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|Google - Affiliates - Update|
latest news coming through
following on from this:
Google are going to be making serious serious changes to the whole affiliate > merchant via ppc stuff.
early reports indicate an "auction" based system where advertisers fight it out on who can bid, and only 1 advertiser per site as such.
obviously I do NOT have correct details as I do NOT work for Google. so can not explain exactly whats gonna take place.
but be ready, it soon cometh.
>seriously under consideration?
Big players now planning for this as imminent (since it will hurt their volume). Anyone not planning on a reduction in Q1 rev's from this channel may be behind the curve. Another brick in the wall.
Any news to share with your customers on the massive changes that are rumoured to be happening?
It is very upsetting that there is NO proper answer coming from you guys.
As I explained in a previous post in this thread, we understand if you must make changes but please have the decency to give us some warning time so that we don't sink any more capital into something that will not be allowed to continue.
Many thanks, Michael
|Big players now planning for this as imminent |
Well, I'm "big" enough to hear from a few sources, and I'm not willing to concede that, because nobody has a shred of concrete info.
Think of the companies who have huge stakes in this. E.G. CJ, EBay, Amazon, Linkshare, etc. How could these companies sit idly by if something big really were in the works? No way they would.
If there were concrete plans my feeling is that something bigger than a single comment from london would have leaked by now.
ok, i put my hands up
i made it all up for the sake of it
go order those ferraris boys, aff > merchant is gonna be here for years
Sorry Shak, I know you are reputable, but until I have concrete info I have to treat this just as it is - a rumor.
This is all rather frustrating that AWA or somebody can't just give a solid answer on this. Policy is policy. If it is done, fine, but let us know! This thread has continued for such an agonizing long time, it needs to be put to rest.
[edited by: PPCBidder at 12:05 pm (utc) on Dec. 15, 2004]
I wouldn't expect you to do anything else mate.
things change, but being pro-active rather than re-active is always good in my book.
shame some of the agencies who have been privy to the full documentation of new changes are not forthcoming in posting here.
|shame some of the agencies who have been privy to the full documentation of new changes are not forthcoming in posting here. |
That is exactly what surprises me, and makes me wonder.
>I'm not willing to concede that, because nobody has a shred of concrete info.
PPCBidder, the post I made speaks only to what some big players I know are doing, right now.
No one is going to share details, but a goodly number of large players I'm in contact with are, as Shak says, preparing for this change, and believe it to be imminent based on...well...there's the rub. I can't say exactly. They're closely connected. Put it that way.
What I did not say is what G will do, because I don't know. I only know what I posted: That some very big well connected players are getting ready, and have already built revenue reductions into their Q1 plans.
As cavedad always used to say, "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Those who assume that the worst won't happen until they see it, usually get caught out in the plains with no cave to hide in."
OK it's not a great saying. But it's a great philosophy. ;-)
I can't say there aren't some signs, but I still have my fingers crossed.
Where are these big players located? Maybe Google will beta a new system on UK Adwords only... trying such a thing in the US would be massacre.
In my case, all U.S. EC and WC.
Hey guys I'm off for a week in the sun spending some of my "bottom feeding" spoils. Please don't let the big 'G' do anything unti I get back!
|Qui Gon Jinn|
[shame some of the agencies who have been privy to the full documentation of new changes are not forthcoming in posting here.]
Suggests what affiliates have known all along is that agencies generally do not know where they fit in this space, they promise Google the G$ by frivolously spending their clients budgets. Are they crying "boo...hoo.. it's not fair, affiliates can produce a higher ROI and lower CPA than us"
If agencies have been privy to any information if any, wouldn't it simply insinuate Google has a contempt and lack of respect to affiliates by not duly informing those to may spend anything from $10 to £100,000 a month....surely not...
The best thing for this industry is to have several big players, it would be a shame if Google lost sight of it's roots...or are they getting to big for their boots...in the end healthy competition is required so that there are at least several equal players of equal status within the arena.
With the combined knowledge or knowhow as a collective, couldn't affiliates radically increase the profile of smaller search engines with promising potential.
I would be interested to hear more from merchants and their feedback who have a number of affiliates, in effect acting as marketeers or agencies as an extension of their online sales force, promoting them via very targeted keywords.
There would be nothing worse than seeing ebay, kelkoo, dealtime or amazon ads etc appear on every term....unless...that is one the reasons?
Is there anything within the Google Adwords agreement which says Google has to provide a specific period of notice before any implementation or is it Google's Law?
Thank You, as usual, Qui for your refreshing comments.
Quite a contrast to the latest from the ex-mod who thinks this is just a big joke:
ok, i put my hands up
i made it all up for the sake of it
go order those ferraris boys, aff
Here is a post from a more serious board by an affiliate manager quoting an email he received from one of his merchant partners. It appears that the merchant partner hasn't been privy to anything either, but is attempting to take a proactive approach with their affiliates:
|We received an e-mail yesterday from one of the large merchants, informing us that they suspected that google would be changing their affiliate policy in the near future. |
Here's the e-mail, with names edited out (replaced with AAA):
Alert: AAA continues to hear reports that Google will make a radical policy change soon that may affect all Affiliates who use Google to promote merchants' products and services.
