by Rosalind Gardner
Until recently, if you did a search on the term ‘satellite dish’ at Google, and then surveyed the URL’s in the Adwords listings, you were bound to see that most of the ads linked to just one company. You’d also note that most listings ended with the ‘aff’ (affiliate site) designation.
Eight ads all linking to the same site. How useless and frustrating was that?
Well, Google has just introduced a new affiliates Adwords policy that finally addresses that problem.
However, the new policy has been met with much whining on various affiliate and Internet marketing forums.
‘Cause affiliates who link directly from Adwords to their merchant partners’ sites will have to get to work or go home.
There seems to be a loophole in the new policy’s wording.
Here’s how the new affiliate policy reads:
“With this new affiliate policy, we’ll only display one ad per search query for affiliates and parent companies sharing the same URL. This way, users will have a more diverse sampling of advertisements to choose from.”
“Affiliates or advertisers using unique URLs in their ads will not be affected by this change. Please note that your Display URL must match the URL of your landing page, and you may not simply frame another site.”
Did they mean to say ‘domain’, not ‘URL’?
If Google did indeed intend ‘URL’, then there is no problem for those who engage in the ‘Google Cash’ method of affiliate marketing, as each affiliate URL is unique.
Here’s an example.
These are URL’s for 3 affiliate marketers promoting the ‘FriendFinder’ dating service.
Each URL is unique, ergo it should be no problem to for affiliates to link directly to Friendfinder’s site with their affiliate links.
However, if in fact Google meant ‘domain’, that’s quite a different kettle of fish.
Because each URL above points to the ‘friendfinder.com’ domain, only one listing will be displayed, and chosen on the basis of Ad Rank.
Here’s the official wording from within the policy.
“For instance, if a user searches for books on Google.com or anywhere on the Google search and content networks, Google will take an inventory of ads running for the keyword books. If we find that two or more ads compete under the same URL, we’ll display the ad with the highest Ad Rank.”
Ad Rank is determined by a combination of an ad’s maximum cost-per-click and clickthrough rate.
Less competition is great news for affiliates who have always linked back to their own sites… as Super Affiliates always do.
One more benefit to affiliate marketers in Google’s new Adwords policy is that you no longer need to identify yourself as an affiliate in your ad text. That means no more ‘aff’ at the end of the ad… and 4 more spaces to add content to your listing.
I figure consumers had no idea what ‘aff’ meant anyway, so Google just wanted to get rid of what looked like garble in the listings.
However, your current ad text will continue to display your affiliate status until you change it.
Assuming Google DID mean ‘domain’, this new policy is good news for affiliates… genuine affiliate marketers.
I’ve always taught that affiliates with content sites enjoy much higher conversion rates.
It’s simple. Spend an hour writing an endorsement, upload it to your web site, then advertise that link on Google Adwords.
Why waste advertising dollars on a .5 percent conversion, when it only takes an hour to double or even quadruple that rate?
Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the best-selling The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People’s Stuff Online.