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  1. #1
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    Maybe it's temporary.. when I type my site in Google the link to their directory listings for "online coupons" is gone(?) I went to ODP, and the whole category is missing! The category is still in the Google directory, but the link to it doesnt show up in the search results for any of the sites that were listed in it. ?????

  2. #2
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    As I told a few other people here it wasn’t my decision.

  3. #3
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    what happened? wil they move our sites to another category?

  4. #4
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    Yes, it is gone forever. There is now simply:

    Home: Homemaking: Frugality: Coupons


    To get in this category, you need to have more content than just affiliate coupons. A few examples: an active discussion board, product reviews and so on.

  5. #5
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    what will happen to our listings? what was the reason for this? I bet it because of all the "affiliate links" - how can you offer "online coupons" and not have affiliate links? lol

  6. #6
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    Yes some of the higher ups felt the category was nothing more than affiliate links so they eliminated it. You listing is simply gone: (All you can do is resubmit to the new category and hope someone approves

  7. #7
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Is it possible to get a strictly affiliate site into DMOZ - say in a shopping catagory if it is more than just a banner farm? I am working on one with lots of product descriptions and it is kinda a "themed" type of site.

    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8
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    Yep. Big business on the web seeks to destroy the little guys. I said it before, and I said it again, over and over. Collectively, we take too much money from big business. How do they deal with us? They make it impossible for us to make money. They throw all the stumbling blocks in our way. They all are in with each other, directly, and indirectly. They support each other.

    I know ya'll think I am paranoid, but think about it for a minute...

    OverSure, influenced by Yahoo (so they say) has shown bias toward affiliates.

    Kanoodle just came right and said it.. no more affiliate listings.

    Google has now stipulated their intentions toward affiliate listings in their new CPC ADWORDS. They are also manipulating their algos to "fight spam" - to them, this is affiliate sites, period!

    Merchants are changing their TOS with affiliates so that we can't "compete" against them.

    ODP is in league with the big boys. It's called appeasement. It's a pride thing too. geeky web elitist, with noses in the air, have a since of pride about keeping us out. Sissies.

    Yet, with all the bias toward us, they some how or another find the guts to ask us to promote their services and ads! Google was a part of this machine, paying a whopping one cent a click - lol - and still left some people unpaid. They don't need us now.

    Anyone got something to add to the list of stumbling blocks?

    In order for me to get enough traffic that will generate the revenue I had set as a goal ($500.00 day minimums) I have to make 50,000 web pages! I know my sites listing will suffer now that it is not in ODP. It's just a matter of time. I'll still get found, but not like I could have been.

    Is their a way we can sue Google, ODP, Yahoo, and the likes of OverSure for discrimination? What bullshit

  9. #9
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    Probably not Yahoo or ODP as they can claim legitimate business reasons for excluding affiliate sites, but when you start looking at Overture and other engines like them that continue to list advertising.com URLs and not affiliates you have possible anti-trust violations, but that is some expensive federal court litigation that would cost $100,000 of dollars to even think about.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vicki:
    Is it possible to get a strictly affiliate site into DMOZ - say in a shopping catagory if it is more than just a banner farm? I am working on one with lots of product descriptions and it is kinda a "themed" type of site.

    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can’t speak for the other categories, but I would recommend staying away from the coupons category.

  11. #11
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Wave malibber.

    As another ODP editor, my 2 cents worth would be that we're too harsh on affiliate sites.. for instance, themed affiliate stores that track down every product relating to a certain topic have a certain value.

    To a large extent, affiliate stores are merely resellers - a common enough feature of day-to-day retail. And ODP lists almost every other type of site for free, so why not create a cat for affiliate stores?

  12. #12
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    What I'm going to say isn't going to be too popular, but I think all of these services are right to not want to give traffic to "affiliates". Why would they? Why not bypass you and go right to the source?

    The "affiliate concept" was and is a powerful marketing concept. Some (many/most???) affiliates just don't get it though. They just aren't offering any "value added." They somehow think they should be rewarded for buying traffic from "a" and selling it to "b". That actually may be an "added value" if you are bringing a network with you. If either "a" or "b" is hard to link up without you in the middle, that's fine. That's why CJ, BFree and the others are "adding value."

    But if you just want to purchase traffic from Overture or have Google give it to you for free and sell it to merchant "X" for a higher price then I think you need to ask yourself what you are bringing to the party. If you have a talent for writing ad copy or you have a access to non-obvious source of traffic, then the affilite game might be perfect for you. That's an "added value." But if you are just brokering from one well-known traffic source (ie: Overture) to a well known merchant (ie: anyone listed in any affiliate network) then I can't see the value you add.

