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  1. #1
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    eBay has just emailed its CJ affiliates with a long explanation of paid search best practices.

    Apparently some affiliates are making a lot of money buying PPC listings which go straight through to eBay search results or dynamic landing pages.

    I can see how this would work with online pharmacies or insurance sites with EPCs of $50 or upwards, but eBay's 3 month EPC is $1.53, and their seven day EPC is $0.82. With long experience of using the editor kit for page content, I can confirm that the 3 month figure is very accurate.

    How can anyone possibly hope to make money through direct PPC links? Or am I missing something?

  2. #2
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    Not only do that not want affiliates doing this, but it is not allowed at Google or Overture in their PPC programs. Feel free to report those attempting this, their ads will be removed.

    Further, I cannot imagine why any merchant would allow this due to the fact that it adds no value to the merchant, the affiliate is not contributing anything to the "clicker", and most (not all) merchants already have listings under their trademarks, etc.

    This is a sure way to get removed from any program too, I might add...

  3. #3
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    quote:
    For affiliates practicing paid search, those "sponsored links" - or advertisements - generate commissions in one of two ways: 1) the advertisement links to a publisher's web domain where affiliate links and banners direct users to eBay; or 2) the publisher imbeds his or her tracking ID within the advertisement and links directly to eBay.com or an eBay search results page. By sending traffic directly to targeted eBay.com pages, the latter ensures that users arrive at eBay; furthermore, this method does not even require affiliates to own web domains!

    Apparently eBay doesn't mind.

    "The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those who got there first."

  4. #4
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    eBay doesn't mind because as you eluded to, the affiliates are actually losing money. The problem is many smaller affiliates have no real means to track ROI especially when they get large numbers of PPC links....

    Beware, this can be very costly and eBay is the first that I have ever heard of to allow this.

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    Google allows direct linking, as long as the fact that the link is an affiliate link is indicated in the description.

    Maria

  6. #6
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    CJ called me today to bring up a few things, but mainly the ebay editor and this "opportunity".

    umm.. no thanks.

  7. #7
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    Google does not, in fact, allow direct linking. I have called my inside rep on this and they will remove those doing so....

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    Google most certainly does allow affiliate linking:

    https://adwords.google.com/select/gu...s.html#content

    Their terms indicate:

    quote:
    Identify Affiliate Status
    If you are an affiliate and are paid to send traffic to another site or a distributor, you must identify yourself as an affiliate or a distributor in your ad text.
    Example:
    Insert the word "affiliate" or "distributor" in your ad text or title.



    Hope that clarifies the issue.

    Maria

  9. #9
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    quote:
    ...but eBay's 3 month EPC is $1.53, and their seven day EPC is $0.82. With long experience of using the editor kit for page content, I can confirm that the 3 month figure is very accurate.

    Those EPC numbers certainly don't reflect my experience with eBay. I've always done very well with eBay. Over the last couple of months I've concentrated very hard on maximizing the potential of the editor kit, and now I'm doing even better. This is the first month I will earn performance bonuses in all three categories: Registrations, Bids and Buy-It Nows.

    quote:
    By sending traffic directly to targeted eBay.com pages, the latter ensures that users arrive at eBay; furthermore, this method does not even require affiliates to own web domains!


    This may be very good for eBay, but it is not the way for a Publisher to maximize eBay's potential. Why would anyone PPC to earn a nickel? What if you sent 10 users at even just a penny a click, and only one actually made a bid? You've just lost five cents. And what if that one user that did bid, also bid on ten items. You still only made a nickel because each bid must generate from your site in order for you to get credit for it.

    I've been earning excellent commissions from eBay, and this is what I've figured out. Now that the SIDs are tracking, I'm able to download reports to Excel and see exactly what is happening. I've noticed that because I have the links opening in new browser windows, one person will click on several different items and bid. Therefore, I'm earning more than a nickel from many of my visitors.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. The way I look at affiliate marketing is that it is my job to make sure to the best of my ability that when somebody arrives at my site looking for something, they find it. The eBay editor kit enhances my ability to do that.

