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- The Offer -
The affiliate/advertiser's site is not a fly by night operation and has been around for some time.
- A little about my site -
My site has a good amount of traffic. I only use adsense and have never participated in anything else other than adsense or ypn type programs (no selling of links, link exchanges, etc). Any outgoing links are those I found would help my visitors and I'm selective on those links.
- Ramifications -
What are the ramifications of accepting such an offer? Am I being taken for a ride? Here is what I imagine could happen:
What would you do? What are your thoughts? What am I missing or am I being overly protective?
Can you find out why they want to pay you a flat fee instead of getting you in their affiliate program? My concern is that they will end up underpaying you in the long run.
I refused their offer, not as a way to make more, but because I figure I'll just leave things the way they are (don't rock the boat).
I have now received a counter offer to place a link in my menu and one on the front page that points to an internal landing page (page on my site) that then links out to the advertiser's site. I no longer have to worry about linking to their site from multiple pages.
With the new offer, I'm guessing they don't really care about pr (not that it's something to worry about…)
I have not been tracking the companies that are advertising on my site, but the idea that they are using Adwords and figuring that they'll contact me directly sounds like the only scenario that makes sense.
I didn't realize the new TOS requires me to contact Goggle when approached by an advertiser. In fact, it's not really fair, I don't track that information so that would leave me in the position of having to contact Google any time a company approached me to see if they have advertised on my site, right? What is the best tracking tool for this anyway?
I would never put up a page before I was paid in full and everything cleared (except Google or Yahoo), so I'm not worried about a MLM scam.
As for the comparison to the running of their ads being the same as running Adsense, I don't agree. Google is OK with Google ads and I doubt they factor into your ranking, but linking to another site (other than Google) would have some type of impact (be it big or small).
Good idea on the contract. I will ask for that in advance so that I am not wasting my time.
Great idea on the nofollow and redirect script with robots exclusion. If they are not after pr, weight, etc, then they won't mind, right?
It was suggested that I do due diligence. Besides talking with the company, verifying their site and emails, I rely upon the knowledge of you here at webmasterworld. Is there something else I should be doing?
Here is the plan so far:
By the way, does anyone have an example of an escape clause?
I appreciate all the input so far and the suggestions are great!
This would get us great testing on big market sites and see how well our banners and landing pages convert. I didn't realize how many webmasters would be skeptical about joining an affiliate program and receiving money up front for doing so.
With so many scams out there, it is only natural that we seek the advice of others.
I'm all for the idea, I just want to make sure I'm not being taken advantage of.
I would tell them that they can advertise for the first 30 days at $5,000.00. After 30 days if they are satisfied with the results they can advertise for 12 months with a 10% discount and full payment up front.
All links get No-follow
Only take Wire Transfers.
You get final approval of links.
The reason I'd say its a scam is a legit company recently got in touch with us about running text links site-wide. The price we quoted, which was much less than $5000 on a site that's got quite a bit of traffic and unique content, was turned down.
@michaelwebster you're so wrong... I have affiliate programs paying me five figures a month for commissions being generated from one site... and they're not the only affiliate we work with or website we own in that position...
Also agree with @incredibill's advice *IF* this is a site you care about Google rankings for.
Additionally, if the company is willing to pay you 5K a month to promote them, it's because they're making more than that. So, you may want to look into the affiliate space for this product/service and give that a try as well.
My two cents... "
You write based on your business experience. Which I understand and respect
But, I write based on my experience as lawyer dealing/uncovering frauds.
People who are conned talk themselves in to it. You are not smarter than a con crimninal - just avoid anything sounds like something for nothing. You will be on the wrong end of it.
The pitch was made to sound like an affiliate program -it isn't.
Do you mean links to the merchant site? Or are they not really a merchant but an affiliate? And if they're an actual merchant, are they one that has an affiliate program?
Because you keep calling them an affiliate, didn't know if you were just using the wrong terminology.
[edited by: TrustNo1 at 4:58 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2008]
The company sells a product and they would like me to link from my site to their product page.
I took everyones advice and wrote them asking for more information about their affiliate program and explaining that I would be willing to give this a shot for a month provided I had cash in hand.
I also explained that I will be placing nofollow on the links and that I'll be using a redirect script.
