View Poll Results: Do you think this is a good idea ? (Read below)

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  • Yes

    7 36.84%
  • No

    8 42.11%
  • Maybe

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  1. #1
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    How about an affiliate rating system
    There is hardly any use in starting an "affiliate union" because we have no tools to influence merchants. We only can complain. But how about starting our own rating system for merchants and networks. Items to be judged : parasite free, action against cookie stuffers, support response within 24 hours, minimum 5% commission, forum, support for newbies, non-tracking of sales, too many reversals, etc. Merchants can earn "A's." Maximum for instance AAAAA

    This could be an ABW rating system. Merchants are published in order of amount of A's. The higher one gets, the more affiliates will sign up. Two or lower : "Stay away."

    Several items can me managed with a poll. "Did you get response from X within 24 hours? Yes / No." Result over 80% for yes, is one A. Parasite free is one A. Etc.

    AM only, not PPC. This a different market and can't be compared.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    This seems almost a variation on "Who are your best merchants?" There is enough competition out there, for me at least. Personally, I wouldn't add to it by recommending the merchants that I am doing well with. I can't imagine why anyone would.

  3. #3
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    Nobody has to mention their favorites. A small group of insiders has to make a list of all merchants with affiliates. All which are really parasite free, get one A. All which take action against cookie stuffers, get one A. All with proper support get one A. If they have all three, they have AAA. The other two A's are for other subjects so they can get a maximum of 5 A's. The only action for the individual affiliate like you, is to vote for how fast support is. The creators of the list, can't decide this. It is possible to vote anonymous and block double votings for one merchant.

    Most affiliates would like to know which merchant is reliable. This list can be created by insiders. Now I have to make a long study to figure out if a new merchant is really parisite free. A rating list created by independent affiliates would solve a lot of problems and merchants would take actions to get more A's.

  4. #4
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    The list is not in order of success, but in order of proper management of their affiliates. Some have success with parasites, some don't have success with merchants with good support. The keywords are more dependable and quality instead of success. A small company with good service should be rated higher then a large company with parasites. The first one earns affiliates.

  5. #5
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    More ideas.
    The group could be formed by the ones who have proven to be against all kind of fraud, like Haiko and the Poons. I don't mind to help, but I don't know one parasite company.

    This would be the basis (suggestion) :
    One A for proven parasite free
    One A for proven action against cookie stuffers
    One A for support within 24 hours for at least 80% (by vote)
    The other two A's for several other smaller items, like having a forum etc. For each item, a merchant gets a certain amount of points. 20 points is one A and 40 points is 2 A's. A top merchant for affiliates can have 5 A's

    We could start with the merchants at ABW. The ABW insiders know which merchants are really parasite free and which aren't. Other non-ABW merchants can be added later. ABW can contact them about this "Your company is rated.......at......." This could mean an increase in ABW merchants.

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The major problem is that different affiliates value different indicators differently.

    For instance, some want commissions over 10%. Others want commissions over 5%. I don't really care. I have some merchants with commissions under 5% that I do very well with. I have some merchants with 50% commissions that don't perform well at all.

    Many here value parasite-free as the most important factor. It's important to me, but it's not the biggest factor for me.

    Some consider merchants that offer coupons to be anathema. Others of us prefer merchants that offer coupons.

    Some want merchants who focus their attention on newbies. I'd rather have merchants who focus their attention on those who produce results.

    The list could go on and on.

    I've seen lists elsewhere of "top affiliate programs" (by what I would consider neutral sources), and very few of them would work well for me.

    What makes a good merchant for one affiliate won't necessarily make a good merchant for another affiliate.
    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

  7. #7
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    The commission factor shouldn't be a major factor, like a full A. It can be one or two points for getting an A 4 or 5. For instance one point for 5% or higher commission. For 10% he doesn't get extra points, but below 5% no point. The 5% is a wild guess, maybe the minimum should be 3%. Maybe commission should be an issue at all. Having coupons shouldn't be rated, because not all companies have coupons.

    I think merchants should pay a little more attention to newbies. It could be only something like a starter page.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    When I voted I thought the poll question was an "Affiliate rating system" ...not a merchant rating system. Getting a high rating as an ethical value-add affiliate who encourage merchants to contact individual affiliates for special offers or showcase commission increases like the do with the Supers and Dupers.

