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  1. #1
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    I didn't know of a better area in the forums to ask this in, so, here it is.

    I'm interested in knowing how a parasite manufacturer goes about applying to affiliate programs? Do they use their real company name for the account information, or do they try to pawn themselves off as individuals? Do they submit a website that looks like a legitimate affiliates website, or do they use their companies? Are the programs that approve them just unwitting to their unfair practices, and think it would be great to have them on board, or deceived? If they try to fool the affiliate manager who would approve them, what's he to look out for to detect them? I just want to know if their sleazy practices extend into their infiltration of programs.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    morpheus was changing their name when accounts were closed (back in the day). The fact is the affiliate manager doesn't really need to know, but it would be nice if they were more scumware savvy. They will eventually find out if they didn't do their homework up front. They will receive emails about "scumware" from other affiliates in short order. I know I send emails out regularly. Unfortuantely most don't respond, or if they ask for more specifics, they don't reply to the second email. If they are still involved and have been for the last year, they don't intend to change and it's just not worth promoting their programs.
    They typically feed of the networks, so independent programs work best from a thief standpoint. Some independents don't perform well because of the lack on branding and sometimes higher prices. That is what has kept many from dropping the majority of programs from the 3 big networks IMO.

    Same goes for programs that allow ongoing spam from affiliates even after multiple reportings of the same affiliates. They are short sighted and they will suffer the consequences down the road.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think it's best to just go over the AM's head and contact the owner/president directly about the parasite issue. Often AM's salaries are tied in to the performance of the affiliate program, and there's no incentive for many of them to do the right thing.

    However, a business owner has more to lose - like the good reputation of his or her company! If you provide them with enough information up front, I suspect in most cases they will be more interested in the damage that could be done to their reputation.

    Public awareness of unethical and illegal business practices is very high right now, due to the news headlines these days, and no owner or CEO wants to wake up to find his company is now the focus of this negative attention in the media.

    Andy

    _______________
    Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!

  4. #4
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Athough I understand where Andy is coming from disagree. I think most AMs (unless they are regulars here)are still very uniformed. It's even hard for those of us who commit to being parasite-free to stay on top of all the new ones. And YES to answer Mikeys question parasites do all kind of sneaky things to get into a program. Many of them are wolves in sheeps clothing and the AVERAGE AM would have no way of knowing unless someone informed them.

    While I'm sure that some AMs knowingly partner with parasites for the money - my guess is 80% or more would do the right thing it they knew.

    I would suggest going to the AM 1st. They are closer to the affs and understand the industry - many CEOs do not. Give the AM adequate info and proof and a resonable window.
    Then go to the CEO.

    Also realize if you tell an AM to boot Ebates for instance - they could do it the same day, but the merchant may still show up on the Ebates site for awhile, until the next update.

    Also remember your best allies in this fight are the AMs on this board. Can't count how many times a sneaky new one slipped in and we all spread the word to each other and went to the networks to try to get them canned. We share into and fight parasites in the private AM forum too.

    Hope this helps.

    Linda Buquet :: 714.754.1280 :: AM Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit 5 Star Forum
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  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Very good answers to a very good question. Thieves and con-men do not show their intentions to anyone up front.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Last year when we found ABW and found out about Parasites we gathered all the Affiliate Manager's or Merchants email (took us almost half a day) that is on the networks and send them an email about this issue.

    Only a few answer back!

    Sorry to disaggree with you Linda, but the affiliate manager knows whats going on. I am sure we are not the only one that emailed the merchants and the affiliate manager.

    Merchants or AM in most cases cannot say they didn't know and easily act or say oh we didn't know!

    the end of last year we all started doing the protect your links IE: framed...
    but that is not enough, instead of all of us doing a page for all the merchants we are associated with we have to work on how to protect our links. (which it's a joke!)
    We all know where these people stand and lets not waste anymore time of what or where or who!

    The networks and merchants will not do anything to stop this parasite to overwrite or undermine thousands of peoples work!

    remember the old saying "Money talks".

    We have no choice unless someone step up and make a difference we will not see any changes, and we will see this kind of disscusion every year after year.

    It's an old issue and alot of people are getting burned out on explaining if this and that knows it or this and that seen this and what you gonna do about it?

    We are all burned out on policing our work for these scums!

    we are all tired of asking networks and merchants to do the right thing.

    We are all fed up on excuses and round around and making us sound the whinners!

    All we ask is give us what is rightfully ours and we will not complain or whine. But of course it's hard for them to understand the simpliest thing in life, people love making
    life more complicated.

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Linda,

    I based my post on a personal conversation with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He expressed concern that many middle and upper management people like to hide things from CEOs. They think of CEOs as mere figureheads, who shouldn't actually do any of the dirty work. That's what the middle and upper management people are for, or so they think.

