of the land would change?

    Isn't that the only type of toolbar we need to make it all complete and the year of the toolbar?
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  23. #23
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    Isn't that the only type of toolbar we need to make it all complete and the year of the toolbar?
    No, we have one where merchants that hire us to manage their program can download our toolbar to help them earn consulting credits as their program grows.

  24. #24
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=leeann]I think the networks need to start using toolbars. Imagine if a new affiliate site owner read an article about affiliate marketing and in it it was suggested they download this helpful customer service toolbar to lead them to the successful networks... so they download it for FREE..wander onto SAS.. go to join..and a toolbar/popup appears telling them that CJ network is much bigger, with many more merchants and they will make a lot more money. I wonder if the mood of the land would change?"

    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    I think the networks need to start using toolbars. Imagine if a new affiliate site owner read an article about affiliate marketing and in it it was suggested they download this helpful customer service toolbar to lead them to the successful networks... so they download it for FREE..wander onto SAS.. go to join..and a toolbar/popup appears telling them that CJ network is much bigger, with many more merchants and they will make a lot more money. I wonder if the mood of the land would change?
    Good one LOL Better yet, have one network offer an incentive or rebate. Sign up with CJ now and get $100...
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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