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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    hi

    [ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: Big Chuck ]

  2. #2
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    You are an odd man, Chuck.

  3. #3
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    hi

    [ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: Big Chuck ]

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Search engine companies/directories are pulling stunts that will threaten our livelyhood. This is a form of monopoly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>um, what are you calling "a form of monopoly"? The search engines? You're going to have to explain that one a bit more for me... I don't get it.

  5. #5
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    All they would have to do to create a monopoly is eliminate affiliate marketers, raise PPC or pay per listing fees (because merchants would have to depend on them), raise advertising prices etc... Hmm, kind of like what OverSure is doing.

    Merchants would be dependent on them and have no escape route, ex. affiliates.

    IMHO merchants should be just as upset about the mass persecution of affiliate sites.

    If their aim is to monopolize, then their first assault has crushed our lines of defense and we can either counterattack or surrender. Personally, surrender is not an option. Lawyers are a good touch -- war makes strange bedfellows, I guess.

    Charge!

    [manual spellcheck]

    [ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: Planetwide Exodus ]

  6. #6
    Assistant Regional Manager Rik's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might be a good time to create an affiliate friendly fair priced non discrimanating pay per click or pay per inclusion search engine.

    [ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: Rik ]

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    "If their aim is to monopolize, then their first assault has crushed our lines of defense and we can either counterattack or surrender. Personally, surrender is not an option. Lawyers are a good touch -- war makes strange bedfellows, I guess.

    Charge!~Planetwide Exodus"

    While I disagree that the lines of defense have been crushed (far from it--this is only the beginning), I do heartily agree that surrender is indeed not an option!

  8. #8
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    So, the suggestion here is that the "monopoly formed" is a bunch of different search engines? And what they're monopoloizing is the ad market?

  9. #9
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    I don't think the affiliate networks really understand the problem or the impact the affiliate witch hunt at the search engines is having on them. We're on the front lines, they're somewhere far at the rear with their heads, uhh, buried in the sand.

    The networks are the ones that ought to already have their attorney's letters on the desks of the search engine administrators. Affiliates are too small to individually fight this battle when the search engines stand to fatten their coffers by tens or hundreds of millions of dollars or more by pushing us out.

    It's time for the affiliate networks to belly up to the bar and get involved in this issue right now ... today! Things happen fast in the e-commerce world.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>While I disagree that the lines of defense have been crushed (far from it--this is only the beginning), I do heartily agree that surrender is indeed not an option!
    --Leader
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's good news then. If its still early, my guess is the players in this battle that are suspiciously silent are waiting to see who gets the upper hand. Whomever that turns out to be will suddenly have a whole bunch of new friends.

    I suppose there is a business practicality of networks etc taking this wait and see strategy but it strikes me as a hint of moral cowardice and potential long term business losses.

    As long as there are places like ABW we will weather any storm that hits.

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Reminds me of what I posted at some major affiliate BBS sites exactly a year ago. The Advertising Industry had gotten so brain dead (CPM based EyeBall factories) and spoiled by feeding off the pool of VC funded DotCom's they could layoff 50% of their online inititive staffs and not effect Gross sales by 2%. This void in thinking was then filled by scumware/parasite Adwarez and spamming e-mail campaigns by their buddies on the lunitic fringe. There is a battle being fought between those who just have to display Ads to get paid and those who have to have those Ads produce sales to get paid.

    The Ad industry never has nor wants to base their billing on performance ..just views. That's why only the few creative ones ( Ad campaigns like the Canadian "just hangin out" Bear for Labatts Blue or the hillarious BlockBuster Video Ad featuring the Butt rollin Hamster and the Rabbit wannabee actually get watched & absorbed. Do they carry this forward to their Internet public ..hell no. as in not a clue.

    Result is the 10 sites, mostly SE portals, who get 85% of all Internet traffic get X-10 popups or "shoot the monkey" Ads that spawn more Ads like a mini-porno site. Merchants do not want to share traffic but their own conversion ratios suck so bad they are forced to try meeting payroll by displaying non-competes on their sites. This really boils down to them justifying the web site as a fancy catalog without postage driving buying traffic to 800# and local storefronts.

    These are the guys ( prime merchants) who have promotion budgets willing to spend 2% of thta budget for affiliate network campaigns. Of that 2% budget 70% goes to the affiliate networks for Alacart fees the remaindee to us workerbees. The Yellow page guys (SE's and related Portals)want to sell their prime Ads ( keywords)for top dollar prices so the lowly affiliate does not factor into the mix.

    [ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Hi Chuck. Yes you are correct on all counts.It's all about $$$$$$.As I said before ,we are all swimming with sharks! Remember we talked about "IMPACT"?,it's the only way small guys will survive.
    Gerry

  13. #13
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    "I don't think the affiliate networks really understand the problem or the impact the affiliate witch hunt at the search engines is having on them. We're on the front lines, they're somewhere far at the rear with their heads, uhh, buried in the sand.

