Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    To Merchants: Quality of affiliates
    Do any merchants tend to find the quality of the majority of affiliate sites applying to Linkshare affiliate programs to be extremely poor? I've consulted on affiliate programs in Linkshare, CJ, and a few smaller networks, and the majority of Linkshare applicants are "XXXXX's Online Mall" crap sites that look like they were designed in 1997. I think it's time for Linkshare to start culling accounts after 6 months of sales (like CJ does - It keeps the network much cleaner), and to ban template e-mall sites (such as [REMOVED], and all of the accounts that the company sells on that domain) from the network.

    I also believe that a system that ranks affiliates by earnings is needed, just as CJ has. Though I believe that Linkshare has a noble goal of making all affiliates seem equal in the network (it is due to that, not just crappy coding, right?), it makes it extremely hard for merchants to determine the real quality of affiliates applying to the program, especially with the general poor website quality.

    Oh yeah, and the interface needs a big usability update, but I've ranted enough about that before.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; July 2nd, 2007 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Removed Referenced Affiliate Site

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    Ya know, I have one of those crap sites that looks like it was designed in 1997. It gets no traffic and looks like crap. I also have some sites that look great and generate millions a year in sales.
    Unfortunately, Linkshare's interface is so hard to understand and so screwed up, most of my merchants look at my crap site because it somehow shows as my site for my account. I have added others but have no clue really how to change this. I have spoken with Linkshare about it, but a company who can't verify my corporation and my personal information hasn't been much help in teaching me how to use their interface with multiple sites.
    So don't be so quick to think affiliates, like the link you posted above that you SHOULD NOT HAVE POSTED, are operating only that site. They could be as confused as to how Linkshare's interface works as I am. Those affiliates might have much better and more productive sites.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Some merchants prefer quantity to quality. I would tend to agree with you, though. Although I disagree with merchants deleting inactive affiliates, I think it's acceptable (and perhaps even productive) for a network to do so.

    P.S. I removed the affiliate reference from your post. You're not allowed to out affiliates, even ones with site so awful that they've probably never had a sale. (Are you still an affiliate even if you never generate a sale?)
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Joshua, you need to be less harsh on your affiliates. Yes, there are bad sites in Linkshare, and in all networks. However, as pointed out by Uncle Scooter, you aren't seeing everywhere your affiliates are promoting you.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    FYI - the link that I posted was not an affiliate link. This was a demo page from the company that sells these packages.

    loxly - The issue with Linkshare is that publishers cannot list multiple websites (as in CJ) and merchants cannot judge if affiliates these affiliates listed an old/broken website but drive legitimate traffic from other sites. CJ also allows users to easily specify what promotional methods they will be using (such as websites, email, search, and software) while Linkshare does not (at least not easily). If you've ever been in both systems, you'll immediately notice a difference & realize how user-friendly CJ is when compared with LS.

    LS may be more powerful (more reporting tools, IP reports, etc...) but it is much less user friendly - both for merchants and affiliates. I've complained about these issues directly to LS & after not seeing any changes, decided to air the complaints publicly. It's not that I don't like LS - I'm bringing these points up so that I can help LS become more successful, so merchants like those that I work with can be more successful, as well.

  6. #6
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 27th, 2007
    Location
    Lower Left Coast
    Posts
    1,167
    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    They could be as confused as to how Linkshare's interface works as I am. Those affiliates might have much better and more productive sites.
    Same boat. I only use what I need to use, learn what I need to learn. I learned that adding another site in LS meant having to reapply to the same merchants again. Screw that, it's makework for me and the merchant. I can use links on any site as long as it's in TOS, then why list more than 1 (besides tracking). At least Cj has a leg up on them there.

    Some people might keep those sites from 97 for nostalgia.

  7. #7
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    Linkshare apparently does not listen to anyone. There have been countless threads here over the years with suggestions, complaints and ideas of all kinds. They continue to do things like they want to and disregard those who try to help them be better.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    On a slightly off-topic note, Yahoo had an internship this summer dedicated to a student studying Yahoo Search Marketing & Google AdWords and making changes/recommendations about what they thought the best features of both systems were (to implement in Yahoo of course), so maybe Linkshare should hire some inexpensive student labor to do the same (comparing LS to CJ, Performics, etc.)

  9. #9
    Tax Paying Member
    Join Date
    November 14th, 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,119
    Why don't we all make our sites look and feel exactly alike? While we are at it maybe we can do the same for brick and mortar stores. Now should we do the Wall Mart style or should we pick the BestBuy image?

