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Old 04-06-2009, 03:47 AM   #1
Czar

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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
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Arrow Amazon to cease support for affiliates who use paid search

In an amazing decision, given the strength of some of the superaffiliates who promote Amazon in this fashion, the online retailing giant and affiliate program pioneer has announced its intent to disallow affiliates from sending them traffic through paid search campaigns.

Here's the announcement that was emailed to affiliates today:
Quote:
We’re writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or www.endless.com through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you're not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.

As of May 1, 2009, Associates will not be paid referral fees for paid search traffic. Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.

This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. If you are conducting paid search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.
What are your thoughts about this new development?
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:17 PM   #2
Eric P
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Perhaps Amazon has created a partnership with some of the major search portals. It would then logically follow that they wouldn't want to have to compete with their own affiliates for keyword prices?

Unless they're getting a fantastic deal, I don't see how this would benefit them financially. In the current way of doing things, affiliates were paying out of pocket to run trial campaigns, and they effectively had thousands of "consultants" testing and perfecting search engine techniques without costing Amazon a dime, other than the actual commission if they succeeded.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
Czar

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Hey Eric,

That's always been my feeling in regards to merchants who place tough restrictions on paid search affiliates. While I completely understand the need to keep the brand well presented and somewhat understand the logic behind not wanting to compete with affiliates on similar terms, the attraction of leaving all of the risk in the affiliates' hands seems great and I'm not sure why so many merchants elect to lose that channel.

As long as Amazon is only paying affiliates on a commission basis, it would seem sensible to let their affiliate base actively manage the process of keyword selection, creative development and bid adjustment. If the affiliate wins, so does Amazon. If the affiliate loses money by spending more with Google than wht they receive from Amazon, Amazon still wins.

I'd be interested to see whether they step away from this decision and again start supporting paid search affiliates six months from now.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:24 AM   #4
chrisv
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Angry

I received a second email from Amazon today saying that their reports indicate that I sent users directly to them through paid advertisments. The "funny" thing is that I never in my entire life used paid search advertisments (not for Amazon and not for anything else). I own very popular websites with loads of organic search engine traffic and simply don't need paid advertisements.
This email from Amazon is stupid and wrong. I don't have the time to deal with this. I need my time and resources to make sure my business survives the crisis. I don't want to give Amazon free adverstising, so the best option might be to remove all links to and banners for Amazon from my websites and replace them by alternatives. If Amazon wants to fight the crisis by scaring affialiates (and the income associated with it) away, then that is their problem ...
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