    The networks are the ones that ought to already have their attorney's letters on the desks of the search engine administrators. Affiliates are too small to individually fight this battle when the search engines stand to fatten their coffers by tens or hundreds of millions of dollars or more by pushing us out."

    If you totaled up the business IQ of all the people running CJ, Snare, BeScrewed, Performics, CPA Bank, Directleads etc, etc., you'd probably find an imaginary number.

    Computer Geeks are too stupid to understand the law is a weapon and should be used as such when necessary. They should be filing lawsuits against deadbeat merchants on a daily basis and class action stuff on behalf of their affiliates against Yahoo and Overture at the drop of a hat.

    Sure it costs money, but so does not making the 20% to 30% juice from affiliate sales.

    Sometimes getting a 'nasty' reputation in defending your territory works wonders.

    It's like the ******* that's sueing Jason at Directleads for the coupon stuff. He sues everyone and they all cave in and pay him because it's the cheaper way to go.

    If he ever gets to court he will lose, but he's betting it will never happen.

    Business is a form of war and should be treated that way. Read Sun-Tzu's the 'Art of War' - the best business book ever written and it was written 2,500 years ago.

    And for those of you who are interested, Monday the first part of our four part legal attack on the major adnetworks was totally victorious with a $1 million punitive damage award thrown in for good measure.

  14. #14
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    It's early and I am just having my coffee so I don't remember the thread but.... I had followed one of the links Dynamoo just recently posted on cyber law in reguards to the freebie page. I was reading through the site, following links and came on an interesting article. A man is sueing the ppc search engines over the name of his business and keywords related to it. He is claiming that his name is trademarked and they are profiting from it by taking payment from people trying to compete with him - ie- bidding on his name, keywords to get a higher placement than him. Something to that effect.

    Kinda like I decided to get into a bidding war with amazon.com for the word amazon.com and came in higher placement. Then they would sue the ppc claiming they/I was profiting from their trademark.

    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  15. #15
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    I do not believe the search engines are deliberately targeting affiliates as such. What they're trying to filter out is crappy pages or pages that haven't actually *earned* their link popularity.

    Something important to remember here is that search engines are not the only way to market one's website. It's interesting to note that the affiliate site with the highest known earnings does not rank particularly well in a lot of relevant searches. In fact Big Chuck outranked her for some of the terms I checked. The affiliate built her traffic in other ways, including some creative off-line promotions.

    Elisabeth Archambault

  16. #16
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    The problem I see from a legal standpoint. Is that some PPC engines are no longer accepting affiliate sites, but they will accept those same style listings from Advertising.com and other places like that.

    Chuck, if you are serious about it why not get these people involved

    http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm

    [ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: malibber ]

  17. #17
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    I'm no expert, but I do have a degree in Marketing so my two cents should count for something...

    The advertising business and business in general is no different online or offline. It's all about supply and demand, AND revenue vs. expenses.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>we know they are trying to get more of the pie for themselves. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    -Of course they are. Wouldn't you? Good business isn't always nice business. It's a race. It's competitive. It's often stab-you-in-the-back and cut-your-throat-when-you-aren't-looking. For many obsessed individuals it's WAR!

    [QUOTEThis is a form of monopoly. ][/QUOTE]

    No it's not. It's a normal day in the business and advertising worlds. None of us can afford to advertise our sites on television during the Super Bowl. Some dot-coms can. Is that a monopoly?

    When McDonalds chooses to sell Coke and no other Cola brand, is that a monopoly? Time magazine has a long list of merchant types that they will not allow to purchase advertising space in their magazine. Is that a monopoly?


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>All they would have to do to create a monopoly is eliminate affiliate marketers, raise PPC or pay per listing fees (because merchants would have to depend on them), raise advertising prices etc... Hmm, kind of like what OverSure is doing.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    -Also not true. That has nothing to do with a monopoly. Unless the day comes when every PC and MAC is pre-loaded with only one search engine brand and no way to choose to search with a different search engine, there is no monopoly. Consumers use Overture by choice. Not because Overture is the only way to search. Therefore, as a private advertising entity, Overture is free to pick and chose their advertisers and to negotiate fees any way they choose.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Merchants would be dependent on them and have no escape route, ex. affiliates. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Also not true. There are always other ways to advertise. You just need to open your eyes. Every December I run radio ads for one of my sites. One of the daytime ads cost $190 a slot in a major market. When it runs, I often receive about 20,000 visitors during the few hours that follow the ad. That's about .01 cpc. Don't tell me that there aren't any escape routes.

    I'm going to force myself to stop writing this reply because I could easily turn it into a mini-novel. To summarize, yes the market is going through an adjustment phase. Yes it is unstable. Yes there are undesirable changes. And yes we should speak and be heard.

