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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Email from a merchant
    Email from a merchant:

    We noticed that you have created about 50 listings of our products on http://***********.blogspot.com. Google has become increasingly vigilant about link manipulation or unnatural links. What you have done here is considered artificial back-linking to our website and products. We do not want link-backs created to our website this way on blogspot or any other blog type website. Please use our banners provided to you by our AvantLink account. Please do not create back links like this to our website.

    We would like you to remove all these links you have of our products on http://*************.blogspot.com

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

    Thank you,

    etc.

    Well. Where do we begin?

    1. I have generated sales for the merchant.

    2. They apparently don't appreciate a datafeed-driven site dedicated to them

    3. I think most Affiliate Managers in their right mind would welcome such a site (or do they want their programs to drown in an endless quagmire of coupon sites?)

    4. It was a blogger site, and may have been in violation of blogger's TOS. That's between blogger and me. Why would a merchant I am sending sales to police me on blogger's behalf?

    5. Artificial backlinking to their website? Excuse me? The links all go to the Affiliate Network, not directly to the merchant site.

    6. They haven't responded to my simple question:

    Why do you provide a product datafeed if you don't want people to use it?

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  3. #2
    Tax Paying Member
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    I have experienced similar......LOL.....It was my own hosted site......Merchant kicked me from their program and the Affiliate Manager would not answer my e-mails.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

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  5. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Colin, we should know who this is - the merchant deserves to be called out on this blatant stupidity. Also, if it's ok with you, I'd like to move this to the Avantlink forum).
    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, thereís no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  7. #4
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Phil, by all means move it, please. I'd like to give the merchant a little longer to respond before outing them


  8. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Sounds like their SEO expert wrote that without understanding the datafeed. Seems like a good opportunity to educate the merchant.

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  10. #6
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Thanks Chuck, I agree.
    But I really don't have time to save merchants from shooting themselves in the foot.
    And....god preserve us from 'seo experts' LOL.
    An seo expert who can't tell the difference between a link to Avantlink and a link to a merchant site?
    I think it's good to have this conversation here. If they don't reply to my e-mail I'll send a follow-up pointing to this thread, then that's it. I've removed their links at their request.

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  12. #7
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    Phil, by all means move it, please. I'd like to give the merchant a little longer to respond before outing them
    Don't hold your breath.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  14. #8
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    Another clueless merchant/AM.

  15. #9
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    OK. The merchant is MilitaryWatchExchange.com. Shame. It's a nice little niche.

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  17. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Their current stats:

    Conversions Rate: 0%
    Average Sale Amount: $0.00
    Earnings Per Click: $0.00
    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, thereís no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  18. #11
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    And they immediately terminated me from the program LOL.

  19. #12
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    The termination was followed by this email:

    We were not aware that Avantlink actually lets affliates use our product data feed which we do not want. They claim that they allow access to a modified version. We know the link back is fine and it goes thru their network and links back to us which does not hurt us on Google an other search engines. But when I asked them about the data feed creating duplicated content of our products on the web, well they really didn’t answer me. This is the main reason why we don’t want data feed back links, it’s not the links, it’s the duplicated content showing.

    I won't respond. I have referred them to this thread, and it's where they need to come because they clearly need to get a clue.

  20. #13
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    The person writing that clearly has absolutely no understanding of SEO, Google, how Google treats duplicate content, "nofollow" links, or anything about affiliate marketing. Their affiliate program deserves to die on the vine - as it appears that it has - and whoever is writing this 2d grade level drivel should look for openings at McDonald's before they are fired, which should have happened by now.
    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, thereís no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  22. #14
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Wow - what a shame. I wasn't even aware that MilitaryWatchExchange.com existed. I have a wonderful niche site where they could fit in perfectly. We sell a ton of Military-Theme Personal Checks. (I own all the military service names plus "checks" in dot com.) However I would rather not have a merchant with "matching" products - than have a "clueless" merchant like Military Watch Exchange or have to deal with a "clueless" affiliate manager at a company like the Military Watch Exchange.

