Don’t worry, I didn’t get banned from Amazon! That would’ve been pretty terrible, and I don’t want to have to write another post like this.
From what I’ve been reading lately, Amazon has also been doing a fair amount of banning, so I wanted to be a little bit proactive and make sure that I’m not in a position to have my account banned. Also, I wanted share with you a fairly quick and easy way to keep your account from getting banned.
Although I haven’t been banned, I’ve seen some other bloggers talk about this lately. Here’s an example of an e-mail that Amazon has been sending to certain affiliates:
While reviewing your account, we have noticed that your website contains links to Amazon that are not properly labeled, which makes it unclear that you are sending customers to the Amazon website.
The Associates Program Operating Agreement that governs your participation in the Associates Program requires that links to an Amazon Site must not be confusing or misleading, and must be clear that they link to an Amazon Site. For more information, please review the Participation Requirements and Linking Requirements found here:
We insist that you cease this activity and remove all Amazon content from your site(s) immediately. Moreover, because you are using the Associates Program in violation of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, your account has been closed and you will not receive further payment. Any other accounts you may have or may open in the future which are found in violation of the Operating Agreement may be closed and advertising fees withheld without notification.
Pretty scary, right?
While I know I’ve done my best to disclose affiliate links for Amazon, most of my sites don’t have any sort of “blanket disclosure” on all pages, so it’s possible that there are pages that don’t have any sort of disclosure. Fortunately, it’s very simple to make the appropriate disclosure. Here’s how it needs to read:
The owner of this website, [your name here], is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking [your site address here] to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.
You can add this to the footer of your site so that it appears on all pages. Very simple, and keeps you from getting banned.
If You’re Lazy Like Me…
I have a handful of Amazon sites and wanted a more automated way of putting this text in, even though it’s very easy to do. I couldn’t find a free plugin (please let me know in the comments if you do know of a free one), I did find this WordPress plugin that makes it pretty easy to add (yes, this an affiliate link). The plugin is only $7 for one site (or $17 for unlimited sites), so I was okay with buying it.
Here’s what it looks like when you have the plugin installed:
Although I don’t really use Amazon affiliate links on this blog too often, I decided to add the disclosure just to be safe (you can scroll to the bottom to see what it looks like live).
Anyway, if you’re lazy like me, you can use this plugin, otherwise, just add the text to the footer of your site. And if anyone out there knows of a free plugin for this, please let me know, and I will gladly replace my affiliate links with a link to the free plugin.