Top 50: Emerging & Established Affiliate Marketing Networks
Affiliate marketing has not always had the best reputation but the digital times seem to be changing.
In early May 2015, social media platform Pinterest announced a policy change that will now enable its users to insert or append their own affiliate links within pins they submit. This is a somewhat dramatic reversal from its decision in Feb. 2015 to automatically and completely remove all affiliate links, redirects and trackers on submitted pins. Website Magazine suggested at the time that Pinterest was playing a "dangerous and somewhat stupid game" with its decision to ban affiliates (read "The Real Reason Pinterest Banned Affiliates" at wsm.co/pinbans) and it may indicate that the popular site's advertising program hasn't met expectations and overall growth has slowed.
Affiliate marketers are an important part of the digital ecosystem; but some brands continue to ignore or ban them at, ultimately, their own peril.
Pinterest isn't the only large social network interested in how affiliates impact their ecosystems and revenue. Reddit just announced a deal with Viglink (wsm.co/affdeal) that will enable the social sharing site to automatically rewrite links to some 1,500 online merchants so they include a Reddit affiliate code. While it is only a test, the initiative is meant to "transform Reddit into a sustainable long-term business" but - just like Pinterest - it may ultimately alienate affiliates who use the platform to generate traffic and revenue.
Affiliate marketing is an effective way for enterprises to raise awareness, drive website visits and increase revenue, and there is no shortage of solutions available to make that possible for publishers and advertisers/sellers.
In this month's Website Magazine Top50, readers will find many of the top affiliate networks in operation today. While many are very well-known and recognizable names from the 'Net (including Google, eBay and Amazon) there are many others who have earned their rightful place on this list and are worth exploring as well.
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