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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Smile
    How long did it take your brain to come up with those ingenious coupons. Do all you AM's get togther monthly and brainstorm next month's spam food. Want to break the mold give out 7.5% off or 15.4% off cookies and drive your coupon clippers crazy. I'd say try a free freight offer, but there's absolutely no SERP spam value in that one.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  2. #2
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    Mike stop being a hypocrite, you have coupons on your site. And you should use them, you need all the help you can get.

  3. #3
    Full Member amanda_mytights's Avatar
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    Just for the record we are not spammers, never have been, and never will be.

    I take a very personal approach to my program and we always have. Those coupons are our coupons that currently have no expiration date if you read the rest of my post you would see I suggested for affiliates to take a look at my other posts and see all of the promos we run round the calendar.

    Once a part of my program you would receive constant updates about lots of different deals we offer on a special basis.

    For example,

    Last weekend we had special free stockings giveaway!

    Amanda Hayes

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I was not accusing you of SERP spamming. You easily allow and encourage your affiliates to do the dirty work for you with just a few coupons. Just Google "Mytights" and you'll see all your affiliate referral hosiery offering. Opps ...you'll see only your coupons being promoted.

    I love your merchant site and it should first encourage getting more Google exposure from affiliates for the hosiery product lines you sell. Merchants should get worried when more then 60% of their affiliate generated sales have coupons attached. Those folks are simply selling coupons for you... and all your competitors.

    Try getting all those couponers to make keyword rich content showcase pages for your products. If not you'll end up trying to build a Brand like Brooks Brothers and having couponer traffic tricksters abusing your trademarks. Notice the #2 sponsored position...

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...rooks+Brothers

    Sponsored Links:
    Brooks Brothers Store
    (Online Coupon) Take 15% Off -
    Brooks Brothers Online Store
    bfast.com

    The cookie stuffing forced redirect hawking their Trademark is an affiliate playing PPCSE tricks. (view Google page source code)

    Brooks Brothers deserves it's BHO -incentive and coupon marketers and basically relies upon e-mail, Browser and SERP spammers. You don't have their Ad budget to absorb the double dipping and incentives. Here's a tip for all merchants to judge their programs health and broad appeal to all types of affiliates.

    Google your company name or Brand trademarks. Note if any couponers and PPCSE tricksters are hawking your name. Also look for any value add showcase affiliates getting some rankings. Then search on your top 5 targeted purchasing keywords and see if something other then couponers are giving you multiple prime SERPs with real landing pages showcasing you. Google allows the merchant one prime URL, so other then the competition, every real value-add affiliate you have in a prime position is one less spot your competition gets. If no one but couponers have those SERPs you'd best be selling coupons.

    If all your other keyword spots are couponers then no way will many orders come through without the ROI killing coupons. Most your couponers rely upon overwriting your normal affiliates cookie through cart abandonment and the Coupon/Rebate search routine. My merchant clients cheer when a receprocal link, or affiliate link, shows up on the first keyword natural SERP page, cause they know they convert that traffic without ever offering a coupon. Guess they'd rather sell their products then sell their coupons. Sorry state of affairs at ABW when the AM's just announce the have coupons and feeds without ever having to mention their superior products -pricing and service. They must assume were all mass traffic schemers employing incentives via email and SEM/SEO tricks. None of those could survive without incentives or feeds. They might just be right in their assumptions.... were all just looking for traffic traps.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    If the merchant is not happy with the outcome of the sale with a coupon attached, they would not offer the coupon....unless they are a stupid merchant which is not the case here. Coupons are simply a tool to get consumers to pull the trigger. Nothing more nothing less.
    Because you use a coupon at mytights.com does not guarantee you a lower price on the identical item than you might find at yourtights.com. It is all about pricing structure and the chosen marketing method of the merchant. Coupons are nothing more than 'playing games' with your pricing in an effort to trigger a response from a customer. I say this not in opposition to them, but in the final analysis that's what they are...a tool.
    Most your couponers rely upon overwriting your normal affiliates cookie through cart abandonment and the Coupon/Rebate search routine.
    And who is at fault for not adding the coupons to their 'normal affiliate' page in the first place?


