It’s a weird thing that some of the smartest affiliate marketers are also the dirtiest.
1 – Ever heard of “PPV”? Aka pay-per-view? I wish I was talking about boxing matches on TV. No, the larger ROI-centric affiliates are tending to move into “PPV” or “CPV” traffic, which many of you might know under its non-euphemism name, pop-ups.
The funny thing to me is that the dirtier you’re willing to play, the dirtier others are willing to play back. I was watching a TV show I like, and the site hosting it sells PPV traffic. Here’s an indication on traffic quality: the new ad page opens when you click play the first time. Yeah, totally what the visitor intended.
Bottom line is that PPV is the talk of the town in ROI-driven affiliate circles, and that’s a sad thing.
2 – The blackhat SEOs are tending increasingly towards the hacking side of things. In an SEO-driven version of a common scam, interruption marketing is used to make you think your website has bugs and you need to buy the virus “anti-virus” these helpful ‘warning’ providers are offering.
I’m trying to find the right reference on Ben Edelman‘s site, but it’s not surfacing.
3 – Annoying people and slowing their computers with your crummy software, plus hacking their sites … don’t think it doesn’t get better! Indeed it does. Phishers are going for AdWords accounts. Probably for the credit card info, firstly (the fastest cash), but I’m sure the campaign data can’t be something they’re possibly ignoring.
4 – Facebook application providers drive useless incentivized traffic. A whole lot of scaffiliates were pissed when Dennis Yu outed them on TechCrunch, but I’ve yet to hear them complaining about Farmville sending junk traffic to advertisers who will lower their payouts accordingly.
That’s what happened with cookie stuffing and other crap at eBay, until they dug into the data, booted the thieves and switched to CPC pricing based on quality. The good affiliates got paid more and the riff raff got the door.
We really, really need consumer advocacy organizations and Attorneys General to sue more of the big-time jokers for the benefit of the industry. Just a shame they can’t sue certain goons in the Kremlin who profit from this. Or, more optimistically, there are market solutions, as per Alex Rampel of TrialPay.
p.s. While I’ve almost never answered her [mostly unsolicited] emails, this interview with Emma Kupiak makes Neverblue sound like a good network to run traffic with. Almost – they still run the scammy junk like the rest of them… But at least Emma makes a good case about them being helpful to affiliates who want to be scammy! ;)…