Yahoo To Crack Down; How Doomed Are You?

Affiliates make Baby Jesus cry, didn’t you know?

Google caught some headlines last month for banning a bunch of affiliates on the back of a rebill offer. Now word has caught the wind that Yahoo is about to drop an axe on the same bruised and battered floggers. It was supposed to be “Black Friday” for affiliates. Well, a few days have passed, and it seems that a whole bunch of guys are scraping by undetected from the alleged editorial clampdown.

Some very reliable sources have stated that the “Yahoo slap” is only a matter of time.

If you’re one of the guys who got dislocated from Google, you’ve probably taken a rapid interest in Yahoo. It’s decent volume at decent value and it’s self-serve.

A lot of affiliates are going to be pissed off to hear it, but the whole self-serve marketing strategy is about to bite the bullet on this one. If you’re really set on selling rebills, you’re gonna have to get used to breaking the budget on CPM based display ads. It’s just inevitable.

Okay, so when Yahoo finally does clamp down on the rebill offers (and they will), you’re gonna have a bunch of affiliates crowding the MSN space. I’ve advertised with MSN for a while now and I can tell you that the volume isn’t all that…and that’s WITHOUT having a massive influx of affiliates looking for homes for their campaigns.

I’ve said this over and over again. If you want to have success slinging a rebill offer, you better get smart about promoting it.

There are legitimate ways of getting these offers not just on Yahoo and MSN, but on Google too. It just requires a little invention and the guise to see beyond the “one shot” conversion. If your marketing expertise boils down to “I bid on this term and show them this page”, you’re going to get royally raped in the next few months – many times over.

You want to know the easiest way to build a long term campaign for a rebill on the big three PPC platforms? It’s simple. You don’t put your fucking rebill on the landing page.

Squeeze pages, opt-ins…whatever you want to call them. This is what you need to be doing – and doing well – to slip through the net and stay kicking in the search game.

It’s time to start collecting emails and taking on real-life business principles.

So you’re a promoting a bizopp which is getting scrubbed out of profitability – what do you do? You retain the lead. You design a business strategy where your only hope of converting that lead isn’t a one-time exposure to a flog.

Forget about your inconsequential clickthrough rate to the offer.

The second you start focusing on collecting emails instead of redirecting clicks to an offer – your clickthrough to the offer page is going to take a nosedive. That’s just the way it is.

But put it this way. If you have 50% of your 100 visitors going through to the offer page, is that really the best you could do? That’s 50 clicks to an offer.

What about if from those 100 visitors you collect 25 emails instead?

That lead is yours. It’s not going to get scrubbed and it’s not forever lost after it decides that your flog is a misleading piece of shit.

If you work your email list right, you could get 5 future clicks to another offer from each of those 25 emails. That’s 125 clicks to an offer. Instead of 50 – from the same original source of traffic. Your chance of converting the traffic no longer hinges on whether the prospect has his credit card in his pocket.

Of course, the real benefit of squeeze pages comes from the fact that your shady rebill isn’t immediately exposed. As soon as a Google intern reviews your flog, it’s gonna get marked with a low quality score. We’re hearing the same story coming out of the Yahoo camp. If you’re not seeing your ads slapped now, that’s no reason not to act now.

Jesus, I stumbled across Wickedfire earlier and I saw a bunch of affiliates shrugging and insisting that their campaigns were still rosy. Well, good for them. But I hope for their sakes that they’re moving fast to avoid the next slap – because it will inevitably come.

Staying one step ahead is what separates the earners from the eternal broke-as-shit learners.

I’ve spoken to several guys who are still reeling from the Google crackdown. I’d say the group is pretty much divided between those who are battering Yahoo and MSN with their old campaigns, and those who are trying to move on to display ads.

If you’re moving in to display ads and media buys, you’ve got one hell of a journey ahead of you. It’s possible to lose money rapidly when you switch from CPC to CPM. You can’t rest your hopes on an awesome landing page compensating for a poor clickthrough. You need top notch creatives, probably a professional designer, and enough moolah in the kitty to see it all go to burn many times over.

I strongly suggest you dip your feet in slowly with “monthly tenancy” offers and CPC banners where you can get them. You’re also about to discover just how much shitty traffic it’s possible to buy when you step away from Google. Be prepared to lose a lot of money before you make any. Be prepared to deal with sneaky asshole webmasters who’ll pull any string to make you believe that their traffic source is more valuable than it really is.

But for those of you who want to gut it out on the big three PPC platforms – I’ll say it one more time. You better get smart about it.

About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

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