Amazon Clickriver Beta

I got my invite to beta test Clickriver today. Yippie. I already set up my account, so lets see how long it takes Amazon to start showing my ads for things like my name and search engine optimization. Lots of people have asked me why my book is not on, but it is largely because I wrote my book more as a direct revenue stream than as an upsell for consulting services. I have seen nationwide top selling books given away by the thousands at conferences only to open them up and see that they were thinly disguised sales material. But if you hire a publicist, get a bit of buzz, and give enough way you are a great author. :)

As soon as you get an ISBN some of the major book retailers will start discounting its price even if they do not cary it. At least now I can start getting exposure on those sites without having to commoditize my book price, and the lack of printing costs and higher price point means that Amazon will always be able to make more by selling me ads than from selling physical books.

Many of the Clickriver ads are still quite a bit off target, which means there must be quite an arbitrage opportunity there. Where's Shoemoney when you need him? But irrelevant ads are ok on because their ad network is new, is such a trusted brand, and they are the model ecommerce website.

Part of the reason there will always be a need for SEOs (or equivalent) is because language shifts and new ad networks and new ways of advertising keep appearing. Did you know you can buy interstitial ads from AdBrite that are targeted to the keyword, category, AND demopgraphic level? And there are lots of other ways to target specific people cheaply (AdSense content targeting, social media manipulation, linking at their websites, etc. etc. etc. ).

Google's stock price is so high because they have virtually no physical products and thus have fat profit margins. Other traditional publishers and ecommerce sites like will eventually syndicate more ads and sell more ads directly in fairly automated formats. Major newspapers are doing partnerships with Google, Yahoo!, and are even talking about making their own nationwide ad network. Each changing publishing format or new ad network is an opportunity. If it is overpriced sell it. If it is underpriced buy it. And if you have a big stake in a few of the ad networks you can even use your market knowledge to trade stocks and options. It would be cool to have a big enough ad buy and content distribution network by the end of the year to get a pretty good picture of the direction of the market as a whole and specific stocks from my own advertiser and publisher accounts.

Published: January 24, 2007 by Aaron Wall in pay per click search engines


February 14, 2007 - 1:44am

Two more things...

Amazon has introduced a quality score based on clickthrough rate relevancy.

Amazon also allows you to bid on ads that will appear on Amazon's homepage. If you were wondering how do I buy advertising on's homepage you can do so by targeting a ClickRiver ad to the keyword amazon_homepage.

January 24, 2007 - 10:22am

It's interesting that you mentioned syndication, because right now syndicated ads from AdWords and YSM are mostly what appear as the Sponsored Ads on For example, if you go to Amazon and search for "aaron wall seo book" your Overture ad appears. You can also see it in the ad block in the middle of the page for the book title SEO Answer Book, because Amazon uses the product name as the keywords for the syndicated PPC ads.

So now that you're in the Clickriver beta program, maybe your Clickriver ads will be competing with (or, more likely, complementing) the syndicated ads!

January 24, 2007 - 5:29pm

Can't wait to read a follow-up on your experience. I applied over a month ago, but I don't think they're too keen on retail stores advertising at this point.

January 24, 2007 - 6:42pm

It'll be interesting to see if you do better than I did. I got very low CTRs and (as a result) tiny amounts of traffic so I killed it. Currently, I think Amazon's issues are poor targeting and poor merchandising of the ads. I use Amazon regularly and I'm "blind" to their sponsored links.

January 24, 2007 - 9:01pm

I applied for an invite. Clickriver looks interesting.

January 25, 2007 - 12:23am

it's only for US ?

January 26, 2007 - 5:41pm

Only US for now!

I started testing it a few months ago. Very low traffic and bad conversion in my industry. But for the "Long tail" buyers it probably will be very interesting (currently restricted).

January 27, 2007 - 11:28am

We brits always get left out in the cold. Lets hope that by the time the opportunity reaches the UK it will give great value for money.


January 27, 2007 - 1:36pm

Last year I got a phonecall from a amazon co-worker here in germany and he promised me to list our cds to amazon (kind of special marketing-plattform..): most of the things the man promised me didn´t work so we cancelled ist (and lost a lot of time..) - now Amazon germany created a new business modell for labels and publishers, that works... but it took over one year to get listed well!

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