Jeremy Palmer

Digital Marketing Pro from Austin, TX

Affiliate Summit Raises the Bar Again

I just did the math and determined that I’ve now been to 17 Affiliate Summit conferences since 2006. The conference is far and away the largest tradeshow in the performance marketing industry.

In terms of size, I don’t think there’s another show that comes close in the industry. There are several high quality affiliate network events, which tend to be more intimate and focused, but I can’t think of another show that brings together more merchants and affiliates from EVERY affiliate network together at the same time.

But being the conference leader hasn’t made the folks at Affiliate Summit complacent. They keep finding ways to make improvements to the show.

Perhaps one of the keys to their success is that they’re constantly surveying attendees for feedback. From my viewpoint, Shawn and Missy (the conference organizers) tend to rely more on their attendees for feedback, than their own preferences and instincts.

The idea of running a conference like a democracy might sound a little crazy, but based on my observations it seems to work.

For example, the sessions and conference locations are voted on by both conference attendees and Affiliate Summit Advisory Board Members. As a business owner, I’m not sure I could entrust these decisions to anyone other than myself or a business partner, but this customer-centric approach seems to work well for Affiliate Summit.

How do I know this?

1) Because the sessions were better this year than they were last year.
2) The hotel was better than it was last year.
3) The speed of registration was faster than it was last year.
4) The networking opportunities were bigger than last year.

Generally speaking, when a business dominates their industry, you tend to see a decline in value and service. When you own the space there’s little motivation to improve.

When you’re the startup fighting for marketshare you’re constantly looking for ways to one-up the competition.

With that said, it’s nice to see that Affiliate Summit hasn’t lost their startup instincts, despite being the “800 pound gorilla” in the affiliate conference category.

Affiliate Summit: Buy One Pass / Get One Free

For those of you looking to attend Affiliate Summit East next month in New York, they’re offering a Buy One/Get One offer for any pass. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/t49mPU

Here are the details:

* Buy one attendee registration, get one of equal value, free.
* Offer valid through July 6, 2014 or while attendee space lasts.
* Both the PAID and FREE attendee registrations must be added to the registration Shopping Cart at the same time and purchased in a single order.
* FREE attendees can not be added on retroactively.
* Offer only applies to Affiliate Summit East 2014 attendee registrations.
* Offer is non-transferable and may not be resold.
* Void where prohibited.

This is a great offer for those of you who might have slept on the early bird offer - http://goo.gl/t49mPU

Google is Breaking the Internet


I received an interesting email the other day from a company we linked to from one of our websites.

In short, the email was a request to remove links from our site to their site. We linked to this company on our own accord, with no prior solicitation, because we felt it would be useful to our site visitors, which is generally why people link to things on the Internet.

Apparently Google convinced them, via their Webmaster Tools portal, that the link looked “unnatural”, and that they should use the Link Disavow Tool to discredit the link. Furthermore, they thought it necessary to contact us to manually remove the link, which is something I’m not going to do (out of principle).

For the last 10 years, Google has been instilling and spreading irrational fear into webmasters. They’ve convinced site owners that any link, outside of a purely editorial link from an “authority site”, could be flagged as a bad link, and subject the site to ranking and/or index penalties.

This fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) campaign has webmasters everywhere doing unnatural things, which is what Google claims they’re trying to stop. 

Site owners and publishers are now afraid to link to each other because they don’t know how Google might respond to that link. For example, Wikipedia and the New York Times have added the “nofollow" attribute to most of the links outside of their editorial control.

This is bad for the Internet for a few fundamental reasons…

First, publishers aren’t getting the credit they deserve for their original content.

Second, webmasters are going out of their way to control the flow of page rank from their site to other sites.

Both of these irrational behaviors contradict the underlying foundation of the web and the concept of hyperlinks.

It’s bad enough that Google has made web publishers afraid to link to each other, but they’re also making them repent for past misdeeds (perceived or real), which is what prompted me to write this post.

This has to stop. As a web publisher and author you have a right (and an obligation) to naturally link to resources that you find valuable for your audience. It’s not just about giving your readers what they want, but it’s also crediting the original source for their efforts.

As a publisher I refuse to nofollow any links, outside of banners and advertisements. I implore you to do the same.

Remember, Google doesn’t own the Internet, they just crawl and index it for profit.

We own the Internet, and it’s up to us to decide when something is link worthy or not, regardless of Google’s webmaster guidelines.

I attached a copy of the email (with personal details removed) to this post, so you can see how ridiculous this has become.

Subject: A Request For Your Help

Dear Website Owner:

We have discovered that a company we hired to help promote our website (DOMAIN REMOVED) have used a variety of questionable techniques to secure links to our website. These links were placed purely for SEO purposes, with the intention of manipulating search rankings.

It appears that there may be links like this that have been placed on your site.

The presence of these links is harmful to our site’s good standing with search engines, and unfortunately, retaining them may also be potentially harmful to your own website’s reputation.

We would ask that you please remove any links on your site that link to (DOMAIN REMOVED).

So far as we are aware, there are (or have been) links at these URLs:

We would greatly appreciate your help with resolving this problem.

You can also let us know once the links to (DOMAIN REMOVED) have been removed either by return email, or using the link below.

If you need any more information from us, please email me and I will be happy to assist.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you and do appreciate your help.



Don’t forget to register for Affiliate Summit East this week, before rates go up: http://goo.gl/37iYRQ

Don’t forget to register for Affiliate Summit East this week, before rates go up: http://goo.gl/37iYRQ

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Do you use WordPress? Want to Know How You Can Use it to Build Cool Stuff? Vote for Our Affiliate Summit Session Here: http://www.affiliatesummitvoting.com/the-super-affiliate-toolkit-for-wordpress/

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