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Amazon affiliate link - are they allowed?

  1. Are these allowed on wordpress. I see nothing in the terms of service or anywher else saying they are not. Adsense isn't allowed, but amazon isn't adsense. unless I am mistaken.

    Thanks
    John

    The blog I need help with is wanderinground.wordpress.com.

  2. Your Amazon Affiliate Catalog links are a clear TOS violation, best to fix it quick.

    You might also review the TOS before you get too far along:

    http://en.wordpress.com/tos/

    http://wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

  3. Thats the thing - I already read all the links you posted and pretty much went through the TOS and it is not a clear violation.

    I did send an email to support also, as I'm not trying to hide anything, I just want a clear answer. Can you point out anything in those links which prohibits the amazon links? I mean specifically. I do see these links everywhere on WP and even forum responses suggesting these...seems that no one knows for sure.

    Thanks for looking and the response auxclass,
    John

  4. The Amazon links fall in the Affiliate Catalog category. I have lost count of the number of blogs that have been suspended for having them.

    The TOS Staff are the final authority so contacting them is appropriate.

  5. PS - nice pictures - great job

  6. I just went over the TOS ...nothing.
    Types of blogs: The amazon links don't violate any category that is not allowed or WP advertising plolicy ...on your second & third link. It's not an affiliate marketing blog, not even close.

    PS - not trying to fight or anything - just seems to be alot of confusion over this. If it's not allowed than it's not. I did send WP an email notifying them of what I am doing and if it is allowed and if not I told them I'll remove them immediately ...hopefully being honest won't hurt me in this one.

    Thanks again auxclass, John

  7. @auxclass - thanks for the compliment on the pictures. I don't know, maybe your right (you probably are) - hopefully they just won't suspend my blog...gulp.

    Thanks again, John

  8. I am not staff - but from my observations helping here for I guess 8 months - your links will get attention at some point and reported in - some sites come back from the report with the links removed others just go away never to be seen again.

  9. Oh - I did send support an email. I was saying hopefully they won't see the email, look at my blog and suspend it... :)

    I guess it's best to leave the links up and see what they say. At least I'll have a definitive answer in writing from WP. If they see it and suspend it, well, I'm not trying to break the rules or anything and pointed it out myself, sooo...I'm hoping they have some sense of good business practices.

  10. In a nutshell free blogs from and being free hosted by wordpress.COM cannot be used to drive traffic to third-party sites by means of advertising and/or affiliate programs (see next section for more clarity). E-commerce transactions via shopping carts and the like cannot be conducted on wordpress.COM blogs. No retailing or reselling the work created or services provided by anyone other than yourself is allowed.

    Affiliate marketing blogs
    The only exceptions with regard to affiliate links are found here:

    Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

    Advertising
    I am sorry, but advertising is not allowed on free hosted WordPress.com blogs. The only exceptions are for high traffic blogs that qualify for and are accepted into the Ad Control program, and very high traffic blogs that qualify and are accepted into the paid VIP hosting program.
    http://wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
    http://vip.wordpress.com/

    If you require an ecommerce site, advertising and/or affiliate links on your blog, you can hire a web host and get a free software install from http://wordpress.org In that case, please see the information at the link below to learn about the differences between free hosted WordPress.com blogs and WordPress.org software installs for self hosting. http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

  11. This is what is frustrating timethief ...and thank you for the response. Again not trying to argue, and I do have an email into support for a definitive answer, but even your post contradicts itself from paragraph to paragraph. No sites are allowed to drive traffic to a third party site, yet some sites are allowed. Such as reviewers to amazon and sellers on etsy. An affiliate marketing blog has the primary purpose of driving traffic but that would not be my main purpose, so the links would be legal according to the TOS and types of blogs. But many in the forum sya they are not, some say they are. Some have been running the links for months...Hmmmm

    Thanks,
    John

  12. @happypoppeye
    I don't see anything frustrating about this at all. The support entry states you can contact Staff. So please do that. Contact Staff using this link on March 2, 2011 and convince them that you have a high quality content blog with sufficient traffic and they may accomodate you. http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

    You also know can already get what you want at Blogger, right?

  13. ~~timethief

    You meant this link? http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/ It's working already.

  14. ~~airodyssey
    I sure did mean that one and didn't know it was working. Thank you so much. :)

  15. So just to clarify: if I publish an original review of a book or film, I can link that to my amazon affiliate page for that book or film without violating the TOS, correct?

