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  1. #1
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    No more trusted thrid party for me
    Ok so it is spring and time for a cleaning. It is also a good time to look at your business model and after considering all the factors I have decided to stop joining any more programs on cj or linkshare. I am also deleting my befree and perfomics accounts asap.

    I am far from being a super affiliate but after looking at the numbers I brought in last year it makes no sense in having my sites become eligible to become a traffic source for other dirty parasite filled programs. I offer no proof or should I. I feel that having any links from these networks on your sites you are inviting trouble, so why bother at all.

    Take a look around here and you will see lots of tracking reporting problems. I dont think there are any or I should say that is a not what I think is happening. Look at Ben's post and see how the pop ups are covering your merchnats whole site. I also think they are covering affiliate sites. That is why you are not getting any sales. The end user cannot see your site. This is because your so called Trusted third party networks are allowing it to happen.

    I had the pleasure of seeing Bens presentation at affiliate summit and in the back of my mind I knew this day would come as I get it. It is a shame that most merchants dont.

    I can see the direction affiliate marketing is going or at least how I am going about it. I will also slow down my hanging around at abw for a bit as I have a ton of links to delete.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  2. #2
    15 years and counting
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    There's a major problem with CJ and LS.
    I can compare my traffic and sales stats for the last 8/10 years on around 100 sites.
    For all my sites with no affiliate link I kept the same traffic or for a few it's still increasing.
    For all my sites with Yahoo or Indy links the traffic is still the same.
    For all my sites with CJ or LS links the traffic is declining. I can't keep a site at the top for more than 2 years and it seems the life of an affiliate site is becoming shorter and shorter.
    I'm still experimenting with SAS, I've not seen any impact yet.

    Some affiliates at ABW are telling us they are doing better. Doesn't mean anything. How old are their web sites? If I start a new web site and make a few cents I'm also doing better than before the launch.

    The networks are not telling us the truth. We need to access their stats. I've not seen any information coming from them in a long time. For sure, there's still people earning money. What's the average affiliate earning? What's their demographics? Number of active affiliates? ...

    I'm aware of a few reasons for declining traffic on major networks. Competition, Google algo, DataFeeds, Cookie Stuffers, Parasites, Norton... What about new trends like scammy merchants using Reward sites or Newsletters washing cookies like the two exposed by Billy Kay?

    I moved many of my LinkShare links before Athena, and quit adding CJ links after their last crazy update to replace them by Indies so I'm not feeling too much the heat.
    Like nyfalcon, I'm not in a mood to add new LS or CJ links.

  3. #3
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I have rarely used LS and I stopped using CJ when they demanded a privacy statement but refused to give an example of an acceptable one while maintaining their right to kick you out and withhold your commissions if they didn't like the one you wrote. 'Nuff said.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus

    I moved many of my LinkShare links before Athena, and quit adding CJ links after their last crazy update to replace them by Indies ...
    What do you mean by "Indies?" Independents?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  5. #5
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    A lot of merchants run their own affiliate program without using a network.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    A lot of merchants run their own affiliate program without using a network.
    True, but sometimes the networks are better.
    When WickedCoolStuff decided to leave CJ and go on its own with Affiliate Traction, the result was total disaster.

    I didn't like the Affiliate Traction set-up and never put up a new link. I was happy to see WickedCoolStuff return to CJ.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Trying to Win's Avatar
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    Iím going to be working on moving links to indie programs also. Iíve done some testing with indie programs vs CJ & LS and the indie programs made more cash with only one quarter of the traffic that was sent to CJ & LS. I have learned that you can make much more cash from a well managed indie program than you can make with 20 CJ or LS programs.
    Just a squirrel trying to get a nut, in the Internet jungle.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Networks have a lot of advantages:

    Being easy targets for adware and affiliate blockers
    Adding another layer to possibly affect tracking.
    Adding a middleman to slow down payments.
    Having a huge number of affiliates lets you 'lose' emails.
    Having a huge number of merchants lets you 'miss' parasites.
    You get to leave coupons up that expired 2 years ago.

    I'm just kidding, there are a lot of great merchants at networks, and some indies can be duds too.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Both Nyfalcon and Simcast have good points. You have to look at the whole Affiliate business over the years. The Trusted Third party was good as it joined merchants and we the affilates. Their job was to act as a TRUSTEE! Making sure that the merchants and the affiliates were treated fairly. For this they get a monthly maintenace fee plus a portion of the commissions(not all!) generated by us. They are also to insure that all tracking is correct,NOT MAYBE! Over the years this has unravelled and is out of control. Enter the scammers,parasites and millions of new NEWBE'S hoping to strike it rich. I am not knocking NewBe's as I was once one too.
    Some have been conned by joining mult-level programs promising they can make huge money. You know the ones that come to town and you pay to join. I see them at night on infomercials and in big ads in our local newspaper. Rest assured there are millions of them out there. And then there are the SE's that focus on money and not relievent listings. Unless you have deep pockets your organic site is lost.
    I like nyfalcon is going to start stripping those merchants that don't perform,the FREE-BE'S are gone. I live in a city of 1 million people that has a lot of online merchants and there I plan to focus. I believe that there is a lot of potiential here to cultivate. Should any merchant want to remain on my site it will be as follows.
    Dear Merchant.
    Because of tracking issues that we have no control over we have a minimum fee of $?
    We suggest you take this issue up with your Trusted Third Party who is accountable on your behalf and us also. We like to be compensated to!
    This fee will be deducted from commissions generated from your sales
    THE BOSS!

