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  1. #1
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    Get a Load of this!

    http://www.internetnewsbureau.com/ar...amberland.html

    BTW, I once had a dog that could have peed a better looking website than this guy has.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  2. #2
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    His site says

    "Cartels and monopolies are not good for the public's economic interests.
    Eddie Chamberland, dba Chamberland Enterprises and IC Advertising, has been one of the internet's most successful affiliate shopping sites.

    We were one of the first internet affiliate shopping malls on the internet!

    Our sales have exceeded our wildest dreams.

    That was until recently.
    "

    I say someone ought to sue him for lying!!

    He is an affiliate of many merchants here. Can any merchant say he is THAT successful?

    This is a joke. Thats all we need, someone to piss off google!

  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> "Google is now a monopoly with over 90% of the search engine traffic on the Internet. Now the evils of being a monopoly have been surfacing in Google's results as they are now manually selecting once popular Web sites to blacklist in order to unlawfully eliminate competition," stated Chamberland. "Our small home business is now suffering as a target to these illegal attempts to eliminate the affiliate marketing industry. Google and Yahoo's blacklisting techniques are heavily aimed at the affiliate marketing industry links and other smaller search engines and directories. Their current Webmaster guidelines exclude and blacklist affiliate programs, doorway pages, subdomains and sites that link to other Web sites not approved by their guidelines," he continued. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I haven't seen his site but I happen to agree with his insight.

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I hope he wins because I think he has a valid point. They are trying to choke us out and it's not just for "relevant results" either. If that were the case porn sites wouldn't be so rampant.

    Let Fear Be Far from All

  5. #5
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    I am so glad someone is taking this up. Google dumped people's sites (people who worked long hours like everyone here). Then Google took over the web. When they dumped us and took over AOL searches that was the killer.

    The only thing you can do I guess is change your name, change your urls, and get plastic surgery, because I am sure they are after a lot of affiliates and they do not seem to have any intention of stopping until they have made everyone's search experience come out to their own liking.

    Google is a good search engine, but it is only one way of presenting the web. Unfortunately the competition is fading fast.

  6. #6
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    woah!

    as a person (a small business) that has been fortunate enough to enjoy many relevant #1 google ranks (and loads more in the top 5) i must say that i dont feel this way at this time.

    i have noticed that google definitely eliminates affiliate sites with no content. as in, whats the point of a site like that to begin with?

    google is hardly a monopoly, people can either go there or not.

  7. #7
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    What Cyclone said.

    Even though I usually get good ranks, I think it's bogus that affiliates have to jump through a bunch of hoops and BS just to get a decent site to show in a findable spot.

    On the other hand, they're not nearly a "monopoly" if WordTracker's "35.XX% of the searches" figure is accurate. That's a commanding marketshare, but not near the 90% that guy is claiming! It would have been more accurate if he said that "there are sites that get 90% of their traffic from Google". Google's lawyers will quickly point out that there are also big sites that only get a smidgen of their traffic from the big SE...

    It's the most wonderful time of the year! ~From a "Golden Era" Christmas Song

  8. #8
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    From what I gather at http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/7841.htm
    this is publicity stunt and Google (at least by them) is not getting sued. Looks like that site takes payment for "press releases".

    If it is true (but I doubt this), then here would be my take on it:

    I think this person(s) are just whiners. Google has always seemed to be fair to myself. I've had sites removed, but then again I make many so I'm not offended by this as I understand their reasoning. I don't see Google as the corporate juggernaut that is out to form some sort of syndicate. I know of many high $ terms that have a fair share (even too many in cases) of homegrown sites. In fact the main markets I focus on contain hundreds, if not thousands of multi-million (and billion) dollar companies who in turn have many sites on the net. Currently for the most "valuable" search term for this sector in the top 10 I see 4 listings obviously belonging to small businesses, mine included, 2 belonging to a well known marketing/info firm. 1 belongs to a government agency, and lastly 3 belong to large corporations. Perhaps this is or is not typical, but from what I've noticed I have not seen any sort of lean to one direction or the other. In short I think the claims mentioned above are a crock. What do these people want? Do they want Google to stick to one algo and never alter it nor police their results? Imagine how spammy it would become at that point. Then it would simply be a question of what corporation could afford to put the most optimized sites out, thus defeating their arguement. No thank you. I don't view their take as a valid perception.

