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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    As much as I hate the doing so I too will pulling my all my CJ merchants. I have 0 CJ sales so far this month as compared to 16 in the same time period last month. I know it's no where near what some of the more experienced folks make but I am working toward it. I had no significant drop in traffic and other Affiliate Marketing Network sales numbers were about the same as last month.

    It is really a PITA when I spend time learning and making pages only to have money lost or stolen to tracking problems which is said to be non-existant.


    Regards,
    Doug
    Thanks,
    Doug

  2. #2
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Actually for the first time in two years I dropped to three bars (used to be $s) on CJ because I'm no longer bothering with them.. it's just too much hard work getting the merchants to convert.

    I just have one biggish merchant there now, mostly I've switched to in-house and smaller networks.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  3. #3
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    There are some good ones at cj, the key is to find the right merchants. But that's true with any of the networks! I just wouldn't be so quick to write the network off just because you have trouble with some merchants.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    16 in 4 days v 0 in 4 days is not statistically significant. Applying the same numbers I'd have given up before I'd even started.

  5. #5
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    I am dropped from 5 bars to 4 bars. I have been 5 bars for more than a year.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Is it that all of you have less sales or is it that CJ has "raised the bar" (if you excuse the pun)?

    Todd, has CJ changed it's criteria for the bars?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  7. #7
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I dropped from 5 to 4 no surprise here, I was wondering when the friggin parasites earnings would sky rocket like this. I'm goin before I start swearin

    Come on Haiko let me get out of CJ before they and their parasitic b*stard buddies bankrupt me.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    To be honest folks, CJ is not the problem nor are the parasites in the latest trend of plummeting sales. It's actually Google. I'm not sure if you guys are members of the WebmasterWorld Supporters Forum but if you are, hop in there and read all the Google threads. According to many sources, Google is now tweaking their algo several times per week. In fact on some tests I have done, I watched the Google results change several times in one week - and drastic changes mind you. Google is making it more and more difficult for folks like us (affiliate marketers) to get high rankings. It's a fact and the first major step Google took was the Florida update in November. I watched one affiliate with whom I worked close with, go from $10k+ in monthly earnings to about $500 and change after Florida. It's easy to blame CJ or for that matter any other network or some other tracking software - but folks to be honest, that's all it is, tracking software. As much as you guys don't want to belive that it doesn't work, I will tell you from my experience of monitoring millions of dollars in transactions, that CJ's system is just as reliable as any other system. Are there problems with using cookies to track? Yes, most definately! Is there another way? No.

    If you are relying on search engines for your traffic, you need to realize that not only do you have your competition (other affiliates) trying to knock you out of good positions, but you now have Google engineers trying to knock you out. Smart affiliate marketers are reading all the latest info on Google's doings and updating their strategies to combat the massive anti-spam efforts put forth by Google.

    Leaving CJ or any other network for that matter, isn't going to increase your earnings. You need to work smarter and build better sites to stay in the game. That's my 2 cents.
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

    Affiliate Marketing Solutions by affSolutions - Creator of the Product Showcase Creator™

    Managed Programs: EssentialApparel.com (Join) | SportsFanfare.com (Join)


    Affiliates: Product Showcase Creator Directory | Merchants: License the Product Showcase Creator™!

  9. #9
    notary sojac Herb ΤΏΤ¬'s Avatar
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    hey. you've heard me complaining here almost from the day I first signed in.

    not right now, though. I've been building pages for individual merchants using their internal CJ product links and some of it has caught on and made me a few sales.

    no, I'm not making a living off it. but I see the potential for more now that I've got some interest going out there.

    incidentally, I've been doing this without hardly any income for much longer than a few months. I'm not ready to apply to MacDonald's yet.

  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Akiva,

    What are some of the ways google id's a site as an affiliate?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    CJ seems fine today, have $250+ in commissions today.

    Akiva i agree with your whole post except this part:

    "Google is making it more and more difficult for folks like us (affiliate marketers) to get "high rankings."

