Do Your Affiliates Cash in On Your Brand Name using PPC?

If you run an affiliate program you should know this… Some of your affiliates will place PPC ads bidding for your company’s name. Now … this is a clever trick and something you should not allow.

If you have competitors bidding on your company’s name you should go and place your own PPC ad right there, BUT if no one bids on your name, there is no need for you to run PPC for it.

So why shouldn’t you allow your affiliates to bid on your company name (if you don’t see the reason so far) ?

Because all they are doing is cashing in on what you’ve already paid for. The only time people will type in your company’s name into the search box is if they know you. That means that you already paid for that prospect and should not have to pay again to your affiliate just because his / her PPC ad is above your natural search.

Many people still don’t know the difference between Paid and Natural … furthermore … many don’t care which one they click. But it matters to you, since now you have to pay your affiliate for that “generated” sale.

It’s excellent when you have many good performing affiliates and your program should attract new affiliates, but don’t let them get away with such things as I describe above.

Go check if your affiliates are cashing in on your work.

UPDATED: You can also file for Google trademark protection to prevent anyone from bidding on your company name and thus capitalizing on your brand.

You can get more info by reading Shimon Sandler’s post on the subject of trademark protection with different search engines.

7 Comment(s)

  1. Additionally, make sure you file trademark protetion paperwork with the search engines. You can permit specific affiliates to use you trademark if needed.

    shimon sandler - seo consultant | Sep 10, 2006 | Reply

  2. Goog point Shimon.

    Here is a link directly to the Google Trademark protection page

    Igor Mordkovich | Sep 11, 2006 | Reply

  3. Affiliate bidding on product names frequently offer additional bonuses or a more compelling sales arguement than the main sales page.

    Was the brand awareness created by you, or by other affiliates?

    Typical scenario

    1. Big affiliate emails their list
    2. Forum discussion
    3. More emails on same product
    4. Potential customer looks for more information
    5. Whilst searching, customer clicks on a “why buy from me” advert

    If someone types in your product name in a search box, there is a very high chance they have been to your website already and not made a purchase decision.

    The affiliate is doing their job by converting the sale.

    Andy Beard | Jan 4, 2007 | Reply

  4. Andy, thanks for visiting, you bring up a valid statement.

    The scenario I was talking about is when an affiliate only bids on the company’s name. Most of the time, as you say, that person has already visited the website and is either looking for more info, refreshing his/her memory or is ready to purchase.

    Affiliates who bid $0.15 cents per click there are simply picking up on the marketing efforts of the company. Especially if these affiliates are only sending people to the company’s home page with their affiliate ID attached to the URL.

    I had people e-mail affiliates to ask them not to engage in this practice and not one of the affiliates had an argument against us doing this. It’s as if they were waiting for us to catch on at one point of time.

    Igor Mordkovich | Jan 4, 2007 | Reply

  5. Some affiliates might work that way.

    Many however, especially since ebooks like Affiliate Project X would offer more reasons to purchase the product, bonuses specific to the purchase, or maybe even a totally different sales page (with permission).

    Another thing is affiliats registering domain names, which I do all the time, but normally ask specific permission.

    Andy Beard | Jan 4, 2007 | Reply

  6. Thanks for the information; I came to your site through At our Company we are always looking for these types of affiliates, my boss even asks them not to do PPC advertising. Is this a bad PPC practice?

    N/A | Feb 16, 2007 | Reply

  7. I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad practice. I for one do not allow our affiliates to bid for the same keywords my company targets. Besides … Google will not allow this as well.

    Igor Mordkovich | Feb 16, 2007 | Reply

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