Although only speculation at this point, AAA is advising all its Affiliates to take a proactive response that would mitigate the effects of such a change. Specifically the new policy is likely to ensure:
1) the visible URL on any Adword must match the ultimate destination domain of that ad; and
2) no two Adwords with the same visible URL will be served at the same time (prevents double-serving)
Why this is important:
If you are promoting AAA in Google using www.AAA.com as the visible URL,you are likely to get these campaigns disabled as soon as Google's new affiliate policy comes into force. You should start to replace the redirects to us with actual landing pages that mirror our landing pages now. For instance, you should buy a domain like "AAA.com", or one that is complimentary to the AAA product that you are promoting, and promote that domain in the Google ad copy. Or you can use an existing AAA domain name that you currently own. The user must land on "AAA", in this example, but that page can look exactly like our normal AAA landing page, but have your normal affiliate tracking links available for the user to click on. Your Google PPC campaign cannot be a straight re-direct.
If you have any questions, please email AAA"
Note the bolded portion, perhaps that is how Google will inform the "bottom feeders" of this change.
|With the combined knowledge or knowhow as a collective, couldn't affiliates radically increase the profile of smaller search engines with promising potential. |
FYI, Qui, I recently had surprising beginner's luck with one of the often maligned smaller PPC engines that I experimented with. I get far less clicks, but greater ROI for the .05 it takes for me to be in position 1!
To be honest, a small portion of what I promote is adult related and that got clicked to death at the smaller PPC with no sales. When I tried one of my other campaigns, I was like Wow - 4 clicks for .29 and 2 sales!
My adult campaigns get just as many garbage clicks in AdWords, but they're less noticeable among the overall # of clicks that I get. Bottom line, the same amount of money is being thrown to the automated clicks and armies on either PPC for adult terms, however Google also has some real customers interested in adult products too.
So my long term strategy is to only promote my adult stuff on Google and migrate my other campaigns to the smaller PPC where they call me on the phone to talk about my account!
brit humour is obviously lost on you mate :)
QGJ I am sure understood, as we have shared many a cup of tea together.
|Qui Gon Jinn|
I don't promote the adult dvd front, but do well with general dvd titles and with the keyword insertion can easily have 1000 titles within one google adword. Either by directing to a selction of merchants directly and / or through a specfic site. The database licence we have is the same as what Amazon uses equating to about 17,000+ titles, but with the datafeeds available nowadays this is not really necessary. We find this converts better than using generic terms for click happy farms in outer Mongolia (focus on actual titles). Personally we like to sit in number 2,3 or 4 postion we find it suits us with a better ROI....horses for courses..
I certainly had no intention of ridiculing Shak & I certaining hope it wasn't inferred in any manner and we have shared the ocassional "cup of cha" or jar or two. I think Shak knows me well enough to know that.
I think there certainly does need to be some serious looking into who's privy & who's not. In the UK market certainly, there is enough legislation to protect the smaller business. If it is the case, I wonder how many will inform various organisations.
Again we are speculating.....but can a collective of affiliates make a break a ppc search engine. Most of us have seen prime examples of agencies over-bidding obo of thier client. Would I tap that merchant for the business by trying to prise them away, if circumstances change on Google....Too right I would.
Unfortunately what should be a synergetic industry could very easily become class divided....sounds melodramatic I know...but foresight is generally better than hindsight.
This has probably already been said, but it makes no sense for Google to do this. They are making money whether the domain owner is running the ad or the affiliate advertiser is running the ad. As for the domain owner, it also would not make any sense for them to want to pull this down because affiliate marketers are driving millions of dollars in revenues to their sites and at little cost to the domain owners.
I think this is one of those "cry wolf" scenarios.
Agreed gdrumm, and with google fighting so hard for revenue and now winning the trademark battle, why would they pull back on an issue such as this?
gdrumm. i sooooo hope you are correct!
|I certainly had no intention of ridiculing Shak & I certainly hope it wasn't inferred in any manner and we have shared the occasional "cup of cha" or jar or two. |
No Qui, my bad for including both quotes in the same post. Your observations were and are entirely objective. I just had to say what I said because I found Shak's comment a bit flippant with regards to such a serious issue, though I have no permanent hard feelings toward Shak over it -- just had to get it out of my system :)
Indeed, now is the time for some smaller PPCs to make themselves more attractive to affiliates. For a small operation such as myself, I don't need a lot of traffic to be profitable, just a miniscule percentage of earth's population has to come my way and I'll be happy each day.
Maybe I just don't understand the UK, I have no idea what a "cup of cha" is though the "jar" seems to translate well.
|Qui Gon Jinn|
cup of cha > cup of tea > Rosy Lee
jar > pint of beer > Pig's Ear (Forsythe Saga)
>with google fighting so hard for revenue and now winning the trademark battle, why would they pull back on an issue such as this?
Because the two are not related.
