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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    I am a affiliate of a company where I do approximately $60,000 worth of sales for them every month. This AM is not easy to get hold of and has never been very responsive at all. That in itself has been a problem for me, but since I do convert well, I have tried to ignore the problem.

    However, approximately one month ago, I had a conversation with the AM. He seemed "a bit" upset that I was indexed much higher in google for some of his major keyword terms. I have no idea why that is and I was not even aware of some of the keywords that he brought to my attention. Apparently he watches this very closely.

    Anyway since our conversation my sales have dropped dramatically. This may be an ODD question, but is it possible that he could be blocking my sales from his end. I still see the clicks in cj but my sales have been dramatically cut almost in half. This occurs every day at a certain time and on the weekends; almost as if something has been switched off.

    Am I being paranoid??

  2. #2
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    Very coincidental, don't you think?

    If your keywords are generic, why not look for an alternate merchant in the category and TEST pages with both to see how conversions measure up.

    (AND, as long as everything is kosher, if you're doing sales of $60K/mo. they should be treating you as a living god instead of a pariah.)
    Apollo

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The routine for the CJ on/off switch takes about 1 minute. It effect ALL affiliates and cannot be selective towrds a single affiliate. It's on or off for all.

    Sounds like an AM who says his troops of affiliate slaves are unaware of the on/off switch so he/she just whacks the whole group. Either that or they have a new diversion scheme in place, like auto setting merchant house account cookies from site navigation links overwriting your cookie and the others. Heck CJ might have signed them up for 180Solutions or another BHO partner.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  4. #4
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    "(AND, as long as everything is kosher, if you're doing sales of $60K/mo. they should be treating you as a living god instead of a pariah.)"

    Yes, it is kosher, and in fact, over the years I have sent this AM suggestions of certain products to carry. Without even telling me, this AM would add these products and by accident I would find them on their site and then I would have to figure out how to link to them. I am not exactly link savvy so this in itself would take me forever to figure out.

    "The routine for the CJ on/off switch takes about 1 minute. It effect ALL affiliates and cannot be selective towrds a single affiliate. It's on or off for all.

    Sounds like an AM who says his troops of affiliate slaves are unaware of the on/off switch so he/she just whacks the whole group. Either that or they have a new diversion scheme in place, like auto setting merchant house account cookies from site navigation links overwriting your cookie and the others."

    Could CJ figure out if they are doing it? It seems to happen at the exact some time on weekdays and on the weekends.

  5. #5
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    If you are making that much with this program, you could certainly afford to have a friend do a test purchase or two at the times you suspect the tracking is off.

    It will either set your mind at ease or you will catch them red handed.

    If I had lost 30,000 a month is sales, you can bet I would be jumping on those links and PROVING to myself that they are working. You can always cancel an order later or resale or give away the merchandise for a Christmas gift.
    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!

  6. #6
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    "If you are making that much with this program, you could certainly afford to have a friend do a test purchase or two at the times you suspect the tracking is off."

    Good Idea! If I make the sale myself will that be the same thing as asking a friend?

  7. #7
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    you probably can't be a witness for yourself.

  8. #8
    Assistant Regional Manager Rik's Avatar
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    Is there any chance you can find other merchants that carry the same products/services that you're currently selling. Replacing him might wake the AM up.
    I say we hit it hard and we hit it fast with a major, and I mean "major" leaflet campaign.
    Arnold J. Rimmer : Jupiter Mining Corporation

  9. #9
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    Call his/her boss... that'll get him/her paying attention to you.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, call the dude's boss. Unless of course it is a certain, shall we say heart(less) program. Then you are up the creek.

    From the sounds of it, the AM in this case probably does not have a boss... he IS the boss. Find another merchant. I am still looking for one for the merchant I f'in hate. They are jerks, but they convert and pay every month.

    Do a test purchase and report back here. I am dying to know who the scum is.

  11. #11
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Why would CJ give a merchant access to such an on/off switch in the first place?

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    There is no on/off switch. Mike's just making things up.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Get real Michael. It takes one minute to place the 2 line HTML CJ tracking tag into the final checkout page of the merchant's shopping cart. Takes the same amopunt of time to remove it....repeat as necessary. Some carts only require you check a box and put Merchant ID# in the CH network field....time 30 seconds to effect next sale being reported or not.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yes, it's simple enough to just remove the tracking code, but you're implying that CJ provides an On/Off switch.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think a friend's test purchase will be a good indication of what's going on. Be sure to document everything, clear cache, clear cookies, etc., then restart so you have a fresh browser. Go straight to your site and make the purchase, without going elsewhere, that way yours should be the only cookie in place, and therefore no excuses from anyone that another cookie was later than yours.

