How To Hunt Down MoreNiche Affiliate Websites

This story is a little personal for me. I’ve worked with Moreniche and their sister site Impactfive as an affiliate on a very ‘light’ basis. It started as these things normally do for me.

I signed up as an affiliate and then didn’t touch my account for months. I returned to their site when I discovered they had a forum and decided that I would interact with the other affiliates and staff on a somewhat limited basis.

I tried to play nice on the forum. I even rolled over on my back, showed my belly and invited anyone who thought that they were a really successful white hat SEO to engage me in conversation. It was mostly bullshit, but I wanted to open that door since the staff took a very ‘White Hat Or DEATH’ stance.

To me, their real saving grace is a guy named Martyn Slack. I’ve worked with a lot of affiliate managers over the years, but I’ve never offered to fly overseas and buy one a pint until I dealt with Martyn. (In fact, I owe him 2…)

Most of their staff has also been extremely easy to work with and professional to boot. I said most…. Don’t worry, I’ll come back to this…

The Moreniche Affiliate Badge Doomsday

affildisclosureMoreniche doesn’t quite operate like we do here in the states… Their government is a bit of a pain in their ass and apparently they thought it would be a fantastic idea to force Moreniche Affiliates to display this absolutely insane badge on their site.

The badge I’m displaying here isn’t a completely accurate version of it. They want your real name on it, contact email, and further more have even asked me to create a separate contact page further displaying my name.

What’s the problem? Transparency right?

Wrong. Do you have any idea who half the people that visit your site(s) are? Why the hell would I want every drunk hillbilly who stumbles across my site at 3 in the morning to know my real name and how to get a hold of me at any point in time?

I like the folks that read GodOverYou.com and SEOSUnite, but any of my other sites… uh huh… well… I’m a marketer. I’m not your friend. I’m not your buddy. I probably don’t even like you. My goal is to connect a reader with an answer and make a commission – that’s it.

Now Let’s Be Fair

If it’s a blog I can understand connecting with your audience. The people that read this site have probably known me for years or have had some degree of interaction with me on various forums. I understand getting to know people that are a part of something like a blog.

In that very limited scenario, I can at least say that the badge is ‘passable.’ I’m by no means a fan of it, but I can accept that it may not be the most damaging thing ever. In addition, it only has to be shown to UK traffic.

However…

What About Landing Pages?

There are some real pro’s out there who spend years building, testing and perfecting landing pages. They will then pay for traffic, each individual click and depend on having a high performing landing page to justify spending hundreds of dollars a day on traffic.

Guess what. You’ve got to have the badge as well.

Yeah, fit that big ugly thing into an optimized lander… LOL.

Doesn’t matter though. The rules are the rules and you’ve got to have it – even if that means it costs you money. Stick that in your marketing pipe and smoke it.

At First They Were Images

As a blackhat marketer that uses multiple servers to scrape the web for various things (links, content, images, etc) I knew this was a horrible idea.

Essentially, Google would come along, save the image and then you could literally use Google Image Search to find almost any MoreNiche affiliate website that Google had indexed.

I voiced my opinion and was told to shove it. But, they did stop using images only a few weeks into the programs implementation. Unfortunately, the change was just as bad.

The Change

The next thing they did was change it to Javascript. I immediately tried to slam on the brakes with that.

Having known a certain group of guys that specifically crawled pages and built their own indexes to track Adsense marketers and niches, I knew that sticking some easily and UNIVERSALLY identifiable Javascript on the site of every MoreNiche affiliate was a horrible idea.

I took it to the forum and didn’t hold back.

Remember When I Said Most Of Their Staff Was Awesome?

pickafightUpon telling them that what they were doing was a horrible idea, they politely told me to go fuck myself. 1 of their staff in particular…

He wrote an enormous reply on how blackhats couldn’t comb the internet looking for javascript and that I was creating problematic and unnecessary noise just to draw attention to myself.

