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My question AGAIN is: Is CJ REALLY responding to Google and stampeding frustrated CJ merchant concerns about poor quality affiliate marketers and are fed up? And if so, why didn't merchants and CJ just turn off problem accounts instead of going to this extreme? I can't make sense of this.
CJ needs to release some strong information here, because at this point they're being dragged through the mud as being a network filled with neer do well schmalzty marketers (us btw).
So it looks like we will have SOME time to change everything.
They just phoned me up to discuss the changes and all the would say is "some time". I asked what that meant and they wouldn't give me a straight answer.
CJ invites are being filtered to trash as of this minute.
Do they really think Google isn't wise enough to detect their new links?
Exactly, if I were to place my bets on Google's 100 PHDs or CJ's speculation I know where my money would be.
search engines will see these links in a similar way as they see forms.
Google already follows my forms ....
Not much of a solution for the really good affiliates who code to XHTML standards then. Surely CJ are taking a huge risk here, my impression has always been that they relied on inertia to keep their affiliate traffic stable. Forcing affiliate action is a risky strategy IMO
I tend to agree (although I suspect they were moving this way anyway). I've seen complaints from some pretty large affs that they either can't or won't go along with this. Whilst this move will help them cut fraud to merchants, surely the loss of that revenue is going to hurt them too?
Re; the issue CJ raises about Google and affiliate links...Not sure this is new info since I don't spend my day reading G's TOS - but I don't think I've heard people talking about this. I don't remember G in the past specifically mentioning affiliate sites this way, but maybe it's been there all along and I just didn't hear about it.
Quality guidelines - specific guidelines
* Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
* If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
If a site doesn't meet our quality guidelines, it may be blocked from the index.
Hiding the links in JS is all fine and good assuming G can't read JS (which we know it can to at least a limited extent), but with all the tracking mechanisms G now has, it's still easy for them to see a person hitting a page then shortly after being routed through CJ (or any aff. program or network for that matter).
Who cares if they don't *see* the link, they will still see the movement of the person which is all they need to identify an "affiliate" site.
They'll have to come up with a better excuse than this.
[edited by: TrustNo1 at 4:53 pm (utc) on May 26, 2006]
joined:Dec 29, 2003
How the h_ll did those people reach the level where they are in charge of million $ decisions?
Leaving those of us who have customized code, hand embedded into pages, alone to carry on sending perfectly targetted traffic to our affiliates.
I asked the CJ support what I was meant to do in the immediate.
I am obviously not going to continue modifying pages to add their script knowing that I am later going to have to hand remove it.
Therefore I have to abandon adding new pages and converting the old ones!
However I don't think CJ would make this drastic of a change that will create so much work for affiliates merchant and CJ just to eliminate the crappy affiliate link farm type sites. IMO link farm sites don't generate much in terms of traffic anyway, much less clicks or revenue - so a lot of affiliates that just put up a ton of banners won't make any money and will drop out or be dumped by CJ anyway. Although since most affiliates that launch link farm sites probably arent very good at getting natural rankings, they may be more likely to do tricks for clicks I suppose.
Molander says today that this is in effect CJ's attempt to rid the network of Mom & Pop type affiliates. I think that's a load! Some of the best affiliates I know are Mom & Pop type affiliates and they spend lots of time creating quality content that adds value. I think the large number of good Mom & Pop type affiliates is one of CJ's biggest advantages to merchants.
[edited by: eljefe3 at 4:00 am (utc) on May 31, 2006]
Basically they said the migration to JS links will be completed sometime in early 2007 and that until that time, the standard "legacy" links will continue to work.
They also stated that the standard "legacy" links would still be available for Search Engine Marketing and Email campaigns.
Unfortunately, the very next sentence was
However, if you establish a new relationship with an advertiser after June 23, only JS-formatted links will be available for that advertiser.
So, if we label our selves "SEM's" will we only have access to legacy links for current relationships or is this for any relationship?
Is there a time period on these "legacy" links as well even if we label ourselves as SEM's?
Man they have gone about this the wrong way.
I've fired off another email to my rep on the above questions.
Next question...if they are doing this to "avoid search engine degredation" why are SEM's allowed to use legacy links? Seems somewhat contradictory doesn't it?
As far as I'm concerned MarketingVox and ClickZ just lost a lot of street cred by their myth chasing. It's too bad CJ wasn't straight up because now due to agenda feeding and no fact checking it's frontline news that CJ's network is filled with a bunch of bottom feeder affiliate muck slingers that need to be scraped off the net.
The biggest affiliates at CJ are not SE dependent type affiliates so I don't buy anything that says it's because of the SE's.
I haven't seen anything that would indicate that affiliate links hurt SE rankings. If a site has no content or load of dup content, it will get dumped eventually, affiliate links or not.
Thinking in terms of advertiser/publisher is the wrong approach. If CJ wants to be an advertising network then this may be the right direction to go. Affiliates are not marketers, they are sales people or organizations.
Banners are the standard brochures sales people may hand out to prospective customers but the content is the sales pitch. If a sales person had to walk around with a tape recorder from corporate management that repeated the same thing to every prospect, they wouldn't sell much of anything.
I think CJ will ultimately lose money after this change is implemented. People don't make money in affiliate marketing by slapping banners up on their site. They make it by smartly integrating TEXT links into their content. I'm very upset by this removal of flexibility from affiliates.
CJ's revenue will drop considerably after this change. Maybe after it affects VCLK's bottom line as well as the bottom line of their advertisers, they'll change it back.
Tunnel vision at it's best!
Am I reading this correctly that text links will be completely out of the affiliates control?
[email content removed - please see TOS]
Looks fairly cut and dry that they won't be allowing any publishers to modify text in the text links. The advertisers will have complete control over what the link says on your page.
[edited by: jcoronella at 6:03 pm (utc) on May 30, 2006]
[edit reason] TOS #9 - No email snippets [/edit]
joined:Dec 29, 2003
Great job CJ.
Looks fairly cut and dry that they won't be allowing any publishers to modify text in the text links.
...or that the client services person you spoke has been poorly educated on the subject and either didn't understand your question or is just plain wrong.
(I saw the email before the edit)
joined:Dec 29, 2003
where in the FAQ does it say you'll be able to change link text?
In any case, my information comes from a discussion with someone there. You have no reason to believe me, I guess we'll all have to wait and see.