Google, Yahoo and Arbitrage

 February 14, 2008

By  Dr. PPC

Its no secret that I extremely dislike arbitrage sites and splogs, I’ve stated it hundreds of times here. Splogs and arbitrage sites are the bane to any search marketers existence and as purely a consumer, they crap up my internet, so when I see SEOBook reporting that Google and Yahoo are cracking down on arbitrage sites, its makes me happy.

The one thing I do not like about this story though, is the misuse of terminology.

Aaron Wall states

Google and Yahoo want a direct relationship with publishers and merchants. They hate virtually any type of affiliate that is not a highbrow relationship.

This statement is not entirely true. While Goog and Yahoo want to eliminate arbitrage “affiliate” sites, i do not believe they have anything against your typical affiliate relationship. If they did, they’d really lose a nice chunk of revenue because there are whole industries that only affiliates use PPC (ie “Web Hosting”).

Its a minor detail but I don’t like people making a blanket statement like that, especially with a high visibility blog like Aaron’s, which happens to be one of my favorite industry blogs.


Your Signature

  • Aaron is not saying that.

    Highbrow=creating value=better user experience

    Direct linking and “garbitrage” sites offer ZERO added value. In the case of direct linking, if you can click on an ad from Zappos, and there are 9 other affiliates direct linking to the same offer, that offers no value to customer, just pisses them off.

    This is the point he is trying to make. Search engines should, and have the obligation to, provide the most diverse and value-added content possible. 10 ads going to the same offer, or a bunch of links isn’t useful.

  • Jason, thanks for the comment. Maybe you are right and Aaron is not saying that but it comes off that way. I completely agree about garbitrage sites (nice term btw) and your Zappos example makes sense but what about a company that doesnt do its own PPC and relies completely on affiliates (which happens a lot of times).

    or at the same token, I’ve seen tons of Merchants who run their PPC campaigns horribly and often times the affiliates run more efficient, smarter campaigns. This way, Google benefits, the user benefits and the merchant benefits.

    I just dont like the blanket statement he lays down “Google doesn’t like affiliates” b/c its not true and they will tell you that.

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