Affiliate marketing must sound fabulous to a business - pay a small commission and you multiply your web presence by hundreds or thousands of pages, all pointing back to your site and your products. Instead of a tiny hook with bait, you have a bloody trawler net. There's no way customers can escape your reach.
To the affiliates, it must sound like a great deal too. Just put up a web page, using content provided by the merchant, sit back and watch the commissions roll in.
To the would-be buyer, however, it sucks! It just plain sucks! Here's my latest experience with on-line shopping and affiliate marketing. I needed a part for my truck - nothing big, just a new knob for the AC control switch.
Can I find a knob for the AC switch using Google? No! There were hordes of affiliate sites clogging the search engines, each claiming to have the part I need, but they seldom even had a link to a site that perhaps might have had what I needed. The affiliates prevented me from getting to the site they are affiliated with by their sheer numbers.
It's like wading through a mob of aggressive panhandlers near the Berkeley BART station ... all of them saying "ME! ME! CLICK ME DAMMIT!"
Let's not even talk about the "AdSense optimized" sites that had all the keywords I was looking for, but no products, just more ads. Many of them may be ex-AdSense sites by now, because I took URLs and hope Google will kick butt.
Frustrated by the clogs of affiliates, all selling the same knobs - I do not want a skull on my AC switch knob, really I don't, nor does a blue glow-in-the-dark Iron Cross appeal to me - I finally searched Froogle for: AC switch knob chevy
I found one! Just ONE parts dealer, no affiliates, no swarming click-begging affiliates, and the seller didn't pay a commission to anyone. I'll definitely be using Froogle instead of Google from now on.
Sod off, you annoying affiliates!