    edited for grammar

  9. #9
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    Whether it is monopoly or some other anti-competitive practice, that would be for the legal types to decide. It doesn't matter at this point.

    I wonder how much he knows about the inner workings of Google though to make some of the statements (like how they hand picked his site, and they maintain a 'blacklist').

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jimbo2002:
    Whether it is monopoly or some other anti-competitive practice, that would be for the legal types to decide. It doesn't matter at this point.

    I wonder how much he knows about the inner workings of Google though to make some of the statements (like how they hand picked his site, and they maintain a 'blacklist').<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    i think the guy just has a crappy site that doesnt deserve to be ranked. he also admitted to using many doorway pages.

    since so many people are pleased with the search results they get from google, i believe it is because it is VERY relevant.

    there are TONS of "decent" sites, so who deserves the ranks??? probably the ones with REAL content.

  11. #11
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    I agree that some affiliates are being treated unfairly; however, I do see it as a good thing that content-driven sites receive better ranking. How hard is it to put up a site full of affiliate links & no real information of value? It's not...been there, done that! It's much more of a challenge to put together a site that's a few hundred pages of pure content that is of real value to visitors.
    If you're not going to work hard on the design & content of your site, you should expect to work hard for your traffic...isn't it the common belief shared here that nothing should be free?

    Supras | Celicas

  12. #12
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    Google has risen to where they are today because they are good, relevant and their search works.

    In terms of affiliate marketing- Google giveth and Google taketh away. As I have said many times before if the majority of someone's revenue is earned because of Google prowess then that business is standing on very dangerous ground.

    The *original promise* of affiliate marketing was not to work with affiliates who could master search engine alogrithms and PPCSE buys. I am not knocking those affiliate, many can do it better then the most merchants because they are lean and mean direct marketing machines and more resourceful. But keep in mind many merchants were promised a chance to get their message out on hundreds of niche or shopping sites with robust and relevant content. Has that promised been fulfilled? I am not convinced it has.

    Any site with truly stellar and unique content can probably sell some ad space or sponsorships (or at least hybridize) and affiliate marketing is secondary. Good affiliates have learned that great content is not always the path to immediate sales and success and only highly focused content that is hard bent towards faciliating a sale pays the bills much better then uinque content. There are some exceptions to this rule, but in general those who can sell do far better in the space. Afterall this is direct marketing...

    Then we get to the new iteration of Google in the form of "Froogle". This won't kill all affiliates, but it will be another pass of the great doomsday ax and you can bet there will be plenty of bodies on the ground in two more years. If you think this is not the case you need a reality check. Once again the goal of Google is to quickly connect people with the information/products they want.

    The quickest path between two points is a straight line thus:

    The quickest path to a product is going direct to the vendor, not a middle-man. This was also one of the original promises of the web that has never been truly fullfilled. I am not sure it will be fullfilled either, but that is for another topic...

    I have already spoken to some merchants who are planning on ways to keep their affiliate channel healthy in the face of Google search dominance and potential threats like "Froogle". Afterall Google is still just technology and I do not doubt the resourcefullness of marketers compensated purely on performance. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    For any affiliate the key now is to build a brand and a user base and become strong in their niche(s).

    "Free" search engine traffic is great and should be taken happily, but as competition really heats up, a brand (even a fledgling one) will float small businesses through the hard times that will come.


    regards,
    Wayne

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  13. #13
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    Wayne - Are you suggesting that merchants were not promised that they could recruit a large cadre of sales agents (affiliates) to help grow their market? Historically (ie. pre-internet) this has been a tried and true way to expand market penetration.

