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URL hijacking (or affiliate ad hijacking) occurs when another advertiser creates an ad that looks like it’s your ad. It happens within paid search ads, contextual ads, and in display network image ads.
Why does URL Hijacking Occur?
There are several reasons why an advertiser would want to disguise their ad to make it seem like your ad:
Super Affiliates, or preferred publishers, are publishers who you have granted special rights and privileges. Examples include:
You can utilize your super affiliates for paid search to assist you in protecting your branded keywords against unwanted competition. If you have competitors bidding on your branded keywords, and you have not been successful with search engine take-downs, then your next option is to get your affiliates to share the paid search pages with you. You can grant your super affiliates permission to brand bid on specific keywords.
Your strategy must also include rank restrictions and possibly CPC restrictions so that the super affiliate is not able to out-rank you. This strategy will enable you to own more paid search listings, and to drive CPCs downward instead of upward. You can read more about this on Search Engine Land.
SmartCrawler™ is our exclusive auto-detection technology that finds infringing ads.
SmartCrawler keywords are brand-plus keywords that are commonly abused by affiliate marketers who are brand-bidding against your policy. Examples include ‘brand’ + ‘free promo’ or ‘brand’ + ‘free shipping’.
SmartCrawler keywords are free additional keywords that are added to Ultimate and higher compliance monitoring plan. (See compliance pricing plans.) Generally, you can expect 10-20 additional free keywords per trademark variation in your compliance monitoring account.
The Search Monitor has been monitoring affiliate activity on search engines and other webpages since 2008. While our data shows that most affiliates do comply with their advertiser’s guidelines (72%), unfortunately the remaining 28% do not.
Some do not realize they are violating their advertiser’s rules, while some simply know they won’t every get caught. Examples include URL hijacking, trademark bidding, and rank violations.
It’s an essential part of any affiliate marketing program to monitor frequently and enforce quickly. Our monitoring tools not only catch violations when they happen, they automatically notify you and provide easy tools to notify your affiliates, the networks, or the search engines. We provide screengrabs of the violation and full background detail on the affiliate, including their IDs, the networks they work with, and other merchants they advertise for.
Absolutely. Just tell the system which affiliate IDs should be treated as ‘friendly’ and our system will ignore them when identifying potential violations.
Plenty of reasons. When your affiliates bid on your branded terms, they drive up the CPCs you pay for ads that show for those terms.
Further, you lose clicks. Our analysis shows that you can gain 16% more clicks by simply stopping affiliates from bidding on your branded keywords.
All of our packages come with the ability to geo-target search engine monitoring by ZIP, city, state, region, and country in every location. This includes global search engines such as Google, Bing, & Yahoo and local ones such as Baidu, Yandex, and Naver.
Why You Must Geo-Target Your Ad Monitoring
Industries That Benefit From Geo-targeting
For example, travel clients may want to learn about advertised room rates, OTA activity, or brand infringements per market serviced. Clients who work in cooperative search marketing scenarios with resellers and distributors can benefit from ensuring rank compliance and keyword/ad copy synchronization.
The Search Monitor uses thousands of IP addresses across the globe to simulate a user in a specific location. We can target any country, city, or region, and the language of the ad.
Want to learn more? Ask us for examples of how geo-targeting can help your vertical. Or, request a demo with your list of geographies.Request a Demo