New AzoogleAds Referral Terms Screw Affiliates

Written by Zac Johnson
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It wasn’t til today that I caught attention of the new terms and conditions set forth by AzoogleAds on their affiliate referral program. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get their email notice, and I’ve talked to a couple others who also didn’t receive it, but are still an affiliate of the network. The news is already a couple days old, as already discussed by CPA-Affiliates, Cashtastics and many posts on WickedFire, but I will go into some detail on what I think of the changes of how it will affect future relations with AzoogleAds.

Let’s first take a look at the new terms in place by AzoogleAds:

The new terms and conditions are made up of nine new bullet points, though it’s really only two big changes, which are shown below.
• Referral commission will continue to be 2% of referred publishers’ revenue but will now expire after 6 months.
• You must maintain a minimum revenue level of $1,000 in your primary account on a monthly basis in order to receive any referral payouts for that month.

Let’s first focus on “Referral commission will continue to be 2% of referred publishers’ revenue but will now expire after 6 months.“. I can’t stress enough how awesome “lifetime” commissions are, and that some affiliate networks are offering this as an incentive is great. I know many networks that only pay commissions for 3-12 months of the affiliates earnings with the network. While I’m not sure how much volume AzoogleAds’ earns each month based on referred affiliates from affiliates, but I can’t imagine the 2% “lifetime” that they were paying affiliates, would put them out of business. After all, you are only making money if your referrals make money. I believe AzoogleAds is large enough and have been successfully pulling large enough margins on their offers to have a decent profit margin. (Despite recently laying off a bunch of staff and removing their rewards program!)

Second point, “You must maintain a minimum revenue level of $1,000 in your primary account on a monthly basis in order to receive any referral payouts for that month.“. I’m currently an affiliate with almost every network out there. I want to see what offers are new, which can make money, and update my blog readers on network news. This new requirement of having to earn $1,000 a month from actual AzoogleAds campaigns, to get credit for any affiliate referrals is just ridiculous. What about all the bloggers or network directories out there that only specialize in referrals to networks? Well, if you were making money with AzoogleAds, now you’re screwed. I’m sure $1,000 a month isn’t much to many, but to make it a requirement… you’re just digging your grave. I put forth the time and effort to give you accurate and detailed information on how to make money with these networks, a clear example of this success is my “My Blog Readers Have Earned Over $100,000!” post. I will no longer recommend AzoogleAds to my readers…

I really hate to see when an affiliate network doesn’t have it’s own referral program, but the new terms are AzoogleAds is almost at that. How much would it suck, for you to look at your stats and see you made some earnings off your referrals, but won’t be paid because you didn’t hit your $1,000 monthly mark… or to see a “big” referral go black after six months. While it sucks for us, it makes sense for AzoogleAds to not do away with the whole referral program since any referrers will probably still keep their existing links up (I wont), which results in free advertising money for AzoogleAds. However, if AzoogleAds keeps up their tactics and pisses off enough affiliates and referral networks, they may find that their advertising costs to bring in new affiliates would possibly match or outweigh that 2% lifetime in which they used to offer. With the removable of the rewards program and now a horrible referral program, AzoogleAds is now a network for big media that cares only about profit margins and not a meaningful relationship, which I heavily emphasize on.

To finish off this in-depth post, let’s focus on two testimonials from Jordan Visco at NeverBlueAds and Kris Jones from PepperJam Network, whom I will point out, heavily respect their affiliates and referrals to their networks and continue to pay honest commissions on all referrals.

“Its great to see that Zac’s hard work has been paying off for him as he has just passed the 2K affiliate referral commissions mark. Even greater is the realization that new webmasters who have been referred by ZacJohnson.com have now made over $100,000 with the NeverBlue Ads affiliate network. We’re excited that we can work together with affiliates like Zac to spread the affiliate marketing word and bring steady income to entrepreneurs worldwide who are looking to make a living for themselves online.”

“You’re becoming the next Darren Rowse, Jeremy Schoemaker, or John Chow! I should mention to your readers that you are also one of the top referrers of new affiliates to PepperJam Network. Today marks the two week anniversary of the launch of PepperJam Network and since then you’ve referred more new affiliates to us than 90% of the other publishers in our referral program. In addition, your referrals (aka, your readers) are very high quality.”

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20 Replies to “New AzoogleAds Referral Terms Screw Affiliates”

  1. I read about this somewhere else … it is a joke and an insult to Affiliates. I personally haven't promoted their referral service, and I sure won't start now. You are a pretty big fish though, so I have a feeling your voice will be heard.

  2. You've got to be kidding…

    Azoogle is dead to me. Screw them for screwing us. That's ridiculous.

  3. Don't forget that AzoogleAds is one of the best affiliate networks in the industry. For what you ask? I'd say: large number of offers, high payouts, and great service. I don't think the quality of their referral program is something to base your recommendation. If you don't recommend their affiliate program, it's because of your personal benefit (or lack of), not because of what they offer to the average affiliate marketer.

    It's one thing to rank (in order of benefit) your "recommended" networks, but to omit AzoogleAds as a recommended service is a disservice to your readers.

    1. I find a lot of irony in that corporate style "statement". If the company were to screw the Affiliates out of Referral fees, who is going to trust them in the future?

      Let's get something straight here: their BUSINESS is run from AFFILIATES…

      If Affiliates such as Zac is letting others know about this "change", then guess what? More Affiliates will begin to wonder what's next. It's AFFILIATES who make Azoogle, NOT Publishers or consumers…

      I find your reply very odd, to say the least.