    Who is to determine which store front looks like crap and which one produces?
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    When all that is on many websites is simply tons and tons of Linkshare banners without any content or real organization, that's what I consider poor quality.

    Merchants don't always look for sites that will produce, but will at least portray the brand in a positive light.

  11. #11
    Full Member
    Join Date
    September 30th, 2005
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    180
    UncleScooter I am in the same situation as you.
    I keep My original site only because its registered as main site.
    I belive that merchants have access to the generating site?
    In fact this is a big question of mine. Do they now the exact site from where they get the sales?
    [URL=http://www.pexcornel.com]Pexcornel blog[/URL]

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 30th, 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    893
    UncleScooter

    This post explains how to change the primary site at Linkshare:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...6&postcount=12

    I was nervous to try it (because I didn't want to "screw up" my account) but it did work! After changing the primary website in my profile, I applied and was accepted to a merchant that had turned me down twice before.

  13. #13
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 27th, 2007
    Location
    Lower Left Coast
    Posts
    1,167
    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM
    This post explains how to change the primary site at Linkshare:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...6&postcount=12

    I was nervous to try it (because I didn't want to "screw up" my account) but it did work! After changing the primary website in my profile, I applied and was accepted to a merchant that had turned me down twice before.
    That was the point I was making. Creating makework for you and the merchant. If I put this merchant on 3 different channels/sites, she/he has to review and approve 3 times for the same affiliate.

    Quote Originally Posted by LinkShare Moderator
    The only drawback initially is that you will need to apply to merchant programs for each channel. So, if you are approved by one merchant for Channel 1, but want to add that merchant to Channel 2, you will need to apply to the merchant program from Channel 2.
    Ranae
    If you have many merchants, or many sites, or both, think about how much time you spend managing this. (I tried this once) I got emails from each merchant for each channel. (If I had them in both channels.) This is a nightmare solution.

    At CJ, you just add a website and off ya go with your new PID. SaS is even better.

  14. #14
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    I also believe that a system that ranks affiliates by earnings is needed, just as CJ has. Though I believe that Linkshare has a noble goal of making all affiliates seem equal in the network (it is due to that, not just crappy coding, right?), it makes it extremely hard for merchants to determine the real quality of affiliates applying to the program, especially with the general poor website quality.
    I think the inverse is true also. If there is a report in Linkshare that shows network performance of merchants, I haven't been able to find it.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  15. #15
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    Quote Originally Posted by LinkShare Moderator
    The only drawback initially is that you will need to apply to merchant programs for each channel. So, if you are approved by one merchant for Channel 1, but want to add that merchant to Channel 2, you will need to apply to the merchant program from Channel 2.
    Ranae
    That is just pure stupidity. I am often turned down by LS merchants too because they look at my old, crappy site. Oh well. I have some serious dislike for Linkshare, some of their people and the way they do business in general.

    Just yesterday I went to join a program on another network and was told that I needed to join the LS program because they are closing the one I applied to and consolidating at LS. I passed all together.

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    On a slightly off-topic note, Yahoo had an internship this summer dedicated to a student studying Yahoo Search Marketing & Google AdWords and making changes/recommendations about what they thought the best features of both systems were (to implement in Yahoo of course), so maybe Linkshare should hire some inexpensive student labor to do the same (comparing LS to CJ, Performics, etc.)
    We're heavy users and we already tell them about the needed changes, for free.

  17. #17
    Tax Paying Member
    Join Date
    November 14th, 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,119
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    When all that is on many websites is simply tons and tons of Linkshare banners without any content or real organization, that's what I consider poor quality.

    Merchants don't always look for sites that will produce, but will at least portray the brand in a positive light.
    I understand what you are saying.

    Also consider that a lot and I mean a lot of merchants have this "fabulous" affiliate program that they are paying for and that we are supposed to get rich with, but they give only a handfull of crappy banners to work with. These banners are frequently of limited size range and with offers that have already expired. Or you do a direct link to specific products and within a few days the link is dead.

    There is a positive light shinning. Both sides need to work together. The affiliate can't work magic when there is no magic to work with.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  18. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Poor quality merchants. What to do?
    By Mybest in forum ShareASale - SAS
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: December 2nd, 2007, 10:04 AM
  2. Better Quality Control Needed On New Merchants
    By La_Valette in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: April 19th, 2006, 12:41 PM
  3. New affiliate network seeking quality merchants.
    By RadarCat in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: May 6th, 2005, 10:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •