This morning we publicly announced the Affiliate Watchlist. The Affiliate Watchlist has been available within PoachMark for a while, and now we're finally comfortable with the breadth and depth of information available.
As PoachMark has grown, we've added detection for the affiliate networks our customers were utilizing. We've just recently added our fiftieth affiliate network. A few of the recently added networks include: ClickBooth, FlexOffers, CommissionSoup and CX Digital.
Commission Junction provides merchants the ability to offer encrypted affiliate links. These encrypted links usually look something like this:
Techcrunch has a series of scathing articles about the CPA offer spam found in Facebook games. I don't expect that this is a surprise for many in the CPA world, but they are a must read for any program offering CPA offers and wondering about the quality of their CPA payouts:
We've found a number of Google Places advertisements appearing on searches for 'Brand + Product Category' and include a link to a competitive local retailer. The advertisements represent an entirely new AdWords unit that we hadn't seen before and seem to be designed specifically for Google Places. A handful of examples below:
A search for 'Zappos shoes' (and similar variants):
A search for 'Gap clothes':
A search for 'Bennigan's restaurants':
A search for 'Starbucks coffee':
We've only seen these advertisements from San Francisco, which would suggest that these are being run a purely trial basis at this point.
We've also only seen the ads at the top of the right rail. This suggests to me that they are exempt from the auction process.
I'd say these ad units remove any doubts that Google is taking Places very seriously.
An adviser to the European Court of Justice just issued an opinion that "Google has not committed a trademark infringement by allowing advertisers to select [trademarked] keywords".