There seems to be a (small?) trend among some uninformed affiliate managers and or merchants (at least those who do their own program management) for getting rid of non-performing and/or under-performing affiliates. There is debate about this being an effective/productive way in which to manage an affiliate program* – or not. The main consensus is that you may be throwing the baby out with the bath-water because you can never be sure the rock-star affiliate of tomorrow is not embedded within that group of under-performers.
One of the reasons that we have seen and/or heard about is the manager using a lame (misguided, really) excuse like this:
“We have far too many affiliates who joined our program and put up some links but never actively promoted us. All of those links are destroying our own site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and that is killing our site on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is happening because of the poor quality of all those inbound links. So, unfortunately we will be terminating your account…blah…blah…sorry…blah…”
That is an example of how uninformed those particular affiliate managers are. Common sense, for anyone working in our business, will tell you that “all those” links have to go through the network – for tracking purposes – not directly to the merchant. The end result of links from (maybe) thousands of sites all boils down to links from only one place leading to the merchant site – the network – which is only one source. Got that Mr. Uninformed Affiliate Manager? Only ONE link source! Not thousands as you claimed. You should be embarrassed.
Any manager worth his keep will make sure he keeps up with the basics of what is happening in the realm of SEO. It doesn’t have to be the fine points – just the basics. For an affiliate manger to NOT keep up with the basics would be just plain stupid on their part.
Just remember that you can fix ignorance with educaton but there is no cure for stupidity.* There are, in some cases, advantages for the affiliate manager to cull affiliates because that may help him show better “numbers” in some areas of the program – which may affect salary. But that is usually not good for the overall health of the program. The reasons for that are seeds for another article…