Google has changed the rules!
Google AdWords(TM) Announcement:
Affiliate Policy Change
Hello from the Google AdWords Team:
In January 2005, Google will incorporate a new affiliate
advertising policy that is designed to provide a better user
and advertiser experience.
What is changing:
With this new affiliate policy, we’ll only display one ad per
search query for affiliates and parent companies sharing the
same URL. This way, users will have a more diverse sampling
of advertisements to choose from. As always, your ad will be
displayed based on its Ad Rank for given searches, which is
determined by a combination of your ad’s maximum cost-per-click (price) and clickthrough rate (performance).
For instance, if a user searches for ‘books’ on Google.com or
anywhere on the Google search and content networks, Google will take an inventory of ads running for the keyword ‘books’. If we find that two or more ads compete under the same URL, we’ll display the ad with the highest Ad Rank.
How this will affect you:
If you’re an affiliate, this means that you no longer need to
identify yourself as an affiliate in your ad text. However,
your current ad text will continue to display your affiliate
status until you change it.
Affiliates or advertisers using unique URLs in their ads will
not be affected by this change. Please note that your Display URL must match the URL of your landing page, and you may not simply frame another site.
What you should do:
We recommend that you continue to monitor your ads’
performance and optimize your ads as needed to ensure they’re bringing you the best results. Please visit our Optimization Tips page for more information:
By improving our ad relevancy, we believe that users will have a better search experience, which will help you reach more potential clients in the future. We’ll continue to make improvements to AdWords over time to further improve the user experience and help increase the performance of your ads.
We look forward to continue providing you with the most effective advertising available.
The Google AdWords Team
This will impact affiliates who directly link to their merchants through adwords. What will happen now is a probable mass page building effort, more affiliates will build websites or landing pages to direct their adwords campaigns to.
I don’t direct link to merchants with my adwords campaigns, and I do try my hand at SEO for organic search results. I have better luck with Yahoo and MSN search than I do with Google.
But this change brings both good and bad for affiliates. I think our ppc costs will probably drop “for a time”, but the index load in Google is gonna jump high.
Right now we have:
With the amount of pages built to accomodate Google’s new adword policy, we’re sure to see even more competition in the SERPS.
Time to really hunker down and get a handle on all this SEO stuff!