I got to thinking about affiliate marketing and wondering why many people have a negative view on it. I also wonder why Google has an issue with them. Most of the time Google will not allow you to run ads on their AdWords system if you are running an affiliate site. Let’s talk about Google for a minute.
In my experience, Google does not allow you to run ads on AdWords if you’re running a site that contains nothing but affiliate products/links. Google gives us a vague explanation as to why. They essentially say that they are trying to do what’s best for the person doing the search. They are trying to give us the best possible result. And that sounds perfectly fine to me at first glance. But let’s delve into this a little further…
The companies, Fortune 500 to mom & pops, that are members of affiliate networks have voluntarily joined them. They want to have lots of online sales people hocking their products for them. In return they agree to give the sales person a commission for their hard work. Yes, it is hard work.
So, what’s the problem? Who loses here?
Company X selling their widgets? Nope, they factor the commission into their pricing, sell a lot of products, and rely on their branding and customer service to keep the customers coming back. Nothing new about this concept!
Sales people? Nope, they are paid for their hard work including; building websites, making them search engine friendly, make them look professional, make it easy to find products, write good sales copy, analyze what folks are searching for (what They want) and optimize the pages for SEO (Google). You know, good old fashioned hard work. Nothing new here either!
The customer? Nope, they find what they are looking for. In many cases, the customer now has the added benefit of going to a store (affiliate site) that contains different brands of similar products in categories with different prices. Sounds like shopping at a department store to me. Once again, nothing new.
This sounds like good ol’ capitalism to me.
So, then why does Google have a problem with affiliates running ads on their sites? Hmm… Like my dad always said, “Follow the money”.
Is Amazon an affiliate website? Of course it is! They don’t make any products themselves. They sell other people’s products and take a commission. Nothing wrong with that. They literally spend millions each month on Google AdWords alone. Amazon also has their own affiliate network. An affiliate network within an affiliate network! Guess what? They are allowed to run Google AdWords all day long.
Is eBay an affiliate website? Of course it is! They don’t make any products either. Guess what? They spend millions and run Google AdWords all day long.
Do you think it has something to do with money? Greed? Collusion? One hand washes the other? You bet.
So, what’s the problem with this scenario? Who loses here? This certainly makes Goliath an even bigger, fatter monster. Your choices are now more limited. But, do you really lose? And, what do you lose? I’m not sure. It’s all starting to become so grey.
If you can’t beat them…join them.
All I want to do is make a decent living, feed my family, and enjoy life the way I want. Don’t you?
So, I’ve built a few affiliate websites for myself. Guess what? I’m selling products for the large corporations I just talked about. Oh, the hypocrisy of it all. But, here’s my view on the subject.
By purchasing thru an affiliate, you’re actually helping the economy. The large businesses we’re selling for will ultimately sell more of their products. In turn, they will have better buying power and be able to offer more choices and lower prices to you as the consumer.
We as responsible affiliates need to offer authentic products from reputable companies. We need to work hard to make sure we’re selling real products from real companies. What’s wrong with giving an honest working man a small cut for his efforts in bringing you to within a few clicks of purchasing the product or service you’re looking for? If we point you in the right direction, then everyone wins!
So, don’t get upset when you go to a site that has the product you’re looking for and it takes you to another website so you can make your purchase. You’re going to pay the same price no matter what. Why not intentionally find an affiliate site and help your fellow 99% make some money in the process? It’s already factored into the product price. Isn’t it better to give that chunk of change to a worker than a large corporation? Just sayin…
Oh, I guess I should give you links to my affiliate sites. Just in case…
Send me your comments on the subject. I’d love to hear them!