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1 affiliate per merchant to be announced tomorrow

follow-up from http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum81/3940.htm

     
5:42 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just heard from "informed sources" that the formerly discussed change [webmasterworld.com...] that was brought up by Shak will be oficially announced tomorrow. Implementation will take place in a week. Will be interresting to watch. Wonder how many email complaints G will get.

I also expect to see a huge ripple effect for PPC affiliates as the ad volume will go down and the prices probably increase as only the top affiliate bid will be shown.

typo edited

[edited by: ThomasB at 5:56 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2005]

5:48 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Cool. The feedback from here was used to fine tune the program before release. Well done, guys! I can't wait to see what the terms actually are.
6:27 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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drop in publisher earnings

Actually, it's likely to drive prices way up, IMHO. Supply and demand. If there's only one slot, there's only one slot, and that slot becomes very valuable.

Google would not be doing something it thinks will decrease revenue. This move probably hurts advertisers way more than it hurts publishers.

6:38 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If there's only one slot, there's only one slot, and that slot becomes very valuable.

That's one reason I think it will be good for publishers. In the long run, I think it will probably also benefit hard working affiliates. With a decrease in ad inventory, there is likely to be a much better ROI for those who aren't able to bid for the top spots. I think this may temporarily lead to a huge bid gap between merchant sites and affiliate sites...at least until affiliates figure out what their new ROI is.

6:39 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is not just one affiliate per merchant, this is one ad, per domain, per term, meaning affiliates will be competing with their merchants.

"Well done", gimme a break, this is horrible...

6:39 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm very very curious how this is going to be implemented and what the effects will be like...
6:47 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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what the effects will be like

My opinion -

Really short term: Less ad inventory
Short term: Many landing pages that end up on affiliate sites anyway
Long term: More authoritative sites that produce better ROI showing up in the top slots

6:50 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I meant whom it will actually affect and how.
6:57 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, Google can't do diddly about click fraud.

They don't seem to act on purely scam ads (which are not affiliate ads) no matter how many times I report them.

They were very late in reacting to AdWords with a payload of spyware

So, attack the easy "enemy" and make like they're providing "relevancy".

2007 - GooWho?

patient2all

7:00 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well this has just ruined my evening. Time to lock up and get drunk.
7:05 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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christh,

I did that last night and it helped. I'd recommend a six pack of a micro-brew, and also, visit the butcher, get some good meat while you can still afford it.

7:11 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You know, Google is showing a certain kindness this time. Many of the affiliates affected by this will still have their holiday cash coming in to float off of while they figure out what to do next (at least the smart ones will).

G could have just as easily made this move before the holidays (like they did with Florida).

7:16 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well this has just ruined my evening. Time to lock up and get drunk.

What's the big deal? Knock out a good landing page and you're good to go.

7:18 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google is showing a certain kindness this time.

As is shak for not having posted an "I told you so" yet to this thread.

One question I have is...Are there that many people out there that rely on this for their livelyhood?

7:40 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I believe there are a lot of people that relyon this for their livelihood. I know there are a lotof affiliates with Clickbank that are making a LOTof money linking direct to the merchant. Myself, Iam glad to see these changes coming. I am also anaffiliate but I have been sending visitors to mysite for quite some time now.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 7:55 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2005]
[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]

7:55 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> Google would not be doing something
> it thinks will decrease revenue.

Affiliate programs are direct competition to AdSense and take away AdSense revenue.
Affiliate programs dilute AdWords value because of repetition and competition with the parent company.
Affiliate programs are the basis of many trademark issues for Google. (Geico!)
Affiliate programs clearly have the potential (and DO) decrease the quality of natural results.

That is three major strikes. If they can devalue or even eliminate the aff model, then google cures the single largest source of headaches in its entire model.

I don't agree or disagree with that, just be aware that is how G must see it.

Google has said they are running out of ad space, so devaluing the problem children should increase the relevance of the ads I'd think.

8:03 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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One question I have is...Are there that many people out there that rely on this for their livelyhood?

A fallacy has been bandied about in the other affiliate thread that affiliates who go directly to the merchant are "lazy" and don't take the time, investment or effort to buy a domain and build a website. I'd venture to say from the other forums that I frequent that such people are in the minority and don't rely on such for their livelyhood.

Most serious affiliates are diversified. Some sales come from domains reached through SERPs, other sales come in through PPC to domains and still other sales come in from direct to merchant ppcs. Having the rug pulled out from a major revenue outlet with one week's notice is callous and far less than what folks who spend up to tens of thousands a week deserve.

I question whether their plan is well thought out at all and whether it will work properly. Google has a history of taking a casual approach to software changes and perhaps to save costs prefers to test their changes live. Look at the massive disruption to retailers last year when the ill-timed Florida update was launched unannounced. Even the relatively minor changes last November still appear to have massive bugs still floating around.

Tools like the "Ad diagnostic tool" and the "Bid suggestion tool" rarely report correct results and show no signs of improving. They make MicroSoft seem like NASA in terms of pre-launch readiness.

It sounds like they've created an administative nightmare for themselves with this proposed change.

Are they prepared for when the sole bidder's keyword goes into "hold" or "disabled" status?

Will one be informed real-time that their keyword has no chance of showing for failing to top the max bid for the sole affiliate?

