I have always been a fan of the eBay affiliate program. I liked it better when it was on CJ but over time I have made a lot of money with it. I got an email from them today and it looks like they are laying the smack down. Here are some new rules that all publishers must abide by.
Network Code of Conduct
Important updates to the Network Code of Conduct include the following:
- eBay Partner Network does not compensate for sales that come from invalid click activity, which includes, but is not limited to the following:
- clicks generated by a publisher clicking on their own ads
- automated clicking tools/traffic sources/robots
- activity generated by other deceptive software
- Publishers may only place links and/or promotional content on sites they own. Affiliate links on third party sites such as Craigslist, MySpace, etc. are not allowed.
- You will not redirect any traffic to middle servers for the sole purpose of masking your referring source of traffic. This includes the use of URL shortening services (including but not limited to tinyurl.com, short.to and cloakedlink.com).
To read more about these updates, please see the full version of the new Network Code of Conduct.
I see where their coming from with their restrictions but I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. 90% of the internet probably already knows who eBay is. Their commission rates suck as it is and now they are laying on additional restrictions. Over time and if they add even more restrictions going forward all they are going to accomplish is driving affiliates to alternate affiliate programs that pay more. I think eBays affiliate program (and relevance on the net for that matter) is on the decline.