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You're the CEO/owner of an online business that's growing it's sales through aff marketing. You type your company's top selling product name into G and see that in the SERPS, 5 of your affs are outranking your own site. In the Adwords space, the top two sponsored links are both affs, as are the top 3 ads on the right. Your own PPC ads are at no. 4 on the right.
a) Walk over to your aff program manager, pat him on the back, give him a bonus and buy him a beer, or..
b) Walk over to your aff program manager, shout at him for allowing your affiliates to outrank you and suggest he gets his act together.
If they have found search terms which they can afford to bid higher on than we can then good for them.
I would not suggest to stop PPC completely even if your affilliates filled all the top spots but what's harm in competing against yr affiliates. It will bring you more business, whereever user will click he will come to you...........
Brand Image? - i am hearing it from many small/medium merchants (even some in adsense forum!) .Who they think they are , Coca-Cola? :)
The reality is if you are a niche merchant you will be better of pursuing all available direct marketing efforts (PPC , affiliates , adsense etc) with little restrictions and the only creteria being direct ROI ...if some guy is telling you cannot accept some affiliate because his site is spammy looking , fire him!
You don't have to be Coca Cola to understand that
mfishy, that's precisely the correct attitude IMO, but to this day I'm constantly astounded at the amount of emails I receive along the lines of "please note that whilst we are happy for you to bid on our brand, pleasee restrict your bids to x amount". These are usually sent by the company running the merchants PPC campaign, who are rarely the same people running the aff campaign.
Even more stupid, are the letters doing the rounds in the UK finance sector that read "Dear xyz co., when we last checked Google for our customer's brand name (again these are typically from PPC management companies) we found that your site was top of both the SERPS and Adwords. Please refrain from profiting from our customer's hard earned online reputation or we wil sue you". If you don't pull the ads, you then get a solicitor's letter threatening legal action.
I have been tempted to answer these by writing to the company owner and suggesting that they:-
a) Hire me for their SEO
b) Hire me as an afiliate
c) Fire their PPC company
d) Write to Google, not their lawyers
e) Ask their existing web marketing team how a part timer working from home in his PJ's can beat all their high cost efforts!
However, as I don't need any more income from financial aff programs (not bragging, just that I have enough activity in this area already and like to keep a broad mix of industries running to avoid suffering too much from seasonal peaks and troughs) I just haven't bothered.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had a similar experience in the US, and if so how it was resolved.
If those spammy looking sites all link to you then you get the traffic otherwise you loose it to your competitors :) ...
There is nothing called branding for small merchants in the internet , if you have then typins will be a significant portion of your traffic!
The more happy affiliates you have, the more income you have as a merchant.
When I ran an aff program, I let my affiliates bid on anything they wanted. Actaully, we stopped using PPC as the affiliates filled up all the slots for us
For a company to get upset because a publisher outbidded them for their OWN trademarked term would be ridiculous, and it would actually SAVE the merchant company money in advertising costs! Unless they paid outrageous commissions on sales generated by publishers, of course.
I even have one company that I found a variation on their name that they don't come up for in the first 3 SERPs that gets as many clicks as the proper spelling. They have no adwords ads on it and they still won't let me advertise.
Another company has no adwords ads but they specifically say you can't link directly to their site (product pages or otherwise) using PPC.
Okay, it's one thing to think your affiliates are competing, but it's a whole other realm of stupid if you aren't doing it and you won't let your affiliates do it.
In some cases, Amazon ranks higher on their "in-house" brands and the merchant probably pays Amazon more to sell the item than an affiliate commission + a network fee.
Came across one merchant recently that requires affiliates to negative out the brand and all product names. They also consider anyone who has been cookied prior to the affiliate referral an "existing customer" even if they have never purchased before and pay less 50% of the normal commission on that.
In the programs we manage everything is open to affiliates and we don't even bid on our brand names, just let the affiliates battle it out.
But of course only a criminal would do such a thing.
Oh no, not a criminal... smart. I've been doing that for my company since G announced that they would not enforce trademark.
What we are talking about is a merchant will not let an affiliate buy an ad, that the affiliate pays for, to the merchant's site. Under the proper spelling, misspelling or to a specific product page.
e.g. - If Bob at "Bob's Blue Widgets" stops me bidding on his brands, I'll talk to Pete at "Pete's many coloured widget emporium" to see if he wants the traffic that Bob's got a problem with.
When Bob finds out, he'll no doubt be a tad miffed, but as Pete allows me to bid on anything and I no longer need Bob's money, I'm laughing all the way to the bank!
"No, I won't stop bidding on your trademark. The only question is whether I will direct that traffic to you or your competitor."
Ok, maybe that sounds a tad too threatening... but when some people truly don't understand how stupid they are being, it has to be spelled out.