Okay fucko…. (I really hope you are reading this)

I left the forum for awhile and checked in a little bit every now and then but not much after that. I think I made 30-40 posts total after that and left it alone.

Hi I’m GOY And Here’s How To Hunt Down MoreNiche Affiliates For SPORT (which they said you couldn’t do….)

I’d like to introduce you to a service called nerdydata.com.

Take a minute and go look at it.

Notice something it can do? Search by Javascript. (Someone at more niche just clenched their fist.)

Want to just hunt down general MoreNiche sites? Search this:

<script type=”text/javascript”>var geoip=true;</script><script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.affiliatedisclosure.com/affiliate/disclosures/

affilbadgefound1

 

You now have 409 sets of design ideas, content ideas, etc.

Why This Is So Bad

There are a couple major problems with this…

The First Problem Is Theft

I can go into any of those 409 sites and take their content to mash up and algorithmically reproduce content for myself.

I can take the images and modify them slightly if I think they might work well. It would save me several hours and maybe even some money if I was the type that bought every image I used.

But that’s ‘chicken shit’ stuff. Let’s go get something much more valuable… Sales Copy.

I can go in and look at the sales copy of 409 different example sites. If there’s something I like, I can take it.

Sure you’ll want to change it up a little bit but the point is that if you are hunting down the good marketers, you aren’t just taking their words – you’re taking their angles!

That’s the creativity life blood of most successful marketers.

The Second Problem Is Much More Insidious

stuffmycookiesLet’s pretend… and just pretend for a moment that I was a blackhat marketer (eek!)

And let’s just pretend for a moment that I wanted to make sure that I was paid for my marketing efforts and cookie stuffed people who landed on my one specific sales page.

Cookie stuffing is a major no-no with MoreNiche…. and they check for it. So that would be account suicide right?

Well, not anymore. I now have access to up to 409 different affiliate cookies.

And being that blackhat marketer that we are pretending I am (eek! eek!) – I could start auto-generating literally hundreds of domains where the entire domain is cookie stuffing one specific affiliate cookie that’s not mine.

Then, blending into the mix I could, if I was so inclined cookie stuff the page I wanted to all along.

What are they going to do? BAN US ALL!?!

To Be Clear….

I’m not actually suggesting that anyone go out there and start auto-generating hundreds or thousands of domains to basically hide in the masses with your cookie stuffed offer.

Look at it this way. There are whitehat hackers that find problems with medical equipment and could literally shut off people’s pacemakers virtually at will if they wanted to.

They will typically publish their information (as I am doing here) or discuss it at a conference with no intention of harming anyone.

I’m Doing This For Two Reasons

The first is going to be pretty obvious. I knew something was possible and there was a hole in the design of a universally implemented measure. I went to the originator and told them about the problem hoping they would fix it.

They had no idea who I was and mocked me…

I took it for awhile, but needed something to blog about and I’m not above settling the score when I’m publicly thrashed.

The second reason is that to make the marketers who read this blog much more aware of the now publicly available tools out there.

  • Do you still think it’s safe to use the same tracking script on every one of your sites?
  • Do you think it’s still a good idea to use the same cloaking script on every site you’ve got cloaked?
  • Do you still think it’s just fine to paste your adsense code someplace (with your publisher ID) and that some jerk like me won’t come along and clickbomb all of your sites at once because I didn’t like what you said to me on a forum?

Big, Scary World

Look, most marketers get into a certain methodology of doing things. They like one script, one plugin, one ‘WAY’ of doing what they do.

Well, it’s all easily tracked down.

And quite frankly, if it wouldn’t bother you that someone with a short fuse like myself might screw up your business over night…

… Just think about what Google knows about your business?

If these types of tools are out there for public access, don’t you think that ‘just maybe’ Google can identify your specific business operation pattern and discover your entire network?

Spooky….

Happy Halloween!

admin says:

I’ve got to be a little nice every now and then :)