Amazon Associates Drops A Bombshell – Or Is It?

by Joel on April 9, 2009

Just a few days ago the Amazon Associates Program dropped a basket of rotten eggs on many affiliate doorsteps.

Here is the email they sent out.

We’re writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to,, or through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you’re not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.

As of May 1, 2009, Associates will not be paid referral fees for paid search traffic. Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.

This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. If you are conducting paid search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.

What does this mean?  Initially I got a flood of email from many concerned subscribers thinking that this is the end of PPC to Amazon products and that this was the end of the world for many.

Well to some it may be.  For many it’s a new opportunity.

If you read carefully they are only limiting Paid Search advertising to DIRECT AFFILIATE LINKS.  You can still send PPC traffic to your own site which has amazon links on it.

All of the direct linking on PPC ads have to be taken down… well I guess you could leave it up… you just won’t get paid!

This is getting to be the norm for most programs these days.  It wasn’t too long ago that Ebay Partner Network did the same thing.

So where is the opportunity?

All the competing PPC ad space that is going to open up.

This is a perfect opportunity to get your affiliate sites better positioned with Adwords now.  You are going to get a lower conversion rate because of the extra “Click” buyers have to go through but if done correctly it can still be very profitable.

PPC to Amazon can still be a nice gig but I wouldn’t make it your core business.  Build some niche sites for the long term strategy and your efforts will be rewarded.

Joel Peterson

Tell me what you think.  I’d like to know your experiences with Amazon Affiliate program and if this is going to affect you.

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