The trademark battle has to do with protecting their right to display ads that they believe fit reasonable advertiser criteria, without being sued for it, which is a tremendous drain on their time and resources. They need to win that battle to protect themselves. And btw, the practice in various forms occurs in other media.
The particular affiliate issue here has only to do with searchers not seeing 10 different listings in the right column for the same product or service, which at best is confusing for the average searcher. Also, depending upon how G handles it, the impact on *their* revenue could be far less dramatic than some think. It's the aff's being stripped out of the process that will feel the pain...and the marketers. But other players will step in and fill the void.
>>affiliate issue here has only to do with searchers not seeing 10 different listings in the right column for the same product or service, which at best is confusing for the average searcher.
Well, as pointed out many times here, an 'average searcher' would probably be equally or more confused (and frustrated) by a listing of ads with several different domains, but all with landing pages pointing to Affiliate X, which under the new rumored system would happen far more often than it does now.
>>the impact on *their* revenue could be far less dramatic than some think
There really is no doubt that G revenue would take a substantial hit. The changes would make the spread of advertising less reachable in general. By reducing the size of the advertising pool, you decrease need to bid as highly and strongly towards the natural break even ROI of a keyword. More single .05 terms will crop up, and competition for more heavily advertised terms will become less fierce.
|Well, as pointed out many times here, an 'average searcher' would probably be equally or more confused (and frustrated) by a listing of ads with several different domains, but all with landing pages pointing to Affiliate X, which under the new rumored system would happen far more often than it does now. |
I'm not so sure. Look at OV. It doesn't happen alot there. The thing about those adwords direct to merchant ads is that they are easy to put up. If you have to create a page in order to do it, the people currently doing it may not have the skill, desire or conversion (like with ebay) to do so.
Instead of other things, google should consider upping the minimum bid for affiliate ads. Maybe, to .15, that would probably be high enough to weed out all the massive keyword insert campaings, because they just couldn't be profitable, but would leave in the affiliates that were carefully writing ad copy, directing surfers to exact landing pages etc.
just a thought of a simple way to solve the issue...
I'm thinking along similar lines. Although personaly I wound favour raising the minimum CTR to 1% instead for the same reason. And also if it could be done disabling expanded broad match for affiliates.
I've recently found some of my Ads for three word broad match keyword/phrases showing when only one of my three words was in the actual seach term. Of course my Ad was alongside another affiliate promoting the same product. This wouldn't have happened but for expanded broad match.
I think there are many ways the system can be cleaned up without necessarily throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
|Qui Gon Jinn|
Can't a lot of this be covered by using negative keywords?
For our campaigns, if using broadmatch, we find we use more negative keywords & negative keyword phrases than the actual keyword phrases we bid on.
Could all this CTR & quality of ad could be covered by inverting the the impression formula.
Example: By creature of habit a user would click on an
Ad in postion 1 is clicked on 40% of the time
Ad in postion 2 is clicked on 20% of the time
Ad in postion 3 is clicked on 10% of the time
Therefore if a 0.5% ctr is required in 1000 impressions.
Everytime an Ad in postion 1 is shown it counts as 4/10ths of an impression. (40/100)
Everytime an Ad in postion 2 is shown it counts as 2/10ths an impression. (20/100)
Everytime an Ad in postion 3 is shown it counts as 1/10th an impression. (10/100)
Wouldn't that way the most appealing ads rise to the surface. It seems ridiculous that the same impression weight is given to an ad in 4th position as it is in 1st postion. Whereby the ctr is determined by the position of the ad.
Also I am little intrigued by the suggestion, that affiliates need to pay more, have a higher ctr or disable broadmatch? The same rules should apply across ALL advertisers. Otherwise affiliates will just call themselves agencies.
If affiliates are more adept at marketing via ppc, then perhaps certain ppc search engines should look at ways of improving their working relationships with affiliates, rather than getting the expereinced ppc'er to jump through more hoops & cutting through more red tape. Realising these guys (meaning affiliates) know what they are doing, let's help the less experienced out by educating them to increase their ROI even more.
For it is the hope of reward that sweetens labour, the ppc search engines who embrace affiliates long term will ultimately succeed.
[edited by: Qui_Gon_Jinn at 3:09 am (utc) on Dec. 20, 2004]
How about the all-win solution proposed here then?
Qui Gon Jinn
What can I say except; I think it's agreat idea and it certainly gets my vote. I hope AWA picks it for inclusion in his/her weekly report.
If they raised the minimum bid, they would have to raise it for everyone. And I am not so sure that doing this would cost Google a lot of money. I keep reading in the forums all the time where affiliates are complaining about their keywords constantly getting slowed or stopped. If all of the ads are going to different domains, their users would probably click on more of the ads, so even if the bid was less maybe the clickthru rate on the ads would be much better which might mean more money for Google. I am an affiliate but send the traffic to my own site, and I rarely have any problems with my keywords.
Man... I have the strongest feeling that Shak is up to some game this time... Shak are you reading this. Well i think there is nothing like what is posted on here in Google's mind... correct me . and let us know where you got this news or Wonderful idea..;)
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