Amazon Associates No Longer To Pay for Referrals From Paid Search

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research I don’t do a ton of marketing from Best Hubris.  This is more of my Big Ideas site, but I have been pouring myself into various online money making ventures, on a research basis mostly, lately.  One of the topics I’m exploring are the various major website affiliate programs and some of the smaller niche affiliate programs.

Amazon.com made a change to its Amazon Associates affiliate marketing program. In an email I received today, Amazon says that it will no longer pay referral fees to people who send users to the homepage of Amazon via paid search advertising.

I didn’t really know anyone who did this, but I knew it happened.  Basically, what you would do is buy ad space on certain searches.  For example, you might have an AdWords campaign on Google where you placed an advertisement on the search results for HP laptop keyboards or something like that.  Then, when a user searched for that phrase, your ad would be one of the ads on the side.  If they clicked the ad, it sent them to www.amazon.com where they might buy the keyboard, or something else altogether.

The sneaky part of this system is that you get the referral fee if someone buys ANYTHING within a certain amount of time from your referral.  You get a higher referral for a specific products, but this is obviously a volume game.

The way to make money for doing nothing is to get good but cheap keywords and search phrases.  That way, you pay almost nothing for all of those ads.  The amount of money you get from Amazon more than covers the expense, and you make a nice profit.

Apparently those days are over. 

Score One for the Good Guys

This change is actually a victory for legitimate content providers, legitimate businesses, and legitimate advertising.  Advertisers no longer have to compete (pay more for) ads that are placed by people who aren’t actually advertising anything.  Content providers no longer have to worry about vague, low converting ads driving down their AdSense revenue or getting them smart priced.  And businesses, like Amazon, don’t have to pay for something that isn’t giving them any value.

It will be interesting to see, if anyone follows along.

P.S. I find it interesting that virtually every piece of clip art in Microsoft’s Clip Organizer under the search “research” is either a test tube or a person at a microscope. 

No one but biology guys do research?

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