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Google Adwords new affiliate policy could result in huge earning drops
New changes mean one affiliate per merchant
Jenstar




msg:1323466
 6:13 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

As reported in theAdwords forum [webmasterworld.com] January 12th is the day the one affiliate per merchant rules will come into affect. Something that has been hardly mentioned at all is the potential earnings drop for publishers - and this is something that can have a hugely negative impact on AdSense... or if they do it right, a positive impact.

While the full details will not be released until tomorrow (January 6th), if this rule also applied to content, publishers could see a significant drop in earnings, particularly for those who have a high percentage of affiliate ads appearing.

On the flip side, if the one affiliate per merchant only applies to search and Adwords will still allow multiple affiliates to advertise, this could actually result in higher earnings for publishers. As advertisers bid higher to increase the liklihood of appearing on content sites, if they are not able to get that coveted top spot in search. This is obviously the scenario I am hoping for :)

Depending on how this is handled by Adwords, it could have a huge impact on how happy publishers are with AdSense, particularly if their sites have that high percentage of affiliate based ads.

What are other publishers thinking about this new Adwords policy?

 

ganderla




msg:1323467
 6:20 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

As an advertiser, I think this might be good as I am so tired of seeing all the irrelevent ebay affiliate adds on seach. I also was about to start my own affiliate program and if they are only letting one advertiser dor each company, I think I will wait.

As a publisher, I do not show many affiliate ads so if it applies to content, I think I will be fine.

If it does not apply to content, great, more money as I think bids will increase greatly.

Then again, I don't think that anyone who knows the real terms will tell us what is going on before it really happens tomorrow, if it really happens.

AZEvil




msg:1323468
 6:21 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here is what I posted in a prior thread in response to this potentially happening:

I think it will be a good thing for publishers for the following reasons:

1. There are times when I see ads for the same merchant (aff and non aff) displayed on every slot for different pages on my site. The ads almost seem to follow a template too, so they aren't even original compared to the others. Wouldn't you think that something like that would cause a visitor to NOT click on the ads?

2. From the advertiser's side, I have set up some sites (in vastly different topics) to get myself in a position where I don't have to even think about relying on this type of ad. That has allowed me to increase the amount I am paying per click and turn a better profit. Eventually advertisers are going to figure out a system that works better and will be able to pay more per click...which in turn pays publishers better per click.


agerhart




msg:1323469
 6:37 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Depending on how this is handled by Adwords, it could have a huge impact on how happy publishers are with AdSense, particularly if their sites have that high percentage of affiliate based ads.

Perfect time for Overture to swoop in w/ their program.

AZEvil




msg:1323470
 6:44 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perfect time for Overture to swoop in w/ their program.

If they do that they need to make sure that they hide the bid amounts for their contextual advertising networks. Otherwise, I see it as being open season on click fraud and made for contextual advertising sites. If Overture were to hide contextual bids, I don't know that publishers would make as much initially because ad inventory would likely be low until advertisers picked up on the new system and figured out a reasonable ROI.

europeforvisitors




msg:1323471
 6:49 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the change will be good for publishers, for two reasons:

1) Users will see a greater variety of ads.

2) Users will be less likely to perceive AdSense ads as spam.

By the way, this has already been discussed at:

[webmasterworld.com...]

novice




msg:1323472
 7:02 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also think this will be better for publishers. Like AZEvil wrote, hopefully it will reduce a lot of those template type ads and bring in more creative and original ads.

agerhart




msg:1323473
 7:10 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also think this will be better for publishers.

You enjoy making less money?

AZEvil




msg:1323474
 7:13 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

You enjoy making less money?

What makes you think that would happen? As bakedjake said here:

[webmasterworld.com ]

It's now going to be a supply and demand issue. That should lead to bid prices going up for the top ads and will benefit publishers.

agerhart




msg:1323475
 7:16 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

What makes you think that would happen? As bakedjake said here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

It's now going to be a supply and demand issue. That should lead to bid prices going up for the top ads and will benefit publishers.

It can shake out in multiple ways....that is one way...the other way is for a large drop in earnings.

FromRocky




msg:1323476
 7:18 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

On the flip side, if the one affiliate per merchant only applies to search and Adwords will still allow multiple affiliates to advertise, this could actually result in higher earnings for publishers. As advertisers bid higher to increase the liklihood of appearing on content sites, if they are not able to get that coveted top spot in search. This is obviously the scenario I am hoping for :)

If it does not apply to content, great, more money as I think bids will increase greatly.

