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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    New Tradmark Policy?
    Has anyone else heard the latest Yahoo! news?

    As of March 1, 2006 Yahoo will no longer allow competitive advertising on trademarks. Jeremy Palmer gives us the scoop in Revenews:

    http://www.revenews.com/jeremypalmer...g_new_tra.html

    I'm wondering, how will this affect affiliates involved in PPC?

    Thanks,

    Bryce
    1-800 CONTACTS

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Fixed.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
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    on yahoo's trademark page

    http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/legal/trademarks.php

    You can still bid if you are a reseller or have an informational page but not a competitor and don't try to make it seem like you are the "actual" trademarked company.

    Thanks for the heads up on this, important stuff!

    Matt

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Serious impact on those professional SEM firms juggling hundreds of thousands of keywords hawking traffic from trademark and registered brands. Bet the major networks in-house SEM teams will feel the pain. Googles caving into a potential 90 million $$$ fine for turning a blind eye to click fraud doesn't let Yahoo and Ask off the hook.

    Years of data mining high conversion keywords leading to insider SEM campaigns (often with cookie setting) should get curbed. About time eBay, Amazon and others, get taken down a notch. Just cause they have registered brands and trademark stuff listed doesn't mean their authorized resellers.
    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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    Bidding trademarks is a cheap way of getting business adds no value to the merchant's program in the first place.
    I am on a campaign with every merchant I work with to convince them to disallow it. All you end up with are a bunch of fake couponers playing tricks to stuff a cookie on the user's computer, most of which have already been to the merchant's web site on their own.
    Trademark bidding and SEO spamming costs merchants and real affiliate marketers a lot of money and we would all be able to make a larger commission if the coupon sites of the world did not spend every ounce of energy spamming the merchant's trademarks and bidding on them.
    I am working with several merchants to include this in their terms and it is working. One merchant in particular stopped it and my conversions as a value adding affiliate doubled.
    OK coupon guys, go ahead and bash me now and call me names. I know it is coming and that is fine as long as the merchants I work with eventually cease to be victims of your trickery.


  6. #6
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    Read this:

    http://www.revenews.com/davidlewis/archives/001327.html

    After you read that, not all coupon sites are fake couponers just trying to stuff cookies, been reading Mikes posts too much.

    And you're blaming coupon sites for lower commission and your lower conversion rate?

    What if an affiliate ranks great on a merchant's TM in the natural SERPS, you giving the same advice to the merchant? Is it their fault too for lower commissions and your lower conversion rate?

    Why don't you put up coupons? So your visitors don't go to other sites, increase your conversion rate.

    etc. Some of that is devil's advocate type questions

    Of course none of this has to do with the Yahoo decision.

    Of course Google is another story.

    You have stuff like this:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...th&btnG=Search

    They used to allow their affiliates to bid on their TM and dominated the results. Now their competitors bid on their TM. Now who would you rather have there? Your affiliates or your competition?

    Mike, get em:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...der+company%22

    Damn Mike, I just noticed you have 4 different sites selling those suspenders. Hmm. Check your PM.
    Last edited by Trust; March 11th, 2006 at 12:31 AM.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    UncleScooter you'd probably agree the registered trademarks Overstock + coupon http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...erstock+coupon and Dell + coupon ... http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...&q=Dell+coupon ...account for 70% of all commissioned sales AFTER the referred shopper already was buying the product.

    Add in the BHO forced cookie popups and funny those AM's consider their entire affiliate marketing efforts are tied into producting a few one line coupon promos per month. Every damn coupon cashed at the Point of Sale reduces the merchants profit and percent they can afford to pay out to affiliates. Both companies stock takes it in the shorts over incent marketing. In my vast history as a sales manager ...we all called it cherry picking.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  8. #8
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    "account for 70% of all commissioned sales AFTER the referred shopper already was buying the product."

    Why did 70% of shoppers leave the cart?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Read this:

    http://www.revenews.com/davidlewis/archives/001327.html

    After you read that, not all coupon sites are fake couponers just trying to stuff cookies, been reading Mikes posts too much.
    Nope. Been viewing sites with a "Pop up Summary" that stuffs cookies and is showing "Free Shipping" as a coupon when the merchant offers free shipping on every transaction they make. Sound familiar?
    And you're blaming coupon sites for lower commission and your lower conversion rate?
    Not blaming at all, it is a fact. So far every AM that I have spoken with about this has agreed with me. Of course not all of them have the balls to do anything about it, but many do and are doing things about it.
    What if an affiliate ranks great on a merchant's TM in the natural SERPS, you giving the same advice to the merchant? Is it their fault too for lower commissions and your lower conversion rate?
    Affiliates should promote the merchant's product or service, not just pound their trademarks on PPC and in their meta tags and title tags. Look up the definition of "incremental business"
    Why don't you put up coupons? So your visitors don't go to other sites, increase your conversion rate.
    And if the merchant has no coupons should I just make some up and stuff the cookie with a "Pop up Summary"? Free shipping is not a coupon when the merchant offers it to everyone that comes in the door, nor is it adding any value, so therefore setting a cookie is trickery.