    This isn't directed at anyone in particular. It is just an observation about a common attitude that I have noticed among those in the affiliate community.

  13. #13
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    Unfortunately, its called the real business world. Companies are driven by profit. The little guy in other businesses all have a full variety of roadblocks, similar to this but based on what kind of business they are. Thes BIG companies in many instances have become that way from humble beginnings, where adapting and changing are keys to success. Its no different here. Build sites, find your company/site niche and adapt as the game rules change. In time you MAY be one of them big companies that dictate how the game is gonna be played.

  14. #14
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    Heather, I agree with much of what you say... except I disagree completely when it comes to the category ONLINE COUPONS (what this thread is about). Affiliate sites are the absolute best places to find online coupons.

    I don't promote coupons, but if I were looking for coupons, I sure wouldn't want to surf around to all the shoe sites and try to ferret out coupons -- and many sites ONLY promote coupons through affiliates! How the devil is the surfer supposed to find them if not through an affiliate site?

    While your arguments have some merit in general, they don't really hold true in this particular corner of the affiliate world.

    An additional problem (and I think one that makes affiliates of merit extremely pissy) is that the people making the rules (e.g., at Overture) lump all affiliates in the same POS boat. We're not all the same. I bring a LOT of value to my visitors AND my merchants... but you'd never know it from talking to the folks at GOTO.

    But it's okay... for now... I get GREAT rankings in Google and Inktomi. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But if you are just brokering from one well-known traffic source (ie: Overture) to a well known merchant (ie: anyone listed in any affiliate network) then I can't see the value you add<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Big Business has been trying to eliminate the "middle man" since the times of Babylon - and it hasn't happened yet.

  16. #16
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    Big Chuck, you are right we're being ganged up on by the big boys.

    The net being what it is though, trying to squeeze us out is like trying to squeeze wet soap.

    As a precaution, I'd like to think about how to disguise affiliate links so that anything automated looking for The Usual Suspects is going to draw a blank.

    One way of doing this is cloaking (which is tedious), another is a well disguised doorway page leading to the page with the real link on it (and a robots exclusion tag).

    But I'd like something simpler - perhaps something that would cause a robot to think a CJ link was something else, perhaps some way of exchanging affiliate links for 'innocent' links that redirected the buyer so fast they didn't even realise - that kind of thing.

    Are we becoming a new underground? Maybe one day kids on street corners will exchange lists of dodgy illicit virtual shopping malls. The kind of place that can get you an oil rain lamp in an emergency and not ask any awkward questions..


    I

  17. #17
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    Affiliate links should be targeted to match the content of your page. If all you have for content is affiliate links then all you have is a banner farm. If you don't review or provide some type of relevant information, you will not get good page ranking in Dmoz and Google.

  18. #18
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    If a banner farm has what you are looking for, whats wrong with it?

    Yeah, I know its depressing to see site after site pushing the same products in the same way, but 95% of anything is bollocks.

    There are now sufficient merchants that you could have a million affiliate sites all unique. If a collection of data in itself can be copyright, a collection of data in itself can be useful.

    I had to laugh the other day when a friend of mine claimed I was 'just another middle man'. I challenged him to do a google search for something I happened to know he was looking for. It was a highly specific something so he types it in.

    Whaddya know? Google had only one result for it. Guess whose result that was?

    <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif>


    I

    [ 02-20-2002: Message edited by: Icicle ]

  19. #19
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    This may not be too easy to follow but I feel it has to be said.

    There are ways to be an affiliate without letting anyone know you are an affiliate.

    One way of doing this is to use a shopping cart script or a search engine script to display your actual affiliate links.

    Instead of linking directly to a merchant on the page with the description and pictures are located on your site you simply link that page to your script which can bring up the merchants order page.

    In the case of either search script or shopping cart the only link that will be seen by anyone will be your cgi script link and not some merchant.com link.

  20. #20
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    Free as a way of life on the net is dead.

    What we are all seeing is simply the evolution of the net from fantasyland to reality.

    Obviously if we can get FREE traffic - targeted or not - to our webpages we can make a profit with any type of product or service. Non PPC Search engine traffic was and is FREE if you can get a listing.

