I was speaking with an affiliate manager at a small network I was considering signing up with. I was told they themselves do PPC activity for their campaigns and are also into SEO services. Would you see this as a clash of interest, espcially the PPC? I mean, they would be able to get a lot of information from my account about which keywords convert and which don't. Is it usual for affiliate networks to be so active with PPC themselves? Isn't it a clash of interest of sorts or am I just being paranoid?
I would be wary....personally. The contract would have to be iron clad in that they'd have to unequivocally promise not the snatch converting kw's from you, the affiliate. However, the temptation for them to do so would be great...and I'm not sure you could ever prove either way if they were, or weren't doing it. Best to try and find a merchant who is not bidding on the same programs that you are wanting to run.
I'd shy away from such a network especially in times like these. If they were affiliates and PPC marketers first and then started a network, they are probably very good affiliates. Who wouldn't love to have all that data in front of them to use?
If you had your own site that got lots of organic traffic that couldn't be duplicated easily, then it wouldn't matter so much. Otherwise, I'd probably stay away.