From January 2012 to June 2012, almost 70 percent of affiliate marketers on the major search engines (all Google networks, Yahoo, Bing, and Baidu) bid on trademark terms (47.22 percent) or, even more startling, direct linked (22.32%) from their paid search ads.
Here’s the accompanying chart:
Two comments on the undoubtedly interesting stats:
1. It is not surprising me that over 47% of “affiliate marketers on the major search engines bid on trademark terms.” I’ll tell you even more: some of the largest brands will do this (until you catch them). Another reason for proactive affiliate program management (integral component of which is policing of compliance with merchant’s TOS).
2. While for years I’ve been advising merchants against allowing trademark bidding on search engines, I don’t necessarily agree that DTM linking should be bundled into the same group as TM bidding. In some cases it does make sense to allow affiliates direct-to-merchant PPC ad linking (e.g.: when a merchant isn’t running any PPC of their own; or when they allow affiliates to bid on certain/competitive terms).
Other than these, this is definitely going to be some sobering data for some merchants.
What do you make of these?