  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    The affiliate

  7. #7
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    "Sorry state of affairs at ABW when the AM's just announce the have coupons and feeds without ever having to mention their superior products -pricing and service. "

    They do mention all that. You first have to sign up for their program and get the affiliate newsletter. When you do, then you might have a clue to what you're talking about. You get on a merchant for offering coupons, but don't have a problem putting them on your site.

    http://www.ecomcity.com/home.htm

    You coupon pusher. I see those Overstock Coupons.

    The latest Overstock Daily specials and Coupons are displayed below
    Last edited by Trust; August 26th, 2005 at 11:05 PM.

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Amanda didn't do anything wrong, what the hell is all of this malarkey?!?!?!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  9. #9
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Her coupons shouldn't hurt your ad farm - oops.. online mall (my bad)
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Everyone agrees Amanda does a great job as an AM. She's sees her stats and knows her competition. I don't know if shes employed by Mytights or is an outsourced AM, but she sees an opportunity to replace COUPONs with the exit of http://www.alexblake.com/ I'm sure she does know the % of Mytights affiliate orders with coupons attached and knows she has nothing but replacement coupons to offer the alexblake affiliates. The basic product lines are the same -prices the same - coupons the same and my bet is the commission structure is the same.

    Tights -panty hose -stocking etc etc are female commodity items available off the rack from 25 locations within 5 minutes of most homes. The fancy more expensive stuff are found at department stores and in 100's of apparel catalogs. It's not a niche product ...it's a commodity item. One snag and it's trash can history.

    My test computer loaded with theftware pounds her site, and all her competitors sites, with incentive BHO popups. Her Brand and product line keyword SERPs are loaded with couponer SEO/SEM, as are all her competitors. http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...xblake+coupons

    Moral of the story, for those who do not have dedicated coupon sites with e-mail list or a BHO, is placing showcase page content and links to this female commodity just exposes your referral to sniping by the couponers and BHO during the checkout process. Therefore Amanda is smart enough to jump on offering her replacement coupons to the group she knows earns the majority of regular commissions....couponers.

    She could offer a 364 day return cookie, unlimited occurances, a no BHO policy and increased commission rate for those willing to put up dedicated showcase pages, with sample products, and still have the majority of sales go to the bare bones couponers or competitive BHO's. Nothing in the SERPs or her own stats will prove otherwise. So by all means replace everyone of those alexblake coupons with hers and keep the ball rolling.

    Meanwhile those without coupon sites, or who occassionally show auto-updated coupon DRM's alongside product displays like me, heed my advice on how to judge a merchant for showcase exposure consideration. If they're overexposed to couponers and incentive sites like Overstock is, forget earning any money from sending them targeted traffic ..... Googling "Overstock"
    Sponsored Links

    Outlets, Clearance = Save
    Buy at the O, Walmart, TJ, HSN.
    You save, they donate to our work.
    www.helping-others.org

    Overstock.com Coupons
    Find All the Deals at eβates.com
    Registration is Free. Save Now!
    www.eβates.com

    Over Stock Clearance
    Shop today- Up to 80% off Jewelry,
    Bedding, Clothes, Handbags & More!
    www.SmartBargains.com

    Overstock
    Find - Overstock
    Save BIG Shopping Wholesale!
    www.WholeSaleChannel.com

    Don't even bother Googling Overstock Coupons!

    It would be a nice task for Haiko to investigate the $$$ amount of promo code reβates and coupons paid by affiliate enabled merchants annually from their sales totals. Another helpful stat would be the % of total network commissions paid out to incentive/rebate/coupon affiliates. My bet is that 80% of Mytights and Overstock's commissions go to these type of affiliates. I'll further bet the costs of cashing in incentives, and paying higher commissions rates to incentive affiliates, will whack Overstock for 110 Million dollars in 2005 ...before paying out commissions. When they exceed 1 billion dollars in gross sales in 2006 their incentive costs will almost double, as the only affiliates promoting them will be incentive type affiliates demanding higher commission rates for running the standard value add affiliates out of the commission pool. Incidently LiveHelp firms are incentive based Super Affiliates.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  11. #11
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Mike,

    As Haiko said, "Amanda didn't do anything wrong, what the hell is all of this malarkey?!?!?!"

