A question: Why do affiliate ads that link directly to merchant sites have to be marked with the word "affiliate"? Or to put it another way, what harm would it do not to include the word "affiliate" in direct-linking affiliated ads?
The downsides are obviously that it eats up 10% of your space and puts people off clicking it. And the vast majority of people who are not merchants, affiliates or involved in marketing don't know what the word "affiliate" signifies, to them it's just an unknown word, and people tend not to click on ads that they don't understand.
Why do affiliate ads that link directly to merchant sites have to be marked with the word "affiliate"?
I think I better let others answer that ;) I feel it has something to do with impersonation - you are not the actual merchant.
Rather than waste 10% of your ad space, you should try these tricks - they are NOT guaranteed to work though!
- When you receive a mail from Google asking you to identify your "affiliate" status, logon to your account, change the ad copy a little and resubmit. If you are lucky, the submission will go to a different editor who MAY overlook the affiliate status of your website and accept the ad copy.
- Identify affiliate status in the "displayed URL". That is, enter http:/affiliate.merchanturl.com in the "displayed URL". A few editors may take pity on you and accept the listing.
These two are not guaranteed to work. The best way to go about it is to buy a domain name and build a website around affiliate program and submit. Acceptancy is 100% in this case.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, the impersonation issue, but I just wondered what difference it made. Anyway, I'll see what kind of response I get to the 3 I've just put in and take it from there. I do have a couple of new affiliate sites but the one I want to use is in the middle of being deployed which is why I'm checking out a few direct links.
I'd suggest trying to get the ads thru without specifying affiliate status. They may disable them and require you to specify but I see many cases where they just let them go. Look at the ads for posters, art, and magazines - seems that 90% use affiliate tracking codes but they don't specify affiliate status. Even when you mention this to Adwords support, they still don't do anything.