    Everyone not a practicing cookie setting click cheat, including the ethical AM's, want to redistribute commissions to the non-tricksters. They cannot reward shopper friendly pages and real focusing of referrals if the builders get creamed by the commission stealing tricksters.

    With Microsoft's "OneCare" total security update package in Beta now the Spyware/Adware infestation perps are going to get really whacked. It's only natural the McAfee -Trend Micro -Symantic/Norton have to immediately add Spyware/Adware detect removal programs to their bundles or loose marketshare to Microsoft. The good detect/removal tool makers will get purchased and integrated into existing consumer trusted anti-virus packages. The rest will be branded as Adwhore losers, bogus apps and scare marketing opportunists.

    Therefore the merchant AM's will seek smaller trusted value-add affiliates for special deals rewarding them for making natural SERP friendly focusing showcase window display pages. Those affiliates should seek a high ethical marketing rating to get AM attention. All AM attention so far has been to determine how to recruit/reward the mass cookie set tricksters and SE spammers. The focus now has to move to identifying which affiliates if rewarded will produce non spammy affiliate linked pages.

    I'm ready for a rating, and some ass kissing phone calls or e-mails, as I actually plan on making EcomCity into a viable merchant marketing showcase by AM's willing to tell me they can convert targeted focused traffic. I'll hold them to those commitments and will rag them for piss poor conversion performance on their part.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I think merchants should pay a little more attention to newbies. It could be only something like a starter page.
    I don't think that you will find many merchants willing to help the newbies, but if the merchant has a good dedicated Affiliate Manager, then everything is possible.

    If you look around ABW, you will find many Affiliate Managers ready to help you get started and while some of them are more dedicated than others, they are all good for us.

    forum, support for newbies
    There is a Newbie FAQs forum right here on ABW, here is the link: http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=156
    If you need any help with Affiliate Marketing, post your question there and sooner or later you will get an answer.

    That is the title of that forum: Frequently Asked Questions about ABestWeb and Affiliate Marketing.

    So feel free to ask questions there and don't be shy.

    Sal.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I did read first, and I don't see anything bad about affiliates rating merchants.

    Unlike Mike, though, I would have quite a big issue with the ideas of affiliates rating each other. I wouldn't ask Ford what they think of Chevy, or ask McDonald's for their opinion of Wendy's; there's no credibility in competitors rating each other.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Smile
    Well Leader the Safe Haven Network model takes the rating system to a new level of honest transparancy. All merchant's networkwide conversion ratios are published for all to see. All SHN affiliates also display their own conversion ratios in their profile to merchant recruiters, helping in cutting special deals or begging for more page exposure. Everyone sees how they stack up and can act accordingly.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  12. #12
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    Mike,
    Maybe it is through osmosis, but I am starting to like your SHN ideas. That's kinda scary. Go get yourself an SBA loan and "get 'er done". I'll sign up!


  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Mike,
    Maybe it is through osmosis, but I am starting to like your SHN ideas. That's kinda scary. Go get yourself an SBA loan and "get 'er done". I'll sign up!
    The SHN concept begs for some critical analysis as I work on the affiliate fraud detection/prevention and reporting requirements for merchants and affiliates.... www.ecomcity.com/safehaven-network.htm

    Love to hear some critics or some kuddos to see if recruitment would even be a hurdle. I'm sure merchant sites, who just can't sell anything without snatch and grab mass advertising, aren't up for displaying their merchandising ineptness. If that's all it is, then the value-add affiliate can do well with them by offering better writeups and pre-sell then the merchant can muster. The inept merchant, with a winner, just becomes the cashier. Many are just middlemen with a distributor ecatalog/price list CD-rom
    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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    It's all vapor for now. Tell us about it when it's available. Until then, it's just .
    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
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    Sorry for starting this thread. It will never happen again. We always end somewhere else, complaining, disagreeing and not giving answers. As long as I have been on ABW, I can't remember seeing answers or solutions. Most of it is blah blah. That's why most will leave ABW sooner or later and only a limited group remains. Now it is my time.

  16. #16
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    Well the problem is your idea is just too general, not sure if that is the right word. Stuff like "AM only, not PPC."

