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  1. #1
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    Are we afraid of an influx of gambling affiliates?
    I got a call this week from a reporter for ClickZ, asking whether "mainstream" affiliates are aware of, and afraid of, the likely migration of "gambling affiliates" to other affiliate programs, when pending "internet gambling enforcement" legislation is signed.

    Her premise, when she called to interview me, was that "mainstream" affiliates might not be prepared for the extremely clever tactics used by gambling affiliates -- basically, those guys need to be really smart to succeed in the highly-competitive gambling affiliate space, so that when they move to other affiliate programs, they may bump out existing affiliates who aren't so clever. The article doesn't really continue that theme strongly, because the mainstream-affiliate people she spoke with didn't support it.

    She quotes me as saying that more affiliates would make things "a lot harder," which isn't really my attitude -- my concern was that more unethical affiliates would make things harder -- but otherwise it seems like a reasonable article.

    Her article, "Get Ready for the Big Gambling Affiliate Takeover," is now visible at http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3623671
    Last edited by markwelch; October 14th, 2006 at 01:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm not overly concerned. Mainstream AM is hard work, the payoffs aren't huge, and the market's already pretty competitive. I don't think the folks who do gambling are going to like their incomes much if they come over to mainstream. My best guess is they'll invade the porn market which I hear pays well.

  3. #3
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    The hardcore blackhats already hit every category under the sun and so do the BHO asshats, so what's different? The rest of the gaming guys will try other markets, and a lot of them are really good at web marketing, but that's the nature of the beast.

    Gaming affiliates are affiliates like the rest of us, it just happens that they got shafted and need to find new markets. I really don't like the us vs. them tone the article takes.
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  4. #4
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    It is all hard work as far as I am concerned. There is major competition in the porn market as well, and recent legislation created a greater hardship for adult webmasters. I will just keep working as hard as I need to and not go looking for something else to worry about. Work, not worry!

  5. #5
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADesertRose
    I will just keep working as hard as I need to and not go looking for something else to worry about. Work, not worry!
    Amen
    Peace,

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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Sure, there is going to be more affiliates in other verticals but I don't like the "tone" of the article. They make it sound like those affiliates not in the gambling area will soon be put out of business by these all-powerful gambling affiliates. Why does “The sky is falling” keep running through my head?

    To read that article, one would think that all gambling affiliates are super successful and will make a million dollars at whatever they do. If they move into computers, for example, they will own the computer market.

    They also seem to suggest that only gambling affiliates are good at SEO.
    Online gambling affiliates are accustomed to unrelenting SEO competition in the high-stakes game of driving traffic to online poker and casino sites. They are so skilled at what they do, believes Lesnick, "There's going to be a day of reckoning on the retail market; there will be a huge domino effect in affiliate marketing."
    Seems to me that many successful affiliates are masters at SEO. Heck, we have many of these masters here at ABW.

    Maybe those gambling affiliates don't stand much of a chance with ABWers? The gambling affiliates may not be able to compete outside of their market. Just because you're good at gambling doesn't necessarily mean you're good at everything else.

    If less-than-scrupulous affiliates do flood mainstream markets, affiliate program managers may have to raise alert levels. While in more mainstream markets rule enforcement is often based on the honor system, Welch said in the gambling space, "they tend to be very quick to shut off someone" using inappropriate techniques, because it’s a frequent problem. "In the 'legitimate' space, the policing for that tends to be slower," he said.
    Isn't this more of well managed programs vs poorly managed programs than it is gambling vs "mainstream"?
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  7. #7
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    All there is in this industry is tough, unrelenting, worldwide competition. Anyone who can't cope with it, has already left.

    There are a ton of people who try this because they think it's easy, fast money. From what I can tell they don't last long, or migrate to Adsense, and then get kicked out because they couldn't resist clicking their own ads.

    It will be interesting to watch and see what changes happen over the next few months. Wonder if we'll see huge "billion page" sites quickly try to take over niches or what.

    As for the article, I haven't ever read a mainstream press article that accurately portrayed the nuances affiliate marketing. Reporters obssess about one small part, and can't get their arms around the wonderful multi-dimensional, ever-changing zeitgeist of this biz.

    Lily

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClickZ Article
    If less-than-scrupulous affiliates do flood mainstream markets, affiliate program managers may have to raise alert levels. While in more mainstream markets rule enforcement is often based on the honor system, Welch said in the gambling space, "they tend to be very quick to shut off someone" using inappropriate techniques, because it’s a frequent problem. "In the 'legitimate' space, the policing for that tends to be slower," Welch said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    Isn't this more of well managed programs vs poorly managed programs than it is gambling vs "mainstream"?
    This was one spot where the reporter missed my point -- I was actually offering a warning to the gambling affiliates. I pointed out that because of pervasive fraud in the gambling (and porn) markets, many of those programs actively monitor and squash "improper" activity quickly, so that reckless affiliates learn quickly if their strategies are going to be accepted. In the more 'respected' markets, policing is not as aggressive, and therefore reckless affiliates may only learn a month or two later that they won't get paid.

    It's interesting to note that in the 'less respected' markets (gambling and porn), a higher portion of programs offer payment "faster and more frequently," in part because they aren't well-trusted by affiliates, but also partly because many affiliates need to quickly pay their PPC bills.