    Like Mark Twain said, "put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket." If I dedicate a page to promoting an item or line of items sold by one merchant, whenever possible I also include the eBay editor kit listings for that item as well at the bottom of the page. This gives my visitors options. They can purchase the item from the merchant, or if it is available for less at eBay, they can Buy-It Now or bid on it. When the item is discontinued by the merchant, or no longer manufactured, then I delete the links to the merchant and leave the links to eBay up. My page (that has earned ranking in the search engines) is still good and producing income for me.

    Like I said, I spent the last two months optimizing my eBay editor kit listings. I literally have 700-800 pages now of eBay listings for items that are no longer manufactured. Here are a few of things I figured out.

    (1) Don't limit the listings. I used to only show the first 10 or 25 items. Now my minimum list is 100 because people do go down the list and bid on more than one item.

    (2) Include the pictures icon. Since I went in and added img=y to all my listings, I've seen a substantial increase in bidding.

    (3) Don't sell eBay, sell the items. Don't try to convince people to go to eBay and sign-up with links to the sign-up page. Give them a reason to sign-up. Put the item they want in front of them via the editor kit. If they want it, and are not already a member, they will have to sign-up to get it.

    (4) Include a message below your listings, "If the item you are looking for isn't listed, or there are no listings, BOOKMARK this page and check back each week." Sellers on eBay list items for about a week. If people know they can come to your page and see all the available listings already filtered for them, they will come to your page before going directly to eBay and searching for themselves.

    (5) Learn the Search Command rules for the editor kit. You can really fine tune your listings to exclude or include only the items that fit the description by learning the syntax.

    ONly fools would PPC for a nickel, or even create direct listings that land at eBay. The savvy webmaster who is willing to put a little time and effort into creating effective pages will maximize the potential of the editor kit and have visitors returning to his/her site again and again.

    Two months ago I was getting about 1,000 visitors a day. Now I get no less than 2,000. About 80% of my traffic is coming from Google. I don't use PPC at all any more. I'm seeing a lot more bookmarking, and my eBay nickels have gone from $1 - $2 a day to $3 - $5 a day. My leads have increased accordingly.

    I'm targeting a lot of items that are no longer manufactured and therefore most likely only found at eBay, so my page for each item is showing up in the top five Google results.

    Last week eBay called me. All the increased activity showed up on their radar. The editor kit is one of the best tools available to webmasters. I finally figured out how to maximize its abilities, and after two solid months of intense work, I'm reaping the rewards.

    ---
    Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love.

  10. #10
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    Maria - that excerpt does not address directly linking to your partner as an affiliate but rather identifying the fact that you are an affiliate if you are advertising for a partner. You still are required, as an affiliate, to provide value for those clicking which only makes sense. After all, you don't even need a website to direct link for a merchant and typically it provides no value and can be easily done by the merchant themself. This is where eBay differs.

    We have a dedicated inside rep at Google, you are not allowed to directly link to a merchant using your affiliate links, period. When they catch you your ad will be removed unless you can get the merchant to approve this, which eBay does. eBay is the exception because they have approved this arrangement. Believe me when I say this is not permitted across the board and in fact eBay is the only larger merchant that I have heard of that encourage direct linking which is probably due to the vast amount of products that can be sold with them...they cannot possibly link to all the cateogories, products, etc.

    Further, you yourself stated how you could not understand how this could be done due to the low conversion rate of eBay so why does it really matter. If you know you'll lose money doing it why push the issue of doing so? Knock yourself out, I guess...

  11. #11
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    Survey Man,

    We have a dedicated rep at Google too...this was the information I received from her two days ago.

    Firstly, as she stated to me, the statement in the Google terms is quite clear, if you are an affiliate, you can link directly to the merchant as long as you indicate you are an affiliate. You are right, you should have the merchant's approval. However, you are wrong in indicating that most merchants do not approve and that Ebay is the exception. Many, many larger merchants approve of their affiliates promoting their web sites and products. Just because a few merchants in the past few months have changed or set forth policies regarding PPCs it most certainly does not imply that they all will.

