Who can tell me if “link masking or cloaking” is a violation of the Google TOS? I think it is and I see dozens of affiliate sites doing it. I also see quite a few sites not using “nofollow” on their affiliate links. Unless your masked link says something like “I bought product X used in this review at Amazon.com” it would be a violation. I think if reported, you’d be in for a manual spam action against your site. Thoughts?

Affiliate marketing also is a very broad term; under this umbrella there are several different strategies that can be employed to generate affiliate revenue. The most appropriate and lucrative method (or methods) can depend on a number of factors, including your site’s niche and characteristics of your audience. Below is an overview of some of the most popular affiliate marketing implementations, along with examples of each.
This Agreement contains the complete terms and conditions that apply to you becoming an affiliate in Merchant.com's Affiliate Program. The purpose of this Agreement is to allow HTML linking between your web site and the Merchant.com web site. Please note that throughout this Agreement, "we," "us," and "our" refer to Merchant.com, and "you," "your," and "yours" refer to the affiliate.

As far as Amazon goes, I really don’t think Walmart is going to be able to beat out Amazon. So much of Walmart’s specialty comes from the offline market, Amazon is 100% online and has amazing split-testing powers. We have seen sites switch over from Amazon Associates to Walmart and lose commissions dramatically, it wasn’t even worth sending people to their site. I believe more “niche” affiliate programs such as New Egg stands a much better chance at stealing affiliates away from Amazon’s associate program than another larger catch-all retail like Walmart. Valuations should remain consistent with our repricing using Haver’s tool, and as the months go on we will have even more accurate data (from Amazon’s dashboard itself) for what these sites will be earning underneath the new commission changes.
Affiliate Contracts (i) Amend, modify or waive any material term or provision of any Affiliate Contract or any Third Party Contract as in effect on the Closing Date without the prior written consent of Required Lenders, (ii) enter into any new Affiliate Contract or Third Party Contract following the Closing Date, unless such contract is (a) substantially similar to the form of contracts entered into by Borrowers with the Affiliate Plants prior to the Closing Date and (b) promptly delivered to Agent or (iii) offer more favorable marketing fee arrangements under any Affiliate Contract than those marketing fee arrangements offered under any Third Party Contract.

Affiliate Contracts. Schedule 9.6 sets forth, as of the date hereof, all contracts or agreements with any Affiliate of Sellers that relate to the Properties or by which the Properties are bound. Sellers will terminate or cause its respective Affiliates to terminate, effective as of the Closing Date, any contracts or agreements between any Seller and its respective Affiliates to the extent relating to or binding the Properties.
8.3 The provisions of this Agreement and instructions as may be provided by us to you from time to time hereunder constitute the entire agreement between us with respect to the subject matter thereof. Save as to the instructions and notifications as may be provided by us to you from time to time hereunder, this Agreement shall only be modified or amended by a document in writing signed by us.
Great article! I need to go back to your post many more times for it to properly go in and for me to understand. Sorry if my question is a strange one. I am quite new to the whole concept of amazon affiliate marketing. When we are advertising their products, do we spend any money ourselves? Or we are just middle wares advertising their product? In what case, we have to have inventory? Can we sell products in Amazon?
Referral fees aren’t just for the products you recommend. Perhaps the coolest thing about the Amazon Associates program is that you receive credit for any sale associated with your affiliate link for 24 hours. So, if a customer visits the page of the product you recommended, but then goes on to purchase five more eligible items during that same visit, you will receive a portion of that entire sale.

Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 5, you will not use any Program Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to an Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user) on any device, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other handheld devices (other than Approved Mobile Applications); or (b) any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).
Also probably worth noting that if you are thinking about signing up for the Amazon affiliate program and are located in Colorado or New York, sign up with an out of state business address. Amazon closed their programs to affiliates in these states because of tax laws that were passed. There are quite a few services that allow you to choose a business address in a different state and will automatically forward your mail to your current address.
If there’s one product you sell a lot of and it’s something that can be private labeled you could make a lot more selling it on Amazon yourself (and you can still promote it as an affiliate too, gray area but people do it). For example, supplements are very easy to private label. I started out as an affiliate and now I sell my own private label products and make more than I ever could have as an affiliate. 

