As a clickbank affiliate I have often wondered how Clickbank can accept such low quality sales pages in their marketplace. I'm not even talking about the quality of some clickbank products, but already some sales pages are horrible looking, so who will promote such products with a 100% chance to never make a sale, just because the landing page is so wrong?
Well, the answer is HopAd Builder.. This is (was) a widget that you could put on your blog / site and give it a few keywords and it was displaying clickbank products based on those keywords..
But the problem was that it wasn't based on gravity or any ranking at all, so most of the time you would be promoting automatically the worst clickbank products available, and more often than not (about 40 to 60%) the pages linked to would be parked domains or domain names which have changed owner and were about something totally different, or worse the owner would have replaced the clickbank payment button by his own paypal button so you would never get a commission, and I'm not even talking about the one who were promoting amazon offers and even other clickbank products as well as having adsense ads on their page, some went really far in the affiliate rip-off scam..
Why is that? And why clickbank is not doing anything about it? Well clickbank is very strict with vendors the first time they submit their products, but after they hardly check the pages anymore. If they did you couldn't find such blatant scams in their marketplace! The reason is that they have several dozens of thousands products, but also because it doesn't seem they invest resources to check for anything, even by automated means, how hard is it to check periodically if their button is still on the page or if the page is displaying adsense ads?
Why am I against adsense ads on vendor sales pages, it is quite obvious, because if you send someone to the vendor page and this person clicks on an adsense ad, this person is GONE and you don't get any money, the vendor does!
But this is just an example and I can't start to describe all the horrors I saw while clicking on the HopAd Builder on my site..
So what is Clickbank doing about this? Well instead of cleaning their marketplace or to add options in the widget to display only high gravity products, they simply terminated the widget on 23th july with a final notice for the 4th september 2012.. And they made no explanation as to why they terminate it or what are the alternatives to the HopAd Builder or if they plan on offering a similar contextual ads widget in the future..
So if you're an affiliate you have 2 choices:
- select products by hand and display them yourself with your own script or alternate them at random.
- get a lifetime membership at ClickBank Professional Ads or if for some reason you don't have the funds in paypal then you can sign up for a free membership and upgrade when you're ready to pay for a lifetime membership, don't bother with the monthly or annually membership since it will cost you more after 12 months. And don't use it with the free membership since it is a crazily stupid deal. The only reason would be that you are so short of cash that you can't afford it.
Personally I took the 2 choices above. I've developped my own little script to display hand selected products and I bought a lifetime membership for cbproads because the price is right (will reimburse itself in one sale or two only) and I am 100% sure this is only the beginning of this service. Especially now that the fake alternative HopAd Builder has been terminated by clickbank! The owner of cb pro ads can make a full job of this service if he's not already doing it.
In fact the contextual widget is just a tiny part of the service, I'm sure most people use it for all the other things, but me I bought it just for this and I was very surprised by all there is when you're a premium member, so I'm planning to make use of the other things such as cb mall and cb stores. Those are niche sites displaying products related to the niche that you can simply promote and get all the sales commission! It's really incredible that for such a low lifetime membership someone is offering everything and you get 100% of all the sales!
Of course this service can be had for free but in this case you have a lot of things less interesting such as a share of the sales 50/50, you can't refer people to it and many more restriction. So for me it didn't made sense to use the free version, even for testing for a few days, when the lifetime membership is so cheap as it will be paid for by the first sale or 2 sales..
It's incredible and in fact we should all thanks clickbank for being so lazy and not cleaning up their act with HopAd Builder and instead chosing to terminate it. because that cd pro ads widget is way better than the one clickbank never updated.
I remember over a year ago I asked clickbank support to add a variable to their widget so that I could force it to display only products in french. The support person told me they will forward my request to their technical departement and they'll review it and if they find it interesting they may or may not implement it. After a few weeks with no news I contacted them again and they said they haven't heard back from their technical departement but that for sure whenever and if they went ahead with my request I would read about it in their news.. I'm still waiting.. How hard was it to add a simple variable to filter out by product language?!? Even I could do it lazy as I am!
So this post is not a clickbank review, it is not to say that clickbank is a scam, but rather to say that finally this termination of the hopad builder is a good thing because it prompted me to use the third party service of cb pro ads that I would probably not have even tried if clickbank still had their own widget for free, despite the results being really poor, but at least I still had hope that they would react and improve it, because it was in serious need of improvement indeed!
I'm really happy to have a clickbank account and I am not critisizing them at all, they have been in business for a very long time in internet terms and that means a lot! What is clickbank? It is simply the most well known affiliate network. Maybe cj.com is also very well known, perhaps similarly well known as clickbank, but otherwise the others such as neverblue, peerfly, shareasale, etc. are less known from the people just starting in affiliate marketing. The clickbank marketplace is easy to navigate when you order by gravity or by total average $ per sale, it is a breeze to hand select products, but when it comes to automated means, to make it act like adsense or even amazon contextual widget, it is the desert.
So remember to make sure to avoid the bad click bank products, so you're not promoting for no returns and then clickbank will not be so associated with scam by the general internet population.
Remember there are only two ways hand select and contextual widget, but you can take both, and personally I think I am required to take both because I am at the early stages of affiliate marketing, so I'm not good at promoting hand selected products, and obviously cb pro ads is the first one I'll promote really well because I have first hand experience with it and it simply makes sense for all clickbank account owners to use a simple contextual widget on their blog / site, while promoting a few products by hand. It really can't hurt and in my case I have some multi users websites where there is content in many different topics, so it is time consuming to hand select many products and then display them depending on each page's topic. I'm still in the process of doing that anyway, but even with lot of effort I can do as well as a third party service which is specialized in that, having the whole clickbank marketplace in its database and running big servers to process the data and select them for display depending on the keywords I put into the widget as well as each product individual ranking in terms of gravity and average $ per sale..
If you have experience with bad clickbank products pages or event blatant clickbank scam while you were displaying their hopad builder on your site please share what you think of it being terminated instead of improved..