    Is this a marketing technique that ought to be abrogated on the internet?

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Wayne - Are you suggesting that merchants were not promised that they could recruit a large cadre of sales agents (affiliates) to help grow their market? Historically (ie. pre-internet) this has been a tried and true way to expand market penetration.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There have been a lot of different promises over the last three years and depending on who you are and the size of your company the promise can be different.

    To this day I still hear bragging about "millions and millions of 'affiliations'"...of which the vast majority are worthless and non-productive.



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Is this a marketing technique that ought to be abrogated on the internet?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, not at all. But I strongly feel it is all going to radically change. The marketplace is sending a number of new signals. Naturally those who figure out where it is going first are the ones who are going to do well.

    best,
    Wayne

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  15. #15
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    I do agree that the majority of affiliates are ineffective. But those that are effective can really boost a merchant's sales.

    The fact that many are ineffective doesn't mean that its a flawed model. After all, as I mentioned, using independent sales reps has always been a strong feature of the capitalist approach to doing business.

    IMO, its not up to Google to dictate which established marketing practices outside of the internet should or should not be applied within the internet.

    I think that as long as Google keeps its eye on relevance, there's room for everyone, including affiliates who can provide the web searcher relevant materials. Why should the user care whether he/she finds what they're looking for through an affiliate site or otherwise?

    The rules of economics and marketing should not be tampered with by the search engines. They should only look to relevance and whether a site owner is seeking to gain undue advantage or deceive the user by spamming or violating their TOS. Merchants selling their own products can be just as guilty of that as affiliates.

    Moreover, the SE's have no business discriminating among different classes of entrepreneurs.

    Lastly, why should a search engine even think about denying a merchant the advantages of using an internet sales force outside of its own web presense?

    You say there are profound changes afoot. Well, maybe so, and probably moving more toward monopolization of the affiliate side of the equation by those who have the capital and technical know how to squelch smaller affiliates.

    The little guy like most of us here probably have a relatively short time to make hay. Well that's the capitalist system too. When a good thing is discovered, large amonts of monetary and human capital begin to be thrown at it. Some of us little guys may be able to survive longer because we're on top of it. But that's another topic.

    I think there has been and ivory towered hostility toward affiliate marketing ever since it was first introduced. While that attitude is ebbing somewhat, there still is a long way to go.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

    [This message was edited by Potent Mix on December 20, 2002 at 08:12 PM.]

  16. #16
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    Wayne
    I am fairly new at this and I have to admit I get lost when I hear about branding.
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> For any affiliate the key now is to build a brand and a user base and become strong in their niche(s). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Could you explain this for me in simple terms that an old lady (thats me) can understand.
    Thanks
    Cazzie

  17. #17
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    I have to agree with Wayne on this one.

    Companies have used salesman offline for years only to dismiss them as sales reached a certain level where they could go directly to the public.

    On the Google issue, I have a few emails about Google banning sites for 'link farms'. I know about the SearchKing Lawsuit so I think if Google is going to penalize sites for breaking some rule, they ought to at least tell us what the rules are.


    About Froogle, sounds like a heck of an opportunity if your a merchant. Just got an email from analbolicstore with this

    If you would like to submit a data feed of your store's product catalog to Froogle, email them at feeds-support@google.com. Please include the following information in the email message:

    your name
    your title
    your business phone number
    your email address
    the name of your store
    the URL of your store's website
    a brief description of the types of products you sell
    They'll send you instructions on how to submit your feed. The first step is to create, in their feed format, a tab-delimited text file, which you can upload to them daily, weekly, or monthly.


    For affiliates, it's not death. There hasn't been a good monopoly in the US since 1980 and Google has a long way to go. As far as who gets wiped out well if we knew Google's Rules we would probably adapt. just like we did with their page rankings and pages that link to you became a ranking point.