I’m trying to create 4-5 awesome blog posts for my initial launch. Don’t worry about publishing these all at once. This just gives Google more time to crawl these pages and bookmark them for future Google Searches. After that, I’ll create a new post weekly or bi-weekly. Honestly whatever feels better with my time constraints. Either way, quality blog posts are better with Amazon Affiliate Websites.

File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The websites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.
You understand that we may at any time (directly or indirectly) solicit FatCow relationships on terms that may differ from those contained in this Agreement. We may also solicit relationships with entities that operate websites that are similar to or compete with your Affiliate Site. You have independently evaluated the desirability of participating in the FatCow Affiliate Program and are not relying on any representation, guarantee, or statement other than as set forth in this Agreement
Thanks for reigniting my spirit bro. Affiliate marketing is the game changer when it comes to making money on your blog.I neglected it at the start but now i really see it as a necessity. In 5 months i have earned twice waht i made with PPC(Adsense) to be precise. Selling poducts and getting commisions brings the highest cash. Will be around some other time to check out your write ups. Hope to see you on my blig some day too. Cheers.

You grant to us a non-exclusive license to utilize your name, title, trademarks, and logos (the "Affiliate Trademarks") in any advertisement or other materials used to promote FatCow and the Affiliate Program, provided that FatCow’s use of the Affiliate Trademarks is not required and is at its sole discretion. This license shall terminate upon the termination of your participation in the Affiliate Program.