    If you wanted to go on a coupon bashing rant or whatever this rant is about, perhaps you should have started a thread in the Midnight Cafe forum on the subject. It is in bad taste to do it in a thread started by an AM who is simply trying to help and inform affiliates by letting them know that MyTights has alternatives to a closed program. It was especially inappropriate to continue the rant after Haiko posted what he did.

    Maybe somebody has a site dedicated to ballet with a loyal following, that could benefit from the information Amanda is providing. And no matter how many coupons are out there, the program would fit with the site because it already has loyal customers that go directly to the site and don't search for coupons.

    I'm bewildered how you could write:
    If they're overexposed to couponers and incentive sites like Overstock is, forget earning any money from sending them targeted traffic ...
    when your own homepage is plastered with Overstock coupons and links.

    Is this a case of do as I say, but not as I do? Do you "forget earning money" and just send targeted traffic to Overstock for the fun of it?

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    Mike,

    As Haiko said, "Amanda didn't do anything wrong, what the hell is all of this malarkey?!?!?!"

    If you wanted to go on a coupon bashing rant or whatever this rant is about, perhaps you should have started a thread in the Midnight Cafe forum on the subject. It is in bad taste to do it in a thread started by an AM who is simply trying to help and inform affiliates by letting them know that MyTights has alternatives to a closed program. It was especially inappropriate to continue the rant after Haiko posted what he did.

    Maybe somebody has a site dedicated to ballet with a loyal following, that could benefit from the information Amanda is providing. And no matter how many coupons are out there, the program would fit with the site because it already has loyal customers that go directly to the site and don't search for coupons.

    I'm bewildered how you could write:

    when your own homepage is plastered with Overstock coupons and links.

    Is this a case of do as I say, but not as I do? Do you "forget earning money" and just send targeted traffic to Overstock for the fun of it?
    Tracy you can assume what you want, and a search of Mytights for "ballet tights" or Danskins (the most popular brand) yeilds no product results ... so that sample site wouldn't see a dime from the ballet loyal following.

    I, more then all other ABWers combined, have for 7 years have taken the networks to task to eliminate affiliate abuses by transparently providing my sites conversion ratio stats to pound home my points. Most here never worked in an environment of quarterly payouts, $100 minimums, Zero cookie days and .com bomb non-paying merchants with on/off reporting switches. Well a core group of us forced the networks to eliminate these abuses BEFORE ABW was a forum.

    I've documented and posted my EcomCity results to both build Trust in the networks and a few select merchants like Overstock and TigerDirect. They saw the irrefutable stats and adopted pro-affiliate policies from better creatives, better landing pages, more reporting transparancy, longer return days. Other AM's used that effort to adopt and mirror the good practices to launch their programs via a ABW forum.

    When Tigerdirect (My own top earning affiliate program) got tired of my outing their diversion tactics, dwindling conversion ratios, tracking errors, HITbox destruction of their tracking cookies and other trust issues that forced the ethical pro-affiliate AM Andy to resign ...I was dropped from their program without any cause or notice Jan 11th. I'm currently challenging Overstock for 2 month's of not converting the better focused and targeted traffic coming from doubling their EcomCity exposure, with or without OS coupons. You can bet no other ABWer pushing OS is willing to take the income hit by taking them to task for going from a 5 year steady 1 sale per 100 clicks to a miserable 1 sale per 1600 click conversion ratio.

