Amazon and other affiliate links
Above, Eurello stated that linked images to affiliates are considered ads and prohibited. Yet, advertising is not prohibited in the TOS, the Types of Blogs, or the Advertising Policy page.
Seriously. Not there.
And the Affiliate Links policy that justjennifer provided a link to prohibits affiliate links of any kind, contrary to what Eurello stated.
I’m not trying to be a PITA, I’m just saying that WP has so much information, some seemingly contradictory, that it’s impossible for anyone to find everything they need to know before they get smacked for violations.
It’s okay to spread what you can do on WP, but NoNo’s should be collected in a single list.
Wow. Big topic. ^^;
Let’s see, what all responses do I need…?
First to eurello: Thank you, and is there any problem with referring to your reply within my blog? For, well, reference purposes.
And to colleenkayter:
The affiliate links policy, the last time I checked it, specifically states that affiliate links are not permitted in blog widgets (translating, I would imagine, to those aforementioned pre-built Amazon ads, as well as my own hypothetical “text/html list” in the sidebar)
Text affiliate links in blog content is not actually mentioned in the policy, though given the staff replies saying it’s okay, I would imagine that… it’s okay.
http://en.support.wordpress.com/affiliate-links/ has been updated. Please take a moment to read it.
Also to colleen, regarding your Vimeo example:
Affiliate links, such as I understand them (using Amazon as the example), would basically be a normal link to a certain product page on Amazon, but with my affiliate/referral code included so that AMAZON knows who to pay for driving sales to them.
A simple link to your Vimeo videos, without any referral code that tells Vimeo to pay you for sending people there, would not be an affiliate link.
Even assuming that defining an “affiliate link” goes beyond the question of pay, the other question would still be whether your links have anything to identify who created them… versus simply where they’re pointing.
Sidequest, the affiliate links page says, “Links to external services and vendors that include a unique identifier within the link destination to tie the link to your account.” It doesn’t specify for the purpose of rewarding you… I agree, it’s not an affiliate link as affiliates are understood across the e-commerce internet, but that differs from the definition provided in the WP page.
Justjennifer, if the affiliate links page has been updated, I can’t tell what the difference is. Shame on me for not memorizing or making a copy. I find it disturbing that policies can be changed overnight without any notification to WP users or even a footnote about the date and type of revision (like there is at the bottom of the TOS).
I’m really a very easygoing person. I am not one to break rules or even skate on the edge. But policies could result in any of us getting a warning, having WP change our sites without notice, or even cancel our accounts. These policies are published in several pages and categories on the support site, and apparently edited overnight without notification or even indication that it has been done.
Perhaps it is time for WordPress to develop a single document containing all prohibitions and a standard procedure for policy changes, policy page revisions, and notifications to users, for their own benefit as well as the users.
BTW, I’d like to know how this site’s external links are not defined as advertising… I’m assuming it’s WP.com-hosted since it appears in Freshly Pressed. Scroll to the bottom of the page. External advertising galore.
The bottom line has not changed. Affiliate marketing is not allowed. Affiliate text links may now be used in a post or page as long as it is within the context of your post. This is what eurello stated above.
The change on the support docs mentions
WordPress.com does not permit the use of affiliate links in blog widgets
I find it disturbing that policies can be changed overnight without any notification to WP users or even a footnote about the date and type of revision (like there is at the bottom of the TOS).
WordPress.com is an ever-changing environment. If you read Clause 14 in the ToS it states there that says the user is responsible for reviewing the ToS from time to time keeping themselves updated to possible changes.
Over the course of time WordPress.com has shown that it can be flexible on certain uses depending on the situation. Which is why when there is a ToS question asked in the forum, we correctly mark such threads for Staff input.
Time.com is a WordPress.com VIP site. Different rules. http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/
WordPress.com VIP sites are permitted to run ads.
Justjennifer, I can read the TOS every day until the end of time. As I stated above in my back-and-forth with raincoaster, the TOS doesn’t include any policies about affiliates or advertising.
At the bottom of the ToS there is a direct link to the advertising support doc.
Regardless, I’ve tagged this again for Staff input.
The revision note which links to the Advertising policy is regarding TOS paragraph #10 and their right to display advertising on your blog.
Although the Advertising Policy is linked from the TOS, logically any information regarding prohibited practices should be included in paragraph #2 where other user responsibilities and a short list of prohibited content are listed.
If the Affiliates and Advertising pages are part of the terms of service, then they should be included in the TOS in paragraph #2, at least by reference/link.
If a user only reviews the TOS from time to time, they could assume that all prohibited behaviors are included in paragraph #2. They could assume they’ve read what they need to know to properly use WP. And when policies regarding allowable/prohibited content are buried in the “policies & safety” section amongst pages about using strong passwords, mature content, and preventing content theft, it would be easy to overlook.
If you would like to pitch staff on rewriting the support documents and ToS, the email is support at wordpress dot com.
It wouldn’t require a rewrite to incorporate restrictive policies into TOS, but it would be best be done by a staff member who knows where all the policies are buried.
@colleen-We can continue to bump this thread, which will push it down in the queue waiting for Staff input, or wait patiently until they reply.
Rain has also given you their contact email, but you will probably get a faster reply here in the forums. Just don’t bump the thread again.
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