I think this rule will also be applied to the content sites since any ad has to be approved on the Google search first before it can be released for the partners and content sites. However, all ads with the same domain URL which have been approved or in future will be put on hold status except the highest bid which will be shown on searches. If this highest bidder is opted out of the content sites, the next highest will be shown. At any given time, there will be no dublication of any merchant domain name on any content page.

My point is that the rule will be applied to the content sites but it won't be based on per search but on per content page.
Just my thoughts.

[edited by: FromRocky at 7:26 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2005]

ken_b




msg:1323477
 7:24 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm uniquely unqualified to comment on this, but I think it could easily be a washout for affiliate marketers.

It seems to me that any affiliate marketer worth their salt, having been given 5 or 6 weeks notice, as they have if they read here, would have spent that time building some great presell landing pages/sites.

For publishers this could be good because readers won't be seeing the same landing page url in multiple ads (3 ads that appear to be for ebay for example), so CTR might go up.

Zygoot




msg:1323478
 7:38 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mm hard to form an opinion about this..

I think it could lower the overall EPC.. Supply and demand: By this new rule from Google the demand from the advertisers will decrease. Our supply of ads inventory will stay the same. So normally the price will lower..

And on the other hand here's another reason why earnings could decrease. There will probably be quite some companies who receive a lot of income through affiliates and because of this new rule they will earn less. So they will have less money to spend on advertising..

novice




msg:1323479
 8:02 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

"You enjoy making less money? "

Does Google? They are publisher #1 ;)

markus007




msg:1323480
 1:57 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the question should be, how will the adsense alogorithm be effected by large shifts in inventory? Will we see large numbers of PSA's or are we going to see higher paying targetted ads?

ignatz




msg:1323481
 2:23 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing to consider here, is how the plague of aff. ads is negatively affecting visitors to your website..

If you are a visitor and you end up at some spammy ebay or shopping.com site almost every time you click "one of those google ads", you are going to be quickly conditioned not to bother clicking at all.

Many of the aff links I see are paying rock bottom CTR anyway, so I can see only good things resulting from this change.

annej




msg:1323482
 3:27 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

For publishers this could be good because readers won't be seeing the same landing page url in multiple ads

The disadvantage for me is that I will have to block a lot more ads. Now I can simply block widgets.com and cover all the affiliates for that company. If this comes to pass I will have to block them one by one.

In terms of which publishers it will hurt, I think it depends on how many non affiliate ads are available for your topic.

rjohara




msg:1323483
 5:25 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

So for us small-time publishers, does this mean we can safely unblock ebay, amazon, etc., that we had blocked because of all the "Great deals on dead cats" ads? I have nothing against affiliate ads per se; I have blocked these big groups on my site because they look like junk spam, not because they are affiliates.

Alleks




msg:1323484
 9:42 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think that "AdWorders" who owns multiple affiliate links just will buy domains like blue-green-widgets.com and will advertise their sites as they did before. For me as an AdSense publisher it would be just more work on blocking this affiliate ads in URL filter. Anyway let's see what Google will offer today.

Nikke




msg:1323485
 1:24 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks like more diversified domains are on the way:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Jane_Doe




msg:1323486
 2:05 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

What are other publishers thinking about this new Adwords policy?

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that whatever the details turn out to be that Google HQ knows what they are doing.

whats up skip




msg:1323487
 4:09 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it is really stupid when three or four ebay or ebay.com.au ads show on one page of our web site.

Most of these ads are poorly targeted and don't really ad value to the site. I would rather see greater diversity of advertisers. I am sure people are more likely to click through on them.

FromRocky




msg:1323488
 4:23 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would rather see greater diversity of advertisers.

The new "Affiliate Policy Change" is just to do that. It seems to be official now but not sure when it will be the effective date. Jan. 12?

Mauricio




msg:1323489
 9:01 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Every time Google made changes I've seen a decrease in my earnings (so I needed to increase my traffic to reach previous income levels).

I suspect these changes will have same effects.

