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It is Official : AdWords Policy Takes Aim at Affiliate Ads

     
2:51 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The paraphrased version of the email:

There will be only one ad displayed per serach query per domain.
The ad with the highest Ad Rank will be displayed.
This means affiliates and merchants will compete against each other for positioning.

You no longer have to identify yourself as an affiliate.
Google will not change the ad text, you must do this manually.

If you use a unique URL for your landing page, you will not be affected by this change.

3:05 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

This probably seems like an odd question. While the email was briefly posted, I noticed that it seemed to specify google.co.uk in its example. Is thier anychance that this is a change that is being tested first in one market? Is it possible that different Googles could have different editorial policies?

Regards,

3:08 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just got the email here in the States, no mention of .uk in it...
3:12 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wow - six days (official) notice. How nice of Google. (Sarcasm)
3:16 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just got the email.. Nice! :-)
3:17 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just receive Google Email..

They will only display one affiliate ad per search query...
But the problem is they didn't inform us where they start to implement this policy...

But at the other hand affiliate ads will stay.

As I understood before I thought that they will delete affiliate ads...

3:21 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What if you're with CJ. And they have about infinite amounts of URLs.

www.asdfhgag.com
www.gaghfsfh.com

ect..

Does that count? They can't pick that up immediately without a manual rep visiting the site. :)

3:27 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They can't pick that up immediately without a manual rep visiting the site.

Seeing as each ad gets manually reviewed eventually, that might not be a way around it.

3:32 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just got 2 e-mails from the US AdWords team. The first one, titled "Affiliate Policy Change" has been mentioned above. There is no mention of the effective date, just "in January".The second one is about the display URL from a very old ad of mine. I can use this to answer the following question:

What if you're with CJ. And they have about infinite amounts of URLs.
www.asdfhgag.com
www.gaghfsfh.com

ect..

Does that count? They can't pick that up immediately without a manual rep visiting the site. :)

The second email asked me to correct the display URL from an affilliate with CJ from asdfhgag.com (example) to the domain of the affilliate.

4:00 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just got an email. Almost put it into its own thread, but figured it would be better if it went here.

I must admit I'm not too concerned, as I have most of my high-traffic products on my own webpage. Meguesses that this is probably what many affiliates will start doing.

4:01 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Got the email too. Might be wise to get this done fast before everyone starts changing ads at the same time. That might slow down the whole system.
4:01 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So is the "Ad Rank" based on each individual keyword I'm assuming?
4:14 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, knew it would happen. Don't think it fixes their real problem. Still going to get ebay ads for dead pets. Still going to have 6 generic dynamic ads from the big shopping networks and wart-mal wanna-bes.
4:16 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So is the "Ad Rank" based on each individual keyword I'm assuming?

Your assumption is correct.

4:18 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now what if we have a scenario like this:

Two people advertising for Red Widgets.

Advertiser #1 - www.widgets.com
Advertiser #2 - www.widgets.com/red-widgets.html

Are they considered the same?

4:22 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The other thread is locked but Steve over there had a good point. DO NOT remove the aff or affiliate at this point as it could wreak your ranking if they reevaluate the ad. I think we are stuck with our ads if they had competition.
4:26 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now what if we have a scenario like this:
Two people advertising for Red Widgets.

Advertiser #1 - www.widgets.com
Advertiser #2 - www.widgets.com/red-widgets.html

Are they considered the same?

As I understand they're the same since they have the same domain name or the same affilliate.

4:31 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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DO NOT remove the aff or affiliate at this point as it could wreak your ranking if they reevaluate the ad.

You can create the identical ad without aff and the run them together. If the new ad works better, delete the old one with aff. If not, keep the old one.

5:10 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Correct me if I am wrong, but won't affiliates give up on bidding for keywords as a business model and so there won't be any pressure to get a high bid value for top spot?

Some senior people have said this will keep or increase revenues. I think this will just chase a bunch of bidders away so they don't bother playing the game anymore.

