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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Ouch That Hurts!
    So I compared the cost of one of my google compaings for an exact phrase keyword match against the commissions for this one merchant on Linkshare. OUCH! Looks like I need to re-evaluate.


    From June 1 - June 21:

    Linkshare....
    Commission: $40.64

    GoogleAdwords....
    Cost: $50.78
    Quality Score: Great Minimum bid: $0.05
    Clicks: 152
    Impressions: 3138
    CTR: 4.84%
    Avg. CPC: $0.33
    Avg Pos: 4.4

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Just lower what you're paying per click. Volume might be lower but over time you might be making a profit.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    It is possible you may have been RAPED by an adware company somewhere during the process.

  4. #4
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    It is possible you may have been RAPED by an adware company somewhere during the process.
    What does that mean and is there some way to determine if that is the case?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Spend some time here http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=161

    There are ways to determine what happens with a merchants traffic but it is not cheap.

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    "LinkShare" is what tipped me off.

  7. #7
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    What's wrong with LinkShare specifically? Are they more accepting of parasites than other networks, and thus PPC marketers can take a big hit with these LS merchants?

  8. #8
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Given things these days, I wouldn't doubt other adwords advertisers have found a way to click competitors ads, thereby helping them to reach their daily max. Maybe I am just a cynic.

  9. #9
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Supposedly Google, Yahoo and MSN filter out these fraudulent clicks. Their systems are supposed to detect the profile of these kinds of clicks automatically. I'm sure that one-time clicks of ads by your competitors are not filtered out, but multiple clicks hopefully are. I think that especially in Google's case the technology to keep fraudulent clicks at bay is improving, but it's certainly not perfect. As for MSN, my conversion is pretty good and they assure me that they filter fraudulent clicks as well. With Yahoo, who knows. They say they have anti-fraud measures in place too. I haven't made any sales with them recently. I'm pretty close to just turning off my Y campaigns.

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacedog
    What's wrong with LinkShare specifically? Are they more accepting of parasites than other networks, and thus PPC marketers can take a big hit with these LS merchants?
    Yes, that's my view of things. But, like CJ, there are exceptions where the individual merchant is smart and doesn't fall for the network's lies and half truths. When Angel D was managing OnlineShoes, they were a shining example. They still might be, I haven't checked. There's got to be more, but my only known and tested example of late was OnlineShoes. When the odds have shown me that the likelihood is very small, I don't feel it's my job to test to try and locate those ones that aren't screwing me (through ignorance or worse) - so I do zero ppc for any LinkShare merchants. In fact, currently, I am not actively promoting any LS merchants at all. My stance is more ardent than most, so test, try, measure, rinse, lather, repeat - but rest assured if we compared equal efforts and talents and tactics, I'll get further faster with my "avoid saltwater swamps, that's where quicksand is found" navigation.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You guys seemed to have veered off into talking about click fraud... That has almost nothing to do with LinkShare (although click fraud is more likely with larger name brand merchants, which is LinkShare's area of concentration). Competitor's click fraud is so small in scale at G, Y, M (especially at G), even with large merchants, it shouldn't doom any effort. It exists, but is something I don't worry about for a minute as I pursue merchant selection, network selection, etc.
    Last edited by Donuts; June 25th, 2007 at 12:31 PM. Reason: addressing click fraud diversion

  11. #11
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Just to add some more data.....

    Linkshare:

    Merchant A
    ClickThroughs - 289
    # Orders - 8
    O/C(%) - 2.77%

    So only 2% of customers that I drove to this merchant actually made a sale. Ooooof!

  12. #12
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Actually, a 2.77% conversion rate can be pretty damned good depending on what market you're bidding in, and how much you're spending on PPC. I have campaigns with conversion rate far lower than 1% that are still profitable utilizing PPC. But those are rare. I'd love to have several steady 2-3% CR campaigns. I also have some insane 10%+ CR campaigns, but those are REALLY rare and sadly aren't high volume.

  13. #13
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    The part that bothers me is that I don't know if the 97.2% of the customers that didn't convert was due to lack of a customer purchase or some other tracking related issue.

  14. #14
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacedog
    Actually, a 2.77% conversion rate can be pretty damned good depending on what market you're bidding in, and how much you're spending on PPC.
    I concur with that. Keep tweaking.

  15. #15
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    That's all part of the affiliate game: uncertainty is the big entropy factor. You have to learn what to trust and what not to trust, and you start to see what's happening with your campaigns as you get better and more experienced. If you suspect tracking problems, get in touch with the merchant and test it. If your campaign isn't working, tweak the ad text, bids, and landing pages. Go through the entire process yourself, from search engine ad to landing page through aff links to merchant, to the product order page and so on. Make sure you didn't miss something or screw up the code in an aff link, for example.

    When a campaign has been up for a while you'll start to see what kind of conversion rate to expect, and you can adjust your PPC bids accordingly. Don't let it get out of hand though, of course. Some PPCers say drop it if you've incurred as high as 200% in PPC costs of the expected average commission amount without making a sale. Some say 500%, or even just 100%. It depends how much you care to risk and how confident you are that the merchant is reputable and has a product line that has promise of selling. PPC is tough! No doubt about it.

    Conversion rates between 2% and 5% are generally considered good, by the way. Again, it's all relative to what you're spending and the product line, marketability, right season of the year for the product to sell, etc etc.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    The part that bothers me is that I don't know if the 97.2% of the customers that didn't convert was due to lack of a customer purchase or some other tracking related issue.
    Just to throw out another consideration; the merchants site may have something to do with your conversion concern. Site and traffic mix type thing. Don't know what products you are hawking for them, so it's hard to say, but if for instance you are advertising "discount jewelry" and the merchant site you send them to is Cartier, the traffic may not be a fit.

    Either way, 2.7 is respectable, so tweak away.
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