SEM Affiliate Scam – A New Kind of Click Fraud +

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I recently started working for an eCommerce site and we use both SEM and affiliate marketing extensively. I was poking around Google Insights and checked out a few of the trending search terms involving our company name. When I did a Google Search for these terms I noticed that a bunch of our affiliates through CJ were bidding on “[Our Company Name] coupon” – a lot of these affiliates didn’t even have our coupons. So not only were we bidding against our own affiliates but they were hurting our conversions by not giving our customers what they were looking for and I’m sure our cart abandonment rate increased as a result.

Then I discovered one of our CJ affiliates, sharesale.com, was bidding on our actual company name and coming up first. So we were paying them for each conversion and they were just milking us by taking advantage of our brand recognition. They were simply redirecting them to our site after getting their referral (to stay within Google’s Terms and Conditions).

My guess is that tons of small eCommerce businesses using Comission Junction and the like are getting taken advantage of by their affiliates who are too lazy to do their job and just park on their advertisers’ keywords. I think this constitutes a new kind of click fraud.

2 Responses to “SEM Affiliate Scam – A New Kind of Click Fraud”

  1. [...] Read more here:  SEM Affiliate Scam – A New Kind of Click Fraud | keeftronics … [...]

  2. SEM Affiliate Scam – A New Kind of Click Fraud…

    Kudos for a great SEO article – Trackback from SEOKudos…

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