In a move that will surely raise the interest (and perhaps ire) of the affiliate industry, Amazon notified its affiliates early this morning that starting May 1st, 2009, they will no longer be paying referral fees to Associates that send users to amazon.com, amazon.ca or endless.com through paid search (keyword bidding) practices.
In addition to not paying referral fees for paid search traffic, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates - a common practice for sending users to Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.
This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. Amazon’s Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada should refer to the applicable country’s Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.
Amazon is certainly not the first to prohibit its affiliates from using paid search as a means to drive traffic to listings, but they are without a doubt the biggest name in the industry to do so. The company decided to make the policy change after a review of its advertising resources.
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