Maharashtra is a state located on the Arabian coast of India, covering an area of 307,731 km2 (118,816 sq mi) or 9.84% of the total geographical area of India. [source] Its capital is Mumbai (Bombay) – the largest city in India, which is also rightly considered the country economic capital. Besides being “famous for its pleasant and cool climate”, the temple of Vitthal at Pandharpur, “the most important temple for the Varkari sect”, and, of course, the world famous Bollywood, this is the part of the globe from where literally hundreds of shady affiliate applications are coming into one of the affiliate program I manage.
Over the past 85 days, I have declined 125 applications into the RugSale.com’s affiliate program. 88% of them (or 110 applications) have come from non-existing “blog affiliates” out of Maharastra, India. Every day I get up to 5 applications from affiliates that have black background, no content, at blogspot.com “blogs”. Jeff DeBo (affiliate manager at AutoAnything.com), Sharon Page (affiliate manager at Altrec.com and GreatOutdoors.com), and Nadeem Azam of Azam.net have shared that they also get dozens of these every day, acknowledging that (i) these applications are “very time-consuming to deal with”, (ii) “auto decline does not seem to slow them down”, and (iii) all of them have almost identical (extremely poorly written) “verbiage in the Special/Incentive Program description box”. One of these want-to-look-like-I’m-a-blog “affiliates” had the following written in their business model description: “Blog comment areas, search engine, promotion through forums, classified advertiesment services, message boards” (original spelling retained). There is a word for this, and the word is spam.
For almost 3 months I have been contemplating placing “India” into the “Auto Decline”. But every time I have to make myself cool down. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath”, right? There are decent affiliates in India too, and I have seen them produce fully valid orders and leads. I only wish larger affiliate networks did more policing, and learned from their smaller “colleagues” (such as AvantLink and ShareASale). Talks about the benefits of the industry are worthless if they remain being just that – just talks.