Using Affiliates to Lower Your Risk Profile

If you have a strong brand and do not want to risk your brand image or search rankings you can still employ aggressive marketing techniques by using them on white label sites or affiliate accounts. Most people who use white label sites leave footprints that make it easy to associate the site with the main company. The good thing about using affiliates instead of a white label site is that just about everyone has spammy affiliates. Think of how many spammy AdSense sites you have seen...those are Google's affiliates.

You can sign up to be your affiliate and track your performance just like the performance of other affiliates. You can also sign up with different affiliate ID numbers for different websites or marketing methods. As long as your program is well integrated into the web a couple spammy affiliates are not going to make Google want to nuke everyone who is using your affiliate program, plus it can give you more leeway when doing things like bidding on competing keywords, etc. If one of your affiliate sites gets blocked from buying a keyword or removed from the index you still can use the same (or similar) technique(s) on other affiliate sites.

Published: January 19, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


January 21, 2007 - 4:23am

Great, Affiliates are shabby thugs anyway , right?

The Industry tries to regulate itself to solve problems like the one you describe. Who knows how much rogue advertisers already engage in things like this and blame affiliates for all the scams they are involved in.

Its already tough enough for the advertiser, who is being very protective about his brand and shuts down reckless affiliates, once discovered. Aaron, don't throw Gas into the Fire.

Cheers, Carsten from Affiliate Summit West 2007 in Las Vegas.

January 21, 2007 - 7:30am

Hi Carsten
I don't think all affiliates are bad. Some are great people, but the pool of affiliates probably on the whole approximates a mirror image of entrepenuers...some are going to not be aggressive and make no money, some are going to be aggresive enought to get noticed for the wrong reasons, but most are somewhere in between.

I am just stating that they are a way to disconnect a business from certain classes of risk while still reaping the rewards.

January 21, 2007 - 2:08pm

I agree that running some affiliate sites in an agressive fashion could be of a great benefit. I imagine the same would apply to white lables as well. In fact I have come short of begging my boss (i am in-house) to get some domains with different whois, and let me run with it. One agrees with me on it, but the other (who is more technical) disagrees because he can not see the difference in rankings based on whois and referral info. I bring it up every so often and I think sooner or later they will go with it as it is becoming more and more necessary to have some kind of agressive marketing outlet for experimental purposes at the very least. They really do not mind stepping out there, but I have continually advised they do not use the main company web site as the risk would not be worth the benefit. Thats not to say that white lables are not pushed agressively though. I also handle the affiliates for our company (there are thousands) in my findings they start off with big money dreams, but quickly drop off the radar. Out of the thousands of affiliates i have approved over the years, i would say that 10 are outstanding, 100 are OK, and the rest had developed a site on a whim and gave up. Good read Aaron, thanks.

January 22, 2007 - 3:22pm

I don't think what Aaron saying here is, 'Hey! It is cool too Blog Spam, just pretend to be one of your own affiliates!' or 'hehe - I just got 10 bilion blogger splog pages indexed but no one can blame me cause i used an affiliate ID - muhahahah.' (Though the second would be cool with me...)

But if you want to enter into something which 'may' be greyer than you usually like, or some company is pitching you whacks of incoming links, or you want to bid on competitors keywords without ruffling their tail feathers, than this is a great way to do it.

I use aff id's for ALL of my marketing activities. i don't want my competitors to know where I am spending my money (usually a smart buy) and where some random affiliate is spending money (often bad ROI). Also the in house tracking system makes it easier to track all of the campaigns that way anyway.

January 19, 2007 - 11:48pm

Aaron, that's a pretty interesting idea. One that I think many can implement without necessarily being a big brand.

What is you opinion about using this tactic with Google Adwords?

Example: sign up as an affiliate, different CC and name, and start bidding for spots 7-10 in Adwords while the main brand is going for #2-3

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