    Michael Coley has a real coupon site and there are other real coupon sites out there. Michael shows products and actually has real content about the merchant and their products. His site does not shove a cookie on the machine of the shopper with a trick "Pop Up Summary". The sites I am working on are the ones offering nothing more than an affiliate cookie stuffed on the computer of the shopper who stumbles across them. These fake couponers are doing nothing but trapping shopping cart abandonment shoppers, therefore turning the merchant's own traffic into their affiliate traffic as well as stealing affiliate traffic from other affilaites all while adding ZERO value. I can't help it if the merchant has a coupon field in their shopping cart for legitimate reasons and customers search for whatever.com coupons. What I can do is to work with the merchant to eliminate the sea of fake couponers who show up in such a search and offer the shopper nothing more than a cookie jammed up their ass.

    I am on a mission to get them from all programs that I am affiliated with becuase I see them on the same level as parasites. They are , always have been and always will be .

    If your sites offer real coupons you need not worry about my mission. If your sites don't stuff a cookie with a "Pop Up Summary" of a fake coupon while loading the merchant site in the background, then you have nothing to worry about


  10. #10
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    Yeah, I don't like those sites either. The coupon sites saying they have them, when they don't. Agree with you on that.

  11. #11
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    And those cookie stuffing "Pop Up Summaries" are opening the eyes of marketing managers and AMs nationwide. Whoever that site is should get braced to lose a few good merchants due to their greed and stupidity. But they won't miss them because every day new merchants join affiliate networks and are too stupid to know what they are getting themselves in to and most AMs do not expose the pitfalls of this trap. Instead they call out the dogs and pretend like they are bringing the merchant all kinds of new business when they are indeed not. I will no doubt step on a few AM toes on this mission, but that's OK too.

    A merchant who does not offer coupons should not be paying commissions to a coupon-only site that does nothing more than open a link to the merchant's home page and collect commissions at the expense of the merchant and their legitimate affiliates. I would suggest that these sites start working on a new business plan because this gravy train is coming to an end.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    UncleScooter you'd probably agree the registered trademarks Overstock + coupon http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...erstock+coupon and Dell + coupon ... http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...&q=Dell+coupon ...account for 70% of all commissioned sales AFTER the referred shopper already was buying the product.

    Add in the BHO forced cookie popups and funny those AM's consider their entire affiliate marketing efforts are tied into producting a few one line coupon promos per month. Every damn coupon cashed at the Point of Sale reduces the merchants profit and percent they can afford to pay out to affiliates. Both companies stock takes it in the shorts over incent marketing. In my vast history as a sales manager ...we all called it cherry picking.
    Mike...buddy, I never thought I would say this, but we are in the same boat on this one. Now if I could just get you to register as a Democrat we would really have something


  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "account for 70% of all commissioned sales AFTER the referred shopper already was buying the product."

    Why did 70% of shoppers leave the cart?
    Little birdie dropped me that figure admitting the majority of major brand merchant booked affiliate sales were burdened with incentives. No need to abandon the cart with a new browser window and a quick search, if the merchant is silly enough to halt the checkout process with the "place coupon/promo code here" alert box.

    Nothing wrong with this simple affiliate ebiz plan if you have PPCSE funds, great SERPs, or a BHO incentive alert. Am I wrong that incentive affiliates don't gather in 70% of the commission checks cut by the major networks?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It is so easy to find the affiliate scammers and maintain the highest conversion ratio of any product merchant when you police your brand -Trademarks and lack of coupons or other incentives. Every value add affiliate deserves a level playing field and no sales completion barrier or direct competition and cookie washing from their merchant partner.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...pender+coupons

    Holdup Suspenders has never offered a coupon since 1998. Therefore the site scrapers and PPCSE trademark playas get no mercy from me. Even the scrapers get nothing, but occasional scraps, as my client is advised to place low daily limits on his Adwords/Overture prime keywords.

    results if clicked don't show a PPCSE link to client ...
    Find Suspenders at Zipido.com ... 6. Holdup Suspenders -so Unique They're Patented. ... You can't buy a better quality suspender than those manufactured by Holdup Suspender Company. ...
    www.zipido.com/web/zip.php?qry_str=Suspenders - 60k - Supplemental Result -

    or...

    Allfeeds.com ... Coupons and discount links to online stores with focus on great gift ideas men love. ... Men's Suspender with the Patented No Slip Clip Holdup Suspenders are a ...
    portal.allfeeds.com/?keyword=father%20day%20gift& engine=&aff_id=main_site&related=gifts&r... - 49k - Supplemental Result -

    If PPCSE link appears with trademark keyword scraped content, then they get cease & desist notice, with CC to Google.

