Amazon bans direct PPC direct linking to products

Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:44 pm

Just in case you haven't seen this in your email inbox...

If you're buying PPC traffic and sending it direct to Amazon products, you'll have to stop by the end of April.

You'll still able to able to buy PPC traffic and send it to a landing page on your site.

It looks as though Amazon has decided it would rather have all PPC traffic under its control.

This seems a strange policy to me. I reckon affiliate merchants should do all they can to help their affiliates succeed. If affiliates want to do a whole lot of work and experimenting with PPC traffic - including many unprofitable experiments before they learn to get it right - then the merchant should encourage them.

I guess it all depends on how you view your affiliates - as true associates who deserve respect, or as poorly paid mugs.

Here's the Amazon announcement...

We’re writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to,, or through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you're not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.

As of May 1, 2009, Associates will not be paid referral fees for paid search traffic. Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.

This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. If you are conducting paid search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.

Oh well, it's Amazon's business. They can make their own rules. If we don't like it, we're free to go elsewhere.
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Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:34 pm

If you could look behind the scenes what you would probably see is Amazon striking a deal for pennies per click on PPC whereas now they are actually competing with their own affiliates.

Big companies have little regard for their affiliates. There are programs where affiliate can not possibly make a profit and the companies know this and set up the programs to feed off the ignorant.

I've never been a fan of Amazon. Seriously who works for a 24 hour cookie? With PPC maybe, but not from an affiliate site.

I hope this one comes back and bites them in the ASS hard.

And this is GREAT news for all of Amazon's competitors.

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Another View

Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:14 pm

What I think this is all about is an attempt to stop what look like spam coming from Amazon, via their own RSS feeds.

For instance, if you have found a 'buying keyword combination' at a small price you would push it as much as possible.

Eventually, you'd see a lot more default PPC going to Amazon. It would look as junky and unprofessional as all those ebay links.

Also, you don't have to buy hosting space or anything else. Just use the free resources like twitter to spam.
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Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:57 am

eBay implemented the same policy not too long ago. One way around this is simply to link to your landing page that promotes Amazon products. The only downside to this is that Amazon commissions aren't that high, and they only have a 1 day tracking cookie, so you have to take these factors into consideration, with the main one being approximately how much you expect to earn from each commission generated by Amazon in relation to how much you are paying for clicks and your conversion ratio.
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Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:38 am

The majority of the time Amazon already have ads running so your ad would not show anyway.I think what they want to avoid is any paid placements or placements similar to paid placements,like the explicitly forbidden direct linking from PPC/SEM.
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