I’m getting constantly fed up with affiliate networks doing very little to help merchants protect their brand. Be honest – would you in their shoes. For every sale that an affilate network member makes the network gets a comission. So why should they protect the brands – more sale means more money in the bank!
Direct Links from PPC Ads
Many merchants have in their terms and conditions that you should not direct link to their website from PPC ads. Its a logical step as the advert then becomes part of the advertising that the consumer sees as being paid for by the brand. If its misleading its the brand that’ll get flamed – not to mention all the stuff related to the Google quality score for the merchants running PPC campaigns.
But no one @ a network level seems to care. They should be monitoring this to help protect merchants from this online. The only way a click can go to a merchant through an affiliate network with a referrer being MSN, Google or Yahoo! is if the click is through PPC. If the network got the document referrer and cross referenced this with the program details they could easily choose not to set their cookie on these programs – that said they’d lose money on it.
PPC Affiliate Bidding on Brand
In some cases where direct linking to the merchant site is allowed bidding on the companies brand terms is not allowed. As to do so would allow affiliate to force up click costs on what are likely to be the merchants best converting terms. Why should merchants be forced to pay more for clicks and then also pay the offender a comission!
All you have to do is again strip out the search engine query from the referrer string and cross reference this against a pre built list of terms – if the term falls within the offending list redirect consumer to website but dont set the tracking cookie.
If affiliate networks did these things the days of merchants having their brands raped by affiliates would be one day closer. But we all know they have no intention of doing so. It would not only cripple their business but would also lead affiliates to simply join networks where they could get away with these things.
Here endeth the rant & sorry for the poor english (I’m having a bad day)…