  10. #10
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trying to Win
    Iím going to be working on moving links to indie programs also. Iíve done some testing with indie programs vs CJ & LS and the indie programs made more cash with only one quarter of the traffic that was sent to CJ & LS. I have learned that you can make much more cash from a well managed indie program than you can make with 20 CJ or LS programs.
    Same for me - I make most of my money with indie programs.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well it's getting so bad trying to earn any real money, sending real targeted traffic though the cookie landmines from my High traffic/PR pages, I'm think of annual rental of existing pages to outsiders. I'm getting tired of certain merchants oogling over my natural SERP pages being totally content getting years of almost free traffic.

    Giving over HTML content & control of individual interior pages linked from SERPs and EcomCity navigation makes dollars and sense. Maybe I auction them off as prime realestate on eBay for annual renewable fees. The existing showcase merchants can bid on exclusivity, and have control on outward naked links, with their merchant competitors. My major SE traffic is steady year after year. They just get to SEO optimize existing PR and book the sales without all the diversion hassles... LOL.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    I'm trying as much as possible to weed out, prune and find alternatives, but I've got a few that still produce that there aren't replacements for so they have to stay.

    Otherwise, so far I consider Gary from Avantlink and Brian Lim from AffiliateFuture to be trusted, and providing a "match-making" service for stuff I wasn't able to find merchants for on my own.

    Guys like that are nothing like the faceless "big guys" who there's no contact with, and who are proven not to be trustworthy or even half-way considerate of affiliates - in the case of CJ, by their own public revelation of whose side they're on.

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    For general stuff, I like SAS. Bread and butter is an indie.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  14. #14
    15 years and counting
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    There's an other reason why I don't trust CJ and LS as much as before. Datamining. A few years ago, I had many top positions on SEs for one word keywords. Sure, I made a fortune monetizing these positions with CJ and LS but I'm also pretty sure that information was used by people having access to my accounts. Not only by account managers leaving CJ or LS and starting their own websites but by other employees informing their buddies. Even Molander was able to monetize that information.
    The traffic driven by top keywords to my indies is still going strong. It can't be a coincidence.
    I don't mind competition, I just want it to be fair with the same rules for everybody. (I know, I'm dreaming)

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    ... I'm think of annual rental of existing pages to outsiders.
    Me too. I've received inquiries to buy space on high PR pages from four merchants this year. I declined all, but it really made me think that this could be a means to diversify income from my site and make good use of pages that are being wasted by network merchants who are in bed with parasites, cookie stuffers, etc.

    Last December I got a link request from a newbie merchant. She had a nice clean site but had no clue about SEO. She didn't have a links page and the site was a PRO. I didn't ask for a reciprocal link. In the holiday spirit I decided to make a whole page for her.

    I took her home page HTML and re-vamped it and uploaded it to my site. She used it to learn some SEO basics and upgraded her site from the example. I managed to get some top 10 results for some highly targeted keywords. It not only drove unexpected traffic to this site, but bumped it up to a PR3 in no time. Total sales resulting from this traffic far exceeded any of my own affiliate pages in the same category. I am a former subdivision and land use planner. Now I'm intrigued with the idea of subdividing my cyber real estate.
    ~Ernie

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well it can be a viable option for good a PR page with steady verifiable traffic from natural SERPs. Auctioning off to strangers - contacting existing network showcase merchants or Googling ...then e-mailing offer to great competitors is an option. Take these 3 examples of established interior Mall landing pages. (Mall Footer nav would have to remain so pages aren't orphaned.)

    www.ecomcity.com/bonsai.htm get 400-500 daily visitors. 4300+ clicks since Jan 1st and not one sale recorded by Bonsai Boys of NY on either SAS (recent add-on) or the older CJ links. Overstock links are duds for whatever reason.

    http://www.ecomcity.com/watches.htm gets 200 visitors per day and very few watch sales. I added some SAS Closeout.com displays to see it they'd help. Maybe Prinction Watches will bid on this one and drive some PPCSE traffic there and pickup naked backlinks to their main site.

    http://www.ecomcity.com/indian_jewelry.htm is PR4 and gets 100+ visitors. I just added in some GC display and more turquoise items to off set Overstock's dwindling conversion ratios. Lots of real Indian Jewelry ecommerce sites out there who could use this one as a landing page,

    Now what to charge??
    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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    Why would a merchant pay if you're not delivering the sales? Why not try the Adsense, at least when people click off, you'll get something out of it.

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I'll tell you why Trustno1. Because those merchants can't build satellite sites and get both immediate natural SERPs or PR. They are limited on Google to one domain and they know what SEO is all about to get great keywords embeded on those niche product pages. They'd be hard pressed to get naked links, or fee based links on a site established in 1997 that never spammed shoppers or the SE's. They also get control of the page's HTML customer facing content and can use the side bar navigation to other product categories on their main site. Then they also don't lose the unreported sales or those hiijacked by the BHO's and couponers.... while pocketing 100% of the profits and Branding PR. Links to the page from within EcomCity other pages brings additional traffic and prevents any "doorway page" or orphan page penalities.

    They can then run PPCSE traffic to that page knowing the conversion ratio and ROI points. SAME applies to their competitors renting the page for renewable annual price. This EcomCity page has been doing just this cranking out buyers and PR transfers ... www.ecomcity.com/holdup.htm filling in a nice Google position for years.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Just when your sailing along in your commission ship, with a varied load of trusted merchants, some peckerwoods come forth and put holes in your boat.

    Moral of the storyboard is catch & kill the peckerwoods before they sink your commission ship.
    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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