    Personally, if I was looking for 'Shoes' on Google I rather go straight to Zappos rather than navigating through "Shopping and Opportunities on the Internet!"

    Richard White
    AffiliateFirst Directory
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  18. #18
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    Affiliatefirst - Just a comment. I would venture to say that over 99% of the surfing public has never heard of Zappos, and would have to do a search to discover them. And in doing so might very well find Zappos through an affiliate site.

    "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Bob Hope

  19. #19
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    oy, I didn't know what Zappos was...even after seeing their affiliate program mentioned elsewhere...
    of course, I would never buy shoes online [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

    Supras | Celicas

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AffiliateFirst:
    Companies have used salesman offline for years only to dismiss them as sales reached a certain level where they could go directly to the public.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    On the industrial side (and various other product lines, even ice cream trucks I'm sure) the favorite game is shrinking geography. "Go forth and prosper new salesman, your territory is the east coast and we have no sales" Fast forward a year, "Thanks so much for building our presence, the territory is now too big for you to handle, FL to MD should be okay for you though... then next year, FL to SC, then the following year, FL, then finally Dade County" [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

    I once negotiated a rock-solid "cannot be decreased" area, then when the sales started growing they simply stopped paying above the base, till I had to threaten suit - which did get the money, but ended my ability to trust them enough to continue - so ultimately the "cannot be decreased" clause was only an illusion [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

  21. #21
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    Potent Mix,
    Actually that's how I found Zappos for my example above. My point IS that 99% of the public finds Zappos that way. But, when your part of the 99% wouldn't you rather just be sent to Zappos?

    In part what Google is doing is screening out all the hops in between. Google is a public company that is giving the public what they want. It will be good for some companies and bad for others, that's just the way it is.

    My other point is that if Google is making rules on what is acceptable and what is not they should let us know. Overture has had rules for a long time. Everyone knows them and deals with them or not. To me it's just evolution.

    Richard White
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  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I am fairly new at this and I have to admit I get lost when I hear about branding.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For any affiliate the key now is to build a brand and a user base and become strong in their niche(s).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Could you explain this for me in simple terms that an old lady (thats me) can understand.
    Thanks
    Cazzie <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cazzie,

    In the simplest of terms... What I mean by building a "Brand" is to build a reptuation, a set of experiences that will make users want to use YOU over the competition.

    For example I buy RockPort shoes- over less expensive shoes because they are comfortable, come in EEEEE (my size) and last a long time while still feeling good. I am a fan of that brand of shoe and I will seek it out before others. They have built a reputation with me.

    Likewise I am a fan of MarketingSherpa.com because I love Anne Holland's commentary. I like it so much I even read her daily blogs. I know her brand of journalism is fresh, hard hitting, and intelligent. Because I like her brand so much I have actually become a fan- a natural advocate for her properties.

    For example, if an affiliate focuses soley on transfering a user from a search engine to a merchant then there is very little in the way of brand building being built. In this case the affiliate is merely a traffic mechanism. Traffic mechanisms are easy to change, brands are not so easy to change.

    If an affiliate brings the users in and offers something unique (personality, content, service, etc), or starts to build a RELATIONSHIP with the user, before they leave for that merchant, then we have the rudimentary building blocks of brand. They know you, they trust you, they want to come back because you are a value-add to their shopping or product selection.


    The affiliate equasion by itself is HORRIBLY NOT IN FAVOR of the affiliate. Ultimately merchants want to acquire that customer for life. This is what they have been told they will get to do- affiliate marketing is a cheap way to get new customers.

    I argue that for affiliates to be successful in the long term and build sustainable revenue streams they have to be able to acquire customers of their own...

    Does this help?

    regards,
    -Wayne

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  23. #23
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    LOL Wayne, I've avoided being sucked into debate by your posts a looong time but this:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> many merchants were promised a chance to get their message out on hundreds of niche or shopping sites with robust and relevant content. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Did it.

