This is a controversial topic. There has been so much talk about how to stay safe with your affiliate account from time to time, but it looks like you are always under the radar. What’s the issue here? Does Amazon not care about their affiliates at all? Yes, that’s true but there are other reasons too!
I believe, this is one of the most important articles I will be writing for Amazon Affiliate Marketers.
In this article, we will dig deep and look at all the reasons why your Amazon Affiliate Account might get banned. I have spent serious amount of time to make sure that you can have a safe account from tomorrow. Hopefully, this article will be of little help.
I have seen many marketers discussed the same topic but either most of those are old information or are not complete enough. So here you go!
Let’s discuss all the reasons of why your account might get banned from Amazon Associate Program!
Don’t Forget to Add Sites On Dashboard
This is a rookie mistake. You have to make sure that all of your sites are listed on your associate account. This is crucial. Amazon doesn’t track clicks that crazily but whenever you get a sale from one of your websites which is not in the list, you will get banned. If you have an YouTube channel and not a website, you should make sure that the channel URL is listed on Amazon dashboard.
Using Perfect Buttons & URL
This is probably the biggest reason that why most affiliate websites get banned from Amazon. Amazon confirmed it multiple times that you are not allowed to use their logo or direct URLs in your buttons. I have seen Amazon go crazy when there are similar looking Orange button box too so make sure that you don’t have those either.
The safest method is to go for regular text based links like:
- Click Here to Check Current Price
If you are using buttons, make sure that the buttons are not orange and also, they do not have Amazon logo or trademarks.
Never Mention Price
I am sure you all are familiar with this but I am re-assuring. Make sure that you are not mentioning price on your affiliate websites. If you are using a third party API system such as Azon or Genius Link (I don’t recommend using any), then you can go for price mentions as they change automatically with those plugins.
But the ideal strategy is not to mention price ever. One big reason that you are able to send traffic to Amazon is because they want to see the price of the product. So if you don’t mention the price, it is actually better for you.
I have seen people get intro trouble with article types such as Best Bicycle under $500 because sometimes they do a close review of a cycle that is priced at $495 for example. Then they forget and after a month when that same bike is priced at $510, Amazon comes and bans! Yeah, that rude.
What is cloaking? Cloaking is hiding your original link over a mask. So for example, if you visit my resource page, you will see that all links are cloaked. If I send you to MyThemeShop, the URL will be something like www.passivejournal.com/mythemeshop. That’s cloaking and Amazon does not approve of that.
Amazon wants people to know immediately from the first step that they are going to Amazon. So never cloak your links.
Can you send your amazon affiliate links via email? Big NO! You will get banned immediately. Also, you can still do email marketing but it will be a two step process. You will ask people to visit your review website and from there, people will go to Amazon. But you can never share an affiliate link directly via email.
Facebook Page? NO!
This is controversial. Actually, almost the whole article is so I should not say it again and again. Amazon support once said that Facebook page is legal it falls under your website’s ownership so you can share your link on your Facebook page. But the problem is that Facebook is a social media and the link might not stay on your Facebook page for all the time. The link might get shared and then you won’t have control over it.
This is very gray and I recommend you not to share your affiliate link in any social media.
There’s nothing much to say. