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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    November 8th, 2005
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    Cleaning Resources
    With all the work I see Chuck H and other AMs doing to try and clean their programs, I thought it might be worthwhile to call out some resources to help with ferret out bad players in merchant programs (aside, of course, from digging through some of the great threads here on ABW):

    1. SiteAdvisor: Although by no means comprehensive in its findings, SiteAdvisor is a great initial source for doing a quick surface level scan about a websites relationships and the amount of spam it does/doesn't send out.

    2. AffiliateFairPlay and Ms. B: Kellie is an excellent resource for not only helping find those parasites who have dug deep into your program but also can help build a case for why corporate/merchants should want to change. Kellie, I believe, is charging a subscription fee these days for some of her resources but considering how much she helped Onlineshoes.com I imagine it is well worth it.

    3. Ben Edelman: I have talked with Ben several times and have seen him speak. His site is chalk full of up to date information and interesting testing done on the enterprise level. It was because of one of Ben's call outs, brought to my attention by Donuts, that we stopped working with MyPoints.

    4. Center for Democracy and Technology: Although far more consumer focused and very political in nature the Center of Democracy and Technology has some mind blowing articles out there. Their "Follow the Money II The Role of Intermediaries in Adware Advertising" article was easily one of the most mind blowing articles I have read as an AM.

    That should provide a good start. Go get them.
    Last edited by Onlineshoes MGR; October 3rd, 2006 at 09:42 AM.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  2. #2
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    October 4th, 2006
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    Is coolsavings.com parasitical? They have Truste and bbb certification.

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Truste and bbb have nothing to do with parasites, they mean nothing in regard to activities the site owners engage in to drive traffic.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Truste and BBB speak to how a website conducts its business in regards to the consumer. Their stamp indicates nothing about how a website acts in regards to ethics within the affiliate marketing industry. When we refer to parasites here we refer to that steal commissions from other affiliates and muddy a merchant's affiliate channel. Often those practices include cookie stuffing, drive-by installs, adware downloadables, etc.

    As to coolsavings.com check out Ben Edelman's post on their ad buying practices here:

    http://www.benedelman.org/news/011606-1.html
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  5. #5
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    People that say "trust me" loudly, up front are often the ones you should vet the most...

    Excerpt from recent Edelman newsletter (my bolding):
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Trust" Certifications

    When a stranger promises "you can trust me," most people know to be extra vigilant. What conclusion should users draw when a web site touts a seal proclaiming its trustworthiness? Some sites that are widely regarded as extremely trustworthy present such seals. But those same seals feature prominently on sites that seek to scam users -- whether through spyware infections, spam, or other unsavory practices.

    In Adverse Selection in Online "Trust" Authorities (PDF), I examine 500,000+ top web sites to analyze certifications from leading "trust" authority TRUSTe. Of the sites certified by TRUSTe, 5.4% are untrustworthy according to SiteAdvisor's data, compared with just 2.5% untrustworthy sites in the rest of the ISP's list. So TRUSTe-certified sites are more than twice as likely to be untrustworthy. This result also holds in a regression framework controlling for site popularity (traffic rank) and even a basic notion of site type. Introduction and some specific examples of untrustworthy certified sites.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Full article and backing research at:
    http://www.benedelman.org/news/092506-1.html

  6. #6
    Newbie DataFeedFile.com's Avatar
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    May 26th, 2006
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    I was a merchant for 9 years, we had BBB Online logo and participated with them all 9 years.

    I can tell you... the best thing about BBB Online is their membership collection process. Other than that... they barely know about most of the members' web site or business.

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