There is, however, a level of responsibility that you have to uphold while making these kinds of recommendations, especially if you have a lot of authority and influence over your followers. This is something I take very seriously. If it were up to me, this is the only way affiliate marketing would be done, because to me it’s the most honest and most helpful.
The Program Operator reserves the right to reject any affiliate application if, in the Program Operator’s opinion, that person or entity violates established laws or commonly held standards of decency. For example, we will reject applications from any person or company that promotes any form of violence, illegal activities, or from applicants who the Program Operator prefers not to be associated with.
11.1. No Agency. Each party shall act as an independent contractor and shall have no authority to obligate or bind the other in any respect, and nothing in this Agreement (including any Offer) shall create any partnership, joint ventures, agency, franchise, sales representative or employment relationship between the parties. Neither party shall make any statement, whether on their sites or otherwise, that reasonably would contradict anything in the paragraph.
These strategic buys can lead to new insightful data as well. You will see other products within your niche that the audience is prone to buy, which can help you in deciding to launch your next product. Also, each of these sites can become little satellite sites that can collect emails for your overall brand. This strategy is not at all new, and Jon Haver from Authority Website Income has already written a detailed post about the concept here.
Other affiliate programs can have as long as 90-day cookies, meaning anything that visitor buys from that website within 90 days will be attributed to your account. That is a long time, and it can make a big difference in revenue. You will still want to split test this, but by doing so you might find a big win just by switching over to a different affiliate program.
Now this one’s a perfect fit for the beginners. Starting right from understanding how Amazon Affiliation works to developing a complete website to even ranking your keywords on the first page of Google, this course will help you do it all. This training is not just for quick success, but will help you understand how to build long term income. It is well worth your investment specially when you are right about to start your internet marketing journey.
Paul Tibbitt, head of business development at CJ Affiliate indicated a huge opportunity for advertisers to harness the power of affiliate in 2017 to enhance the overall performance of their marketing campaigns. He proposed three key processes for advertisers to make the most of buy-in for large affiliate initiatives and how programmes can better drive long-term business ambition.
For example, someone like Tim Ferriss can recommend products to his audience because he has earned an authoritative voice on fitness, productivity, learning and lifestyle design through his blog and his books. Tim’s blog is a perfect example of how to build a successful affiliate model. Tim rarely actually recommends products, but when he does you can tell he is being genuine and not just trying to earn money from his audience.
Hi Art, we have the disclosure on the footer of virtually every page, but you can do things like make a link to Amazon on phrases such as “Crest Whitestrips” or even “Get a great deal on Crest Whitestrips” – This article is a good read where Sara asked Amazon to clarify these exact questions: http://marketingwithsara.com/amazon/warning-to-all-affiliate-marketers
“Other Products” means those products and services that we offer, which are not included in the Subscription Service (as detailed below); and, for the purposes of this Agreement, Other Products include all of our marketing software, legacy sales and marketing products, and any implementation, customization, training, consulting, additional support or other professional services, or fees for third-party products or services.
Any tradenames, trademarks or service marks, which Company may obtain with regard to the Technology, are the sole property of Company and/or its Affiliates. Company hereby grants MA, during the term of this Agreement, the right to use Company and/or Company trade names, trademarks or service marks on Technology or in advertising or promotion relating directly to these products. Any use of such tradenames, trademarks or service marks must reference that these tradenames, trademarks or service marks are proprietary to Company and/or its Affiliates.
Smaller and newer e-commerce businesses often find this practice especially appealing (although Amazon.com uses it, too). Unlike pay-per-click advertising, which charges merchants every time someone clicks on a link to their site, affiliate marketing costs nothing unless there is a sale — at which point a commission, typically between 4 and 20 percent, is paid. It has become an essential part of the online marketing toolbox, generating fees that Forrester Research projects will reach $3.4 billion next year.
The License will immediately and automatically terminate if at any time you do not timely comply with any obligation under the Program Documents (as defined in the Fee Schedule), or otherwise upon termination of this Agreement. In addition, we may terminate the License in whole or in part upon written notice to you. You will promptly stop using the Program Content (including PA API and Data Feeds) and promptly remove from your Site and delete or otherwise destroy all of the Program Content and Amazon Marks with respect to which the License is terminated or as we may otherwise request from time to time.
Note from Justin & Joe: We will be repricing ALL of the Amazon Associates sites on our marketplace to reflect this change. Our methodology for this will include using the seller’s earning report from Amazon. We have created a formula using historical sales that adjusts the commission percentage based on the new rates that Amazon has rolled out. These rates are adjusted in every category and accurately updated with the historical earning amounts. Since every item is in a different commission category, we will take every category that the website is selling in into account for the new adjusted valuation price.
Thank you so much for a clear and concise breakdown of the Amazon Associate program. I’ve been ready (finally) to make the jump and have been working out my monetization strategies. This tutorial has not only helped me better understand how the program works, but has also given me some other – much simpler – ideas for other niche sites that I can get up and going very quickly! I appreciate your hard work and the effort you put into this. I look forward to reading more from you.
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
Some commentators originally suggested that affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal, in this case, is to publish quality information on the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.
You are responsible for all activities that occur under your Account Identifiers and/or Data Feed Access ID, as applicable, regardless of whether those activities are undertaken by you or any other person or entity. Therefore, you should contact us immediately if you believe that someone other than you may be using your private key or password, or if your private key or password is otherwise disclosed, lost, or stolen. You may not use any Associates tag parameter, Account Identifier, or Data Feed Access ID assigned to anyone other than you or that we did not specifically assign to you.
Subject to the terms of the Agreement and solely for the limited purposes of participation in the Associates Program in strict compliance with the Agreement (including this License and the other Program Policies), we hereby grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to: (a) copy and display Program Content solely on your Site; (b) use only those of the Amazon Marks (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) we make available to you as part of the Program Content, solely on your Site and in accordance with the Trademark Guidelines, and (c) access and use PA API, Data Feeds, and Product Advertising Content solely in accordance with the Specifications and this License.
×