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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 22nd, 2007
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    Google/MSN/Yahoo Display URL's Question
    I have recently found a few Affiliates who use our display URL on Google/Yahoo/MSN so that it looks like a direct link to our site. I was wondering what your practices were in regards to this.
    A client may think they are clicking a link directly to our site but instead are going through the Affiliate link.
    Would you have them remove your display URL and have them put something more along the lines of their own sites or just pull your own ads and let the Affiliates barter for them?

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    it's up to the merchant to choose to allow direct to merchant (dtm) ppc or not, usually it's related to who in-house is running their ppc and what their ego/results ratio is. if it's high, then they'll feel threatened or hurt by competing with their own affiliates for ppc ad share - even if the numbers that result mean the merchant sells more and has higher margins and less risk themselves. so from this side of the fence, the question is... do you want sales and profits to be maximized -or- does your ppc team need protection from competition that may expose them to be doing less than optimum? the merchant should have advantages in data and data collection systems in-house, as well as higher margins and more industry knowledge... what ppc affs have is hunger and experience - they only get paid when they sell something and have managed to do that well enough to do it for a living...

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 22nd, 2007
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    I can definitely see both sides of the argument. It just seems that if a affiliate is using our url then they are not actually trying to promote business but simply taking from the cookie jar that has already been established.
    For example, If the company is XXXX.com then the affiliates ad is for XXX.com and the displayed url for that ad is www.XXXX.com Then people who search for XXXX.com are already looking for the merchants site and clicking the link because they believe it to be the sites link, and are not just searching for a certain consumable to buy.
    I'll have to give this some thought and see where we are going to end up.
    I don't have any problem on competing for ppc with affiliates, but I don't particularly like the idea of competing for our own name.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Above, i wasn't referring to trademark or domain name bidding - your post did not say that those searches you found were for your trademark / company / domain name.

    While tm bidding is a subset of dtm ppc, the merchant can set policies against and police affiliates who bid on terms that are decided to be made unavailable to the affiliates.

    I've seen varying stats on what the % is and it seems to have grown beyond 50% about a year ago and is now in the ~60% range (where nearly two thirds of merchants don't allow trademark bidding). I believe it's leveled off and the rise to ~60% range was the result of an increased awareness then of what tm-only affiliates were doing.

    In any case, there are plenty of legit reasons to go either way - allowing tm bidding or not.

    If i were a merchant (I have been one and have been / am a consultant to them now), i'd say one thing is clear... if you allow tm bidding and affs show up and that's all that they do, boot them. Find someone who is interested in value, their value, as an affiliate business partner. If you decide to allow them to pick the lower hanging fruit, they need to reciprocate by reaching for the higher stuff too.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 22nd, 2007
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    Yea I'm famous for throwing out an idea or remark that is only about 20% of what I intended it to be. I should have been more clear.
    Good times though.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 22nd, 2007
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    So I ask a couple affiliates to please remove the TicketZoom display url ads from search engines and most are quick to comply. However I have one who decides he is going to mask his links instead.
    So I settle in, take aim and Boom Headshot!
    Gotta love SAS!

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Excellent. I bet I know who this a$$wipe is. There's a handful of them and it's all the same shitake. Tm poaching is all they do. They need to work on some actual skills if they plan to make it over the long haul. Lazy bastages.

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    April 5th, 2005
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    There is another play possible: allow your affiliates to use the trade name in their display ads. This is done to drive out competitors in the paid ads. To do this you form an agreement with the affiliate to not bid above your ad. Increasingly, big names like Ebay, Amazon, McAfee are bidding on trade names just to increase their brand awareness.

    For trade mark restricted merchants that I run I see 10-15 competitive ads. That give competitors ample chance to take away those sales. We believe that affiliates are paid at a set ROI and the added cost far outweighs any increase in bid costs.

    I allow affiliates to direct link when possible too as I know they enjoy the higher conversion. They do find out that the Google Quality Score will take effect so will need to offer something of value. Otherwise, their ads will erode in conversion.

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