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Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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This is a follow-up question to the question answered here where Google confirmed that the landing page & offer blackpeoplemeet.com was Ok to promote as an affiliate by direct linking on the Google Display Network.

 

To get paid I need to use an affiliate link so that the commission can be registered. This means that my display URL will be blackpeoplemeet.com but my Destination URL will be http://affiliate.trk4.com/rd/r.php?sid=634&pub=105120, which will redirect through to blackpeoplemeet.com.

 

I've heard it said that google has an internal secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains, which may include affiliate.trk4.com. So even though the offer is fine, google may still ban the account just because they don't like the destination URL domain.

 

Is there any truth in this?

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Accepted by topic author Paul F
September 2015

Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 6
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Historically speaking, Yes - it would appear that some domains could be categorized in this manner. However, it's a secret list so it's unlikely that anyone would have very much information regarding which domains would fall into such a category.

Save yourself a little time - call 1-866-2Google and ask them directly. Can I use this exact domain as my destination URL if it redirects to this particular domain, that will be used as my Display URL. Explain that it's an affiliate program and you want to make sure you're abiding by all policies.

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 2
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Hi Paul,

This is exactly why I asked the questions I did early on the previous discussion. It didn't make too much sense to me that you'd be sending traffic directly to their site in an affiliate type of set up. Here, you're basically saying that your display and destination URL's are NOT the same. I don't know how you can pull that off.

That said, I don't take part in affiliate advertising, as I've stated many times in the past, I don't see how it can be profitable given the state of CPC's and what I can only imagine are minimal returns from the site which you are promoting.

-Tommy
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 3
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But Googles T&C's are crystal clear that it's Ok for Display & Destination URL's to be different, providing the Destination URL redirects to the Display URL?

Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 4
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Then why are you concerned and asking questions...I'm just giving you my opinion and stated that I don't take part in anything like this.

-Tommy
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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My concern is whether Google has a secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

As I explained in my original question?
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Paul F
September 2015

Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Historically speaking, Yes - it would appear that some domains could be categorized in this manner. However, it's a secret list so it's unlikely that anyone would have very much information regarding which domains would fall into such a category.

Save yourself a little time - call 1-866-2Google and ask them directly. Can I use this exact domain as my destination URL if it redirects to this particular domain, that will be used as my Display URL. Explain that it's an affiliate program and you want to make sure you're abiding by all policies.

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 7
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I have indeed phoned Google up & asked them that very question. After a rather frustrating 15 minutes I got a very unsatisfactory non-answer.

The woman I spoke with just said it was up to me to read Google T&C's and proceed if I thought the ad was Ok. She refused to comment on specific examples.

When I asked her about the tracking domain, she just said that the 'specialist team' looked after those kinds of issues but she refused to escalate the issue to them...

Regards,

Paul

Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 8
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That response would raise red flags for me as well.

I know what you mean, the language about redirects is funny, and I know in certain cases, Pharma for instance, they're needed.

I personally just don't know enough about what you're trying to do here.

You could always just set your ads up and see what happens.

-Tommy
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 9
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Paul;

I am not sure I fully got the issue this time,

 

The display  URL must match the  destination URL after all redirects. - On that I agree with Tommy;

 

As for your other question: there is NO black list of banned affiliate sites. However; affiliate program is a sensitive issue, (due to the nature of  their content, which Google doesn't, always, see as provide added value to users).

When affiliate sites  are banned,  the same set of criteria / rules which apply to any other site, apply to affilaites.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Google's secret blacklist of affiliate tracking domains?

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# 10
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MosheTLV,

To clarify - the display URL does match the destination URL after redirects, that isn't an issue here.

As was confirmed by Google in the previous thread, the Display URL and website in this case (blackpeoplemeet.com) is definitely approved by Google & is seen as adding value etc.

The issue is about the affliate tracking domain affiliate.trk4.com which redirects to blackpeoplemeet.com.

When I phoned Google they were very coy about whether the affiliate tracking domain affiliate.trk4.com could lead to a ban. The woman I spoke with was unable to confirm that this site was definitely Ok.

Tommy also seemed to confirm that there may indeed be a secret list of blacklisted affiliate tracking domains which may include affiliate.trk4.com.

If I'm being paranoid here then can someone from Google definitely confirm that such a secret list does not exist?

- Paul