|Amazon Europe new Operating Agreement|
Amazon affiliate programme dead in the water with new changes
Amazon Europe has created a single Operating Agreement for associates that comes into force on March 1st 2010
Just over a month ago Amazon UK and seperately Germany and France issued a new Operating Agreement. They have now changed that agreement to a single operating agreement over all three programmes.
They have now included a number of important exclusions where an associate will not make money from referred links including the statement:
•any Product purchased by a customer who is referred to an Amazon Site through any of the following:
a. a Prohibited Paid Search Placement; or
b. a link to the Amazon Site, including a Redirecting Link, that is generated or displayed on a Search Engine in response to a general Internet search query or keyword (i.e., in natural, free, organic, or unpaid search results), whether those links appear through your submission of data to that site or otherwise.
Point (b) is now changed from its original "change" they made over a month ago and I suspect that Amazon (Europe) are going to stop paying associates for any items purchased through for example an aStore that comes up in a search engine.
It can also be interpreted very strictly or loosely depending on how Amazon want to play it.
In my opinion it is the death of Amazon Europe associate programme (for me) and this comes on top of a £7 ($11) cap on earning per item they introduced last year.
If you are an Amazon associate and use your earning to pay the morgage then it may be time to look for a day job!
What do you think of this part:
|You will not issue any press release or make any other public communication with respect to this Operating Agreement, your use of the Content, or your participation in the Programme. You will not misrepresent or embellish the relationship between us and you (including by expressing or implying that we support, sponsor, endorse, or contribute to any charity or other cause), or express or imply any relationship or affiliation between us and you or any other person or entity except as expressly permitted by this Operating Agreement. You must, however, clearly state the following on your site: “[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk/Javari.co.uk.” |
So, I need to display that statement on every page? Or just the one page?
Also, I'm not clear but it seems to me that the point about redirecting sites would be pages that rank but forward the user straight to Amazon. Am I right to see this as different to an affiliate site that uses web services and remote shopping cart?
Second question... what do you think is the intent of the update? Is it to limit competition on the paid searches or natural listings? If so, for what purpose?
Is Amazon saying that affiliate sites are not allowed to rank on search engines?
In my opinion and I could be wrong it is to stop anyone earning any commission from Amazon unless they have a "special link" on a webpage on their own site, in other words use Amazon formatted links, banners and widgets on a content page within your own site.
Why on earth then have they bothered to enable links from within other public websites (twitter for example) only a couple of months ago.
They obviously like taking 15% off their marketplace sellers and have decided they want to keep all of this to themeselves.
To be honest there is a lot of people making large amounts of money from promoting Amazon with little or no effort and they are probably sick paying them money.
What Amazon forgets is that while they are usually first in search engine results for a product search there is another 6-7 listings below them on the front page. By removing the incentive for affiliates to take these positions they will loose business.
I had not even realised that they want to stiffle debate by adding "or make any other public communication with respect to this Operating Agreement"
They must have new management in Amazon Europe who does not like associates!
I think you both are over-reacting. The press release clause cited by donovan has been in the agreement for years, and doesn't seem to me to have been altered (if you can point to a previous version that has a significantly different wording, please do). Its main intention is to prevent people from describing themselves as partners of Amazon or otherwise misrepresenting themselves in an attempt to enhance their credibility.
As to the linking change, they did previously announce the change about direct-to-Amazon advertising. Many Associates (most?) do not use that form of advertising, so this doesn't affect them; this rule has been in effect at the US Amazon for some time and many seem to do fine in spite of it.
And the second item means that if a link TO Amazon with your ID in it appears in a search engine's results, you won't earn from it. If someone goes to your site from the SERPs and then to Amazon, there's no problem. FWIW I don't think links being indexed instead of pages happens all that often.
As for Twitter, you're still allowed to use it, and blogs, etc. The only thing you've lost is accidental earnings from indexed links and PPC advertising.
And since people have been clamoring for years for Amazon to merge their programs, and this is the first concrete move in that direction, I would think that change should be seen as a good thing...
Thanks for the reply purplecape, it's great to hear a considered response. I'll put away my worry hat for now :)
I hope you are correct, although I suspect that links appear in search engines a lot more than most people consider. I hope I am wrong in my concerns.
We'll see, right? Whether or not links appear in the search engines may depend in part on the content on the page. If there isn't anything there except links, well...