Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Question about display URL policies
    I often wonder what motivates an affiliate manager or merchant (advertiser on CJ) to change their keyword policy such that you cannot show their website in the display URL of text ads. Can someone explain this to me?

    It seems counterproductive to me. What's the logic here?

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    Google will only display one ad from the same top-level domain. In other words, if your ad is showing with the display url as www(dot)somemerchant(dot)com than Somemerchant.com's ad won't be shown at the same time.

    See here for more info: What is Google's affiliate auction policy?

    -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

  3. #3
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mebourne, Oz
    Posts
    257
    Are they using PPC themselves?
    Are they #1 in the organic results?

    In either instance they may feel it is pointless paying you commission for sales they would otherwise make anyway.
    [URL=http://ProxyGrader.com]ProxyGrader.com[/URL]
    How anonymous is your proxy?

  4. #4
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 4th, 2006
    Location
    Sunny SoCal
    Posts
    832
    Quote Originally Posted by enginez
    Are they using PPC themselves?
    Are they #1 in the organic results?
    Most still do PPC even when they are #1 in Organic Search. It does seem a tad odd for sure, but that's their decision.

    As for the display URL, as was noted it relates to the one-per-domain policy of G.

    As for the motivation to change, I think the rationale includes stuff like
    - not wanting to drive up click costs for a merchant unintentionally competing with their own affiliates;
    - perceived risk of merchant brand/image;
    - wanting to feel that the affiliate added something along the way such as a quality presell landing page

    Obviously merchants need to protect their own ROI, Brand Image, and so forth, but I appreciate when merchants allow direct links under certain scenarios as conversions are typically higher, which can be win-win.
    Last edited by OTProf; December 5th, 2007 at 09:12 PM.

  5. #5
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Ok, these are all things I hadn't thought of, to be sure. Thanks for the insights.

    It still seems to me counterproductive insofar as if you change your policy this way then publishers must change their strategies and create review, incentive or comparison sites instead. Not to disrespect publilshers but many of these sites seem shifty, pushy or shoddy and I can only see them as hurting the advertiser's brand. I see it as the advertiser losing control of the branding message.

    Of course, what do I know, I'm just starting out. The money probably says otherwise.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_C
    Ok, these are all things I hadn't thought of, to be sure. Thanks for the insights.

    It still seems to me counterproductive insofar as if you change your policy this way then publishers must change their strategies and create review, incentive or comparison sites instead. Not to disrespect publilshers but many of these sites seem shifty, pushy or shoddy and I can only see them as hurting the advertiser's brand. I see it as the advertiser losing control of the branding message.

    Of course, what do I know, I'm just starting out. The money probably says otherwise.
    If a merchant is running their own PPC campaigns, being the only ones allowed to use their display URL is key. You don't want affiliates cannibalizing your PPC efforts. I can safely say that most merchants don't allow you to use their visible URL, and any merchant that doesn't at least run their own PPC on their branded term is an idiot who is losing money by having to pay affiliates more for the same sale. Don't knock this as advertisers making it harder for affiliates, as the advertiser has to profit somehow...

  7. #7
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    I can safely say that most merchants don't allow you to use their visible URL, and any merchant that doesn't at least run their own PPC on their branded term is an idiot who is losing money by having to pay affiliates more for the same sale.
    I dunno, that might be true for the larger merchants. How much do good affiliate managers go for these days? I assume they'd be doing the PPC campaign for the merchant.

    To me a little (controlled) competition is a good thing. By monopolizing PPC you have no competition, only yourself. I know I'm not bright enough to ignore other peoples ideas, I wouldn't take that risk with my business. But I might if I had a small army of really bright marketing types. That costs money, though, and there is a point where it becomes worth the expense.

    By the way, from what I see I would say the number of merchants enforcing the no display URL rule is about 50%, more or less depending on which network you're on.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_C
    I dunno, that might be true for the larger merchants. How much do good affiliate managers go for these days? I assume they'd be doing the PPC campaign for the merchant.

    To me a little (controlled) competition is a good thing. By monopolizing PPC you have no competition, only yourself. I know I'm not bright enough to ignore other peoples ideas, I wouldn't take that risk with my business. But I might if I had a small army of really bright marketing types. That costs money, though, and there is a point where it becomes worth the expense.

    By the way, from what I see I would say the number of merchants enforcing the no display URL rule is about 50%, more or less depending on which network you're on.
    Monopolizing branded keywords through the use of affiliates is a great strategy, and I have nothing against that. Better your affiliates show up than your competitors. But, if all of your affiliates try and use your display URL, only 1 ad will show up. Better for the merchant to control their official ad, and have supplemental ads from their affiliates, with different URLs.

    I was actually referring to any sort of brand-name merchant - I have a spreadsheet of which programs at CJ don't have restrictions on display URL and trademark bidding (both, combined), and there are very few name brand merchants there. Mostly it's the small guys.

  9. #9
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    Someone wrote: > "Most still do PPC even when they are #1 in Organic Search. It does seem a tad odd for sure, but that's their decision." <

    I studied this for a client once (using Overture, before AdWords), and determined that even if a merchant is #1 organically, adding a PPC ad increases total clickthrough. It diverts some traffic (clicks) from the organic listing to the paid ad, but the profits from the "additional traffic" usually exceeds the extra cost. (And the paid ad's position is more "maintainable" than the organic position, usually.)