    Results of policing year after year is the real buying keywords produce high conversions and consistant SERPs.
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...n&q=suspenders
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...27s+suspenders
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=men...&cop=&ei=UTF-8
    http://www.live.com/#q=suspenders&offset=1
    http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q...ders&FORM=QBRE
    http://search.aol.com/aolcom/search?...27s+suspenders
    http://a9.com/suspenders?c=1&src=amz

    All affiliates still average 1 sale per 20 clicks for 5 years and have doubled their average sales amount as the product line expands. Obviously they get those results from physical clicks from their domain pages.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  15. #15
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    "90 million $$$" is peanuts for Google, it's a ridiculously small price to pay for click fraud that costs advertisers who knows how much money every year.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  16. #16
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    I think this has been a great back and forth, with legitimate claims on both sides. I'm glad to see this hasn't turned personal, like some ID/creationism discussion. But I'd like to make some general comments.

    1) You have to admit that AMs don't always have their company's best interests in mind. Often AMs are up against other sales departments in terms of amount of revenue generated. So they love it if Affiliates are "poaching" sales from their SEM teams.

    2) Affiliates have been the "black sheep" in online marketing for a long time. What's really the difference in having an affiliate bid on TM terms, and paying commissions versus Performics/CJ bidding on those terms for you, and you paying 1% commission plus fees, plus the cost of each click?

    3) Using affiliates to bid on terms for you allows you to turn a CPC SE into a CPA one. As long as your commission structure makes sense, this is a winning solution. You get a FREE introduction to customers, plus you only pay for the traffic that converts to sales.

    4)Being the only listing for a term on Yahoo or Google, will not get you 100% CTR. But having only one listing on Yahoo or Google will lower the amount of clicks you get. Affiliates allow you to take up more "shelf space", P&G style and capture more targeted traffic.

    5)If someone is searching for a "SmartBargains Coupon" and my site XYZCoupon.com has smartbargain coupons, shouldn't I be allowed/encouraged to introduce those users to my site? If Circuit City is allowed to advertise that they have Sony Cameras, shouldn't I be allowed to advertise that I have coupons?


    Can I get a link to data that suggests that 70% of coupon affiliate sales are generated after the product was in the cart?

    Coupons are a great way to get new customers, increase conversion rates and increase average order size. I would say that the return-of-revshare sites are a worse Merchant deal as you are continually paying for the same user over and over again.

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Nice Try SideBurn. All couponers know the way their similar ebiz system works. Screw doing one ounce of work promoting the merchants product brands, great mark down specials and putting customer facing pre-sell accolades. Just build a merchant directory site (English language skills not even required) and spam the crap out of the SE's with thousands of combinations of Merchant + coupon Product - brand + coupon Trademark + coupon. even if no coupon exists. Selling the incentive, not the product or merchant's pre/post sale support, is so simple every forced click cookie stuffing BHO does it. Hell many like Whenu operate coupon sites like www.pricebandit.com to form a dual prong attack at the point of sale.


    Screw the fact that 70% of all commission payouts have some ROI killing incentive attached. 100% of these coupon sites. and their incentive BHO brethern. have nothing but incentives attached to the millions in commissions they kite from merchants with Adwhore AM blessings. Friggin AM doesn't need an education to write a coupon/reward customer one liner enticement. They excell at this while setting house cookies with e-mail blasts and PPCSE keyword Ads.

    I don't subject my affiliates and merchants to the pitfalls of climbing in bed with incentive cookie cannon marketers. They understand those thousands of cookie replacement coupon sites are a not selling anything BUT the friggin 10% off coupon. Most coupoin links require the shopper has to start there shopping all over again as most are bogus as to specific landing pages. The Overstock -Dell - Target- Walmart.. etc AM's could give a rats ass as long as their incentive affiliates keep on spamming. None of my active affiliates do worse then 1 sale per 20 clicks for 5 years straight with no coupon or BHO crapolla. Any other ABW merchant care to claim they can survive and prosper without employing tricks for cookied clicks affiliates. Without the point of sale attack dogs hijacking the value-add affiliate cookies they'd be hard pressed to convert 1 sale for every 400 clicks. Net result is all their real value-add... non-incentive... type affiliates get the shaft, sucking up what's left over after merchant cookie washing and as Ben Edelman pointed out ...cookie stuffing couponers and BHO's.

    My merchant clients own and protect their registered trademarks -Patents and have site names just for that purpose. They desire no incentivized junk or duped traffic. There affiliates operate on a level playing field and the Super affiliates have to play by my clients rules. They can't set or wash cookies and have to spend their own dime to advertise the brand ...if they have customer facing showcase product displays at the end of those PPCSE clicks. They earn their money the old fashion way. Straight commission on legit booked sales or keyword click fees from a product link.
    Last edited by ecomcity; April 29th, 2006 at 02:00 AM.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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