    Please let us know how it turns out. It sure seems coincidental that things slowed down so much after your conversation with the AM. Perhaps you could talk to them again after your test purchase, and ask for any explanation. If your SE rankings are the same, you shouldn't have that big of a change.

    Andy

  16. #16
    Full Member brianboru's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    Get real Michael. It takes one minute to place the 2 line HTML CJ tracking tag into the final checkout page of the merchant's shopping cart. Takes the same amopunt of time to remove it....repeat as necessary. Some carts only require you check a box and put Merchant ID# in the CH network field....time 30 seconds to effect next sale being reported or not.


    He speaks the truth.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is related but I am also seeing some disturbing stats, for example today I generated 9 sales between 08:40 & 09:39. Then there were no sales for 1 hour 20 minutes. Then another 8 sales show up from 10:56 to 11:37. Again I don't know if this is related or just crappy CJ tracking.

  18. #18
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    quote:
    Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    Get real Michael. It takes one minute to place the 2 line HTML CJ tracking tag into the final checkout page of the merchant's shopping cart. Takes the same amopunt of time to remove it....repeat as necessary.


    yup - maybe 'unplugged' is a better analogy the 'on/off'

  19. #19
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    I wanted everyone to know that I did make a test purchase yesterday and it did go through. However, My sales have still dropped in half. All of this has really happened since I had the conversation with the AM manager but it has also happened since all of the problems cj has been having. So I really don't know what is going on??

  20. #20
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    quote:
    Could CJ figure out if they are doing it? It seems to happen at the exact some time on weekdays and on the weekends.


    No, the question is whether you can figure out if they are doing it.

    CJ is not going to bother policing every single thing merchants might be doing behind the scenes. They will only implement technology, and that technology will be suffient in their eyes in attaining an acceptable profit level.

    I hope for you that your merchant has a competitor with an affiliate program, and you could send your traffic to them. Hopefully they will treat you better.

    If it were me, I would definitely not think this is just a coincidence that sales dropped so dramatically right after a conversation with the AM. Especially after a conversation surrounding the fact that I place better than they do in a search engine.

    The biggest fear you should realistically have should be that the most tenacious marketers (myself included) like to target other affiliates by extreme competitive measures that are relentlessly feeding unethical merchants.

    Do you feel like risking your SE positions to others that will feed the traffic to the likes of Google Adsense (thus, to all your merchant's competitors)?

    Do the right thing. Don't come to a rant board complaining if you're not going to take action.

  21. #21
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    Hows the merchant check out at http://www.**************.com/

    ( U RL REMO VED)

    Is the merchant infested with parasites? Most affiliate sales do not occur on the 1st click - people shop around and then return to the merchant site to make the purchase. When the merchant is infested, your cookie duration is effectively zero days for any customer that has the BHO installed. IMO, that may have a serious impact on sales.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Web_Novice,

    FYI, a couple of my merchants are listed on that site who cleaned out the parasites, yet are still listed. Some of the parasite sites themselves, which is where this site pulls their data from, don't update their sites for months, to remove merchants who have dropped them.

    For instance, I dropped Whenu from Executive Essentials MONTHS - MONTHS ago. They still show up on that site.

    PS just checked the site and she removed Whenu because their info is so outdated. Good move!Thank you Monkey!


    DentalPlans had a couple sneak in last month - as soon as I found them I had Evan expire them. They are now GONE - but DP still shows up on the site even though I told the site owner they were expired. Evan needs to contact the actual parasites to get removed from their sites, even though he expired them.

  23. #23
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    That's for the link!!

    The Affiliate program that I started this thread about is clean, No parasites. However, I checked every affiliate program that I belong to with linkshare and the parasite list just goes on and on. It looks like linkshare does not care about whether their merchants are parasite free.

    Well, it looks like I will spend the day removing links.

  24. #24
    Full Member
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    Catalyst

    Yes, I saw the threads about WhenU and Cleanmerchant and understand.

    infoseeker

    I was also disappointed to see how many LS merchants are infected. For me, the good news is that some of the merchants respond when informed about being infected and take actions to correct it. As a result, my affiliate sales are UP this month.

    As far as the others, oh well, they don't perform so no big loss to remove them. Some are just cheaters with or without parasites.

  25. #25
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    "I was also disappointed to see how many LS merchants are infected. For me, the good news is that some of the merchants respond when informed about being infected and take actions to correct it. As a result, my affiliate sales are UP this month."

    Thanks web_novice for the heads up.

    But the ones that came up on that list are very big merchants, so I suspect they won't listen to little ole me. LOL

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