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  1. #1
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Target.com Updated Affiliate Terms & Conditions
    I got the email yesterday and thought for sure someone would post a thread about Target.com's updated affiliate Terms & Conditions. There was something that struck me as odd in it:

    Additional Requirements. As a condition to your acceptance and participation in the Program, you agree to not undertake or engage in the following practices, and any violation of this Section shall be deemed a material breach of this Agreement and may result in immediate termination from the Program:
    ....

    - engineer your site in such a manner that pulls Internet traffic, for Target brand keywords, away from Target.com via natural search optimization. Techniques include:
    - using Target or Target brand keywords in the title tag, domain name, other meta tags, or other on-page factors that influence rankings (e.g. body copy, H1, source code);
    Really? So we are suppose to promote Target.com but not use the Target name in the title tag, meta tag or source code? I guess I'll just go back to using smoke signals or newspaper ads.

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Banners only...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Banners only...
    You better not use alt text or title tags for your images.

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  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    Similar terms were there before, I downloaded a copy of the terms on 1/25/12 which said:

    engineer your site in such a manner that pulls Internet traffic away from Target.com via natural search optimization. Techniques include:
    • utilizing “target” in any of the fields listed page title, URL, meta keyword/description.
    • more than three occurrences of the word “target” in the body of the copy per page

    I don't know how long they had been there but decided to remove a page from my site that was ranking on a phrase with target in it (not coupon related, product category related). I am glad they removed the restriction about using the word target 3 times on a page.

    I really wish merchants would date their terms and conditions, mark with revision levels and highlight the changes.

  6. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    You can't have the word Target on your page unless it's an image. Otherwise it WILL be in your body copy/source code...

    e.g. body copy, H1, source code
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  7. #6
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    So if you use Popshops and you have any Target products in PS shops, you cannot have the "Show Merchant" box clicked to display merchant names.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  9. #7
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    The way I read it, yes...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    I think the intention is to prevent "on-page factors that influence rankings". I doubt the popshops show merchant influences rankings.

    The sites that optimize and rank for target coupons should be worried, IMO.

    I see a lot of sites with target in their meta tags. Wonder if they are going to start enfocing their terms.

  11. #9
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Really is kinda ridiculous. lol I removed a page for them, too. Put them on a page with others with a banner and just generic text for the alt tag without mentioning them. lol Same with text description which is silly having a description without mentioning their name.

    "I see a lot of sites with target in their meta tags. Wonder if they are going to start enfocing their terms."

    Naaah, they only wanna make us jump through hoops to please them lol those who don't abide by their terms doubt they'll bother them.

  12. #10
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM View Post
    I think the intention is to prevent "on-page factors that influence rankings".
    On that note, I noticed I had some reversals in SAS. I contacted the merchant and asked for the reason. I was told that, since I was ranking for their brand term, they were reversing the sale. I said, oh really? Where is that in your TOS that you will reverse a sale because of that. And their reply was pretty much, if you don't like it leave the program. I told them that if i could control that easily what I rank for in Google I would be much richer and wouldn't be wasting my time ranking for your brand. I had no idea why I was ranking for their brand name. Perhaps I had better content on them then they had?

    At the time, I was ranking 5 or 6 or something for their brand term (a few months ago and now ranking 500+). Honestly, I can't say if the sale was from that term or for other reasons. I never had time to track it down. I ended up staying in their program and they never dropped me. I made a few other sales and they never reversed them.

    I guess my point is.. This is not a way for a brand to control page 1 of Google. A brand like Target should easily be able to occupy the first 10 spots with their own sites (target.com, blog.target.com, twitter.com/target, facebook.com/target, linkedin, youtube, etc etc). Its pathetic that whoever controls their SEO tells their affiliate side that this stuff needs to be done.
    Last edited by gcarson; March 30th, 2012 at 10:49 PM.


  13. #11
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    I'll replace the word "target" with "secret merchant" on my pages.

    This is getting ridiculous...

  14. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    In theory, I can't say "I found this great jacket at a great price at Target"

    and can't put a picture of the jacket with a meta-tag saying "great jacket from Target"

    Which of course hinders my ability to promote any of their products.

    SILLY

    On the reverse side, I can their reasoning - the people who are only doing whatever it takes to get on page one of the search engines.

    also SILLY

    One would think after all the seminars and conferences and meeting over the past 10 years, we would have come to a standard agreement of what's allowed to be said (ie branding) and what's forbidden - rather then these knee-jerk reactions - by now.

    Billy

    FYI: I pulled all their products whenever the came up with the "You can only say Target 3 times" rule... as my page always listed 12 products

  15. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    As soon as a merchant concocts ridiculously restrictive terms I pull them. I don't have enough time to manage each merchant's attempt to protect their rankings at my expense. Most merchants would be much better off improving their position by developing a competence in SEO as opposed to putting convoluted restrictions on their affiliates.

    Sort of reminds me of a fairy tale: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest one of all .....

    -rematt
    "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

  16. #14
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    It seems to me that many merchants feel like they are in competition with their affiliates. Thus the mentality that they have to close any advantage that affiliates may have developed or "loophole" that affiliates may be exploiting.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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