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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Google Now An Affiliate - Is This Bad?
    The shock news that the mighty Google has decided to compete DIRECTLY against affiliates by becoming an affiliate itself has caused consternation in certain sectors.

    With many affiliates dependent on Google for organic and paid search, how tempted will Google be to manipulate the results in their own favour and moreover, deliberately overprice paid search by competitors?

    The news that Boutiques.com (owned and operated by Google) shall become an affiliate, driving traffic to many fashion retailers including ASOS and Net-A-Porter plus many designer labels, will surely generate a conflict of interest by the $500 billion revenue rich company.

    Google targets fashion market | Technology | The Guardian
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  2. #2
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    It's time for affiliates to understand Google is a competitor. Thanks for the link.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    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

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    There simply isn't enough , Andy.
    Kevin Webster
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  5. #5
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    IMHO what they want to do is their own beeswax.
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  6. #6
    Newbie zire's Avatar
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    They already put paid listings on the top of searches and highlight them, I don't really see it as much different then that.

    To much much playing around (rigged search results) and people might leave and go to the competitors search engines.

  7. #7
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    Google surely thing want to earn more even though they earn a lot.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zire View Post
    They already put paid listings on the top of searches and highlight them, I don't really see it as much different then that.
    Exactly.

    It would be even worse if they started showing product images and pricing above organic search results, to draw attention towards their own revenue-generating services instead of mom-and-pop affiliate sites. Oh wait...they already do that, too!
    --

  9. #9
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    Google if getting more & more greedy.. this is my niche, I'm spooked.

    It could be a conflict of interest if they start manipulating search results in favour of their own price comparison engine. This is VERY different to froogle..
    IMHO what they want to do is their own beeswax.
    No, it's not.. they are bound by anti-trust law.

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    No, it's not.. they are bound by anti-trust law.
    Google accused of hard-coding own links in search ? The Register

    This was posted on the Affiliates4U forum. Check page 2 for the 1 hour video on YouTube.

    VERY interesting with 2 anti-trust cases pending. One EU based and one US based.

    Google (according to the article) is alleged to "bundle" results and in the video it is alleged they "admit" deliberate manipulation of the search results.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  11. #11
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkwizgemz View Post
    Google surely thing want to earn more even though they earn a lot.
    They need to earn more to sustain their growth so that their stock price exceed $1000/share + they can offer their employees 20% pay raise across the board in 2014

  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'm finally following Snib's advice anyhow and looking for traffic in other ways. Since I don't SEM, there's only so much I can do to keep on Google's radar.

    Staying in a small niche is one way Writing quality content is another.
    Kevin Webster
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  13. #13
    Shimmy Shimmy Bang Bang shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp View Post
    Google accused of hard-coding own links in search ? The Register

    This was posted on the Affiliates4U forum. Check page 2 for the 1 hour video on YouTube.

    VERY interesting with 2 anti-trust cases pending. One EU based and one US based.

    Google (according to the article) is alleged to "bundle" results and in the video it is alleged they "admit" deliberate manipulation of the search results.
    While I try not to use Google.com for search anymore, because I pretty much despise them. I don't see what's wrong with this. If I owned a search engine, not only would I favor my other sites, I'd rank them all #1. I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed.

  14. #14
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    Anti-trust law ensures that no company can abuse their monopoly position..

    It's important to clarify that holding a monopoly is not the problem - it's when you use that advantage to put up barriers to entry, ie. limit the competition, or impede the ability for others to compete.

    We're talking about anti-competitive practices..

    Ben himself explains it perfectly, see the Implications & Response section near the bottom:
    http://www.benedelman.org/hardcoding/
    Last edited by teezone; November 16th, 2010 at 11:48 PM.

  15. #15
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Monopoly? What monopoly?
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  16. #16
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    Oh for crying out loud.. don't twist my words.. it was an explanation of anti-trust law, and anti-competitive practices.

    2 anti-trust cases are pending, I didn't make that up.

    You may think a company can do whatever they want, but that's not reality.. try telling companies that violate environmental laws, the deregulated airline industry, or Microsoft back in 2001.

    Ben Edelman's analysis is pretty clear, take it or leave it.

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Google venturing into fashion - Fashion, Life & Style - The Independent

    Google is making its first foray into the world of fashion this Wednesday (November 17).

    The behemoth online search engine is unveiling Boutiques.com, a site that will enable Web users to compile fashion merchandise they like into personalized virtual boutiques, which other people can then click through to purchase directly from an online retailer.