    PPC is a part of AM. A lot of affiliates use PPC to drive traffic to their site. As far as rating systems, my own stats tell me all i need to know. EPC is my rating system. It takes into account all kinds of things, problems etc.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    As long as I have been on ABW, I can't remember seeing answers or solutions. Most of it is blah blah. That's why most will leave ABW sooner or later and only a limited group remains.
    I don't know what you've been reading, but I find many answers and solutions here at ABW. And, I would hazzard a guess that those who leave are mostly those who thought that either affiliate marketing was easy or expected to be handheld or were too easily offended the first time their idea was poo-poo'd.

    Good luck finding a better source of information for your affiliate marketing career.

  18. #18
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uphill
    Sorry for starting this thread. It will never happen again. We always end somewhere else, complaining, disagreeing and not giving answers. As long as I have been on ABW, I can't remember seeing answers or solutions. Most of it is blah blah. That's why most will leave ABW sooner or later and only a limited group remains. Now it is my time.
    So, I take it like my #9 post here: http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...60&postcount=9

    It's blah blah too?
    Ok, no problem, it won't happen again, I don't want to waste your time.

    Good luck Uphill
    --------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Steele
    I don't know what you've been reading, but I find many answers and solutions here at ABW. And, I would hazzard a guess that those who leave are mostly those who thought that either affiliate marketing was easy or expected to be handheld or were too easily offended the first time their idea was poo-poo'd.

    Good luck finding a better source of information for your affiliate marketing career.
    Well said, Steele!

    Thanks.

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Uphill brought forth a useful tool for easing the merchant selection process. He just hasn't been around long enough to realize not a single Affiliate program directory site, trying for just this type rating service have all failed miserably. Why cause both the merchants and affiliates manipulate the rankings to a point NO ONE pays the results any mind. The networks sure won't publish actual networkwide merchant conversion ratios as those AM programs adept in diversion, cookie washing and playing the incentive game, don't want to compete for clicks based upon published conversion ratios.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    The major problem is that different affiliates value different indicators differently.

    For instance, some want commissions over 10%. Others want commissions over 5%. I don't really care. I have some merchants with commissions under 5% that I do very well with. I have some merchants with 50% commissions that don't perform well at all.

    Many here value parasite-free as the most important factor. It's important to me, but it's not the biggest factor for me.

    Some consider merchants that offer coupons to be anathema. Others of us prefer merchants that offer coupons.

    Some want merchants who focus their attention on newbies. I'd rather have merchants who focus their attention on those who produce results.

    The list could go on and on.

    I've seen lists elsewhere of "top affiliate programs" (by what I would consider neutral sources), and very few of them would work well for me.

    What makes a good merchant for one affiliate won't necessarily make a good merchant for another affiliate.


    Hi, MichaelColey,

    As usual, you add much clarity, experience and wisdom on the matters discussed at ABW.

    Thanks!

    Best,
    RadarCat, WebMaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  21. #21
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I noticed today that Kolimbo now (or maybe I didnt notice it before) has a merchant rating system where affiliates can rate merchants on a variaty of subjects... It's a Start.

    Joe
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    What would be useful would be a site that ranks merchants on a large variety of criteria and lets affiliates decide which criteria is important to them. With everything I've ever seen in the past, the rating site determines what criteria is important or just allows a simple vote. Not very useful.
    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

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    the rating site determines what criteria is important or just allows a simple vote. Not very useful.
    Absolutely correct!! The big problem about 'ratings' for anything is that itís an opinion of a very select few or one person. Sometimes that few or one person is an expert, sometimes not. Iíve seen this on several websites (as Iím sure you all have)

    What Michael has said is correct, and if actual facts are stated on the 'rating' page such as epc or known parasite then it could be useful.

  24. #24
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    They're are just two types of affiliates who can perform cookie swaps at the "Point Of Sale" ruining the validity of conversion ratio stats. Couponers and BHO popup artists. To achieve this both groups have to rely upon spamming. One SE and PPCSE spamming to BE THERE at the cart abandonment -search for coupon routine. The other rely upon hijacked browser spamming popup and hidden force click re-directs.

    Both are THE forces in a mass Advertising network model. By eliminating the conversion stat manipulators, in a Sales driven network model, the real un-incented conversion ratio appears for all to rank SHN merchant's ability to convert targeted traffic. No way to manipulate the conversion ranking as the cart is reporting sales in real time. The top converting merchants in each shopping category magically get top landing page exposure. Amazing also is inventive SHN affiliates can target specific sections of any SHN merchant to better that merchants published conversion ratio.... and ask for a raise...LOL.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

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