Measuring and Managing Online Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate programs vary dramatically in their incidence of fraud: in some merchants’ affiliate programs, rogue affiliates fill the ranks of high-earners.  Yet other similarly-sized merchants have little or no fraud.  Why the difference? In Information and Incentives in Online Affiliate Marketing, Ben Edelman and I examine the impact of varying merchant management decisions.  Some merchants […]

On cutting out the middle man

I recently received a number of emails from readers asking me to provide more samples of abuse in Hostgator’s affiliate program. At the time I could not help but wonder to myself why the sudden interest, specifically from what seemed to be concerned Hostgator affiliates. Having discussed Hostgator a few times [1, 2, 3], we […] – Typosquatting

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Affiliate Fraud, Typosquatting

Visit this page and you’ll see nothing out of the ordinary: a couple of coupons for coupled with a variety of other deals (travel and otherwise). Check out their page on Facebook (w/ 8,500+ likes): Ranked in the top 50,000 US sites, all indications would have us believe that is a legitimate […]

Orbitz Typosquatter

Posted by on Feb 11, 2013 in Affiliate Fraud, Mad Monday, Typosquatting

We have discussed typosquatting enough to know that it is most definitely not a solved problem. Today’s example brings nothing new to the table, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Type (a fat-fingered typo of into your browser and you will be redirected through to via an affiliate link (Google Affiliate Network pubid=21000000000018829). Since the […]

This Year’s Top 10

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Adware, Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing, PPV, Typosquatting

With it being a few days before christmas, Ben Edelman and I have something special for you. Our automation continuously scours the web for rogue affiliates. In our query tool, we provide a basic sense of how much we’ve found. We have also written up scores of sample rogue affiliates, but the holiday season provides […]

More Amazon Typos

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in Affiliate Fraud, Mad Monday, Typosquatting

In this post, I will present a few more Amazon typos. The trick with these is that the cunning typosquatter is not typosquatting around the Amazon domain. Instead, the fraudster squats on typos of other top internet retailers, surely redirecting them to Amazon for the probabilty of a conversion is that much higher (or perhaps […]

Affiliate Fraud Basics

In today’s post, I will describe the affiliate marketing ecosystem and where fraud fits into the picture. Briefly, the online affiliate marketing system is setup as follows: Merchants have products to sell, but are not experts in marketing Affiliates are experts in marketing, but do not have their own products to sell Affiliate networks provide […]

AM Days Presentation

Earlier this week I attended the AM Days conference in Florida. All in all it was well worth the trip. The slides from my presentation are available here: Mirror, mirror on the wall. With only 40 minutes to present about a year’s worth of research and development, I introduced the basics of affiliate fraud and […]

Amazon Typosquatter

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Affiliate Fraud, Mad Monday, Typosquatting

Typosquatting is not solved. Merchants may know that typosquatters are out there, but I must disagree with anyone who says that most merchants know who they are and what they are up to. For example, consider affiliate “travelinfor07-21” from Amazon’s Associates program. Amazon probably thinks that this affiliate is sending them organic traffic from […]