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

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How will the old guy ever get knocked off? They will have to show 2 ads or there is no way to know which ad with the same url has the best CTR and cost. Or am I missing something?
5:19 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What if you're with CJ. And they have about infinite amounts of URLs.
www.asdfhgag.com
www.gaghfsfh.com

That's the actual URL, not the landing page URL. Your display URL must match the landing page URL. Therefore, haveing ashdgag.com as the display URL and trying to sneak it by will not work.

Google has said they're going to be paying more attention to the display URL.

The question is, how are they going to enforce subdomains?

myblog.blogspot.com is different than yourblog.blogspot.com.

However, people can set up a website so that blah.example.com is the same as blahblah.example.com

The enforcement and review process for subdomains will be interesting to watch.

5:32 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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toddb,

You have an interesting point there

If Adrank = CTR X CPC.

As the Ad not showing going to same URL would need to go exponential on CPC to have a higher Adrank.

Especially if brand named bidding and sending direct to merchant, most users will recognise the brand in the destination url. Consequently it is highly unlikely that the one url pointing to the merchant domain will ever overtaken.

So do you create ads now without the "aff" in copy, get a roaming ip address to repeatly click on your ad incuring a certain cost for the privilege that once you have acheived a 90% CTR and at say least 200 click thrus. You pause the ad until the policy comes into affect then unleash.

Or you might get lucky by creating the ad, click it only once then pause.

Or if that process fails, create a landing page, repeat the above process until you are high enough or above the direct link, then change the url in the ad.

[edited by: Qui_Gon_Jinn at 5:38 am (utc) on Jan. 7, 2005]

5:37 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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eWhisper -

1.
I am also interested to see how they will handle cloaked urls...

Redirects will die but cloaked urls? Or will cloaked urls just be considered a frame?

2.

What if I give my affiliates packages of content that look much the same as my site that they can host on their own domains....... this should work?

3.

I am guessting they will probably have extra code in place that scans ads much the same way they scan for spelling mistakes, trademarks right now.........except for domains, etc,

..seems they are not rocking the boat too much to avoid huge revenue drops.... seems like extra awareness and work for the editorial team..

-mega

5:39 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just a note. This change will not affect a certain pay-to-play merchant I'm aware of. When you ante up with them they let you brand one of their ready made websites and host your domain. This model slips under all the SE's radar as each site appears unique while selling the merchants inventory. If Yahoo and MSN follow suit with G's new policy, it might be good for pay-to-play merchants.
5:43 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure they will put it up in haste with very little thought of all the ramifacations. Adwords is so poorly run already. Iv'e spoken with G employees and even they agree that the system is very flawed. The system is designed in some back room by a bunch of phd geeks that don't talk to the rest of the company. I know advertisers that have called to ask their rep about new features that they just noticed and that was the first the rep heard of the new feature. They make new changes and upload them without telling anybody. Business people or anybody in touch with reality have no say in the matter.
5:44 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Another quick thought. What ctrXcost? the one determined right at the moment of switch over? Do I have to be awake the next 6 days? Or would htey average you over a period of time? Ads take a while to stabilize but this is an unstable medium if someone is fighting it out.
5:59 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What if I give my affiliates packages of content that look much the same as my site that they can host on their own domains....... this should work?

Is it truly unique?

If a site's landing page has only affiliate links to the merchant, and is pretty much a 'you must click here' page, then it'll most likely be disapproved.

If it has any type of origional content, then it should be approved.

That's a paraphrase of what 3 different people have conveyed to me.

The question is, what will be considered "origional".

The second question is, with 8 billion websites, how will they keep track of which ones are origional?

6:07 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In my e-mail i recieved from google i didnt read anything about an exact date that the new change will take effect...

I read earlier today that is was the 12th...

Is that the true date?

7:33 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think that most posts did not notice the term 'unique url' and have been pondering over 'domain'. You have to have a unique URL (without redirect of course).

Also, I think it is OK to have all clickable links going to the merchant. What metters is whether the content on the site looks meaningful (much less unique) or it is a simple page with "Click here to go the main site".

7:38 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Will it be Ok for the merchant to supply a cut and paste code to be used in the landing page with order button and direct link to the order page?
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