Will Google's resources be taxed by continuous attempts to re-submit keywords in the hope that they'll luck out at a time when the winner's ad is disabled, offline or paused?

For that matter, can winners hold every possible keyword in a paused campaign, thereby locking everyone out from bidding on a term, for whatever nefarious reason?

Hours or days could be spent creating campaigns for naught. Unlike Overture who makes competing bids available, Google has never done that and I doubt it is forthcoming.

Serious affiliates also always have Plan B ready and for myself that has included working with some of the smaller, friendlier search engines that actually have humans one can talk to. For that matter, even at their main competitor, Overture, it is simple to get a rep on the phone to speak with you at length about your campaign. And that's even for those with $150.00 in their account.

Here is an excellent opportunity for Microsoft, its faults nonwithstanding, to make a major stake for itself in the PPC business. It can't happen too soon. Google's customer service has always stunk and it will simply get worse now with millions of inquiries about this ill-fated system.

Who will the winners be? Spammers of various varieties who will put a "real" page out there, only to replace it with a verbotim affiliate ad as soon as the review is completed. When they're caught, they simply regroup until the next opportunity presents itself.

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8:16 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I know many affilates that are making very good money,
and they are only using PPC, and mainly Adwords.
8:19 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I actually think it's good news, because they didn't completely eliminate it! What it basically will do is solidify the top-spending PPC big dogs, and slam the door on 5 cent ad spammers and Google-Cash newbies who think they'll get rich from spending a dollar a day.

The skilled affiliates have already risen to the top few spots of a keyword through expertise and by spending a lot of money. They will not be eliminated under this change.

8:20 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sure, landing pages are the only way to go now, which is somewhat inconvenient, but I'd factored this into my plans for 2005, and it'll be nice to do some more web-work again. Might even resurrect some of my old sites.

This will mean increased competition between SERP'ed affiliates and the evicted PPC affiliates, so any 'told you so' non-PPC types can expect quite a few new websites springing up in the search listings. And all the unscrulpulous 'buy death' Ebay PPC bidders will be using every trick in the book to get aff commissions via SERPs.

So as far as I can see, everyone loses, except Google (for now), and the perhaps the merchants (who will all crack down massively on PPC once they realise how much they're having to pay to get into pole position)

8:32 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Actually, it's likely to drive prices way up, IMHO. Supply and demand. If there's only one slot, there's only one slot, and that slot becomes very valuable.

Unfortunately, not all advertisers opt-in to content, so if that top slot advertisers has opted out of content, it would not drive up the price in the content network. If they don't relegate down to the highest bidding advertiser who *has* opted into content, it will result in lost earnings for publishers.

Many publishers would see five affiliate ads in a single ad unit, all for the XYZ affiliate program, most worded differently. Now, those ad units would only see one XYZ affiliate ad, if that, and it might not even be the one that was doing the best in content. (Yes, you can have a higher CTR in content when you are utilizing ad copy that is more favorable to a content click, which is quite different than an ad written specifically for search).

I am waiting to see how the terms are in regards to the content network, it could go either way.

8:37 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure this thing has a lot to do with the ridiculous ebay ads everywhere. Any time there is a good thing out there some greedy jerk will ruin it for all. Just like the doorway spam sites. It has gotten so bad that G will do something harsh and ruin it for everybody. They are already banning people left and right.
8:41 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Affiliate programs clearly have the potential (and DO) decrease the quality of natural results.

That's not going to be solved by this move. On the contrary, some of those who now redirect to the merchant will put up their own (clone) sites and cause more pollution in the SERPS, not less.

9:11 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Cant this be avioded by simply creating a landing page? Or instead of pointing the ad at the merchants aff URL, couldnt one point the ad to a domain you own that forwards to the merchant?

And dosent OV already prohibit ppc direct to merchant?

9:32 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Or instead of pointing the ad at the merchants aff URL, couldnt one point the ad to a domain you own that forwards to the merchant?

Google don't allow URL redirects. But I should imagine they'll have their work cut out trying to stop the inevitable flood of attempts...

9:32 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"couldnt one point the ad to a domain you own that forwards to the merchant?"

maybe google is planning to ban those too?

9:51 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The feedback from here was used to fine tune the program before release. Well done, guys!

How do you know? Is there something you know that we don't?

10:06 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Affiliate programs clearly have the potential (and DO) decrease the quality of natural results.


That's not going to be solved by this move. On the contrary, some of those who now redirect to the merchant will put up their own (clone) sites and cause more pollution in the SERPS, not less.

That's not an AdWords issue; that's a problem for Google Search. And to judge from the way the AdSense program has been handled, making life easy for Google's search engineers isn't a make-or-break priority.

Also, who's to say that Google may not be planning to take more aggressive action against the clone-and-pollute crowd? IMHO, that seems likely, if only because Google's current problems with its SERPs will only get worse if it doesn't take fairly drastic steps.

10:13 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I think this will be a big disadvantage to pubilshers.

I will be amazed if what I earns goes up, I don't care about what Googles earns.

I wait to see what happens

dregs33

10:22 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now all of those affiliates will take the money they earned from AdWords and get to work spamming the google 'natural' search results in newer and trickier ways. Smart thinkin' goog.
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