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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    Unhappy Cut this affiliate off?
    We have discovered an affiliate that is doing a little typo squatting.

    In doing an IP search through likshare, I realized that the affiliate site in his information is not that actual site that is driving traffic.

    They were able to purchase a domain that is a misspelling of ours. This page is all sponsored links, some of them our competitors...

    My question is, does this affiliate have any control over what is on that page, as far as specific merchants?

    If not, then he's double dipping. I know that this "type squatting" isn't considered good practice in general, but what do ya'll as affiliateís thing. My director is tempted to hold out a while, but i say he/she's double dipping... and although we love to see the # of sales he's bringing, they arenít actually qualified sales!

    Pardon our naivety, we are new to the affiliate marketing world, and are working hard to create an honest and fair program!

  2. #2
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Double dipping? What do you mean? And how are their sales not qualified?
    Is there a place at Linkshare for additional sites, many affiliates have multiple sites that they play links on. And do you mean sponsored as in google ads...they are served via relevent keywords on the page.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    Well thats what i mean... It seems to be that this affiliate is also getting paid by google for those links.

    There is no content of any kind on this site, the only way that a customer would have to find it, would to be to accidentally miss spell the URL when they are typing in ours...

    They were already going directly to our site, but were sent to the affiliate site because of the typo, and then just clicked on the sponsored link.

    But, if the affiliate has control of which other merchants are on the site, then we probably want to be on this page because we dont want customers to click on competitor merchants... and in that case we'd want the affiliate to promote us.

  4. #4
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Ok, maybe I am not understanding...are they a current affiliate of yours who is promoting you on this typo site as well as using google ads, where I am assuming you are using PPC? Not seeing the double dipping, many affiliates have google ads and merchant links and many have almost no content on their site, it is not that uncommon. Guess I am a little slow on the uptake today, I am not quite getting the full gist of your concern?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    Desert rose, can you email me?

    Affiliate @ MotoSport.com

    I'd like to pick your brain if you dont mind

  6. #6
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    My guess is the affiliate doesn't own the typosite. I'd say the affiliate is buying advertising from Goog and someone who mistyped the name saw their ad.

    So if you dump the affiliate they won't buy ads to promote your site. And next time someone types it wrong they won't see that person's ad. Unless that person starts promoting your competition.

    You can ask the affiliate. If you know how to contact them.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    yes, that makes more sense... It does seem unlikely he owns multiple misspellings of our name.

    I'll contact the affiliate.

    But, how come those sites are coming up on the IP report from LInkshare. If they are google sponsored links, how can they also be affiliate links?

    Now i think im getting myself real confused.

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    if it's a mispelling of your name, reverse his orders (don't pay him) and have your attorney threaten to UDRP him.

    an example mispelling UDRP article:
    http://www.rivkinradler.com/rivkinra...409Lewis.shtml

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    Well, that was my first reaction honestly...

  10. #10
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotoMerchant
    yes, that makes more sense... It does seem unlikely he owns multiple misspellings of our name.

    I'll contact the affiliate.

    But, how come those sites are coming up on the IP report from LInkshare. If they are google sponsored links, how can they also be affiliate links?

    Now i think im getting myself real confused.
    I would assume the IP report tells the page the customer clicked from. If the ad was on the typo page that's what you'll see. If your affiliate bought an ad on that page (without knowing what page it would show up on, most likely) they put their affiliate info in the ad.

    The affiliate pays google, google pays the typo squatter, you pay the affiliate, the customer pays you. Everyone gets paid.

    Does that help, or are you even more confused now?
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    Just take the domain for yourself. I'm not sure why merchants don't do that with anybody who does this.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    Okay.. Yes. makes sense. Thanks. Haha.

    BUT, SAY that the affiliate did own that site... he would be getting paid by google, and by us.. thats what i meant by double dipping.

    And yeah, Ive already fired off an email to my director of ecommerce, why we havent taken more of these domains.

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Typosquatting is something I don't see myself allowing.

    But since your terms apparently didn't/don't prohibit it, they should be paid for sales up to this point. You left a loophole, they found it--don't be a sore loser and retroactively apply penalties.
    HOWEVER, you should change your terms to ban any future typosquatting (and, at the same time, inform this affiliate of the change--and that they will have to stop). THEN if they keep it up, you'll have good grounds for reversing.

    But, what you describe sounds like some kind of a domain-park page. Is the whois info hidden or bogus? If not, then that's the first place to look...compare it with a site you *know* belongs to the aff (for instance one that he/she declared in the network interface) and see if they're either the same or "awfully similar."

