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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Conduit Connect - Free Toolbar Builder
    This company appeared as a new merchant on CJ on 4/12. I sent them an email that day to the email address listed on the CJ Advertiser Detail page:
    Since your website indicates that you do not use adware/spyware, etc., how do you generate income for your business?
    After receiving no reply, I sent a followup on 4/18. Still no reply.

    As an affiliate, I have a right to know about a business I would be advertising on my site, especially when it involves a download.

    I can't imagine why a company would go to the expense of setting up an affiliate program and then ignore a potential affiliate who has a reasonable question.

  2. #2

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    I think we are all suspicious of any "toolbar" advertiser. This one is no exception. The moment I saw them on CJ's new advertiser list I though of ABW and all the discussions here about such advertisers.

  3. #3
    Full Member kea12345678's Avatar
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    I emailed them too. Their program doesn't make sense. They compensate for Downloads, but the landing page takes you to the Toolbar builder, so no one can even download anything.

    My feeling is tha the only thing they are doing on CJ is promoting their service to webmasters. They are not interested in making any sales or generating revenue for publishers.

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    This really makes you wonder about what, if any, criteria CJ uses in evaluating potential merchants.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Maybe you're supposed to make a custom one, and then they pay for all the copies of it you can get people to download?

    Yep, looks like it:
    Quote Originally Posted by Their CJ profile spin
    Since we started, more than 130,000 website publishers have built community toolbars via our free online platform. Collectively, they’ve attracted some 6 million end users to download the toolbars,
    So you'd likely be building the bar and then getting your users to download it.

    HMM, there's got to be SOMEthing in it for them...other than just spreading the thing around for the sake of it, that is. If they're not just hoping to make some money off that G-search (via AdSense or whatever the toolbar-allowing version would be called)...then HMMMM...

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Not sure exactly what their terms mean, but it seems like they pay for every person who downloads their toolbar customization program. As for how they make their money from the toolbar without the use of adware/spyware, their site lists this:

    Funded by Search Results
    Conduit earns revenue by monetizing the search box on the toolbar. When users click a "sponsored web result" on the search results page after searching with your toolbar, a portion of the ad revenue generated by the search engine is shared with Conduit. This revenue funds our operation and lets us provide an excellent service free of charge.
    From some searching, it seems like anonymous usage statistics (logs of sites visited?) may also be sent to them, but that's not much of a surprise these days, since even Google is doing that now without the use of a toolbar...

  7. #7
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    i searched around their site and the answer maybe is the following

    ===quote===
    Why is Conduit Free?

    We are often asked how we provide such great service completely free.

    Conduit earns revenue by monetizing the search box on the toolbar. When you click a "sponsored web result" on the search results page after searching with your toolbar, a portion of the ad revenue generated by the search engine is shared with Conduit. This revenue funds our operation and lets us provide an excellent service free of charge.

    http://www.conduit.com/Solutions/WhyFree.aspx

    ===unquote===

  8. #8
    Full Member kea12345678's Avatar
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    So you'd likely be building the bar and then getting your users to download it.
    Yes, but there is actually no way to track the downloads. Therein, lies the problems. Their revenue is derived from Google and some other monetizations.

    I've asked for clarification from them, a while ago, no response.

    My interpretation of the program right now is you get a dollar when a webmaster creates a toolbar, but there is no mechanism to track anything after that.

  9. #9
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    I don't know that we'll even get the dollar for a webmaster created toolbar, I am fairly certain someone I know created one from my link and I have yet to see even a hit show up for the program. Not sure what exactly will be triggering commissions if anything.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KGP
    ===quote===
    Why is Conduit Free?

    We are often asked how we provide such great service completely free.

    Conduit earns revenue by monetizing the search box on the toolbar. When you click a "sponsored web result" on the search results page after searching with your toolbar, a portion of the ad revenue generated by the search engine is shared with Conduit. This revenue funds our operation and lets us provide an excellent service free of charge.

    http://www.conduit.com/Solutions/WhyFree.aspx

    ===unquote===
    There is no way they could survive if this was their only source of income. I can only assume, by their lack of response to potential affiliates, that they are engaging in some sort of shady tactics. You just don't start an affiliate program and then ignore the person who would be sending you business.

  11. #11
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Does it automatically upgrade when a new version is released?

  12. #12
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    snowman i dont honestly know what they are up to... but no response at all is alarming

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Is it really news that a merchant is ignoring emails? Zecco has sent me recruiting emails asking for my phone number to speak about promoting them. I applied to the program, replied to the email with my contact info, and was told that they'd have someone call me soon. Not only do I not receive a call, but my application sits in the pending phase, and they email me a few more times to tell me that "they like my website" and to give them my contact info... Too much effort for me to go through for their recruiting effort.

    Programs managed directly by CJ also have an alarmingly high rate of ignoring publishers... why do merchants even pay CJ to manage their programs?

  14. #14
    Full Member kea12345678's Avatar
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    There is no way they could survive if this was their only source of income
    I disagree. If they created a Toolbar and are basically doing revenue sharing based on Google ads with Google search results, they could make plenty of money. I mean, that is like saying that Google could not survive if all they got in terms of income from was those little ads at the side of the page, or the idea webmasters making comofrtable livings with just Adsense.

  15. #15

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    A new merchant ignoring e-mails? Isn't that classic.

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