    On the issue of banning "direct-to-merchant PPC" by affiliates, I'm still persuaded by the arguments made here in may other discussion threads, that letting affiliates engage in direct-to-merchant PPC bidding will increase the merchant's overall profits. Although some of the merchant's own PPC traffic will be diverted by some affiliates (who might earn more in commissions than the merchant would have paid for the PPC traffic itself), but there will be additional traffic that increases overall profits. In short, many affiliates are clever enough to create ads that out-perform the merchant's own ads, gaining better position or higher clickthrough ratios.

    On the question of why do merchants say "our trademark/name cannot appear in the destination URL" instead of "no direct-to-merchant PPC bidding," it probably has to do with some sites who use a link such as "www-dot-affiliatesite-dot-com/merchantname/" (AdWords will display the domain plus one directory, if it fits in the character limit).

  10. #10
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    I have a spreadsheet of which programs at CJ don't have restrictions on display URL and trademark bidding (both, combined), and there are very few name brand merchants there. Mostly it's the small guys.
    Joshua, dude, I want your spreadsheet! Where'd you get that from? It's so annoying to have to constantly drill down to the details of each advertiser and I haven't seen anything in CJ where I could generate such a report.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    October 10th, 2007
    Posts
    66
    Joshua,

    I think you and I must have the same spreadsheet, I went though every affiliate over a course of couple weeks a few months ago and got a master list.

    I've always found it odd when a merchants in a competitive industry doesn't allow trademark bidding, because as already stated it opens the door for competitors to bid on your keyword for a very low CPC.

    In regards to the display URL issue there are 2 main reason, 1st being merchants don't want to have to "compete" against you in their own PPC efforts, and drive their own cost up. The second reason; is in Adwords, your CPC has a lot to do with the quality score of your domain name. If you have an affiliate that goes and trashes your quality score on your own domain, it will make it really hard for you to do your own PPC campaigns on non-trademark terms.

    One good thing is I'm starting to see more and more merchants allowing you to bid on their trademark terms, as they've finally realized that its better for their own brand and image to have 10 affiliate ads showing then 5 competitor ads showing. I still question a lot of affiliate managers out there, as it seems a lot just go with the trend rather then looking outside the box. Anyhow that's my $.02 Good Luck to everyone.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 17th, 2006
    Posts
    854
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    On the question of why do merchants say "our trademark/name cannot appear in the destination URL" instead of "no direct-to-merchant PPC bidding," it probably has to do with some sites who use a link such as "www-dot-affiliatesite-dot-com/merchantname/" (AdWords will display the domain plus one directory, if it fits in the character limit).
    Some merchants want to avoid "confusion" by the users, and some want to prevent users from registering domains containing their trademarks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_C
    Joshua, dude, I want your spreadsheet! Where'd you get that from? It's so annoying to have to constantly drill down to the details of each advertiser and I haven't seen anything in CJ where I could generate such a report.
    Guess I shouldn't have mentioned anything about it, but it's due to the amount of money that I earn with CJ. The speadsheet has been pretty useless, actually - The trademark bidding was pretty much only on no-name brands, or brands where the landscape is overrun by affiliates, and I find it more useful to build custom landing sites anyway, for revenue optimization and tracking purposes.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaketheMoney
    I've always found it odd when a merchants in a competitive industry doesn't allow trademark bidding, because as already stated it opens the door for competitors to bid on your keyword for a very low CPC.
    Totally agree.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    October 10th, 2007
    Posts
    66
    Joshua is correct, in that the merchants that do allow trademark bidding are indeed either no-names or have a ton of competetion already. If you want to compete against other users you have put up a pretty high CPC.

  14. #14
    Full Member
    Join Date
    October 30th, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Although some of the merchant's own PPC traffic will be diverted by some affiliates (who might earn more in commissions than the merchant would have paid for the PPC traffic itself), but there will be additional traffic that increases overall profits. In short, many affiliates are clever enough to create ads that out-perform the merchant's own ads, gaining better position or higher clickthrough ratios.
    Yeah, those affiliates likely do this for a living, they're collecting all the stats, have all the tools, have the huge keyword campaigns, have the accumulated experience, have read every book and belong to every forum, etc. It's obvious there are some serious PPC pros out there.

    Whereas affiliate managers probably have a whole host of other things to worry about than waging an effective PPC campaign.

  15. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Prohibited SEM Display URL Content
    By wackintosh in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 26th, 2014, 11:27 PM
  2. TM in display URL
    By zxz in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 12th, 2008, 10:08 AM
  3. Direct Linking - Display URL
    By GoColts in forum Newbie Affiliate FAQs & Helpful Articles
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 16th, 2008, 01:11 PM
  4. Ebay display URL
    By mdaisy in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: June 8th, 2008, 11:19 AM
  5. Google/MSN/Yahoo Display URL's Question
    By splinterproject in forum Starting an Affiliate Program & Merchant Q&A
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: May 2nd, 2007, 10:59 AM

Posting Permissions

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