    He said most people at the top didn't get there by doing dumb things, although it seems lately a few have. Most of them are also better informed on the current pulse of things than we suspect, and can get additional information if needed rather quickly to make decisions. (I was surprised by this, as I thought most CEOs were totally out of touch.) He said by going straight to the top, the issue could be dealt with quickly and without all the meetings and approvals that are time consuming and slow down the process. And if one person drops the ball along the way...forget it. It will be February before things are moving! Too late.

    With the Holidays rapidly approaching, we don't have time to fool around. Most of our pages are made and online, too late now to make a lot of changes. I say go straight to the top, as high as you can possibly go, and let the chips fall where they may. An uninformed AM will get a fast education in parasitic activities, and we all might have a better Holiday because of it.

    Well...not ALL of us...

    Andy

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    Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!

  8. #8
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Oh you are both right. I was on a somewhat different wave length. If you are talking about the big well known parasites or the issue of parasites as a whole I do agree.

    I was relating more to Mikes question and thinking of the newer, smaller or less well known ones that try to sneak in, like some of the ones we have recently caught.

    Mike Asked: "Do they submit a website that looks like a legitimate affiliates website, or do they use their companies? Are the programs that approve them just unwitting to their unfair practices, and think it would be great to have them on board, or deceived?"

    I was thinking you would get farther going direct to the AM with a screen shot of some new one like sneakyrebateplugin.com and asking them to can them. Big picture policy re Parasites or long standing partnership with a well know parasite, yes I agree go higher up.

    Sorry bad cold, spacey.

    Linda Buquet :: 714.754.1280 :: AM Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit 5 Star Forum
    4LowRates ::ChatDollars :: ConsciousOne :: EveryTicket :: Organize-Everything :: Irv's Luggage
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    I agree on going on the top!

    I don't think the owners of these big companies with respectable name and well known to industries would like to be associated in the news with this kind of issue.

    Especially if they found out they are getting double dipped or maybe more!

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Linda,

    I don't want to come across as saying all AM's are bad. I don't really think they are, but if they understand the problem, and don't do anything about it, what am I left to think?

    You and most of the other AMs here understand the big picture, and that is there's more to affiliate marketing than what hits the bottom line right now. Strong, steady growth in a program has more long term impact and benefit, these fly by night companies come and go, because they can't sustain growth for long periods. A company that doesn't grow will eventually die, there is no status quo in today's business world. I don't think AMs want to plan their retirement on a company like that.

    I understand it must be difficult to identify all the little parasitic sites that attempt to gain a foot hold in a "clean" program, and it must be frustrating when you discover one has gotten in, in spite of careful screening.

    Live and learn, I do very much appreciate what you and others do to make sure your programs are beneficial to your publishers as well as your clients. In the long run, we'll all be the better for it.

    The fight continues...

    Andy

    _______________
    Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!

  11. #11
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    Thanks for shedding some light on this guys I think I'll stick w/ the more independant programs since they probably are less prone to parasitic activity like you have mentinoed. I always hated the big af networks anyway .

  12. #12
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    I'm an AM.
    I have a new top 5 affiliate and I can't figure out where his traffic is coming from. I've never been in contact with and his referring page and domain have a PR of 0. The Alexa rank of the site in the 20,000-30,000.
    I've contacted the affiliate a program a few times in the week since I noticed the problem but they're dragging their feet. Any way I can determine if it's a parasite?

    Thanks.

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    The Alexa rank of the site in the 20,000-30,000


    Not too shabby (despite the problems w/Alexa)...

    But with a PR0 they're probably using some non-Google way of getting traffic. I say "probably" because the PR meter on the toolbar isn't so reliable anymore...

    Legit ways to draw traffic outside of SEs include adverising, popunder exchanges (their site pops under a network of other sites, and others in the network pop under theirs), certain forms of viral marketing, etc.

    Sorry that doesn't help you tell if it's a parasite, but I wanted to make the point that it is possible to get decent traffic with a PR0. If he's paying for advertising, the sky's the limit, and CR could be anywhere depending on how/where the ads are running. With the popunder exchanges you (the AM) may see tons of impressions and a lousy clickthrough rate since that registers impressions but most people just "X" those windows.

    quote:
    they're dragging their feet


    That's a yellow flag. I don't say "red" because they may simply be wondering about YOU! People not on these boards would most likely wonder why an AM would suddenly care so much about the source of traffic/orders. Maybe he thinks you intend to be competition! But then again, he might actually be a parasite (or up to other junk).

    Good luck unraveling the mystery...hopefully it's legit!

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

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