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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    February 6th, 2010
    Posts
    6
    Coupon sites - Dealing with bad quality control
    I have personally found coupon sites frustrating as they do a terrible job in quality control and maintenance. I have tried using them for personal purchases and the coupons are expired more often than not even if they say they are current and have high success rates.

    Now that I am looking at it from a merchantís perspective I may be even less satisfied. The coupon sites rank well for keyword phrases like ď[merchant name] couponsĒ. I believe all of expired coupons listed have a significant contribution to their high ranking. All this copy about my site and coupons help them rank highly for coupons tied to my site. So itís their poor quality control that is allowing them to rank well and get traffic and then they have links to my sites from the expired coupon so they can drop a cookie in hopes of deriving a commission. I view these sites as almost nothing more than a commission generating detour and very close to cookie stuffing. If they provided accurate coupon information than I would not have a problem with them.

    Hereís some thoughts on how I might deal with the low quality coupon sites:
    1. Require quality control or merchant control over success ratings - If a coupon works it 100% works, not 64% works; if it's expired, remove it.
    2. Limit coupon sites to session credit, not 30 day credit. - People search for coupons when they have found a merchant and are ready to purchase so a session (their current browser session) cookie would be reasonable.
    3. Prohibit the use of nofollow links. Nofollow links were designed for eliminating spammy links in user submitted blog comments but they are use to preserve SEO value that really should be passed along.


    Any other ideas are appreciated.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    5,208
    Quality coupon sites don't list expired or non affiliate coupons. It is no different than non coupon affiliates, some just don't take down expired links for whatever reason. It isn't just a coupon issue.
    Some coupon sites are spammy, they claim user generated content, that their users submit coupons etc. I don't believe most of them as they just use that excuse to post unauthorized coupons. Quality coupon affiliates have suffered in the SERPs because of the spammers.
    You could just put it in your terms that only affiliate approved coupons are allowed and boot any that don't follow the rules.

    As for the no-follow, no SEO value is passed along to you as a merchant because they are network/affiliate links, not direct links to your site.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    February 6th, 2010
    Posts
    6
    I'd love to know who are the quality coupon sites. RMN is one of my worst offenders. mycoupons.com is another bad one. What are the good ones?

    My suggestion about nofollow was to disallow affiliate links on expired coupons so if they really wanted to link from expired coupons they should just have a direct, nofollow link.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    5,208
    Well no one is going to name those quality coupon sites, but a flag should be if they have "user submitted" coupons. Also if you catch a site using the practices you speak of, boot them. Policing your program is your job, it can be a big one but can be rewarded once you have the offenders cleaned out.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    Nunya, Business
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    23,684
    "I'd love to know who are the quality coupon sites."

    Check the sig in the prior post

    "RMN is one of my worst offenders. mycoupons.com is another bad one. What are the good ones?"

    You run the program, you decide who's in it. You can drop them and they'll probably still keep you up but at least you won't be paying for it.

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