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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    What is legitimate big/super affiliates such as BizRate.com doing about parasiteware issues?

    The ones I know that're pretty powerful in terms of generating traffic and sales for merchants and do not steal affiliate commissions are:

    Bizrate.com
    DealTime.com/shopping.com
    FatWallet.com

    Others I come accross pretty often:

    all-internet.com
    onlinestoresmall.com
    activeplaza.com

    What's their position againts the parasiteware?

    I'd think that some of them (many not listed here)are in pretty good position to pressure merchants and networks to take action against their commissions stolen.

    Do you know what they're doing?

  2. #2
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    SamBay,

    I do believe that BizRate is going to be at the Nov 7th meeting. As a presenter also, not just in the peanut gallery.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  3. #3
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    That is correct. BizRate will be at the Nov 7. meeting, and I will be the represented speaker.

    Our position will be made very clear at the meeting, and in the meantime we're working hard at grasping all the facets of the situation which include technical issues, money trails, public statements, etc...

    Any interesting positioning statements that we should know about?

    Henri Asseily
    co-founder and CTO, BizRate.com

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Henri,

    Hello and welcome to ABW. Glad to see you here. There are quite a few position statements floating around the board.

    Hope that you will pop in some around here once the Nov 7th meeting is over. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Bizrate here's some General proposal terms to contemplate:
    "I think we have to make this so general that it applies to all networks equally. Part one has to be an addition to the networks TOS that limits the parasites to have to perform a network trackable action from within their own approved domain. We, as of yet can't keep them out of the affiliate game, but hopefully we can make them originate commissionable actions from an approved URL. This involves making their BHO captive users have to do a 2 step back to a web site in order to receive a reward/rebate/coupon offering.

    The TOS amendment must address what isn't allowed. Namely any interference in the destination or identifying referral source of the originally coded affiliate link by automated means.

    The second part is a demand from all affiliates for the networks to have to disclose diversion tactics that effect commission payouts and properly identify merchant classifications, cookie durations, and variables that reduce the published commission rate within their profiles before sign-up.

    ___________________________________________

    We, the affiliates and merchants of ABestWeb™, submit for the respective Ad Networks review, this "Honesty & Fair Practice" statement for the industry standards meeting on November 7th, 2002.

    Definitions

    1. ParasiteWare™ is technology (eg. bho's, browser plug-ins, toolbars or pop ups/sliders) used to retain or acquire new customers that knowingly or unknowingly undermines or removes another affiliate's ability to compete by changing , intercepting or redirecting a link from the originating link. Parasiteware™ may be installed intentionally or unknowingly by the end user altering their normal web browser functions and/or installing a 3rd party application that works through the user's altered browser.

    In order to utilize the the services offered by [insert network name] all affiliates and merchants, as defined below, must agree to use honest and ethical business practices as defined by existing USA and International business and criminal laws. Any action -misrepresentation or software application that circumvents or violates existing or future laws will be just cause for immediate termination from the [insert network name] affiliate network with loss of all network benefits and acrued commissions.


    *MERCHANT: A licensed business who collects money for products or services and takes responsibility for the delivery of the same to their customer. Merchants agree to pay all commissions derived by honest affiliate sales activity in a timely manner and devulge any activities that negate referral commissions. Those entities who agree to pay commissions on the [insert network name] network trackable actions, who are not involved in delivering a billable product or service, will be clearly marked as "special class merchants" during the affiliate signup process.

    AFFILIATE: An easily identifiable hosted domain who seeks commissions for driving targeted traffic to [insert network name] merchants using trackable affiliate coded links assigned to them. In order to qualify for a commission an affiliate has to originate the trackable click from their own authorized domain or from an e-mail marketing piece identifying their authorized domain.

    ___________________________

    Part 2: Merchant must divulge in their profile if they use any of the following diversion tactics:

    a] Whether the merchant uses a 800# call center that either acts as an affiliate or works on a commission basis without recording original referral ID# for commission credits.

    b] Third party gift certificate or gift registry services, who themselves are earning affiliate commissions by swapping their ID# with original referrers.

    c] This merchant selectively approves and works with "incent" and reward affiliates.

    d] The merchant's number of return cookie days and whether they are disabled after the first sale. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    e] This merchant has passed all network test purchase transactions done on a random basis at least once a month.

    f] Some sections of this merchant's website contain non-commissionable products or links to partner sites that do not track commissionable sales.

    g] This is a special class merchant who offers commissions based upon recruiting customers for outside parties or offers loyality shopping incentives.

    WebMaster Mike

  6. #6
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    Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't Bizrate the same company that bought shopping bar technology eboodle.com a few years back. I find it ironic that they now claim to be against a practice they once actively participated in.

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Niel,

    Hi and Welcome to ABW!

    I can absolutely guarantee that BizRate is vehemently against parasiteware!

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  8. #8
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    that may be true today, but given their activities in the past I am not convinced about what they might do in the future.

  9. #9
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    Neil,
    it is a testament to the destructive aspect of current parasiteware that any toolbar would today be considered a parasite.
    Would you consider the Google toolbar a parasite?

    In any case, the eboodle shopping toolbar has been discontinued for more than a year now, as it has proven impossible at this time to provide a unified shopping cart (single checkout) approach to our users. That was a goal worth working for, not just form filling and order tracking.

    However, if you go read the succint and censored minutes of the Nov 7 meeting at http://www.afftrack.com/summit/ , you will be provided with a quick understanding of BizRate's position with respect to parasiteware.

    Do note that the minutes have been cleared of any potentially argumentative views, and a simple question of mine to Joe Hatch from WurldMedia went unanswered. I basically asked where he made the money, and if he could point it out on the graph I drew of where the merchant's margins went.
    I commend him for avoiding the question so well, even when another member of the audience shouted "just answer the question!"

    On a more serious note, I have to thank Wayne Porter of Afftrack for the excellent job he did at keeping that time bomb of a meeting from blowing up.

    Henri.

  10. #10
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    I forgot to mention that we've coined a new term that I believe truly distinguishes legitimate sites from parasites.

    In my presentation during the meeting on Nov 7, I referred to sites as SLOs:
    Standalone Link Originators.

    That should be pretty self-explanatory, I think.
    Anyway, regarding the Nov 7 meeting, I don't know where all this will go. I'll hop on to the thread that specifically discusses that meeting and will describe my "crystal ball" vision.

    H

  11. #11
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    quote:
    However, if you go read the succint and censored minutes of the Nov 7 meeting at http://www.afftrack.com/summit/ , you will be provided with a quick understanding of BizRate's position with respect to parasiteware.


    Henri,

    The minutes were not censored at all. The only changes I made to Jeff's minutes were spelling corrections.

    Unfortunately these are not complete transcripts but simple meeting minutes, which give a general idea of what was discussed. Transcripts would have have every quote and comment. The minutes were more for my use then anything else as I reviewed them before going into the closed session.

    I am sure you will understand that it would have been impossible for Jeff to capture every sentence or counterpoint. Especially during some discussions where the talks were fast and rather "lively" to put it mildly.


    quote:
    On a more serious note, I have to thank Wayne Porter of Afftrack for the excellent job he did at keeping that time bomb of a meeting from blowing up.



    Thanks for the kind words Henri- and thanks for attending. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    quote:
    In my presentation during the meeting on Nov 7, I referred to sites as SLOs:
    Standalone Link Originators.


    I think the acroynom of SLOs is appropriate, useful and captures it nicely.


    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

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