As you the select few regular visitors :) have no doubt noticed, I started experimenting with various affiliate links and ads. There are way too many ads at the moment, but bear with me - I’m conducting an experiment.
Google’s AdSense is well known and it’s been running for years. Their contextual ads made them famous because they are precise and actually offer ads related to the page content. Yet, during the last week I noticed that, on my english-written blog, it places ads in japanese. I have no idea what they are :) but can hardly be called appropriate for exactly that reason.
Still, they are the best and easiest to use.
Amazon has beta program running for the same type of ads. Funny thing about this new service is that it’s called Omakase (?!) on US Amazon, but Self-optimizing links on UK Amazon. The ads it delivers are hit and miss mostly - I have rarely seen that it loads just the right thing for the page. I’m giving it a bit more time to see will it improve. The worst part of this deal is that each Amazon web site is a world of its own, with no connections at all.
That’s problematic, because there is no sense for an American to buy something from UK Amazon (unless the item in question exists only there) and vice-versa. Not to mention other Europeans. I implemented a feature that allows easy switch between the two, but it’s hardly useful. If I, as potential buyer from UK, see an ad on US tab about something that interests me, I would click on the flag to load my tab and…see something completely different. Amazon lost a potential sell.
There is no way to force the same links, as the affiliate programs are entirely separated and they obviously come up with different offers to send. Further, UK program seem to be lagging in development, as like 30% of times it loads nothing but the general link to Amazon home page.
The only way I can offer the same thing is to manually find the correct links and build them into the page. Very tiresome.
Linkshare is the heavy weight - the one place to maintain huge amount of affiliate deals and have central payment maintenance. I was surprised to find that Apple Store is there, along with iTunes, .Mac etc. It adds credibility for the network, at least for me. It’s a good concept, because the fees on small payments would kill you. This way, you aggregate them and fees become insignificant.
There’s one problem I still figure out how to attack. If I’m associated with dozen of companies, for each of them I need to place separate links. And that’s way way too much ads. A script that randomly picks an ad out of all the possible ones I have picked would be a great thing. Seems I’ll need to write it.