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Affiliate Spam - How to deal?
Captain




msg:250280
 2:01 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Our firm has an affiliate program through a popular affiliate program service... I recently looked in the serps and found dozens of our "affiliates" spamming in a major way. In many cases using our company's logo and brand names and they are attempting to make it look like the site's belong to us.

1. How do we ensure Google doesn't assume it is our company doing posting the spam?

2. What is the best way to handle these affiliates? Simply shut them down or try to contact them?

I appreciate your guidance.

 

mumbledawg




msg:250281
 11:23 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Make it clear in your terms that anyone doing this will be shut down. Give them one warning and then shut them down.

rcjordan




msg:250282
 11:31 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Better yet, shut them down and then give them the warning.

goodroi




msg:250283
 1:23 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Kinda hard not to listen to rcjordan in these matters :) I would reccomend that you make sure it is part of the T & C not to do these things.

Shak




msg:250284
 1:26 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I recently looked in the serps and found dozens of our "affiliates" spamming in a major way

are they bringing you sales?

and to be honest, non affiliates can do exactly the same with a lot more damage.

Shak

ogletree




msg:250285
 1:40 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

As an Aff publisher I had a problem with a competiter of the Aff that I work with. We had a page that used the company name of the competiter as a kw. The owner called and said we had to take it down or he would sue us. We were number 2 for his company name right under him. Don't I have free speach to mention any company I want? The site is about our Aff not him.

Michael Anthony




msg:250286
 6:48 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ask them to stop it, but be aware that they might just get offended and sell the traffic to your competitor, which would definitely happen if you followed rcjordan's advice (No offence, rc, but I've seen this happen several times in the real world).

The best option would be to allow them to do it but set rules so that they don't pass themselves off as you and stop using your logos, etc. After all, their sales are why you started an aff program in the first place, aren't they.

A well known florist tried the heavy handed approach in the UK a few months ago and wrote up an exhaustive set of rules for affliates. Their program has now been pulled as no decent affiliates can be bothered to jump through hops for them when there are more flexible options available from other merchants.

Unless you are the only company in your market, there's a cautionary lesson here for you. Affiliates will usually respond very well to companies that say "Well done, we're delighted with your performance but could u make a few changes?" They will usually vote with their feet if you come ocer all Big Brother on them.

Tsuren




msg:250287
 6:08 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Captain, what's the matter? Do you think google's guys are so stupid? If they can ban site because SOMEONE ELSE used its name, logo etc ... come on! You must be kidding. It means war in the Internet. Everyone will start to make clones :)

They bring you money. You are going to put them down? It does not look like the smartest decision because they will not die. They will go to you competitors. They just change couple of symbols in their codes and traffic will be sent into other sites.

If one of my competitors decides to beat affiliates for this I'll be really happy :) I'll dance and invite all of them to me. I'll allow them to use my copyrights and... I'll glad to see that they are the second in SERPs with your company name :)

mumbledawg




msg:250288
 11:57 am on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many people buy disposable domains and make money until the search engine bans them. By then they have another disposable domain and start over. So affiliates with long term domains can't compete with the spam, they promote another merchant who doesn't allow it. The problem with the se spammers is that they cause the search engines to keep changing their algo. Makes it hard for even properly optimized sites to rank these days. I say kick the major spammers, they are bad for everyones business.

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