I believe everything is legitimate and if they are really only concerned with selling their product, then they shouldn't have a problem with this. I really hope there are not tricks and it turns out to be a win win.
Regardless of what happens, I will post as events take place so that others have something to research should they run into the same situation.
If you think of anything, please, don't hesitate to post your thoughts!
ken_b - the link in the nav bar would be to my landing page. Am I missing something here?
@michael webster if you actually read my whole post, you'd note that *I* actually pointed out that it wasn't an affiliate program: "The title of this thread is either misleading or ignorant. This is not an "affiliate offer" because affiliates make money when they actually produce something and aren't simply paid a flat fee. This is someone who wants to *advertise* on your site, not do an affiliate deal."
Secondly, you stated: "Unless the offer is from someone running adsense on your site, there is no way they can offer and pay you 5k a month"
And me saying you're wrong there has nothing to do with uncovering fraud or anything of the sort. You said that no one but Adsense could offer to pay this much for advertising. You're wrong. Legit companies can and do pay this much for advertising on good websites. I'm not saying *this* company is legit, but saying that the basis of your statement is flawed.
that points to a landing page (also on my site) that then links to affiliate site
I don't think the existence of affiliate links makes the site bad or dangerous. Evaluate the content. Maybe I am misunderstanding the whole thread, because I see some people calling it a scam. Isn't this just a link-purchase request?
This sounds like a link request I got recently claiming you can make $5000 a month "just by linking to them". Reading more carefully revealed it was a pyramid scheme, and other people have to link under you in some sort of "chain reaction".
Is this what you received?
Like all potential marks, you are missing the point. Cons typically work by getting the mark to jump to all sorts of conclusions.
Why was the offer pitched in affiliate language, when it clearly wasnt't?
Did you miss the attempt to short circuit the new Google TOS?
Of course I didn't say that no space could be worth $5,000. My response was to the previous poster, small company. Whose analysis I think is a good start. Read it in context with that post.
[edited by: eljefe3 at 1:37 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2008]
The problem I do see is that it will have an impact on your current Adsense earnings and I do not know whether the $5000 would be enough to compensate the possible losses that you would incur.
A possible solution for you to consider Shoreline... why don't you look at related affiliate products and create your own site to send your current traffic to?
This way, you wouldn't get the $5000 per month from the deal but you could make money on affiliate sales. Again I am not sure whether it would enable you to raise total revenue by $5000 as it would have some impact on adsense revenue and may not yield $5000 in affiliate sales each month.
For what it's worth, I've communicated back and forth with this person, verified the company and talked in person over the phone. It is a legitimate company, ...
You definitely must verify that the person is indeed speaking for the company.
Is the person's mail address a genuine company mail address or an unrelated hotmail/yahoo/whatever address? This a vital scam indicator.
And did your mail replies go back straight to that address, or was there a funny/scammy reply-to: redirect trick, like
Add a bonus point if the mail originated from the company's mail server (look into the headers).
Can you associate the phone number of the person to the company -- did the phone calls come from that company's headquarter or from someone somewhere else? Did you ever call him back to that given number? Then check again and call the company's main number and ask to be connected to that person.
If all those points are OK and nothing came back on a search for the words "company" and "scam", then consider to do the deal.
If your site stands good and strong, I won't worry about a possible PR-leakage (if such a thing even exists) -- that's the deal: money for the link.
Romeo: All you suggest has been verified - Thank you.
Michael Webster: You state that they are bypassing the Google TOS; do you think I need to notify Google before moving forward?
This is where the google FUD is working.
Unless you are making a killing on adsense, merely take it down and take the money for the link. No harm no foul as you are not circumventing the adsense TOS as you no longer are using adsense.
However, if the link in my menu bar went directly to the advertiser, then I would have to take down adsense site-wide, is this correct?
I'm a long term type of person and losing the site would be like losing my Dog, and I love my Dog. Sure, I can buy another dog, but it just wouldn't be the same.
I'll wait until I have the cash in hand, nofollow links and redirect script on landing page will be used and should I discover that my adsense revenue is dropping, I can bail at any time and refund the unused portion.
If I so chose, they are willing to do an affiliate program.
Unless I am blinded by the $$$, I can't see how this could be bad.
We'll work on the landing page over the next week or so, then go live.
I will keep everyone updated.