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Affiliate Programs in Serps

Whats the logic

     
8:01 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I recently achieved the #1 serp for an affiliate product I sell. The person I beat out was actually selling a competing product comparing their product saying how much better it was.

Today I get an email they are going to be dropping affiliates who try to rank higher than the company for thier term in natural serps. If they don't want people competing against them why offer an affiliate program? Isn't one of the benefits of an affiliate program to let the affiliate take the marketing risks?

Now if I were an especially crafty person I would be on the lookout for these less competitive programs, and rank for their terms with things like:

"What the makers of widgets don't want you to know"
"Why try widgets when wadgets due the job better"
"Wadgets are faster than widgets"

8:06 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree. I could see if it was Adwords/Overture, but not in the organic SERPS. That seems foolish.

wellzy

8:42 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Most affiliate managers know nothing about the industry. It's sad.
9:33 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like it's time you sign up for a competitors affiliate program and use your higher ranked page to take that traffic away from them and send somewhere else. Let them chew on that for awhile.
4:11 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Ya, it shouldn't be necessary to educate affiliate managers about affiliate marketing, but if they drop you, turn the links elsewhere.
4:19 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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graywolf, might be worth letting them know that having the top 2 placing in serps is better than just the #2 place they can get themselves. A little reminder on how much they will lose always helps.

Ian

4:53 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Tell them politely that if you controlled the search engines, you'd be increadibly wealthy, but since you don't they can hold you responsible for a third-party (the search engine) linking to your web content.

Unless their contract has a requirement that you ban all search engines using robots.txt or something, it's hard to see how they can create a requirement like you describe.

But really, affiliate programs that consistently fire their most effective affiliates because of their effectiveness might as well just close their program.

5:09 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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They just revised the agreement my favorite part is you can't have the product name in the filename, title or as text on the page.
12:25 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Greywolf: totally fantastic! Is it still even allowed to link to them, or is that banned, too?;))
1:09 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You can link to them but you are only allowed to use the link text EXACTLY as it is provided. The funny part is that link of course has the product name in it. So you can't use our product name, oh wait yes you can ...

Bummer is I am pulling in $200 a day for this one term.

7:00 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree with you, Graywolf. How insecure is a company to pull you from their affiliate program if you rank higher?

If I were you, I would do the opposite to them: Send them an email and tell them that before they pull you from their affiliate program that you will leave for such a stupid policy on their part. Maybe if you threaten them with that and tell them how ludicrous their attitude is, that they will wake up.

Good luck. You are completely right for being concerned.

2:42 am on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A bit late to reply to this one, but I recently went through this.

The affiliate decided to not allow their name in domain names (fair enough as its no doubt their trademark)... but went so far as to also not allow their name in page titles...

From what we were told the boss of the comapany who's products are on offer through the aff program did some searches at google and didn't like what he saw. So the company decided that everyone was ranking well for their name because of the domain names &/or the titles. They changed their TOS, and aparently aquiried all the domains (although we did use their name in our titles, we didn't have it in any domains so I don't know if or how they did this).

We've complied with the new TOS, its been a couple months now and we haven't noticed any drop in income from them.

But - where will it all end?

I can understand respected off-line companies wanting to; increase online revenue, protecct their brand on & off-line, and wanting to pay as little as possible for other people to do most of this for them (affiliates)... So, my guess is that respected off-line companies will begin to foster better relationships with selected affiliates, and avoid the 'click here to become an affiliate' style relationships.

Following this line of thought, this would result in off-line companies chosing existing sites to offer aff oportunities - putting an end to purpose built aff sites based on the products available through 'click here to become an affiliate' programs.

On and on and on... it will be interesting to see how it balances out.