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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    Amazon says no to PPC affiliates
    Dear Amazon Associate:

    We’re writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www(dot)amazon(dot)com www(dot)amazon(dot)ca, or www(dot)endless(dot)com through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you're not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.

    As of May 1, 2009, Associates will not be paid referral fees for paid search traffic. Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.

    This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. If you are conducting paid search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.

    We appreciate your continued support and participation in this advertising Program. If you have questions or concerns, please write to us by using the Contact Us form available on Associates Central.


    Sincerely,

    The Amazon Associates Program
    Not that this affects me as I only pushed Amazon in rare cases when nothing else was available - but it concerns me if it is a growing trend.

  2. #2
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    This probably has at least a little to do with all the Internet sales tax laws being enforced in the US. Most of the current or pending legislation prohibits direct solicitation; ppc falls into that category. Rather than having different policies for different affiliates depending on State of residence/business it is probably easier to enforce one policy of no direct-to-Amazon ppc.

    I expect to see more of this.
    Melanie
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  3. #3
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Amazon is one of the most common targets for those "AdWords riches" eBooks.. their basic approach is to find a merchant with a HUGE inventory and bid on every single item you can find via an affiliate link.

    The problem for Amazon is that it LOOKS like Amazon has placed the ads, but they are coming from the affiliate. This must cause all sorts of headaches.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  4. #4
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    Does this read you can do no PPC adverting?

    For example would this be prohibited - if I were to promote my fun deals site with ads along the lines of "Find fun deals on all fun stuff fast," to drive traffic to my site where someone may find deals on Buy.com, Amazon, and numerous other sites could that still be prohibited?

    The key text appears to be
    Q: If my paid search advertisement directs a user first to an interstitial page, then to www.amazon.com, www.endless.com, or www.amazon.ca, will I earn referral fees? A: No. However, if you place paid search advertisements to send users to your own website, and then your website displays links to www.amazon.com, www.endless.com, or www.amazon.ca in accordance with the Operating Agreement, you may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases made by users who click on your paid search ad, click through to your site, then click through to an Amazon site
    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...omo/paidsearch

    My reading of this is that you may be able to promote legitimate sites, but you can not get around the PPC ban on just sicking a landing page between the ad and amazon, solely for the purpose of making it look like the traffic is from your site?

  5. #5
    Newbie wvierra's Avatar
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    What I think about this
    I think there just talking about direct from the PPC ad's to there site...

    I don't see how they could track them otherwise I say this is because if they hit your PPC ad to you own personal landing page it doesn't have your tacking cookie applied as of yet so it would appear that they originated from your site when they click thew from your site to theirs.I also don't think they can track traffic beyond your site from another site

    that just my 2 cts but I could be wrong

  6. #6
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellie
    This probably has at least a little to do with all the Internet sales tax laws being enforced in the US. Most of the current or pending legislation prohibits direct solicitation; ppc falls into that category. Rather than having different policies for different affiliates depending on State of residence/business it is probably easier to enforce one policy of no direct-to-Amazon ppc.

    I expect to see more of this.
    Might also level the playing field a bit for SEO-only affiliates.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  7. #7
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    I think its only for affiliates who direct link and amazon.com in their display url in ppc ads. I think driving traffic to your own site which has amazon products should be ok.

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_park
    I think its only for affiliates who direct link and amazon.com in their display url in ppc ads. I think driving traffic to your own site which has amazon products should be ok.
    I disagree. The key words are "through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines"
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  9. #9
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    I don't think Amazon can forbid affiliates from doing ppc to promote their own sites.

  10. #10
    http and a telephoto
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    The quoted text states direct to Amazon. This is not a new concept, a large number of merchants already ban this practice. Drive traffic to your own website, which it sounds like they will be checking to see if it is just a single landing page or a real site, and you should be fine.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    Newbie Joel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    I disagree. The key words are "through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines"
    I'm sure Sam is right.

    Essentially, they are banning affiliate links directly in search engines. To meet requirements, traffic must come to Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Endless.com via a link from a website rather than a search engine. If your affiliate link is on your own website you are safe and your paid search efforts to increase traffic to your website are fine.

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I agree. When they say "other", I think they're talking about the non-keyword paid search that you can do on Google. Thinks like the content network, site-targeting, etc. They're not restricting PPC to affiliate sites, just direct to merchant PPC.
    Michael Coley
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  13. #13
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    I have also got this notification from Amazon. It has changed the rules. From now onward it does not allow PPC Affiliates. Amazon have finally control its traffic.

  14. #14
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    They're not restricting PPC to affiliate sites, just direct to merchant PPC.
    You'd think the geniuses at Amazon would use that term in their email and make it clear for everyone.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    I don't know why it's so complicated to check out the FAQ page referenced in the email before posting speculation:
    Q: If my paid search advertisement directs a user first to an interstitial page, then to www.amazon.com, www.endless.com, or www.amazon.ca, will I earn referral fees?
    A: No. However, if you place paid search advertisements to send users to your own website, and then your website displays links to www.amazon.com, www.endless.com, or www.amazon.ca in accordance with the Operating Agreement, you may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases made by users who click on your paid search ad, click through to your site, then click through to an Amazon site.
    The only thing not allowed with a landing page seems to be using datafeeds and AWS to automatically pull results in conjunction with PPC,:
    Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.

  16. #16
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    John Jupp wrote: > 'I disagree. The key words are "through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines"' < (emphasis in original)

    Like everyone else, I believe that John's interpretation is dead wrong. Amazon has clearly prohibited "direct to merchant PPC" (DTM-PPC) but on its FAQ page Amazon expressly permits "associates" to purchase PPC traffic if the destination is the associate's own web site. I suspect that Amazon's use of the phrase "other paid search" was probably intended to cover placement-based advertising through the Content Network (which isn't necessarily "keyword" based, but arguably isn't "paid search" either).