    Secondly, I never indicated we use PPC other than to promote our own web sites. I am not saying it cannot be profitable to directly link to merchants, we would need to evaluate the option further, rather than simply making a screeching blanket statement that it cannot be profitable. Our marketing goals are to bring visitors to our web sites, so we choose to strictly focus on promoting our own web sites in the PPCs.

    Additionally, you indicated:
    quote:
    Further, you yourself stated how you could not understand how this could be done due to the low conversion rate of eBay so why does it really matter. If you know you'll lose money doing it why push the issue of doing so? Knock yourself out, I guess...


    Umm, where exactly did I say that? I most certainly did not.

    We do extremely well promoting Ebay on our web site. We generally have an average of 4-5 Active Registrations per day and around 100 bids/BINs per day.

    Survey Man - Knock yourself out ranting and raving...I'm really not going to waste any more time discussing this issue with you...Google does allow it...

    Maria

  12. #12
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    Maria,

    Many, many larger merchants approve of their affiliates promoting their web sites and products

    Yes many and most do approve of affiliates promoting on search engines. However they do NOT approve of you directly linking to their website. There is absolutely no reason for this as any reputable and large enough merchant is ALREADY promoting themselves under their trademark or key terms directly themselves. You would not be adding any value to them or the "clicker". That is why direct linking is generally not acceptable. The strange thing about your argument is that you yourself eluded to the fact that it was unsual that eBay was promoting this to affiliates (direct linking, not ppc).

    but eBay's 3 month EPC is $1.53, and their seven day EPC is $0.82. With long experience of using the editor kit for page content, I can confirm that the 3 month figure is very accurate.

    It is very clear that you did in fact make a fairly obvious and blatant statement confirming that (you said confirm) the EPC is not high enough to be profitable...Again You have argued against your previous remarks which I think is clear. Evaluate it some more, sure but it is clear that you have already made a pretty concrete analysis.

    Knock yourself out ranting and raving...I'm really not going to waste any more time discussing this issue with you...Google does allow it...

    You may get away with it for a while but as editors review, periodically, key words, especially those of larger name brand merchants they will eventually remove your ad, period. As I stated eBay is the exception because they have said they will allow this so knock yourself out with them. Frankly, it is great that you are doing well with them.

    The only thing I ask is that you do not misinform others that Google allows and encourages direct linking of affiliate links. Let's get something clear again...Google DOES permit affiliates to advertise on AdWords but they do not allow them to direct link even with the word affiliate in the terms. You are missing the point, the word affiliate is supposed to be in the words of ANY ad on ad words by an affiliate. This does not imply or assume that direct linking is allowed however. In fact it is not. Again I will reiterate, we have had several ads removed for this very reason just by picking up the phone.

    Let's face it directly linking, unless approved by the merchant, ads absolutely no value to the person clicking on the ad especially when 99% of major merchants already have their own "direct linking" ads....

    By the way, welcome to ABW...aren't these topics enlightening?

  13. #13
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    quote:
    Not only do that not want affiliates doing this, but it is not allowed at Google or Overture in their PPC programs. Feel free to report those attempting this, their ads will be removed.


    I don't know about Overture these days, but that statement is flatly inaccurate regarding Google. Google DOES allow it, although with some conditions about the wording you use in your ad.

  14. #14
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    buckworks - they only allow it if the merchant permits it, which eBay does. Don't try it with all your merchants...The bottom line is Google follows what merchants request typically. Most merchants don't like this and thus it is not allow, period.

  15. #15
    Full Member ellen-s4y's Avatar
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    I emailed Google about this very thing a few months ago. They told me it IS allowed as long as you put "affiliate or something to that effect in the ad.

    I asked if "aff" was allowed, since it seems to be the most used of late, and I'm assuming not so noticable, they said it was perfectly acceptable and so is, apparently, adding the words "Official Site" when clearly it's an affiliate redirect.

