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  1. #1
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    Affiliate Competing In Adwords Campaign
    Hello

    Iím having an issue and let me know what you think. Some of my prime keywords are steak brands, steak brand, steak branding iron & steak branding irons.

    I was checking an affiliate sale and it came in using Google and the term 'steak brand'. Now please keep in mind that my site has been 1 - 5 in the Adwords results for years now, never missing a beat.

    All of a sudden two separate affiliates are ranked number 1 for those terms and I'm nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact they are actually using www.steakbrands.com as their URL but the ads aren't mine
    Any idea at how to stop this immediately?

    I have no desire to do it but if they refuse to stop competing using MY domain name should I delete him as an affiliate?

    Best regards,
    David L.
    www.steakbrands.com

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    "Any idea at how to stop this immediately?"

    If you want it stopped, contact them and tell them to stop. If they don't listen, deactivate them. I checked your PPC terms, I would also put no TM bidding in them if that's what you want.

    "We will not allow the use of our list of PPC keywords using Google Adwords to be used to market our website. This is something that we can do on our own. We are running this affiliate program to find alternate ways to drive website traffic to our website. If it is found that you are competing against us to promote our own program your affiliate account with us will be terminated immedately."

    As far as that, you don't want affiliates bidding on stuff you sell? I don't know anything about what you sell but do other merchants sell that stuff too?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "Any idea at how to stop this immediately?"

    If you want it stopped, contact them and tell them to stop. If they don't listen, deactivate them.
    That's what I was thinking but I just wanted to make sure that I was following 'affiliate' protocol so as to not step on any toes.

    I've contacted one of them already. I'll see how it goes.

    Any other feedback would be appreciated as well.

    Best regards,
    David L.
    www.steakbrands.com

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    If you don't allow TM bidding or bidding on your list of keywords, do you allow any PPC at all? And if so, how would affiliates know what your list of keywords is?

    I was checking:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...branding+irons

    Would you allow bidding on something like that?

    The PPC terms are a little confusing.

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I always reference the program for STP when I explain to clients that they need to define what affiliates can and can't bid on. Make sure you indicate whether you allow direct bidding or not. Many top seach affiliates will not join your program if you do not allow direct bidding.

    On another note, if you can work out an agreement with affiliates to bid on the top terms you can push your competition out. We call it affiliate "scorched earth"!

  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by lal19541
    Some of my prime keywords are steak brands, steak brand, steak branding iron & steak branding irons.
    Let me ask you this...Who would you rather have those top spots? You and your affiliates or you and your competition?

    You have affiliates spending their own money to sell your products and you are complaining? I don't get it. You should be happy about this. You are still making the sale and not incurring the PPC costs. Why are you mad about this? This is the beauty of having an affiliate program.

    If you do not want to allow your affiliates to use your URL in a PPC campaign that is one thing and you can disallow that in your terms. But for you to be upset because your affiliates are being aggressive in promoting your products makes me wonder why you have an affiliate program.


  7. #7
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    I don't have much experience in doing PPC direct to merchants but I do know that Google may reject the ad if the display URL is not the same base URL as the actual one. I had that problem with the one test I did and then checked with the merchant that it was OK to use their URL as the display one.

    So, if you don't want people using your URL as the display, you might have to mention that in your terms.

    Just don't be surprised if you lose a lot of high powered affiliates that way ... and I don't mean myself by that.



    Sue.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    You have affiliates spending their own money to sell your products and you are complaining? I don't get it. You should be happy about this. You are still making the sale and not incurring the PPC costs. Why are you mad about this? This is the beauty of having an affiliate program.
    Exactly!

    I would run away from any program showing such cluelessness as to forbid bidding on any non-TM'd terms (although I can see keeping your DisplayURL for yourself). If you think you can do so well all by yourself that you don't want affiliates properly promoting your stuff, close your program.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    On another note, if you can work out an agreement with affiliates to bid on the top terms you can push your competition out. We call it affiliate "scorched earth"!
    Yes, that's more like it!

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    The question is, how do you work out the sharing between your affiliates?

    Do you reserve the highest bid for yourself in your TOS (so they can't outbid you)?

    Or do you share who has the top spots? Rotate it or something?

    This seems like a really interesting strategy, especially to force out the competition. How does it work from someone who has done it?
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    If you view your affiliates as your partners, and your competition as the folks you wish to outsell, then your affiliates bidding on the same key terms should not be an issue.

    If an affiliate has higher positioning in the SR's and it's your products they're promoting, embrace the success. In many instances, for what the affiliate paid to generate sales from the terms / bids, a merchant's profit would probably be higher than if s/he bid for the same position themselves.

    For the 30 years I owned and managed offline sales businesses, I never begrudged a sales person for succeeding in selling my products, whether it was predictive dialers or toll free pet id tags. Merchants who worry about affiliates having higher position in the SR's should re-examine their philosophy on having a sales force at all. I view EVERY sale we make in which we did not have an advertising cost as a victory - regardless of who got it!!
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I agree with that. I guess the question is, as a merchant who runs a PPC program, how do you split up the costs?

    I bid on keywords (my brand name, relavent keywords, etc...) just like everyone else. To avoid competition, there should be some division of labor right? I mean, really, I shouldn't bid on a keyword my affiliates are bidding on. However, a direct link to my site (as opposed to through an affiliate) might be better converting for me. Also, I might write better ads than my affiliates. All these things need to be taken into account.

    It seems if you are going to try the affiliate "scorched earth" method and fill up the paid listings with you and your affiliate's ads, then there should be some sort of co-ordination between everyone. Does any merchant here do this? Do you send out emails saying "this week, bid on these keywords and we'll bid on some others" or something like that?
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    You have affiliates spending their own money to sell your products and you are complaining? I don't get it. You should be happy about this. You are still making the sale and not incurring the PPC costs. Why are you mad about this? This is the beauty of having an affiliate program.
    UncleScooter

    Great point, I hadn't even considered this. I knew there was a reason why I posted this question. I have a lot to learn about affiliate programs especially as a merchant.

    Thank you for everyone's reply.

    Best regards,
    David L.
    www.steakbrands.com

  13. #13
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    UncleScooter

    Great point, I hadn't even considered this. I knew there was a reason why I posted this question. I have a lot to learn about affiliate programs especially as a merchant.

    Thank you for everyone's reply.
    David, I'm not a PPC affiliate so this issue doesn't concern me, but it's "heart-warming" and encouraging to see a merchant admit they've still got stuff they need to learn, and also to so graciously accept, absorb and acknowledge feedback from affiliate partners - or potential partners.

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