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Affiliates Bidding on Your Store Name
What do you do?

 6:07 pm on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

We have an affiliate who is constantly making sales by bidding on our store name in PPCs. Our store is at the top of the SERPS anyway. I have increased our bids for our store name to no avail.

I know some merchants will disallow this but I don't want to. I wonder what would you do in this situation?



 6:54 pm on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Contact the affiliate and ask them to keep their bid to a minimum, ask that they do not use your display URL when bidding on your brand keywords. Communication with the affiliate often works but there are some out there who insist on making things difficult. If something cannot be worked out, then next step is sometimes to kick them out of the program. Often times another affiliate will step in and start doing the same.

After a while, if the name is Trademarked, then the next (sometimes unfortunate step) is to file TM papers with Google so that nobody can use the TM anywhere in the ad unless you work with Google to give permission to specific accounts.

Ultimately, this is a problem often caused by a few affiliates that will make the affiliate program much more restrictive than it has to be because a few affiliates can't respect a few simple rules.

If they are not using your display URL, then it may be a matter of tweaking the creative in your ad to improve the CTR. Most people will click on the merchant placed ad instead of a 3rd party affiliate site ad so creat different ads with the company name with and without spaces if appropriate, with company.com with www.company.com, etc..


 5:02 am on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wonder what would you do in this situation?

Disallow the affiliate from bidding on the brand name.

Why don't you want to do this?


 9:32 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is the name of your store? I would like to bid too!

You HAVE to restrict this bid. Bid there yourself and make it clear to all of your affiliates that this term is restricted (but encourage them to bid on your competitors store names).

This is old hat for veteran affiliate marketers. There are A LOT of people making a great income bidding only on store names, sending traffic to the store, and making great commishes. All gain no pain.


 10:36 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are A LOT of people making a great income bidding only on store names, sending traffic to the store, and making great commishes.


Coupon sites creating highly SEO'd pages around your company name and promising "discounts" and "exclusive coupons" (neither of which exist) to lure organic traffic to stop there before hitting your site are another.

If you aren't careful with affiliate programs, you'll end up with a lot of expensive sales that you would have gotten anyway.


 5:30 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I actually did encourage affiliates to use PPC but I did not set any PPC criteria. I just want to see whether there is any consensus on this issue.


 10:58 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Encourage them to do PPC, but exclude them from bidding on your highly converting terms like your store name and any traffic you likely would have received anyway like:

Mystorename coupons
Mystorename.com Coupon Codes
My Store Name

I have even seen many merchant go so far as to say that you can't bid on these 10/20 terms either which are generic terms that they are already bidding on and converting for. like 'Blue Widgets' and 'Red Widgets'. But I think that is going too far.

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