    What about promotions designed to promote the blog itself, say discount codes to events for subscribers or prizes (donated by other organizations) for contests? would those be considered advertising and thus violate the WP TOS?

  16. @happypoppeye I agree the support document isn't clear. It says affiliate links are prohibited but there is no definition of what an affiliate link is. I have no idea what the term means and I suspect a google search would bring up contradictory definitions.

    @menagrazie According to the email I received about links today from support the deciding factor is whether or not a site feels SPAMMY. If it's just a collection of ads it's not content WP want to host.

    My interpretation of this as someone who is just a user and not a forum volunteer or member of staff, is that permanent adverts on the sidebar of a blog would be a violation of service. A link to book or DVD other product on a sellers site in a blog post or page would be acceptable.

  17. Happypopeye knows what an affiliate link is, because she's using it.

    It's really a judgement call on staff's part whether or not to allow them. I've seen lots of blogs suspended, and seen lots of blogs using them anyway.

  18. Please, I don't understand ... I was just searching for a way to include Google custom search on my blog - http://woculus.com. I use Bueno search but I'm not satisfied with it whereas WordPress search appears inconspicuous to me. What alternatives do I have?

  19. @crystaljobs: Please create a new thread, as your question is not about Amazon.com affiliate links:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/?new=1

  20. amazon affiliate links:

    amazon has a program whereby if people come to amazon via your affiliate link and purchase content, you get a portion of the proceeds. i'm not staff, but i would think that's what 'an amazon affiliate link' is. it's a link to a store that you get income from.

    a regular amazon link is just that: you link to amazon's store site because that's a handy way to show information about a book/game/dvd/whatever. if someone subsequently makes a purchase on amazon, you do NOT get any recompense for that.

    for example, i recently mentioned 'rare bit fiends' in one of my blog posts. for people interested in learning more about that (and/or buying it), i linked to the amazon page for it.

    recently i thought to myself that i should re-open my amazon affiliate account and create a page of things i mention on my blog, and then linkback to that from my wordpress blogs. however, it seemed clear to me that this was a form of commercial advertising that was disallowed by the TOS. therefore, i did not do it.

  21. Raincoaster - thank you pointing that out.

    If you read through all the links that are posted on the TOS and all that,, it actually specifies that amazon affiliate links are allowed in the post itself (from what I remember). I ended up just emailing support and received a definitive answer, which is they are allowed. I would suggest, if you are going to use them, to email support and ask.

    I think the problem is that people are giving their interpretations of the TOS. Opinion, not fact...

  22. I want to rephrase the comment above to say CERTAIN amazon affiliate links are allowed. You can't just start linking to products for the heck of it, and there is room for interpretation, so it is best to contact support.

  23. @happypopeye

    I think the problem is that people are giving their interpretations of the TOS. Opinion, not fact...

    Oh really? Well, I strongly disagree with you. Every time I post on this subject I post the exact words in the documentation. IMO the problem stems from member who will not do what Staff say in the documentation I link to which is:
    If you are in any doubt, please contact support for clarification. http://support.wordpress.com/contact

    I posted this above:

    Affiliate marketing blogs
    The only exceptions with regard to affiliate links are found here:
    Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

  24. I've had similar issues, it really isn't that clear.

  25. @slacker29

    If you are in any doubt, please contact support for clarification. http://support.wordpress.com/contact

  26. Thank you.

  27. Your welcome. Perhaps you wpuld like to link your wordpress.COM free hosted blog to your wordpress.com username. It’s very easy to do. Here’s how to link your username to your blog in your blog Dashboard -> Users -> Personal Settings -> then scroll down to Account Details. Then scroll down to where it says ‘Website‘ select the URL for your primary wordpress.com blog and then save changes.

    Now every time you sign into the forum we can all click on your username and your blog will be linked to it.

  28. Timethief

    "Affiliate marketing blogs
    The only exceptions with regard to affiliate links are found here:
    Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/"

    What is a blog who's primary pupose is driving traffic? How is that defined? That is the question. Even in your quote it has that original material linked to Amazon is allowed.

    I have contacted support, and said so many times, with a response that my links are fine. You keep putting up links and all that and keep telling me to contact support on all these forum threads. I'll say it one more time, I did and they said ok.

    People are giving their interpretations and opinions of what they think the TOS says...

  29. I have not taken issue with your links. You confirmed with Staff that you could link to the Amazon books you publish your own reviews of. And on your blog I see two book reviews dated 2011/02/26 and /2011/03/08/

    To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

    Consequently, you have no issue.

  30. OK. Maybe my mistake. I do apologize.

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