    The fashion and beauty trade publication Women's Wear Daily reports Google is not planning to become a vendor itself. Instead, Boutiques.com will direct customers towards a brand's existing online store or a retailer who carries the item like Net-a-Porter, Yoox, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Barneys New York.
    Last edited by John Jupp; November 17th, 2010 at 04:18 AM.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  18. #18
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    I don't always agree with Jeff Molander but "How Google Will Dominate “Cost per Action” Affiliate Marketing" is worth reading.
    Who can predict their next move?

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    You know I haven't used or cared about google for a little over a year. They have always been competition nothing new. I have been using alts since and have really grown........ the world does not revolve around google, in fact the majority of my friends do not use them as their search engine.
    Wear Short Sleeves!!! Support the right to bare arms!

  20. #20
    Newbie zire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    I don't always agree with Jeff Molander but "How Google Will Dominate “Cost per Action” Affiliate Marketing" is worth reading.
    Who can predict their next move?
    I use Google but ads like that would make me stop.
    I use them because they have a good algorithm and I can do a search and not look at Britney Speers or a dancing flash ads for low mortgage rates.

    I think a lot of people don't really realize what a quality algorithm is an use Google because it loads fast without a lot of ads and crap they don't want to see. So Google messes around to much with advertising (annoying ads, slower loading results due to ads) and they have a few good competitors hanging out to collect unhappy users.

    Google is the king of search but so was AOL and so was Yahoo it is not a solid position to much advertising will kill it IMO.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Chris D's Avatar
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    I have started to use Yahoo search more and more. Google search is a great service but they will soon own everything. Sounds like they now want to take the profits from the little people and keep those profits for themselves. And I am sure they will have no problem cheating in their own system. Reminds me of what Walmart did to the mom and pop shops just a couple of decades ago. Now Google is doing it on the web.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    I don't always agree with Jeff Molander but "How Google Will Dominate “Cost per Action” Affiliate Marketing" is worth reading.
    Who can predict their next move?
    Solid article and I agree with the premise but some information appears incorrect. This part specifically:

    Google is now offering preferred search ad placement and superior search ad terms to advertisers who agree to use Google Affiliate Network. Google is literally inserting product images of GAN advertisers’ products into the space currently occupied by cost-per-click AdWords ads.
    You do not have to be a GAN advertiser to run CPA offers in AdWords.

    Bob

  23. #23
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm View Post
    Solid article and I agree with the premise but some information appears incorrect. This part specifically:

    Google is now offering preferred search ad placement and superior search ad terms to advertisers who agree to use Google Affiliate Network. Google is literally inserting product images of GAN advertisers’ products into the space currently occupied by cost-per-click AdWords ads.

    You do not have to be a GAN advertiser to run CPA offers in AdWords.

    Bob
    Ben Edelman makes a pretty strong case that Google is in fact giving preferential treatment to merchants that are members of GAN. Read the article: Tying Google Affiliate Network, look at the screen shots and then perform your own searches and draw your own conclusions.

    -rematt
    Last edited by rematt; November 17th, 2010 at 01:05 PM.
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  24. #24
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Google has immense power to compete in any space it chooses, much more power than just its search dominance.

    Combine Adwords, Analytics (with ecommerce tracking enabled), Google Checkout and other Google business services and you have a huge amount of data on the value of any given search, as well as knowledge of what products and services are most able to reap that value. Essentially you have a map for what web properties to build, what products and services to offer and total control of the traffic with flip of the switch ease.

    I also don't see micro-niches as any protection either. Google likely wouldn't ever go after those directly, but they'd be collateral damage from any bigger partnerships (Amazon, Wal-Mart, eBay, etc).

    The sky isn't falling, but it is starting to rain.

    I use Bing.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm View Post
    Solid article and I agree with the premise but some information appears incorrect. This part specifically:
    You do not have to be a GAN advertiser to run CPA offers in AdWords.
    Bob
    I'm far from being an AdWords expert and I've no idea if you have to be or not a GAN advertiser to run CPA offers in adWords. I don't even have an account.
    I believe Jeff Molander is referring to this article from Ben Edelman:
    "Tying Google Affiliate Network" September 28, 2010
    There is no plausible justification for providing image ads only to GAN advertisers or for granting all GAN ads positions above all right-side AdWords ads
    Preferred placement. AdWords advertisements are ordered, Google says, based on how much each advertiser bids as well as Google's assessment of ad relevance, click-through rate, and other factors known only to Google. But in my testing, all GAN ads appear at the top of the "right rail" of side listings -- prominent, highly visible screen space that gets more attention than any AdWords listings below

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