    Yeah, I know a lot of moochers wanted to get their message out Dirt Cheap on hundreds of unconverting content sites ("robust and relevant content")!

    But robust and relevant content are not the stuff of commissions. TOO BAD for the moochers that serious affiliates wisely decided to leave the free reading for libraries to provide! TOO BAD for the moochers, that the promise of free or dirt-cheap branding went unfulfilled. To sum it up in a couple of words--HAW HAW, it backfired, and tough! If they wanted onto content sites they should have stuck to CPM instead of trying to get content site owners to basically run ads for nothing. (For a proper Revenue site, there's plenty to be made, but on a content site CPA ends up being Nothing a lot of the time!)

    The "original promise" of Cheapo Branding was bogus and backfired on places that just wanted to plaster their 468*60s everywhere without them actually getting direct results. Good riddance to that, as real merchants who value actually moving product came into the Arena and recognized real Revenue Sites as the valuable source of business that they are!

    On your other comments:

    Sure, the quickest path is a straight line--to the WHOLESALER! But most people want a retailer (a middleman) anyway. So they get another stop along the way (a middle, middleman). Unlike bricks-and-mortar, it's not like they have to drive another 10 miles to get to the next stop. It's just a click. Preferably through my link.

    "Any site with truly stellar and unique content can probably sell some ad space"

    Pbbt that! I'm in business to make MONEY, not just sell "some ad space"! I'm sure you know that some content people are actually *excited* over returns like $2 CPM! BWAAA HAA HAAAA, if a merchant was making me that I'd dump 'em. With a proper revenue site and a CPA program, a pathetic return like that would would be a high indication of merchant fraud. My lowest-converting one makes more than 3x that on a CPM-equivalent basis.

    "there will be plenty of bodies on the ground in two more years. If you think this is not the case you need a reality check."

    Agreed. But except for great earnings actually showing up in my bank account, there's nothing quite so beautiful as Dead Competition In the Morning...

    "The marketplace is sending a number of new signals. Naturally those who figure out where it is going first are the ones who are going to do well."

    Again, agreed. Smell that smell and feel that feeling!!! Right now I'm constantly on the lookout for the "where it's going"--even as I increase "mining efforts" to the Max on the old goldmine to wring out every last chunk of ore before it's time to JUMP onto the Next Big Thing!

    Where it's going--just what the Next Big Thing is--I have no speculations yet. It's more like feeling the tracks rumble before I see the train... But I don't think anything that's been flagged here (at ABW, not just this thread) so far is "It", though.

    I'm rather excited, though.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year! ~From a "Golden Era" Christmas Song

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But robust and relevant content are not the stuff of commissions. TOO BAD for the moochers that serious affiliates wisely decided to leave the free reading for libraries to provide! TOO BAD for the moochers, that the promise of free or dirt-cheap branding went unfulfilled. To sum it up in a couple of words--HAW HAW, it backfired, and tough! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed. I don't even believe in "branding" I believe that merchants can get free "brand awareness", but not for long- not where it matters. Good properties are far too sophisticated for that ploy. I do wish analysis were done more professionally, but with education and time that too will change.



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Sure, the quickest path is a straight line--to the WHOLESALER! But most people want a retailer (a middleman) anyway. So they get another stop along the way (a middle, middleman). Unlike bricks-and-mortar, it's not like they have to drive another 10 miles to get to the next stop. It's just a click. Preferably through my link. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't count the wholesaler because most are not equipped to sell direct. That could change in the next ten years or so as technology makes it easier, and possibly as companies colloborate more. I do agree that geographic barriers are now null and void and I rejoice in their being abolished. My wallet knows no world boundary now!