    What Amazon has failed to cover, with this wording, is "direct to merchant advertising" that isn't keyword or search-based: if I place ads on an ad network that shows ads on content sites and doesn't use keywords to select placement, I don't think Amazon has prohibited its "associates" from buying and sending "non-search, non-keyword" traffic directly to Amazon.com (but I won't be surprised if Amazon clarifies their policy to exclude all direct-to-merchant advertising by their "associates").

    iolaire wrote: > "...you can not get around the PPC ban on just sticking a landing page between the ad and amazon, solely for the purpose of making it look like the traffic is from your site?" <

    Amazon did not say this; an "affiliate bridge" page (or "thin landing page") is not expressly prohibited by Amazon (although I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon clarifies this to expressly exclude the practice).

    However, it's a moot point because Google prohibits the use of thin landing pages (which it calls "affiliate bridge" pages). (Alas, the problem is defining what is a "thin landing page" or "thin affiliate" or "affiliate bridge" page, versus what is "legitimate" or a true "content" page. Google's enforcement of this rule is not consistent.)

    I agree that one of Amazon's motivations here is likely to be the "Amazon Tax" bills. New York has interpreted its law to permit commission-based advertising, but not activities that are more like solicitation; if DTM-PPC is a "solicitation" under these laws, then it could trigger the sales-tax-collection duty under these laws. The law is still unconstitutional -- but I certainly understand the business decisions that merchants must make to protect their businesses from enforcement actions or litigation over an unconstitutional law.
    Last edited by markwelch; April 6th, 2009 at 01:13 PM.

  17. #17
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    new policy have effect for SEO Blog ?

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    I just asked my contact with the Amazon Associates program if the program changes had anything to do with the proposed tax law changes, and his reply was that they're "completely unrelated" (his words).
    --

  19. #19
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    read the faq
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    Amazon did not say this; an "affiliate bridge" page (or "thin landing page") is not expressly prohibited by Amazon (although I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon clarifies this to expressly exclude the practice).
    If you read their FAQ (see 2nd last question/answer at https://associates.amazon.ca/gp/asso...aidsearch.html) you'll see that they don't allow "interstitial" which afaik is a bridge page.

    Bottom line is no affiliate direct ppc to amazon.

    I think the question still is why are they doing this? They mention carefully reviewing their advertising investment but in this case the advertising is paid by the affiliates so maybe the cost of managing their ppc affiliates outweighed them doing it themselves + benefit of not having to pay commission on those sales.

    Hopefully we can get some deeper understanding from Amazon on the reasons behind this, as it could help other merchants who have large ecommerce sites and allow direct linking ppc traffic from affiliates.
    [URL=http://www.typoassassin.com/?utm_source=abestweb&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=p&utm_campaign=sig]Are these affiliates stealing from you?[/URL]

  20. #20
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    I'm surprised this didn't cause a big discussion. I don't see much response or further digging into Amazon's reasons behind this. I queried Amazon twice and they didn't give out any more details other than ignore my question "why" and point me to the new policy.

    I guess there's just not that many Amazon direct-to-merchant ppc affiliates out there, so no one really cares.
    [URL=http://www.typoassassin.com/?utm_source=abestweb&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=p&utm_campaign=sig]Are these affiliates stealing from you?[/URL]

  21. #21
    http and a telephoto
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    I think any affiliates doing DTM need to take heed and start building websites. Amazon isn't the only large (or small) merchant banning the practice.

    The industry is changing, those that take heed and change with it will survive. Telling Amazon you aren't happy and trying to make them change their stance will not work. Look at what they did to coupon sites....
    Deborah Carney
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  22. #22
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    asr_guy wrote (in part): > "they don't allow "interstitial" which afaik is a bridge page." < (emphasis added)

    "Interstitial" generally refers to something other than a "bridge" page; usually it refers to a temporary page (such as an ad) that is briefly displayed before an automated redirect to another page, although some interstitials require a "click to continue." I see a lot of interstitial ads when clicking through from Google News links to newspaper and magazine web sites. Arguably, the warning, age-verification, or consent pages on adult web sites are "interstitials."

    "The interstitial web page sits between a referenced page and the page which references it—hence it is in between two pages. This is distinct from a page which simply links directly to another, in that the interstitial page serves only to provide extra information to a user during the act of navigating from one page to the next. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstitials
    Wikipedia refers to "extra information" but it's not necessarily information that consumers really want -- interstitials are usually used to present advertising messages.

    As I mentioned, it doesn't matter if Amazon allows or doesn't allow "affiliate bridge pages" in the PPC context, since they are already prohibited by Google.

  23. #23
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    asr_guy wrote (in part) > "I'm surprised this didn't cause a big discussion. * * * I guess there's just not that many Amazon direct-to-merchant ppc affiliates out there, so no one really cares." <

    I think you're right that few PPC affiliates care about this change. Amazon's relatively-low commission rates don't provide enough margin for the folks who do direct-to-merchant PPC. (I no longer do any DTM-PPC, but when I did, I focused on merchants with higher commission rates and longer cookie/return durations).

    In the past, I have included Amazon merchandise in some product-directory sites, which draw part of their traffic from PPC. On these sites, Amazon often has the best conversion rate, but usually the poorest overall return.

  24. #24
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    I have hardly seen any Amazon ppc advertising in the different search engines that I use, so what Amazon is thinking is a bit of a mystery to me.

  25. #25
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    why?

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