  16. #16
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    khomj - welcome to the board and as a new member you are starting out on a good foot. Keep it up...I am sure you will impress everyone with your poor taste and bashing skills....

  17. #17
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    Google do NOT allow it for certain trademarks

    quote:
    Due to trademark complaints, we do not allow
    advertisers to use certain trademarked terms as keywords for their
    Google AdWords campaigns.


    But as they give no indication of which trademarks, trial and error seems to be the only way of knowing.

    Also it seems they allow it by default. That is, unless the merchant has complained it will be allowed.

  18. #18
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    quote:
    posted November 16, 2003 05:15 PM
    khomj - welcome to the board and as a new member you are starting out on a good foot. Keep it up...I am sure you will impress everyone with your poor taste and bashing skills....



    Survey Man,
    you were more than 100% sure about something which is totally wrong. And when a lot of people tell you (politely) that you're wrong, you listen to none of them. So I decided to tell you the same thing in a rude way. Of course you'll not like this, but it seems that now you understand that you were wrong. So you learned a new thing, an important thing doing AdWords, so you had to say thank you to me instead, hahaha.

  19. #19
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    Google allows direct linking to affiliate sites. I've been doing it for well over a year. All you have to do is put the word affiliate or aff in the ad.

    This is fact plain and simple.

    True some merchants don't like this so I find ones that do.

    As for ebay and ppc. It all depends on the keywords you are bidding on. Find a ton of keywords you can bid the minimum .05 on and get a high listing and you can get ROI as much as $2-$4 for evey $1 spent. (in my experience)

    It's all in the keywords and finding uncompetitive niches. Since ebay has everything under the sun for sale you can bid on almost any term and find an appropriate ebay search results page to link to by using the editor kit.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador ktmkiddy's Avatar
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    Suits me fine.....the more PPC ads the more varied Google-Adsense content I see, I quit the Google Ads as my return was poor, but the Ad-Sense is doing OK......pays for the hosting 5 times over..never gonna make me rich alone...but a $ is a $

    Basically most companies have a pretty clear keyword policy....but to be honest......you can get good click rates without actually mentioning the company name - but with some simple search engine submission you can be at the top of the google search results anyway and u can use the company name to your hearts content, without paying £2 a click or what ever.

    Cheers,
    Malc - exploring the endless ways of parting with my hard earnt £1

  21. #21
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    The bottom line here is that Google allows whatever the MERCHANT allows in your merchant agreement.

    Most large merchants do not allow direct linking via you affiliate links. This means you must first link to your site which offers some content and a link to the merchant site. I can site a host of large merchants who follow this policy:

    Dell
    Zappos
    Paul Frederick
    1800flowers
    Overstock
    staples
    office depot
    Petsmart

    So far the only merchant listed that allows direct linking by admission is:

    ebay

    Again, don't assume direct PPC linking is allowed without checking with your partner first. This is a matter of simply courtesty in following with a strong partnership. It has nothing to do with what you can get away with but more what each merchant permits to keep a better control over what type of advertising is done. For most large merchants it makes no sense for you to direct link using a PPC such as adwords or overture because they are already doing that themselves. You are adding no value to the partnership.

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  23. #23
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    The EPC is so low because the main payout is a $0.05 sale. But if you are only spending a penny or two it can make a big difference. You need to promote Ebay in volume and make sure you convert to a sale or even better a $5 lead often. There is definetely money to be made. But you make it little by little. You should know ther is no quick fix. But Ebay to me has never failed on PPC Engines. You just gotta watch what you pay.
    Try a few PPC's and see what happens.

  24. #24
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    Well, I guess my original question has been answered - Jeremy and PPCbonus have both indicated you can make money this way, so I feel inspired to give it a go. I had guessed if it was possible at all it would be via advertising hard to find items where the customer would be very motivated to bid immediately, and where low PPC bids would work for the affiliate.

    Tracy - thanks for the eBay editor kit tips - now implemented on my sites!

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