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Merchants, Parasites, Adware and Spyware - My Rant!

Discussion in 'General Affiliate Marketing Forum' started by Linda Buquet, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

    An affiliate manager on a forum I frequent asked for advice and the pros and cons of approving 2 affiliates for his program that are considered to be "parasites" but have high EPC rankings. There were lots of good comments from both sides of the issue that I wish I could quote - but I can't. However, since it stirred up such a reaction in me that I spent the morning practically writing a book about my feelings on the issue, I though I would share my own comments here for others to read and to think about.

    The affiliate manager that was asking the question expressed concerns that approving these 2 companies could upset or alienate some of his other affiliates. What follows is my reply:

    For me that used to be a big part of what drove my decision not to work with any download programs or any program considered to be parasitic. But now to me the issue is much bigger than that and my convictions on the issue have gotten much deeper.

    The decision not to work with download apps that could be parasitic and steal commission from other affiliates boils down to a couple simple things for me.

    1) "Do Unto Others" - If you were an affiliate making your income from AM partnerships and you had your time and finances compromised by the fact that sites like this were taking credit for sales that should be yours - how would you feel about the issue? Would you think that working with these companies was a good business decision and the right thing to do?

    {Another manager made a comment about that fact that the affiliates that complain the loudest about parasites are ususally the ones that are not making money and hang out on forums all day.}

    I replied: This is somewhat true - however if I were an affiliate - I would be both a top earner and the squeakiest wheel in the industry. I wouldn't put up with this stuff would any of you?

    2) Is it Good for the Industry?
    "What? you say? Who cares, I'm only responsible for my own program's bottom line." Well consider this - just a little something I wrote that's coming out in DMConfidential tomorrow. It's written more to affiliates,but if you think about it and apply it to this discussion it still fits.

    Market With Integrity
    Remember - if you use marketing techniques for short term gain that consumers don?t like, it comes back to bite your own earnings and hurts the entire online marketing industry. If you serve excessive pops for affiliate links, utilize parasitic applications, promote ActiveX or other download programs that are filled with Adware ? then you are also helping to spread the use of anti-spyware apps, personal firewalls and ad blockers that are increasingly blocking affiliate links and deleting our cookies. Let?s all work together to clean up the industry. Market with integrity and everyone wins!

    When we work with companies like this we help enable them to grow and prosper. To some degree one of the reasons CJs links, ads and cookies are targeted by so many anti-spyware, anti-adware, personal firewalls and adblockers is due to all the download apps. Granted, I know that's not the whole story but it IS part of it. When we work with companies like this - we are helping to fuel the spread of all these apps that block a part of everyone's income. The blocking and cookie deletion issue is getting worse - let's not contribute to it.

    Example: Joe consumer clicks an affiliate text link - ends up on the merchant site, right where they want to be. THEN they get a Pop from SAS or TR - They hate pops, don't know why they keep getting them. They are frustrated and ticked. Maybe they assume the merchant site served the pop??? Maybe they leave and don't buy. Maybe they go instead to find software to make the fricken pops stop.

    {Someone made a comment something like "downloads are generally consumer-friendly - they like being reminded to get a rebate or give to their favorite charity". }

    I said: While this may be true for some consumers I also believe there is a large percentage of of "Joe" consumers that either got a drive-by or maybe even opted in for the install without realizing what they were doing. Then later get tired of the pops and reminders. Their computer bogs cuz of all the crap they have said yes to, they can't even surf due to all the pops. Again I'm talking more about the average "Joe" consumer. But talk to some tech support people and they will tell you horror stories about customers that say - yes I think I installed some of the that stuff but now my computer barely works. Remove it all and add every type of ad blocker and security there is.

    See thread #5 from llturbini a new 5 Star forum member who is a tech and removes adware all day long. A couple excerpts from a very good thread elsewhere on the 5 Star Forum titled: Adware Why? http://affiliate-marketing-forums.5staraffiliateprograms.com/showthread.php?t=147

    "Ad blocking and cookie blocking is just the beginning. SANs institute already has seen substantial decrease in Internet usage, as more and more people get disillusioned. Besides a waning market audience in the future you will probably see more and more restricted browsers, smart appliances, super nodes, WWW2, IPv6 severely limiting the type and kind of marketing on the internet... The technology deployed in the not so distant future may result in end users totally inaccessible to online marketers. Just remember the same technology that makes the Internet such a robust advertising media can be turned around. BHO active X control, and even at the packet level can be used to totally block advertising banners and pop ups."

    Call me a pollyanna if you like - I know I got a little carried away, but the whole parasite - adware issue is something I obviously feel very strongly about for a variety of reasons.

    What are your thoughts on this issue?
  2. Voluum