    Couponers could give a rat's a*s about these efforts as they are point of sale attack dogs totally reliant upon 1st ... Company Name + Coupon or second ... Product name + coupon in the SERPs. Same goes for the cookie cannon POS attack dogs incenters called BHOs... who do little SEO/SEM. My grudge against couponers is their sleazest members are cookie stuffers (poormans BHO) and SERP and e-mail spammers year after year after year. Every cashed coupon or rebate reduces the amount of commissions going to non-incent affiliates as that ROI profit drain is factored into all commission rates.

    Now I have to decide whether to cash the first Linkshare check I've gotten since I won the 2005 GoldenLink Award for most Vocal Affiliate. The check# is 33505 for a total of all LS merchants for 2 months of EcomCity referral clicks.... the amount is $2.20 Last years check without all the new LS merchants and updating links or GoldenCan displays, for just July, was $394.00. Does this make me irrate and determined to get a the root cause ...sure it does.
    Last edited by ecomcity; August 27th, 2005 at 11:34 AM.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    Thumbs down Get a life
    >more then all other ABWers combined...

    Yet another blatant generaliztion!

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    >more then all other ABWers combined...

    Yet another blatant generaliztion!
    What was Merchant Consulting Team doing in the affiliate vs Network battles in 1998 -2000? When has Merchants Consulting Team publically posted their merchant's networkwide conversion ratios as part of their promotion/recruiting plan? Your company name has no Google listings ... Your search - "merchant consulting team" - did not match any documents.... but elearners.com has http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...arners+coupons and your primarily a education program lead merchant on a small private network relying upon mostly mass e-mailers, without product sales experience. Your primarily a educational search engine and online learning facilitator.

    Privacy policy shelters you from being a direct party to info peddlers within your verticle.. These forms vary across partners but can include name, email address, mailing address, day and night phone number, education level, and income range. eLearners.com Inc. and our partners use this information to contact users about services, courses, or training for which they have requested information or expressed interest. We do not sell or make available this information for any other reason or to any other party from which the user does not wish to have contact with. However, in rare cases, the receiving partner may choose to make the information provided available to other third parties.
    Last edited by ecomcity; August 27th, 2005 at 12:01 PM.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  15. #15
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Mike is hating on us coupon sites
    I was not accusing you of SERP spamming. You easily allow and encourage your affiliates to do the dirty work for you with just a few coupons. Just Google "Mytights" and you'll see all your affiliate referral hosiery offering. Opps ...you'll see only your coupons being promoted
    Because coupon codes and offers get people to click and buy, Mike. Consumers search for coupons and coupon codes, Mike. We would be passing up a real opportunity to just ignore that. Besides, I don't want consumers going to your site and buying stuff, I want them to come to mine. It's called competition. I am not placing evil technology on the users machine, I am just giving them what they are already searching for - A DEAL/DISCOUNT/SPECIAL OFFER/COUPON CODE etc... If you do not want to optimize your pages to produce sales, then that is up to you. Part of that optimizing, for some of us, is drawing attention to our offers, and that includes coupon codes. Why? Because that appeals to the consumer, Mike. I don't care if they look at the results of their search and choose to visit my site instead of yours because they see I have a coupon code offered in the description or title of my page where the offer is found. Again, that is competition.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker Jones
    Because coupon codes and offers get people to click and buy, Mike. Consumers search for coupons and coupon codes, Mike. We would be passing up a real opportunity to just ignore that. Besides, I don't want consumers going to your site and buying stuff, I want them to come to mine. It's called competition. I am not placing evil technology on the users machine, I am just giving them what they are already searching for - A DEAL/DISCOUNT/SPECIAL OFFER/COUPON CODE etc... If you do not want to optimize your pages to produce sales, then that is up to you. Part of that optimizing, for some of us, is drawing attention to our offers, and that includes coupon codes. Why? Because that appeals to the consumer, Mike. I don't care if they look at the results of their search and choose to visit my site instead of yours because they see I have a coupon code offered in the description or title of my page where the offer is found. Again, that is competition.
    So inform all of us how you, as one of 10,000 thin affiliate coupon sites, gets on those magic first 2 pages of Google? Basically your group think rewards the top 20 and screws they rest along with all page creative affiliates. Do you cash in those coupons or leave that to the coupon raped merchant. His only choice, when the top couponers and BHO's get through with them, is to cut the affiliate forces commissions to offset the incnet losses... or flee the scene. If they flee you'll just pick up another duck and bleed him dry with the 5 minutes it takes to change a page and change the PPCSE links.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    If we want to talk about a poorly run affiliate program we can talk about the Suspender program Mike runs.