    I can't believe they terminated you for asking questions. You are one of the old guard, established affiliate marketers. That was downright stupid of someone at Military Watch Exchange to do pull a vindictive stunt like that.

    I think whomever sent that letter to Skunky needs to bone up on their language skills - like learning to memorize this phrase, "Would you like fries with that?" Or maybe, "Would you like to super-size that?"
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  24. #15
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    LOL thanks Bill. It actually is a terrific little niche. Good products, and the merchant converts. Methinks they took some bad advice.

  25. #16
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    ......Methinks they took some bad advice.
    Bad advice is because of ignorance. Vindictiveness is from stupidity. There is a cure for ignorance.

    BTW, I just checked Military Watch Exchange, (MilitaryWatchExchange.com) in SAS and it appears they haven't had an affiliate conversion in over two months. They are also on Auto-Approve so I imagine they have hundreds of non-performing coupon sites signed up and wonder why...nothing...is...happening. Yet they terminated someone with a real background in affiliate marketing. Clueless - or did I mention that already.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  26. #17
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    My reason for posting this here is three-fold

    1. So the issue is public - everyone can learn from this thread whereas a private email exchange would have limited traction.

    2. To generate content for ABW

    3. I would still recommend this merchant. If anyone has the time and will to build a niche site promoting these watches it may not be a bad gig.

  27. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    3. I would still recommend this merchant. If anyone has the time and will to build a niche site promoting these watches it may not be a bad gig.
    Not after reading this thread.

    Knowing that they have a clueless AM and seeing this stats: Last Commissionable Transaction through Affiliate: 06/27/2015 02:51:41 PM, I wouldn't touch this merchant with a ten foot pole.

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  29. #19
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I've got to agree with Mayfly on that. I am getting too "set in my ways" to put up with clueless behavior. I may build a page relating to the Military Watch Exchange vertical - feature similar products - and use AdSense to monetize it.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  31. #20
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    But when I asked them about the data feed creating duplicated content of our products on the web, well they really didnít answer me. This is the main reason why we donít want data feed back links, itís not the links, itís the duplicated content showing.
    Google knows the authoritative source of the content. Definitely a merchant/AM that could use a little more edu.
    Last edited by GravityFed; August 31st, 2015 at 01:13 PM. Reason: added quote for reference

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  33. #21
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    I feel a little bad about this whole thing.

    I don't know if the merchant has an AM, or if they're trying to figure things out for themselves, or if they've called in some external service to try and improve their program.

    The responses I received (all of which I've posted here) show intelligence and willingness to learn. It's not like I have all the answers. Maybe we should be a bit more forgiving.

    I've felt that often here in the past, that people get shot down too quickly. The old guard complain about the demise of the good old days but are a little trigger-happy (myself included).

    I still think going public was the right thing. People can learn from this.

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  35. #22
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    This is totally ridiculous... both in their flawed understanding of how things work and how they reached out and communicated.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  37. #23
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post

    I've felt that often here in the past, that people get shot down too quickly. The old guard complain about the demise of the good old days but are a little trigger-happy (myself included).
    OK, I will keep my mouth shut then...just thought it is unfair (or arrogant) for them to terminate an affiliate based on the info you posted. After all, it is the issue between you and the merchant...

    However, stats doesn't lie. Not a single "Commissionable Transaction" since 6/27? No, I still won't touch them with a ten foot pole. Sorry.

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  39. #24
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Mayfly, your input is always valued and welcome!

    Chuck got it right - this merchant could benefit from education.

    Because my day job is teaching, I feel like I let them down. That's it, pretty much.

    They terminated me immediately after I outed them by name. Well...an email exchange is private, and I wouldn't be very happy if someone posted my private correspondence in a public forum and named me.

    The fact that they're on auto-approve and haven't had any affiliate sales for a couple of months tells me that this is a niche ripe for the picking.

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