Major Amazon Affiliate Program Change (No More Paid Search)

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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, or 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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ChrisG 04-06-2009 8:52 AM

So some may say this is a noob question but I'll ask it anyway. What if I have an aStore that is in an iframe and I ppc to the site. Will I not get paid from amazon if someone orders and becomes a member?

Peter A. Prestipino 04-06-2009 8:55 AM

Not a noob question at all - I would say you might be in jeopardy but we should ask Amazon to make sure (I'll do that now and report back). I would assume that since an aStore is still hosted at Amazon it falls under this change but let's find out.

CharlesS 04-06-2009 2:48 PM

You might want to check their FAQ on Amazon. They cover this - well, at least they cover if you use PPC to send to your site and then you have their info on your site, you are still ok. Not sure about if you have it in an iframe.

Charlie Seymour Jr.

DiannaK 04-06-2009 3:04 PM

One thing is for sure is that if you can no longer rely on PPC ads, then you are most definitely going to need to use relevant content landing pages for your desired product that you promote.

Using iframes is a no-no in the search engine world, the SERPs can't read them.  All they see is your browser window.  You will need to write at least 250- 400  words relevant to the search query and rank organically to promote your items.

Good solid SEO foundational practices need to be in place in order to compete and rank well in the organic side of the SERPs.

Good Luck!

04-06-2009 4:03 PM

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04-06-2009 4:20 PM

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ChrisG 04-10-2009 2:55 PM

Thanks for the comments. I would like to respond to Dianna K. Thank you for your insight, however I have been in the SEO field quite awhile and if done properly an iframe can get you the results you are looking for, especially of you were/are using a service such as amazons aStore. Now I understand that SE bots cannot crawl an iframe but it is certainly NOT a no no. In fact if you know how to do it properly it can gain a massive amount of add on sales.

I would never even suggest that you use a frame or an iframe unless you know the methods I am talking about. I do agree that you need a minimum of 250 words to make the SE's happy, there's no doubt there, you just work around the iframe. If you click my name you will see what I am taking about. #2

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