    Mike as far as
    "I, more then all other ABWers combined, have for 7 years have taken the networks to task to eliminate affiliate abuses by transparently providing my sites conversion ratio stats to pound home my points."

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ghlight=i+lied
    "I lied and YTD Sierra does convert at 1/126 from my links"

    Who takes your site conversion as a measure of anything? Maybe a newbie who doesn't know any better. The only point you're pounding home is bad your site is. I can link to many threads where you're complaining about conversions and there will be a bunch of affiliates posting right after that having no problem, like the July Overstock thread where you were the onle one having problems or the Sierra thread i just linked too. There are many more i could link too. Your site has always been the biggest reason for your lack of conversions, not the merchant.


    And Tracy is not assuming, you do have coupons up, yet like to rant against them. That makes you a hypocrite.

    As far as this merchant, they convert fine. Why don't you actually try putting some links up and push their products? Try some of that presell you're always talking about. Try the coupons too. Just like you do with Overstock.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1

    And Tracy is not assuming, you do have coupons up, yet like to rant against them. That makes you a hypocrite.
    He's got a whole page dedicated to coupons...

    http://www.ecomcity.com/dailydeals_coupons.htm?

  19. #19
    Internet Cowboy
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    LOL
    You can argue with Mike for 30 years and he will never change. He sees the world his way and you can't change his mind no matter what you say.
    He has hijacked Amanda's thread and has his teeth clinched firmly around it. You will not be able to shake it loose with a bulldozer, so the thing to do is take the point Amanda made and let Mike rant.
    It is rather entertaining, but like a visit from the in-laws, it gets old after a while.


  20. #20
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Thread split to keep Amanda's thread "clean".
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    why do i have the feeling that this "issue" is getting more personal?

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Geeeeeezzzz, Mike. Charlie forget to feed you today?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  23. #23
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Dayum Mike
    He's got a whole page dedicated to coupons...

    http://www.ecomcity.com/dailydeals_coupons.htm?
    roflmao

    we won't tell anyone. far be it from me to be the one start anything (or keep it going). All I know is ticketguyz said the above, and I replied with the quote... and TrustNo1 is calling you a hypocrite... and I aint going to say nothing about that. nope. my lips are sealed.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  24. #24
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Sheesh
    ROFL at the suggestions of merchants being "raped" by coupons becoming attached to orders. Any who run coupons should have the sense to have enough cushion built into the profit margin to cover them, or not run them. If they don't have enough sense to do that, they'll be toast whether or not they have coupons--the lack of sense would just kill them in some other way if they didn't.

    Places like the automakers who cut deals for less than it costs them to make a car, yet somehow manage not to die, are a mystery of the market not the norm.

    rewards the top 20 and screws they rest
    That's just normal SERP competition, and it works the same regardless of whether there's coupons or not. That's simply a function of how many listings are on the first 2 pages of Google, if people use the default setting (which most do).

    There's nothing wrong with that setup; no more than there's anything wrong with Olympians only getting medals for being in the top 3 of their event!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Tracy you can assume what you want, and a search of Mytights for "ballet tights" or Danskins (the most popular brand) yeilds no product results ... so that sample site wouldn't see a dime from the ballet loyal following.
    Mike, your talents and knowledge continue to amaze me. I never took you for the ballet type. :

    Did someone wiz in your Wheaties?

    Clothes bunched up somewhere uncomfortable?

    Or did you forget to take your meds again?

    Amanda seems like she's trying to grow her business, and giving affiliates additional means to do so. I think you'd make more progress getting your point across with her if you'd not be so quick to attack, and explain - nicely - your point.

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