    "but you now have Google engineers trying to knock you out."

    They're not trying to knock anybody out, they're trying to make their search engine relevant. If you're pushing products then you might see yourself dropping because when a normal user searches for a product, they want an actual merchant. It's always been about relevancy and always will be. For a product search, a merchant will be more relevant than an affiliate page about a product linking to a merchant that actually sells the product.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Trust, I understand what you're saying however if you look at the WMW forum you'll see that the wheat is getting thrown out with the chaff. Many GOOD sites are being blown into oblivion in Google's effort to improve results. And as a side note, Google is incentivized whether they will admit it in public or not, to push people to *pay* for advertising. I know for a fact that Google is now identifying affiliate websites via many means which I am not at liberty to discuss publicly.

    Folks, no one ever said affiliate marketing was easy. If you want to succeed and make money, get smart and stop with the blaming. The folks earning the cash (and I know this for a fact) read and read and ACT. As one industry person put it: "Affiliates are vomiting into Google and expect Google to standby and watch." Folks the coffee is starting to brew, my advice is to get the whiff and start getting educated if you want to do this long term.
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

    Affiliate Marketing Solutions by affSolutions - Creator of the Product Showcase Creator™

    Managed Programs: EssentialApparel.com (Join) | SportsFanfare.com (Join)


    Affiliates: Product Showcase Creator Directory | Merchants: License the Product Showcase Creator™!

  13. #13
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    quote:
    If you are relying on search engines for your traffic,


    I don't rely on Google to get my traffic. Yet since CJ's last downtime my sales have become almost Non-existant. It's too coincidental for this Not to be a CJ issue.

    One of my sites' links that I did Not change is not registering clicks and impressions (or sales -- which were 2-3 a day) since their downtime. CJ says all links are good -- maybe I have "stale" advertising. I guess it got "stale" right at the same time they had "issues"

    Another site is registering clicks and impressions and totally sporadic sales -- highly unusual.

    I've even gotten clicks from a Deleted site -- deleted over a year ago -- NO links up -- no clicks registered for over a year -- then it shows up??

    Since this last update I've gotten sales from merchants that haven't registered a click in Eons -- Explain why they are showing up now -- No one can.

    I'm glad CJ is working for some of you. But I've had it. I don't have the time to research Why my sales have disappeared. CJ tells me "maybe it was a slow day" "maybe you have stale advertising". I've been through this TOO Many times having been with them since 1999.

    There are So Many Other Programs available that Don't cause this type of stress.


  14. #14
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    I'm in the paid supporters forum over there but it seems like the regular stuff unless you know a thread i'm missing and should be reading.

    "I know for a fact that Google is now identifying affiliate websites via many means which I am not at liberty to discuss publicly."

    You can tell me in private

    "Many GOOD sites are being blown into oblivion in Google's effort to improve results."

    That's true, that's what happened with Florida.

    "As one industry person put it: "Affiliates are vomiting into Google and expect Google to standby and watch."

    I remember reading that thread, it was about datafeed sites and those hundreds of thousands of pages some affiliates have. Google has been spammed to death and now they're trying to get some kind of control of it but maybe its too late and sometimes good sites get knocked out.

    "Folks the coffee is starting to brew, my advice is to get the whiff and start getting educated if you want to do this long term."

    Totally agree.

  15. #15
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Oddly enough, I saw my sales go back to normal (up) just as soon as CJ became fully functional again. The last three days have been great.

    So, yes, it may be Google, but I see a direct correlation between CJ functionality and my sales.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  17. #17
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    It is mainly search engines and more competition, not parasites and network problems. And this year will be kinda wild with Google updating daily/weekly and MSN coming out with their own search.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    If it is a Google thing then why is it that overall site traffic is unchanged? Additionally I have had almost no traffic from Google.

