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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Got a deactivation notice from a merchant saying they're deactiving a lot of
    affiliates. One of the reasons:

    "search engine marketing and site optimization by my affiliates are interfering with the free organic search engine traffic of my own sites."

    Why start an affiliate program then? I think thats how most affilates get traffic: SEM, SEO.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    What the heck!?!

    Trust, without "outing" someone, is this a merchant active on ABW?

    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    No, i think maybe they are looking for established high traffic content sites maybe. Sites whos traffic is not primarily based on SEO, i don't know. I think the majority of affiliates rely on search engines to get traffic to send to merchants. But the reason i stated above is crazy to me. From the generic acceptance email:

    "Now, you can earn cash simply by linking to We Don't Want Your SEO online. In
    addition, this affiliate program is designed to reward you for acquiring new
    customers for We Don't Want Your SEO."

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    We don't rely on SE for the majority of our traffic, but I would still have to say I'm on your side on this one. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    [edited to add ...]I agree with Chez below. Well put![/end edit]
    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here

  5. #5
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    Wow that is crazy. So if you work on promoting them - they will drop you? But if you don't work on promoting them, they will keep you?

    Chet

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    There are some merchants who only want high traffic sites to run their banners, flash their name around. You may notice they don't provide product linking. They want free advertising, not someone to push their products and make sales that they have to pay a commish on.

  7. #7
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Wow that is crazy. So if you work on promoting them - they will drop you? But if you don't work on promoting them, they will keep you?
    - - - - -

    Funny!

    "Well, at least I got Terre Haute" - Steve Martin, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid"

  8. #8
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    Who

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Jane:

    We sell CPM banners, but we're certainly not going to give them away. Are there sites that actually run banners like that for nothing? That's crazy, too!



    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately there are plenty of merchants out there who just don't get what the relationship is about.

    The other one that gets me is merchants who want their affiliate links to feed Google PR to their site.

    If you want me to improve your site's search engine ranking, I'll SEO it for you - for a price.... but it is not an added bonus of signing me as an affiliate.

    /end rant

  11. #11
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    Hilarious. I can just see the meeting that decided this:

    CEO of Company - Why aren't we #4 for widgets anymore.
    SEO - Well, um, your affiliates are beating us in the rankings.
    CEO of Company - Well, do something about it.
    SEO - Um, we've tried, but, um, we ain't good enough to do it. I suggest you get rid of your affiliates, that would sort it out.
    CEO of Company - What a good idea. We can start with that TrustNo1 guy. He's to blame.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  12. #12
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    I agree with you all.

    A merchant that does not want affiliates to promote on search engines is either short sighted or totally ignorant. Possibly they are looking at this from the exact opposite way they should be. Then again, maybe they are just jealous because you guys are so much better at SEM than they probably are.

    I am always looking for more great SEM's to join my programs. They should VALUE you for the extended reach and added sales you bring them!

    Linda Buquet ~ Affiliate Management Consultant ~ Catalyst eMarketing.com
    Representing www.5StarAffiliatePrograms.com: DentalPlans|Irv's Luggage|Executive Essentials|IntellicontactPro|zZounds|Roadloans

  13. #13
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    I'm interested to know if they only care about affiliates who out SEO them for their name (and variations of it), or for anyone who beats them on any keywords (read product keywords) they are interested in.

    ----
    -JM

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Standard advertising: You pay high dollar with no guarantee on return.

    Affiliate advertising: You only pay for results. You pay the price you set.

    If you don't want affiliates to make sales, don't join the program.

  15. #15
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    I think merchants have a real problem with pricing and classifying sites and setting pay scales for the different classes of sites. When making business decisions you look and say: We want to pay xxx for yyy traffic, and www for zzz traffic. If you find you are paying xxx for zzz traffic, you need to adjust.

    SEO affiliate sites are making a pretty penny right now because web owners are trying to maintain a payment level geared for a different type of traffic. So they are adjusting.

    They either have to lower their rates, and lose the yyy traffic, or otherwise divert the zzz traffic.

    This is not simply a matter of web sites not wanting to compete for SERP with SEO sites, it is a result of web sites developing a better understanding of their traffic flow and trying to find the right mix for their efforts.

    BTW: The exact same thing happened with the CPC model. Web sites decided on a click price that would work for true click-through traffic. They then got inundated with low quality exit traffic, popup traffic, etc..

    SEO/Affiliate sites make money on the inefficiencies of search engines. The nasty rule of the free market is that the free market tries to find ways to correct for inefficiencies.

    If I were a CEO of a company, I would not want to pay a hundred grand or more a month for a bunch of doorway pages. I would rather spend less and hire an SEO expert for the doorway pages.

    Who knows, it probably was an SEO expert who convinced the CEO to drop the SEO/Affiliates. "Don't pay them $1 million a year for you your doorway pages, pay me $100,000 for your doorway pages."

    This is the brutal way that the market becomes efficient.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    It doesn't sound like the typical brand protection, more like everyone has surmised above...The "Hey, they can't do that!" realization.

    Fred
    _____________________

    You might just be a redneck if..."Your talent in the local beauty pageant was making noises with your armpit"

  17. #17
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    Wow! That's some news...

    Ironically, we are about to send out an update to our CJ affiliates on the keywords that we have found most successful as a way of helping build our organic search results.


    Keith
    United Online
    NetZero and Juno Internet Services

  18. #18
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    Yintercept- you are correct in understanding how merchants "think" when it comes to SEO/SEM.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Get a free two-week trial use code ABWEB at RevTrends.com

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    quote:
    The other one that gets me is merchants who want their affiliate links to feed Google PR to their site.


    I've been pondering this question for some time now. If merchants provided a "links page" listing all their affiliates wouldn't the affiliate's site rise in PR? Then, wouldn't the merchant's site rise in PR? If the affiliates are winning the SEO game then the merchant would gain from linking to their affiliates. Seem to be a win-win idea.

    Ernie

    It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    That merchant nonthinking does not take into account that now there are "a lot of" affiliates who are good at SEO--and have just become MOTIVATED to make sure some other merchant will now occupy those SE listings.

    ~Revenue is King

  21. #21
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    Most affiliate programs do not contribute to PR. Affiliate programs go through a redirect. Most affiliate programs block Google in robots.txt...so Google doesn't get the translation.

    Having an affiliate tag in the URL also tends to eliminate the PR effects of a link.

    merchant.com?affiliate=1234 is seen as a different page than merchant.com?affiliate=4321

    Personally, I think it would be great if merchants had links pages to their affiliate sites, but it would not improve their rank.

    Garb's Arbitrarium

  22. #22
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    Interesting topic here.

    _________________________
    Why am I doing this? when I could be wasting 40 years working for someone else?

  23. #23
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    Would someone out the freaking company for petes sake...

  24. #24
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    y- excellent post (the first one).

  25. #25
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    Yikes... Doesn't the merchant realize that if I have a site that works for some keywords; that site is either going to feed THEM business or is going to feed SOMEONE ELSE business.

    I had something very similar happen to me a while back. Many of you will remember the 'boxers' thread...

    On the other side, I just won a bounty from a merchant because I broke into the first page for a prime keyword phrase the merchant wants business from. Not only do I get the bounty, I get the normal affiliate revenue from my site. Double happy bonus time.

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