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Using threat levels to monitor affiliates on paid search

Affiliate Managers, Marketing Teams
It's been a while since we analyzed the compliance level of affiliates, so we wanted to revisit the data. It's a marketing best practice to routinely monitor affiliates. They may be good most of the time, but trust us, they are tempted often to be very, very bad when an extra buck is on the line. Our analysis found that 55% of affiliates are brand bidding, and 29% of affiliates are URL hijackers. The chart below illustrates the percentage of affiliates found at each threat level, along with the activity we saw them performing. Note, that URL Hijackers are also guilty of brand bidding, so they are counted in both the Bidders and Hijackers categories. affiliate-threat-levels-jan-2016 We compiled the data using our database of over 20,000 affiliates found advertising across The Search Monitor community. We monitor affiliates using instances of brand bidding and URL hijacks and combine these scores with user-generated content, including contacts and comments from The Search Monitor's clients. Brand bidding occurs when an unauthorized advertiser bids on a brand or brand plus keyword, or uses your brand in ad copy. URL hijacks occur when an unauthorized advertiser uses your URL as the display url of the ad, and then directs search traffic through links that you did not approve.

How Affiliate Managers Should Use Affiliate Profiles to Monitor Affiliates

  • Pull this data each month for a real-time snapshot of the entire affiliate landscape.
  • Drill down to look at just your affiliates and compare their compliance and threat levels to 1) the entire industry or 2) your competitors.
  • Review affiliates applying to your program to ensure you are only approving affiliates without a history of URL hijacking.
  • Set benchmarks and routinely check the health of your affiliate program by your affiliates' threat levels. These change more often than you think!

Want Help Monitoring Affiliates?

Request a demo today of our affiliate threat levels for your affiliates or keyword list. [demobutton] Or Contact Us with any questions on how we calculate the affiliate profile data.