    However, don't think for a second that just because what you see happening is unfair and undesirable to affiliate marketing that it is a monopoly or some other illegal act.


    When I was a teenager, the town I grew up in had four video stores, ten deli's, and five travel agents. Now there is only one video store (Blockbuster Video), two deli's (the other seven went out of business when two 7-11 stores opened) and just one travel agent who managed to serve the few people who haven't switched to the internet to buy plane tickets. The business world is a never-ending evolution. Online and Offline.

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>When McDonalds chooses to sell Coke and no other Cola brand, is that a monopoly? Time magazine has a long list of merchant types that they will not allow to purchase advertising space in their magazine. Is that a monopoly? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is a bad analogy. It is more like this: say there is only one distributor of soft drinks in a geographical area. This distributor supplies all of the grocery stores, convenience stores, and services all of the vending machines in the area. All of the sudden the distributor announces that they will sell only Coca-Cola products and nothing else. This effectively puts Pepsi and all of the independents out of business because they no longer have access to a distribution channel. In turn consumers pay more for their Coca-Cola products because there is no longer any competition.

  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>This is a bad analogy. It is more like this: say there is only one distributor of soft drinks in a geographical area.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But that is where you are dead wrong. Overture is not the only distributor and search engines are not the only means of advertising. They are all used by choice.

    Trust me, there are no federal anti-trust law violations being committed by banning affiliate sites. It simply doesn't constitute a monopoly unless the majority of the computers are loaded with the capability to only have one search engine. In addition, the actual merchants themselves are not being banned. It sucks for all of us but it is not illegal.

  20. #20
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    ...and sanity enters the room in the form of a seaslug...

  21. #21
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    I agree there are no federal antitrust law violations involved here. Actually, normal market forces will drive the result.

    I believe the SEs are going to find that if they purge all affiliate links and pages, the merchants who use affiliate programs probably will have enough economic pull to persuade them that its not a good idea. I don't think merchants will give up all that free advertising and marketing effort without a huge battle. And the affiliate networks aren't going to go down without a fight once they understand their existence is at stake.

    On the other hand, if the SEs aren't persuaded, there will emerge one or more search engines friendly to affiliate marketing and to the merchants who use that business model.

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I believe the SEs are going to find that if they purge all affiliate links and pages, the merchants who use affiliate programs probably will have enough economic pull to persuade them that its not a good idea. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Isn't Sharper Image at least one company who thinks it's a great idea?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't think merchants will give up all that free advertising and marketing effort without a huge battle. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't understand why you're saying it's free. The merchants are paying their affiliates commissions for the sales they generate from listing in PPCs. I don't think there is an affiliate in the world who pays to get listed in PPCSEs for a merchant that doesn't have an affiliate program.

  23. #23
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    >>I do not believe the search engines are deliberately targeting affiliates as such. What they're trying to filter out is crappy pages or pages that haven't actually *earned* their link popularity.<<

    It's nice to see someone shooting down the myth that search engines are banning affiliate links. They aren't doing that. And if they were, some big commercial sites would be in trouble, because PPA advertising isn't limited to "little guy" sites like ours.

    In the offline world, even an ad-focused publication like COMPUTER SHOPPER adds value to its ads by including editorial content. If more affiliate sites would follow that example, they wouldn't have to worry about losing pagerank in Google.

    To be sure, not every Webmaster has the ability or the will to create added value through non-advertising content. This means that some affiliate sites will go out of business, just as some Web-design studios went out of business when the market moved from plain-vanilla HTML to asp, php, Flash, and so on. Evolution is unavoidable, and the window of opportunity for easy money (desktop publishing, low-end Web design, or affiliate sales) doesn't stay open very long. At some point, you've got to earn your keep through hard work and/or a cash investment.

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't think merchants will give up all that free advertising and marketing effort without a huge battle. And the affiliate networks aren't going to go down without a fight once they understand their existence is at stake. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But what stops Google, Yahoo, Excite, Dogpile or any other engine from becoming affiliates themselves? Then when the Top 10 results come up for anything they happen to be affiliate links that pays the SE 10% for the sale from one of 10 merchants. Merchant wins, Affiliate network wins, SE wins, WE LOSE.

    If the search engines are not listing all the available pages, does the average surfer know? Probably not. They just click on any of the first 10, find what they wanted to buy and go away happy. We find other employment (even Leader [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] )

  25. #25
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    quote:
    "But what stops Google, Yahoo, Excite, Dogpile or any other engine from becoming affiliates themselves?"

    The same reason of what stop BF, LS, and CJ becoming affiliate themselve.

    Imagine is all these networks dump all affiliates and start building sites... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    If all search engines put all their own affiliate links in their search engine...there will be NO search engine....since there is NO content whatsoever. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    'Smart affiliate find another way to play'

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