    If it's NOT their site, then what they need to do is stop their ads from showing on it. This may be as simple as them going into their AdWords account and disallowing the "content network" from showing the ads they use to promote you. No drastic measures should be needed if they're just using AdWords, unless they're pigheaded and run them despite your prohibition...

    (Opens SAS in the other window to change my own Terms just in case someone gets some "bright" idea!)

    Oh btw, it's not "double dipping" to get paid by more than one merchant (or you and AdSense), unless you had an exclusivity agreement!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Is is somthing that resembles this?
    http://www.auckland.com/

    not the same template but more or less the same format?

    I am as confused as the other guys on there
    LoL

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The affiliate might not even be aware that they're getting traffic from there. They're probably just bidding through Google and Google includes sites like that in their "Search Network". I know I've looked through some of my Google referrers and some of them are typosquatters.

    Your best bet would be to have your legal team go after the actual typosquatter. They're the one infringing on your copyright. Google and your affiliate are relatively innocent compared to the typosquatter.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotoMerchant
    Okay.. Yes. makes sense. Thanks. Haha.

    BUT, SAY that the affiliate did own that site... he would be getting paid by google, and by us.. thats what i meant by double dipping.
    How would he get paid by google unless he has google adsense on his site and I don't think you should concern about that.

  17. #17
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Thanks for sending me the URL.

    Question
    how much are you willing to spend to get that domain. If you guys retain some lawyers, just ask them to send a letter to the person to cease and decease.

    You have 2 problems here. Misspelled domain issue.

    1) Somebody bought a domain that is close or resembles your domain.
    2) The person is not making money off you as affiliate but more of a PPC

    Not disclosing the domain, I will use Amazon.com
    Somebody bought Amaxon.com (mistyped).
    He/she is making $$ via PPC via Google.

    The person who is bidding on G is bidding "motosports" or something along that line. That made him show up on that website

    Here is what I discovered and maybe somebody can correct my theory

    This is the link on that website that you sent to me

    pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/BLAH_BLAH_BLAH&adurl=http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/_SITE_CODE_REMOVED

    Contact google, they might be able to unplug the domain issue
    Do a whois, get your lawyer to send a C&D letter
    Get your affiliate not to bid on your trademark or have description that looks like they are the merchant.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    Okay, well I appreciate everyoneís advice.

    I donít want to make some big stink about it and act all high and mighty in contacting the affiliate and "demanding" he do something different when its obvious Iím not even sure what he's really do. Iíve already contacted him just asking him where the links are placed... (I am unable to locate any for us on his given affiliate site)

    The thing that is strange, and made me wonder is that so far this month, his site is 43% of our sales... a fairly high number. Something just seemed suspicious.

    More than anything, we donít want to be accusatory, so Iíd like to give our affiliates the benefit of the doubt... initially anyway.

    Thanks again guys.

  19. #19
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    That affiliate is driving sales via PPC which includes google

    The cybersquatter is making his money from google.

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    since your terms apparently didn't/don't prohibit it,
    Leader raises the main point here, LinkShare allows you to define your own terms to the fullest extent, if you have not stated that domain squatting is not allowed then you are obliged to pay this affiliate for all sales through to the time you change your Terms and Conditions to state that they can not do it.

    Simply not paying the affiliate based on a realization that you don't want people doing this is not right at all.

    Change your T&C, inform your affiliate partners and then enforce.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    Are you really willing to risk 43 percent of your revenues?

    If this source disappears tomorrow, will you automatically replace them with your own website or PPC bidding? Can you afford to purchase all "near" misspellings?

    I'm not a merchant, but I would think about how unique my url concept is and how many competitors are out there with similar sounding websites.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    Uhh... might I suggest you contact the affiliate before posting about them on a forum? And there is no need to "act all high and mighty in contacting the affiliate and "demanding" he do something different ", you could try talking to them like a person and just ask whats going on?

    Or we could all sit here and keep wildly guessing at what is going on and you can make an impact to your bottom line and possibly harm an honest affiliate based on those guesses.

    Chet

  23. #23
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    More than anything, we donít want to be accusatory, so Iíd like to give our affiliates the benefit of the doubt... initially anyway.
    So contact the affiliate to congratulate them about making so much sales and raise the question. They will most likely educate you on finding something your company over looked. I recommend working with them instead of threatening them.

    And don't get arrogant that they are getting sales that should have come to you anyway. I get tired of the company bull that they own everything in the world. Just like Anheuser-Busch going after every domain with the word beer in it. They lost on that one!

  24. #24
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    The thing that is strange, and made me wonder is that so far this month, his site is 43% of our sales... a fairly high number. Something just seemed suspicious.
    Well,.......

    If his site is not related to eŖates or some other similar thing!

    WTH are you complaining about?
    ...

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