Amazon Prohibits Affiliates from DTM PPC

Amazon has announced earlier today that they starting from May 1 2009 they are prohibiting affiliates from engaging in direct-to-merchant (DTM) paid search campaigns. The exact wording of the letter is as follows:

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

The above wording implies direct-to-merchant PPC ads only. Using paid search campaigns to market affiliates’ own websites does not seem to be affected by this new rule.

DTM linking from affiliate PPC campaigns has been historically associated with lower quality traffic, often coupled with trademark poaching, or even copying merchant’s own ads. There are speculations that the above incident has deeper roots, and you may find the following links and posts/discussions on the topic of interest:

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