    Thanks,
    Doug
    Thanks,
    Doug

  19. #19
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Exactly. People reporting their earnings are down are also reporting that the traffic is the same or better. Google doesn't explain it.
    quote:
    There are some good ones at cj, the key is to find the right merchants. But that's true with any of the networks! I just wouldn't be so quick to write the network off just because you have trouble with some merchants.

    So true. The people saying that SAS doesn't convert haven't put the same amount of time and effort into finding the good ones at SAS that they have out into ferreting out the good CJ merchants.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  20. #20
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    Yo Akiva,

    I don't read WMW and haven't had to in order to make the same assessment you have. Our traffic and sales have fallen drastically despite us adding many sites prior to xmas and I'm seeing impact across the board on hand built and datafeed sites.

    I recognize there is more competition but our listings being filtered and pushed back and the ones I see moved up are not "new competition". I see favortisim for merchants on a broad scale on the searches I've reviewed and their move up does not appear to have anything to do with them doing more se optimization at all.

    Thankfully, we've got enough sites where we're still doing good but nothing compared to what we were doing prior to the Florida update - but it does seem to be getting worse - LOL.

    Googles and other SE's finacial incintive to drive PPC sales should not be under-estimated. Their cash cow for PPC is not the very few merchants but rather the many cut-throat and newbee affiliates willing to drive up prices for a percieved chance to compete.

    A long time ago, I asked you what was more important to you - A diverse affiliate force who could help offset algo changes or a PPC ad that could always have the opportunity to be listed on the first page.

    You quoted "As one industry person put it: "Affiliates are vomiting into Google and expect Google to standby and watch." but,
    affiliates vomiting into google is not the entire story IMO.

    You and other AM's who have instead of doing PPC yourself and protecting your brand names, have handed out ready made keyword lists and have encouraged your affiliates to enter the PPC advertising arena on your behalf. The finacial impact to googles bottom line from these kinds of moves have clearly shown the most effective lines for them to increase income is - getting the many affiliates to compete via PPC (instead of limited merchants) and pushing affiliates further back at the same time to reduce the "vomit" and reduce their overall needs for scanning and updating 4+billion web pages on a regualr basis.

    The amount of affiliate vomit entering the SE's is not just a reaction to increased users entering the affiliate space. The amount of affiliates merchants deal with and openly accept into their programs who have demonstarted no ability to be effective is partially to blame IMO as well as "ready made keyword lists being handed out". There are alot of people in for some big surprises in the future and it's not just affiliates that are part of the problem and need to wake up IMO.

  21. #21
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I have heard many people mention lately that they believe googles results are not as good as they had been before. I wonder if I am the only one noticing that google's traffic is not as good as it had been.

    I am getting loads of bad traffic from google where people are looking for something I never had.

    Anyways, I believe there is nothing wrong with CJ's reporting. I believe there are a few bad apples for merchants but that's the nature of what we do. I think you could say nearly anything and find someone at abestweb to agree with you. I don't credit it too much when someone says they are having a bad day and 5 other people jump in to blaim CJ. I also admit I've done it myself and I think that it should be both expected and accepted because many of us come here to vent. Hopefully venting can lead to learning and getting the right answers.

  22. #22
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    It is late on Sunday evening and I haven't read through the whole post but wanted to quickly clarify one thing before going to bed.

    quote:
    I am dropped from 5 bars to 4 bars. I have been 5 bars for more than a year.


    Actually, you could earn more in a given month and have fewer Network Earning bars. Network Earnings show how you stack up compared to the rest of the netwrok. Let's say you earned $5,000 in January and had 5 bars. In February you earned $7,000 and were only 4 bars - why? Because others in the network earned more than you - maybe they earned $5k in January but earned $10k in February.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Thanks, Todd. That answered my question directly and was as I suspected.

    (can we change the color to gold? I'd love to tell folks I earned X number gold bars this month)
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Todd thanks for explaining how the bars work - I always wondered about that. I was 4 bars up until the end of January, then dropped to 3 bars, but now I have got my 4th bar back!

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
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    "I see favortisim for merchants"

    The word is relevancy, they should come up first.

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