    But in a short while that will be history.
    PPC costs money for both merchants and affiliates - it's free to viewers. However,
    there is no way for any retail brick and mortar business to get enough traffic to their website to ever make a profit.

    The future I think will morph the net into a two tier business set up - paid search for merchants and content sites thru the likes of BendOver. Free engines will charge a listing fee and those sites will get preferential listing versus the FREE sites.

    The only way affiliate marketing as we know it will survive is if there is a way to get listing in what you would call 'limited' listing directories.

    These directories will pay affiliates to send traffic to targeted category pages with limited number of listings.

    For example a category called Internet might have 20 to 40 total listings and have 10,000 affiliates sending traffic to that page.

    It will cost X per listing and affiliate will get paid a % of x times the number of listings.

    Over time millions of banners and text links will be spun and the site will build up a large number of bookmarks. Branding with a
    guaranteed payout to affiliates will make such listings extremely valuable to merchant/affiliates.

    You cannot get away from the distribution costs of traffic - someone has to pay.

    What's happening now is determining who,how much and when.

  21. #21
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    Malibber,

    I am not directing any of this toward you, so please don't take it that way. I know it must not be easy being an editor at times. My remarks were not toward the editors, as so much as they were toward the people who run ODP (the powers that be). I just can't understand the extreme bias they all have with affiliate sites. I guess I could understand if they had to put up with listings that redirected visitors to a page full of porn when they went looking for coupons, or lingerie instead of hammers.

    Oh well... Malibber yer allright, so please don't take what I said as being directed toward you. If you did, please forgive me.

  22. #22
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Icicle:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>There are now sufficient merchants that you could have a million affiliate sites all unique. If a collection of data in itself can be copyright, a collection of data in itself can be useful.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Absolutely, I've seen affiliate sites that add real value by either the way they collect advertisers together or by other means of targetting an audience.

    And as almost every semi-decent site carries at least some advertising these days, the "affiliate link farm" argument is always a matter of an editor's individual judgement. Maybe a more useful criteria is the "sufficient unique content" one, in that any ODP listed site has to have something of unique value.

    And if ODP lists commercial sites for free, what's the beef with good affiliate sites? What about the "Open" in Open Directory?

    I also edit at Zeal, and there the same rules apply but they're much easier to justify.. an affiliate farm is a commercial site so they'd better stump up $299. The delineation is pretty clear.

  23. #23
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    Yeah, Dynamoo - I see you know what I'm on about.

    I test to see if my site is useful. When ever I want to buy something, if I don't go to my own site to search for it first - I upgrade that section.

    Big Chuck - what the Big Boys do intentionally (our business model scares the $expletive out of them) the ODP editors do out of mimicry, most likely. They will not understand their own reasons in any real sense of the word, but knowing that freelance online sales is not the preferred business model of their Betters, will aim to please no matter what.

    One day, it might well come about that we will be the Big Boys. People will picket about how Strawberrynet and Crucial are spilling oil on nature reserves and bribing presidents. Its just a question of keepin' yer 'ead down till then.

    Heyder - you can be my new best friend if you like. Along with Jared.

    A week or so ago someone, possibly Lisa, said something along the lines of it becoming more expensive to get started in affiliate marketting.

    I have a theory that any industry, in its infancy, can be gotten into for approximately pocket change. The longer you leave it to get that foothold the more it takes. At the moment you can still get in on it for the price of a domain name (if that). It won't be long before free entry is no longer possible.

    I think this might be a 'natural' occurance, and I don't think we should waste time crying about it or trying too hard to change it. I feel like a gold prospector mid C19th or a games programmer mid 80's.


    I

    [ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: Icicle ]

  24. #24
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    Chuck no offense taken [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] I don’t think it is the big boys trying to push us out. In many cases, we sell for the big boys. In the case of the commercial engines, it is more a matter of the people at the engines trying to hoard the opportunities for themselves. Even for big search engines like Yahoo the only way to make money in today’s market is through affiliate marketing. In the past when they were making all of $$$ with banner ads, they did not care what (for the most part) we did. Now they realize the more affiliate sites listed in their engines the less likely they will be able to close the sale. Of course they guise this in “our searchers don’t want to see affiliate sites.” As some one pointed out with the coupon example that really is not true in many cases. What they are saying to themselves as they delete our listings is that they don’t want the searchers to see our sites otherwise they will lose money.

    [ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: malibber ]

  25. #25
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    This reminds me of the book "Animal Farm".

    All websites are equal but some are more equal than others.

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