      I've seen a lot of companies fail to realize who is making them money… Publishers can't make money if Affiliates do not trust the Network and cease to take action, right?

      We, Affiliates, get paid commission for each sale, each referral. Who do Azoogle think they are to do something as ignorant as this?

      It's not just Zac speaking out about this… it's MANY, MANY people and the company will have to see what happens next. This isn't your offline "word of mouth" type atmosphere, guy. This is THE WEB… THE WEB is run by BLOGGERS.

      When you make changes without notifying people and try to sneak it in, you're running a shady practice, to say the least. No, if they DID send out notice, maybe they should have made it a little more CLEAR?

      Good luck, Azoogle? Hope you change this back?

  4. Right on Zac, thanks for also bringing up this too. Yeah its total bs on azoogle's part. They failed, and their going to most likely not benefit from it.

  5. When you look at it from their perspective, this makes a lot of sense. There are a growing number of people who rely solely on trying to sign up mass numbers of people to these networks hoping some of them stick and make money as their income, and azoogle feels that the 2% they would have paid to that guy could be better spent advertising and recruiting their own members at venues such as affiliate networking conferences and such.

    You also fail to mention, as you gave pepperjam a giant bj, that they don't even have a residual referral program and pay a flat rate per user referred to them, making their referral program absolute garbage in comparison to azoogles new rules.

    1. It's no surprise that it's a benefit to the company, any cut backs usually are.

      However, your judgment on PepperJam isn't very accurate. PepperJam pays $5-$7 per affiliate signup, depending on volume. I would gladly take the initial high payout of $5-$7 per signup than 2% lifetime. I've referred enough affiliates in my time to know what a referral is worth. Unless you can bring in a couple big players doing $10k a month, an average referral is worth less than $1-$2 each. No BJs here… just some simple math, backed by plenty of stats.

  6. let me resume this .. you don't recommend azoolads because you won't going to be pay….c'mon…azoolads is a force in this industry…this is a selfish statement.. I think this new terms push publisher to bring quality publisher in the system.. That way they will make more money in 6 months… not just make review to get people in…. anyway I still like your blog..

  7. Although lifetime referrals are awesome, it's understandable why a company wouldn't want to do it. Changing midstream sucks but better than dropping it altogether.

    But the $1k min per month is a silly requirement and will piss off a lot of people. I mean, I assume someone like Chow doesn't do a whole lot of affiliate promotion himself but probably has a decent downline. But now they want to cut off that downline.

    Also seems like a bad time to make such a drastic change cosidering all the other networks popping up. Sure there are always competitors and they will continue to come and go but there are also some pretty good ones jumping up with some pretty decent pedigree.

    1. I think a lot of people are missing something, probably because they don't run an affiliate network 🙂 The biggest problem with the referral program is not the 2%, nor is it the lifetime referral, it's the fact that there are many "smart" people out there that have figured out how to take advantage of the program. How you may ask? Simple. Sign up for an account using your sister's name and info. Then, use the referral link from your sister's account, and refer yourself. Voila, you're now earning an extra 2% on all of the revenue that you generate. No harm, no foul, right? The unfortunate reality is, there are many publishers that do this all the time. The $1000 threshhold is in place so that when someone refers a publisher, they are not doing it just to earn another 2% on their earnings, it's not there to steal money from anyone. Just like we give publishers higher CPAs when they work closely with us, there are plenty of bloggers out there who refer publishers to us, and their lifetime referrals are not going anywhere, and might in fact increase.

      I wonder how long after this post it'll take for other networks to start reviewing their referral commissions to see how much extra $ they've paid out for no reason 🙂

  8. Zac: perhaps you might consider more flexibility in your ratings of products and services. It seems to me you always give things 5 full stars out of 5. Perhaps Azoogle would be an example of a company you would want to give 3 or 4 stars to as a result of this change you do not like.

  9. I have my "Network Reviews" section, and a review on AzoogleAds was never done. I don't just hand out 5/5 rating, but I prefer to write reviews on networks that are better ranked.

  10. The requirement for the $1000 monthly minimum revenue is really just a barrier to entry for newer affiliates. From a corporate standpoint, it's easier to manage and make payments to your top 10% of affiliates for referrals than it is to manage making thousands of smaller payments. I remember when I was brand new to affiliate marketing… I would see networks that wouldn't pay out until you had made $100 in sales, and I'd be thinking to myself, "Oh, great." The barrier to entry seemed so high, even then.

    I think that this corporate feeling new policy makes sense for Azoogle, in a corporate kind of way. I understand what they think they're trying to do. I don't agree with it, though…. I enjoy working with networks that take a more "high-touch" approach and embrace their affiliates no matter what. Setting such a high barrier to entry will definitely discourage newer affiliates from working to build referrals, and the reduction from lifetime payments to the new 6 month payment structure will certainly discourage some people from deciding to promote Azoogle offers. It's sort of like spraying weed killer and chemicals around the roots of a tree… I think that limiting their relationship to their top-level affiliates and disregarding smaller afiliates will kill off lots of potential profits for Azoogle and inhibit it's growth.

  11. I think I understand their point of viewing. Based upon reasoning from observed facts it is a big problem for providers to pay all of their customers (> 10000) to manage them and give them their revenue. So, they want to make their work lesser with using this item.

  12. Seems allot is going on, on this blog. I have read all the post up till this point. I should read everything in 2008 and catch up with 2009 posting.

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