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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Question affiliate program comparison database?
    Hi folks,

    hanging around here for 1,5 yrs, but still < [some number of] posts... so some PMs are unreadable...

    My question to you today:

    I am looking for a good affiliate program database that compares various technical (cookies,datafeeds), business/financial (commission, tier-structure) with each other...

    I've been searching for an hour now and all I found was a big heap of affiliate "directories" that had a bit of informal text and a super-affiliate link in there...

    well - clear why those directories are up,
    but didn't anyone of you ever bother to build a really comprehensive and easy to use database source? non of these sites let me search or compare by hard facts like cookie-lifetime, datafeeds, etc...

    thanks a lot for your tips!
    Last edited by MichaelColey; July 12th, 2005 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Please don't speculate on how many posts it takes to access certain board features.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    far far away....
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    I do know any such website or service.....

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

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    Yeah - I've been searching now for 1,5-2 hours and only came across the usual web-directories made for spiders and a max. click-thru to place the super-affil cookies

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've never seen an affiliate directory that's truly useful, either. Might be a good idea for a site. (Not for me, I already have too many "good ideas" queued 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

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador danay's Avatar
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    March 25th, 2005
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    I know someone who is in the process of creating a comparison model. Here is his url:

    www.affiliate-software-review.com

    It's pretty new so he doesn't have everyone in there yet.

    good luck!
    Danay @ LunaSolMedia.com
    Global Perfomance Marketing. Global Niche Markets = Opportunity!
    HispanicYa!|MallFreebies

    I dwell in possibility. ~Emily Dickinson

  6. #6
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    They are looking for affiliate programs (as in merchants) not network solutions.

  7. #7
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    yep - thanks for the reply ...

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador danay's Avatar
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    March 25th, 2005
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    oh well, didn't know. Thought you were looking for a network.

    I've come across some sites that do a comparison, but you're right, most have aff links.

    If I come across something I'll pass it on.
    Danay @ LunaSolMedia.com
    Global Perfomance Marketing. Global Niche Markets = Opportunity!
    HispanicYa!|MallFreebies

    I dwell in possibility. ~Emily Dickinson

  9. #9
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    Ever since Adbility was sold off (five years ago), there has been very little in the way of genuine opinionated commentary in any directory or comparison site. Most affiliate program "directory" sites are simply trying to milk affiliate referral "tier 2" fees (present company excluded, of course!), and I don't think many of them are maintained actively to cull dead links or update listings. There is no profit in providing "negative" information,, or in drilling down too far with data.

    In fairness, how can you compare affiliate programs without actively participating as an affiliate, and if you are developing content sites to exploit affiliate programs, how could you fairly review or compare programs that aren't in your specialty?

    An example: Suppose there are three widget merchants who have affiliate programs. One is AllWidgets.com (A), which has a program through one of the big networks (CJ or LinkShare), and pays 8% commissions. Next is BigWidgets.com (B), which has its own direct affiliate program promising 9% commissions. And then there is ChipsNWidgets.com (C), which has an affiliate program through one of the "lesser" networks promising 12%.

    Now, as folks often mention here, 12% is often NOT more than 9%, because maybe ChipsNWidgets.com carries fewer brands or less inventory, or maybe C has a confusing web site. Maybe C offers 12% but charges higher prices, so buyers will be less likely to buy from them.

    Maybe B has a really friendly affiliate manager who spends an hour a day on ABW.

    Maybe A offers a "tiered" commission structure, paying 8% for regular affiliates but rising to 9% if sales exceed $10,000 per month, and 10% for sales over %25,000 per month.

    Maybe the merchants offer different cookie durations. Maybe one of them does business with Bad Guys (parasiteware, etc.).

    Maybe BigWidgets.com also has a chain of retail stores, so people who click on affiliates' links might not buy online, but will go into the store instead.

    Maybe widgets are a very special, personal product (like eyeglasses, or shoes, or chocolate chip cookies) which people are somehow less inclined to buy online.

    What are the typical conversion rates for A, B, and C, and what are their conversion rates from affiliate leads versus search engines?

    Think of all the data points I've mentioned, and then think of all the other issues and factors that are discussed every day on ABW. How in the world could anyone actually create and maintain a directory that would be "complete" and "fair" enough to be useful for most publishers? And if someone did it, how could they afford the time and effort to create and maintain it? (How often do merchants add or drop datafeeds, or change cookie durations, etc.?)

    Finally, as we do gather useful data, there is a huge internal pressure (within my own conscience, within my family, within my company) to not "give away the farm" by sharing data that we have struggled to acquire. I've had strange discussions with people who knew all about some problem but never shared that information because keeping it secret gave them a competitive advantage. How can I justify to my family or my company that I just gave away information that cost us thousands of dollars to learn, so that our competitors can now avoid that expense, and perhaps thus gain a competitive advantage?

  10. #10
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hey - many thanks for your insights... I agree that the number of factors is enormous... and I also agree that maintaining a directory to the extend as you describe would be a REAL jewel... actually having ALL that data available already, I wouldn't give it out as well (if if were that easy ... )

    But you bring up the important point.... if those "Tier-2 Scraper" affiliates would have the cookie-lifetime durations, commission structures, valuation of affil management, inventory size etc... that you find occassionally in their "text descriptions" in a structured database or at least an excel-sheet (maybe they have) then at least that would allow a better screening of programs...

    but agree: not giving out the secrets is probably vital for your own wealth...


    oh - and the Adbility site you mentioned sucks just as the others I found... there are no criteria available for the screening or comparing... too bad...

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