It isn’t unusual to see the following affiliate paid search policy set out and enforced by a merchant:
In the vast majority of cases the above PPC policy is one of those best practices that every affiliate program should implement. The reason is obvious: such affiliate activity adds no value to the merchant, and serves a purely parasitic purpose.
The sole purpose of such activity is to divert the trademark traffic to go through affiliate links/ads first. This sets an affiliate cookie on the end user’s machine, and should the latter place a sale/lead through within the cookie life duration, the trademark bidding affiliate will earn the commission on that sale/lead [more here]
Now, imagine my surprise when I see the same merchant (whose paid search restrictions I’ve started this post with) having the following affiliates (highlighted) on board:
If you go to page 2 of Google results for the above-shown key phrase, you’ll actually see more of similar affiliate websites — those with keyword-rich domain names where one of the “keywords” is the merchants trade name.
How is this different from paid search trademark poaching? It isn’t.