Macro




msg:1323490
 11:11 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mauricio, possibly. That used to happen to me. I remember the first knock in Sep-Oct '03 when earnings dropped drastically with the introduction of broad matching. Then they dropped again on April 1, 2004 with the introduction of smart pricing. I was convinced there was a conspiracy at the 'plex. I started a thread here moaning about it and found that numerous other publishers had seen the opposite effect. When I saw drops they saw increases. So, I thought long and hard and decided that despite my convictions that I've been hard done by the evidence suggests that others have benefited. They've obviously done something differently. So, I thought - I'll just keep working on my sites with these points in mind:

1. Google's long term goal is likely to be to increase their earnings.
2. To increase my earnings I've got to roll with the puches and co-ordinate my interests with Google's wherever possible.
3. Where my interest conflicts with Google's my interests take precedence except if it's likely to get me kicked out/violates TOS in which case Google's interest should be catered for.
4. Determining Google's general long term interest is easy. Determining what to do on a day to day basis is a lot trickier. So, I'll avoid doing it. I'll continue building on my sites, adding content but keeping an eye on what's working and what's not. If "widget repair" articles are not generating as much as "widget manufacturing" articles I'll concentrate on more "widget manufacturing" articles and posting those first.
5. Doing everything with a long term perspective. Tomorrow Adsense may die. A competitor may succeed in getting my Adsense account closed. My sites have got to be able to demand a respectable ad rate for life after Adsense.
6. Realising that whatever ads a particular page attracts it's likely to be from an advertiser who wants to sell his widgets. My articles therefore have to stay neutral, be informative, but avoid saying, "Don't buy X".
7. Advertisers are paying for sales. They are not paying for useless clickthroughs, they are not paying for getting people tricked into visiting them. Adsense's algo is not clever enough to work out the quality of the visitor I send. But, I'm working on the premise that one day smart pricing will be replaced by something that does accurately quantify the value of visitors I send. Therefore, I must concentrate on getting/sending quality visitors.
8. Some you win, some you lose. OK, there's channels and some of my channels perform dismally on earnings. I've fought the temptation to replace ads in those channels with something else. Google doesn't stipulate that I must take the bad with the good ... but I think it's fair and is in the program's long term interest. Not a lot of people will agree with me on this but that's how I go. One of my sites gets a near "0" CTR but it's still carrying Adsense. If Google one day wants to weed out sites out based on a friendly site vs exploiter algo ;) they may remember I supported them even on those pages that weren't paying.
9. The program is new, there will be changes (like the new changes in Adwords). Keep thinking positive and things work out for the better.
10. Be aware of what's happening, what people are saying here and in other forums, what changes are happening on the other side of the coin (Adwords) and keep in mind all along that the advertisers are the ones paying you and me and Google. Now it's my job to cater for what the current changes mean to advertisers. It may result in a drop in earnings, or a rise. If it's a drop I'll convert it to a rise. Just have to figure out how.

Today I earn about 10 times what I was earning before the original drop in Oct '04. Maybe somebody else here will see that they are in the position I was in before Oct 14 (?) 2003. And, I hope that if they follow the above their success will be even more than mine.

steve40




msg:1323491
 12:16 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

a well thought out post macro

and exactly on the money

Google believes in a quality product for their visitors , in serps or adwords and we as webmasters have to make decisions on how much we value G traffic and work within G thinking if we possibly can

They may not be the only game in town but they are the biggest

steve

howiejs




msg:1323492
 1:32 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good most Macro!

The affiliate policy will hurt "affiliate type" sites the most. If your website focused on shopping - you were always getting lots of aff stuff.

If you were focused on a service - you mostly saw real co's and that will continue

level80




msg:1323493
 12:06 am on Jan 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Even if changes in how Adsense run (as they have in the past) say make your average CPC drop by 10% you easily make changes that triple your CTR and end up with a 167% increase in earnings.

PPC is what matters to the advertisers, but what should matter to the publishers is CTR and CPC - both high make a good CPM, which is the bottom line in the end... it's either that or double your traffic which is easier said than done.

Paris




msg:1323494
 3:19 am on Jan 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

While I'll be a bit more vigilant of my stats in a week to see how it all shakes out I'm not worried at all. Why would Google roll out a policy change if it meant less revenue for Google (and as a direct result the publishers)?

Affiliates weren't the ones bidding more than a nickel on AdWords. The meatier bids are by those who have more at stake -- and can profit from the traffic whether or not it results in a sale at the moment.

As a publisher, frankly, I'm excited to know that if I run a leaderboard that it won't be four similar ads. It will create diversity and I can deal with CPC inching lower if clickthrough rates inch higher in the process.

My guess is that it ulimately balances out with CPMs remaining roughly the same.

sailorjwd




msg:1323495
 3:20 am on Jan 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

From what I've been reading about the change it seems that we will likely be in a similar state (multiple ebay focused ads) in a few months since all the Aff folks need to do is create their own landing page. With a unique landing page they'll bypass this new rule.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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