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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Affiliates with unqualified traffic...
    What do you do about (if anything) affiliates who are sending "junk" traffic? By that I mean affiliates who use traffic generators like Traffic Swarm, Hit Safari, Traffic G, and so on where the traffic is totally unqualified and has little chance of conversion.

  2. #2
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    what do you mean? Are you a lead generating merchant who pays per lead?

    If so, you may want to write to them and work with them on ways to get very targeted traffic, or you can always give them the boot if there are no alternatives.

    If you payout on sales only and it is just a ton of traffic heading to your site, I don't think it is going to hurt you any. Unless you are in CJ and rely solely on a high EPC to recruit affiliates.

    If the traffic does not hurt you, or slow your site down too much, then I'd say let them stay.

    If it is causing you damage, then approach them and if they do not work to drive more relevant traffic, and they continue to hurt you; Give them the boot.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    i'd approach them and dialog a little, but be ready to boot them - the resources they take up aren't worth it, their ignorance or lack of morals means they'll likely be bad partners for a long while if they don't respond well (and fast) to your dialog and you may be part of legitimizing click fraud depending on the tactics being used (the hidden costs here could be staggering if uncovered publically or in a court of law later).

    and keep in mind that those traffic sources are often cover for high-converting thievery - so if they have sales to go with that traffic referrals from those places, you've got a serious problem. affs that can book appreciable sales know that traffic is complete horse hockey...

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
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    What Donuts said, especially the part about them using this traffic to lower their ridiculously high conversion stats because they are using Zango or something similar to snipe your cart.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Thanks Liquidate, Donuts and Uncle Scooter. That's basically how I felt but I know giving affiliates "the boot" is a touchy subject so I appreciate your expert opinions.

  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
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    If someone is sending you totally unqualified traffic, booting them is the right thing to do. Any time someone sends junk traffic, they are up to no good on some way shape or form.

    If everyone else's traffic converts at an aggregate of say 3% and one affiliate is driving boat loads of traffic that is converting at .25% or not at all, chances are that affiliate is either stuffing cookies somehow or is targetting the merchant's site with adware. In this case, all this affiliate is doing is A) killing your stats and B) overwriting cookies of your legit affiliates.

    That being said, I did once have an incident where a bot got on one of my sites and sent 40,000 clicks to a single merchant in one day. In contacted the merchant and alerted them. Since I was proactive about it they had absolutely no problem with it. So you might contact the affiliate and ask them if such an incident has happened.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    So UncleScooter you think these folks are more than just clueless? I think many are so desparate they fall for the traffic exchange BS and just don't realize there's a difference between qualified traffic and junk traffic that is just wasting their money and the merchant's bandwidth.

  8. #8
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    That could be Rick. My opinion of that is that if they are a clueless affiliate would they really be spending money to drive traffic? I could be wrong but that isn't the way I think.

    You will no doubt have to take this on a case by case basis and either educate them or dump them. My guess is that if you reach out to them in an effort to work with them and get no reply, it is time to use the dump button. That is how I would do it if I were in your shoes.

    As for getting a bad reputation for removing affiliates, there is a big difference in someone being in your program and not being active and someone sending unqualified junk traffic. Inactive affiliates have zero effect on your stats and should be considered one of your best recruiting sources.


  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Scott (I never knew your name before) thanks for your knowledgeable and "right-on" analysis. I tend agree but having your input helps a lot.

    I think it's often easy to "throw the baby out with the bath water" so as you suggest I need to take this on a case-by-case basis and try to learn what the real intention is underneath each approach. Part of me hopes that you are wrong and that most affiliates are not really sinister but just misguided. Time will tell.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    People have been kicked out of Adsense for those traffic models, mostly they're up to no good. One signed up for an account using his girl friend's name after his own account was disabled.

    Mr. Brilliance had one of his sites in his forum profile when he posted asking if it was OK, easily traceable to a bunch of other sites in his network, and he also did a post clearly telling what he'd been doing on another forum, easily found with a Google search.

    Many of those folks are not quite the brightest bulbs in the hardware store.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    I think it depends...

    Mostly I say get rid of them. It is just not worth it.

    However, it cannot hurt to talk to them. Temporarily deactivate them and discuss it with them.

    There are SOME who genuinely do not mean harm. Some of their traffic is from Google, Yahoo, etc.

    I think the biggest differentiators are if it is their only traffic source, if it is new to them, and also if you have spoken with them in the past.

    A lot of it is just a judgment call and a gut feeling.

    Hope that helps.
    Matt McWilliams
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  12. #12
    Dream Cruise megatonloh's Avatar
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    Sometimes this type of question can really frighten affiliates especially the newbies who unknowingly are trying to get into the affiliate business but truely not knowing how too.

    Many new affiliates or the still learning affiliates usually are waylead by the many so call traffic generators for results.

    When I started the online business a few years back, not knowing whether I am doing the right thing or not and keep searching for answers which usually landed me with the traffic generators. I did try using some of them but after seeing no real results, continue to search for other means on how to get real results doing affiliate marketing.

    I would say that AM/OPM/Merchants should verify like UncleScooter mention on a case by case basis. Some are genuine, hardworking affiliates but have no inkling that they are doing something wrong. If they are lucky like us to have found ABW sooner, then this type of problem will be much reduced.


    Thanks
    Richard

  13. #13
    Dream Cruise megatonloh's Avatar
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    Rick,
    I am an affiliate of your program.
    I did make a few sales a few years back but at that time does not know how to check tracking, wonder if some of those came from the traffic generators?


    Thanks
    Richard

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    From my experience, most of the affiliates in my programs who used this were honest, hard working, affiliates who just chose a bad marketing method.

    When nicely asked to stop using them, they promptly complied-all but one of them. Three attempts to contact this affiliate got no response so they had to be removed. I was hoping to hear from them after removing them but never did.

    To new affiliates, it sounds like a great idea so I can understand the attraction. Give them the benefit of the doubt, as a partner they deserve this.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  15. #15
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