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Pbbt that! I'm in business to make MONEY, not just sell "some ad space"! I'm sure you know that some content people are actually *excited* over returns like $2 CPM! BWAAA HAA HAAAA, if a merchant was making me that I'd dump 'em. With a proper revenue site and a CPA program, a pathetic return like that would would be a high indication of merchant fraud. My lowest-converting one makes more than 3x that on a CPM-equivalent basis. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not all sites are equipped to do CPA leader...or it goes against their editorial guidelines...however if CPM plummets it becomes attractive to retailers who would rather risk a on a bit of the CPM and pay less on performance. Still performance marketing remains the cheapest form of customer acquisition, although I am not so sure how that stands now.



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Agreed. But except for great earnings actually showing up in my bank account, there's nothing quite so beautiful as Dead Competition In the Morning... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    LOL. Yes, the best will still make it. The only concern I have as it pertains to performance marketing is Concentration Risk, which is something I really do see becoming a problem. Both on the network, affiliate and merchant end.



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Again, agreed. Smell that smell and feel that feeling!!! Right now I'm constantly on the lookout for the "where it's going"--even as I increase "mining efforts" to the Max on the old goldmine to wring out every last chunk of ore before it's time to JUMP onto the Next Big Thing! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Ahhhh such enthusiasm is refreshing! I think I know where some of it is headed, and when I have it all nailed down a bit more Leader I will be sure to contact you [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It's more like feeling the tracks rumble before I see the train... But I don't think anything that's been flagged here (at ABW, not just this thread) so far is "It", though.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    We are thinking along the same lines I feel. I don't think you ever see "It" in a message board, but we do see symptoms and pre-contractions here...the idea is to match up the things and other symptoms and put them together to see what patterns they form...the patterns are surely changing.

    It will come and in Internet time that means FAST! Thankfully a I am bit more used to it. Thanks for the great dialogue Leader. I like to see discussions of overall strategy and especially affiliates looking 2-3 years ahead. I firmly feel that is where success sits. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    regards,
    Wayne

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  25. #25
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    Just saw your "branding" post above, Wayne, and didn't want to have my response get lost as an "edit" to my other post.

    That all sounds good, but Sears doesn't have any relationship with me at all! Nor do they give away info, nor do they run a free theater, nor do they do anything else special.

    They also don't make products--they just resell stuff from other places. Usually stuff with brands of its own, like Levi's. Levi's has a store of their own (outlet stores), too.

    Yet Sears (not Levi's) has my business and the business of millions of others.

    I strongly believe that there is no need to branch into what is basically being a free amusement park + university to get a brand attached to an affiliate site.

    Big stores like Sears and Wal-Mart simply have gotten the message "Their Place = Shopping" implanted into people's minds through advertising.

    The message: MySite = Shopping shouldn't take any oddball, unrelated stuff to convey either, nor should I have to be the shopper's friend (how lonely do you think people are?!) any more than Wal-Mart has a "relationship" with any of their customers. They DON'T--no matter how many ads they put out to give the contrary impression. I w*rked there--the customers are a faceless SEA of people. Emphasis on SEA--Wal-Mart gets a sea of customers, despite just selling stuff they didn't make, with brands that are not their own, and not having a relationship with anybody.

    Convincing people that MySite is The Place that can connect them with the items they want should overcome any difficulties caused by being an affiliate. It's the same basic tack as that used by any major brick-and-mortar retailer--or, a Search Engine. Their Place = The Place to Go, when their branding is done right.

    [Edited above line for clarity]

    The only hitch I've seen about an affiliate site is in actually getting that message out to the masses (MySite = Shopping) in a Big, Big Way in the manner of a Sears, Wal-Mart, or even Nieman-Marcus.

    But branding a shopping site as something other than a purely shopping site (which is what happens when a site offers something besides shopping!) is not a solution to that difficulty. There's simply no sense in fishing for carp when what I want is tuna!

    It's the most wonderful time of the year! ~From a "Golden Era" Christmas Song

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