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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    December 2nd, 2005
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    Exclamation Location specific leaching
    Has anyone encountered a similar problem?

    We just noticed a couple of our affiliates are targeting ads to locations from which we are unlikely to check (out of Utah).

    The problem: (1) ads are for our restricted TM terms, (2) affiliates were out-bidding us meaning Google restricts our ad from being shown if they use our same display URL, and (3) their geo-targeting makes it difficult to spot. Most likely, this has been going on for a few months or more.

    (I recognize the very strong argument for opening all our terms to affiliates, but that's another discussion).

    I was very excited to see sales from two of our (unnamed) affiliates see BIG jumps lately, only to recently discover the above issue.

    Any thoughts / suggestions for more effective monitoring of the SERPs to eliminate location specific leaching?

    Thanks,

    Bryce
    1-800 CONTACTS
    affiliates@1800contacts.com

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    With something like that, it'd take an age to check 'em all by hand!

    But maybe a programmer who can do something using the Google API isn't beyond your (your company's) financial reach...there should be some way to automate things, as long as you can do it without actually clicking the ads.

    affiliates were out-bidding us
    'Course, you could always just wait til they run out of dough... Most who outbid a merchant eventually will run out(exception being, if you're bidding cheap!). Especially if they're sending traffic directly to your site--meaning that they're trying to make a profit on the same conversion ratio your direct traffic has, without having the same margins you do...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    You can sort of solve the problem by allowing traffic only from affiliates' own pages. That way any traffic being referred from Google directly (information you should see as the advertiser in the referring URL) can be seen. If you do allow PPC direct-linking from non-trademarked words then I'm not sure how you'd be able to catch the geo-targeting efficiently. The other thing to do is hit those affiliates hard when they use such tactics (i.e. reverse all outstanding commissions and kick them out). Make sure your policies are well described and easily found on the CJ interface.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Checking the SEs themselves can never be done effectively. But it is wise to check the referral urls of your producing affiliates regularly.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Only cure is to completely bann any direct to 1800-contacts PPCSE advertising. Pay for enforcement expenses by pocketing the TM perps commissions.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce
    I was very excited to see sales from two of our (unnamed) affiliates see BIG jumps lately, only to recently discover the above issue.
    What you've done is probably the best way. Check out your top affiliates and the affiliates with the biggest increases in traffic. Many will be legit, but you'll probably catch some that aren't playing by the rules, too.

    It's just about impossible to predict all the ways that the bad affiliates will break the rules and try to hide things from you. Watch for the things that you've seen before and can monitor, but research your top affiliates and biggest movers to see if there's other stuff you hadn't anticipated.
    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
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You'll also find some posers like About.com and even eBay hawking your brand trademarks and cutting side deals with couponers http://couponing.about.com/cs/azdisc.../bla_codes.htm just try Googling -Yahooing for "1-800-contacts" and seek out TM offenders
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  8. #8
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    as lame as it sounds, you can use an AOL account (bring your own access is about 16 bucks a month) to tunnel into a different ip range. Your ip will then be based in VA, not UT. There are other IP Proxy services that run 40 a month min., but you don't get to see all of the fine crap AOL tries to push down everyone's throat.

    I'm way south of the states and it's the most cost effective way for me to check my delivery of ads, which are for US only.

    By doing away with the PPC direct option, your only going to allow your competition to fill those ad slots.

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    By doing away with the PPC direct option, your only going to allow your competition to fill those ad slots.
    I agree with this! Either do your own ppc well or allow your affiliates to do it for you. I see a lot of merchants who ban direct ppc, often have poor seo penetration and even more often have very ineffective in-house ppc campaigns - this adds up to an opportunity for your competition.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the helpful information. I think we'll be able to get things under control using your suggestions and with a few services that let us monitor geo-specific ads.

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