Are Your Clients Losing Business Because of Affiliate Ad Hijackers?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Have your clients had trouble with their affiliates ad hijacking? According to a recent study by Digital Marketing Depot, affiliate ad hijacking is, “when an affiliate impersonates a brand by running ads that look identical to a brand’s ads.” The affiliates’ online ads don’t look any different than the ones your client is running. However, instead of the link leading straight to your client’s website, the customer will be sent through the hijacker’s tracking link first, ensuring that they are paid the commission for that click.

The result? “Brands lose money when they have to compete with their affiliates for conversions or sales from paid search keywords,” says Digital Marketing Depot. Additionally, if the affiliate ad hijackers are displaying your client’s URL, their ads will kick out your client’s since search engines only allow one ad with the same URL. This defeats the whole purpose of an affiliate program since they are stealing your client’s existing business instead of bringing in new customers.

So, what can your clients do to prevent affiliate ad hijacking from happening? Digital Marketing Depot recommends two courses of action. The first: Create affiliate agreements that have no room for loopholes in your client’s expectations and rules. “Be sure your agreements clearly state what your brand-​bidding policies are and what the consequences are for violating them,” says Digital Marketing Depot. If hijacking is still occurring, don’t waste time manually investigating. Paid search monitoring tools can simplify the process of detecting the hijackers so that they can be stopped.

Are your clients unsure if this has happened to them? Digital Marketing Depot’s Affiliate Ad Hijacking report also lists a few methods for identifying affiliate ad hijackers.

Sponsored search result responders make up 28% of U.S. adults, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. You want to make sure your client’s clicks are distributed fairly among your client and their affiliates so that everyone benefits. You can increase your revenue by offering to track affiliate ad hijackers for your clients.