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I agree I found befree to be more trouble than aff progs were worth
Don't judge all affiliate programs by befree. There are some good programs out there. Befree was bad before valueclick bought them but they've improved a little since then. The problem is with companies like Befree,Commission Junction and Linkshare that make themselves middlemen between the merchant and the affiliate. Their links can't be indexed by any search engine and they insist that you use them unmodified for "accounting" purposes.
Personally,I'm glad befree is buying Commission Junction. I hated them before and refused to sign with any compnay affiliated with them. Linkshare has never paid commissions on time but I've got to deal with them to get into the new BuyMusic affiliate program. Befree generally pays on time. They just plain suck at support though.
CJ is not particularly user-friendly to the merchant. The merchant has no way of knowing who their affiliates are, unless they pay CJ money to send an e-mail to those affiliates. On CJ, the merchant does not actually have any affiliates. Rather, those affiliates are affiliates of CJ. As a result, the merchant does not actually know if CJ credited the affiliates with the proper incentives and bonuses.
BF, on the other hand, keeps itself removed from the merchant-affiliate relationship. The merchant manages its own affiliate base.
CJ also requires the merchant creatives to be housed on its own server. Thus, there is a limit to how many creatives a merchant can maintain. BF, however, requires the merchant to store them on their own server, thus there is no limit on the number of creatives. If a CJ merchant hits their limit, they have to expire a creative in order to add a new one.
Affiliates will experience greater negatives with BF, while merchants will absolutely love BF.
Adsence is more of an advertising network than an affiliate program. An afiliate program is where a company will pay affiliates for sales/clicks/actions that are generated as a result of a user on an affiliated site.
Adsense is where sites display adsense adverts, and get paid by Google for clicks.
An idea of an affiliate program would be if google where to pay us for new advertisirs we sent to them ;-)
To a small extent we are affiliates of google because we get paid a percentage for all clicks our users generate.
It isn't an affiliate program as such though.
Merchants and advertisers are always going to be out there. We may have to using different networks/tracking systems, which is a simple technical issue.
ValueClick has purchased other networks before. OnResponse (previously Bach Systems) was bought, and their campaigns were rolled into the Valueclick system.
BeFree was bought, and nothing really changed except improvements to their system.
CJ has the best interface and tracking system of everything I have seen that ValueClick owns, and I seriously doubt they'll roll CJ into something else.
I'm not saying it'll all be rosy, but no need to flip out until the dust settles and we actually see what happens.
The ValueClick acquisition of Commission Junction is expected to close sometime in late November and we will be working hard to plan for a successful integration of our two organizations. In the meantime, I am happy to personally answer any questions you have, so don't hesitate to contact me or anyone on the Commission Junction Leadership Team.
I hope everything will work out fine and that we would have to make any changes to our sites.