    Bottom line: I don't really think the "migration" of gambling affiliates will impact 90% of affiliates in the more 'respected' markets. I think the most likely impact will be on lead-based programs, not pay-per-sale programs, and that gambling affiliates used to high payouts will be quite disappointed by 99% of traditional affiliate opportunities.

  9. #9
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    Not concerned at all.

    This is one of those overhyped things, I think this article is bounced off a blog somebody else started. Because some were good with gambling programs they assume they're just going to come in and wipe the mainstream out? As if people making good money in the mainstream and mainstream niches don't know what they're doing and use the same tactics. Probably smarter because they didn't put their eggs all in one basket.

    "There's going to be a day of reckoning on the retail market; there will be a huge domino effect in affiliate marketing."

    Day of reckoning.

    Get Ready for the Big Gambling Affiliate Takeover

    Oh no, run for you lives. The Day of Reckoning Is Approaching.

    Just affiliates that were used to promoting one type of program, moving into promoting other types of programs. Not a big deal.

    Just wanted to add, that for anybody that thinks this kind of thing would have any noticeable affect doesn't really grasp how huge affiliate marketing is.

  10. #10
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    I'm a member of a very very popular Casino Affilaite forum and they started a thread asking what other affiliate industries they would tackle. Reatail AM wasn't even mentioned.

    They talked about, education, loans, dating, hosting, travel, porn...

  11. #11
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    One other Some of the high-volume gambling affiliates have invested substantial amounts of time on developing custom PPC-bidding and tracking software, so they can identify profitable vs. unprofitable bid levels for gambling keywords.

    If these folks re-tune their software to target traditional "affiliate/product" keywords, we can expect to find fewer PPC-arbitrage opportunities there.

    Currently, I manage my personal "affiliate PPC" campaigns at levels where I maintain a 100% ROI or better (that is, for every $100 I spend at Google AdWords, I want to see $200 in affiliate earnings, and I cap my bids at that level).

    As I mentioned in another thread, gambling-affiliate ROIs seem to be narrower (spending $750 to drive $1,000 in earnings, for example). If those folks migrate to product niches where I'm spending my own money on "affiliate PPC" campaigns, then I'll get pushed out -- because I won't spend the time required to optimize such small campaigns further.

    Some of these folks might also decide to peddle their software, either to other affiliates or (more likely) to merchants, who would then bid more efficiently on their keywords and then would be more likely to prohibit PPC bidding by affiliates.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Not concerned at all.

    .........

    Oh no, run for you lives. The Day of Reckoning Is Approaching.

    Just affiliates that were used to promoting one type of program, moving into promoting other types of programs. Not a big deal.

    Just wanted to add, that for anybody that thinks this kind of thing would have any noticeable affect doesn't really grasp how huge affiliate marketing is.
    What Trust said.

    Gambling, porn and drugs - a different world, would my local corner store or shopping mall be alarmed because a casino has closed down or a nearby unlicenced sex shop has shut?

    Maybe it's an opportunity - less places to piss money away means more money on legit products.

  13. #13
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    My best guess is they'll invade the porn market which I hear pays well.
    not for begginers it doesn't. A "good" conversion rate for adult is 1:500-800, for begginers it's in the thousands.

    Just wanted to add, that for anybody that thinks this kind of thing would have any noticeable affect doesn't really grasp how huge affiliate marketing is.
    excellent point Trust.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Hi-power gambling affiliates aren't suddenly going to start pushing broomsticks, baseball caps, or books.

    I expect a lot of them to move into the still legal forms of internet gambling.
    Things like fantasy football (which interestingly received an exemption) http://www.gambling911.com/NFL-Inter...ll-101106.html
    along with pay for play games of 'skill' (like solitaire, word games, etc.) which are all over the internet.

    These may become big areas of growth.. by picking up players who have played online
    poker and casino games previously.

  15. #15
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    Gambling Affiliates turn to Dating
    Obviously Gambling has been a very lucrative business for online gambling and with recent bans throughout the online Gambling industry. Affiliates, who have been making their fortunes gambling, have been looking in other directions to find a source of business equally lucrative to substitute as an alternative.

    Robert Fathers, the CEO of World Dating Partners, the largest social networking dating company worldwide says, “their has been an incredible upsurge with affiliates scrambling to own their own dating site with us, in order to equal the revenue that they used to earn in the gambling industry,” Further. “We have seen an incredible increase of over 100% in registrations with online gambling affiliates joining our system”.

    The expertise that they bring to the online dating and adult dating industry is very welcome and compete in a way that is making many experienced dating affiliates look tame in comparison.

    The dating industry has had its fair share of regulations imposed on the industry itself and sympathises with their predicament and we do all we can to help accommodate them into their new role in dating. In fact we are finding that on average ex-gambling affiliates are marking up over 50% more on average per month with their more diverse forms of marketing techniques and are finding extra benefits not seem before in their past with the benefits of recurring payments.

    We hope to see further significant increases in new partners to world-dating-partners.com as word gets around and hope that we can give them the support in a new industry. World Dating Partners have Partner earning over $3 million a year in the past and are quite confident that our new friends will pop that figure as soon as they get into the swing of how the dating industry works.

  16. #16
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I doubt that internet gambling is truly going away anyway. Where there is a will, a way will be found: and a large percentage of American citizens want the ability to gamble online.

    It might take a few months of Las Vegas excursions, but eventually enough congressmen will be coddled into finding a taxable compromise.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

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