Amazon Affiliates Dropped

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What does this new policy mean for Affiliate Marketing Websites

AMAZON AFFILIATES DROPPED IN CALIFORNIA!

This news may have caught you by surprise at the end of June. Or if you happened to be enjoying the summer weather, you might have missed it altogether. Even those of us whose profession is internet marketing and web design were caught unawares. If you were one of the 25,000 California-based affiliate marketing blogs or websites however, you definitely did not miss this news. Amazon sent you an e-mail telling of their plan to discontinue their California affiliate marketing program.

Affiliate marketing, in case the term is not ringing a bell, is an internet marketing referral system by which bloggers and websites redirect customers to businesses and receive kickbacks from the purchases made by those referrals. Many a website design, in fact, is created with affiliate marketing as its central goal. For those in California that had Amazon as their central affiliate marketing partner this is a major blow. Amazon is one of the main players in affiliate marketing because of their size and scope of products.

Why did Amazon take this drastic measure?

It seems the new California budget includes a tax targeted to Amazon and its affiliate marketers. Amazon, as it has done in the past when a handful of other states created similar taxes, has decided to simply pull up stakes. The difference, of course, is that California is a far larger market than those other states and one of the centers of internet marketing. Amazon is, in effect, losing 1/8 of their affiliates from this action.

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In the e-mail they sent out to their affiliate marketers, Amazon claims they will sue because they say this tax goes further than those from the other states.

How does the Amazon affiliate marketing decision effect new website design strategies?

If you live in California and you were planning to create an affiliate marketing site that was specifically targeted at Amazon, this obviously puts a huge crimp in your plans. You could, of course, pull up stakes yourself and go to one of the bordering states and set up business from there. (Or put the new website in your Uncle Chuck from Nevada’s name, I suppose.)

You could also redefine your website design and target it more directly at the kind of products you were creating traffic for before. For example, if you were a site that spoke about environmental issues and you used affiliate marketing to direct your readers to Amazon books about the environment and global warming, you might check to see if the publishers have affiliate programs or if the author’s webpage itself won’t offer your site a cut of their profits for increasing sales.

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You might simply get out of the affiliate marketing game, altogether, and rework your website design to fit with an Adwords program. If you have been doing your job correctly, you have already been targeting keywords in your posts and product discussions so as to increase traffic to your site. Hosting ads on your site might actually be a good alternative.

Many affiliate marketers are turning to alternative programs like those offered by E-bay and lesser known sites like Skimlinks. It still remains to be seen how this will shake out, however.

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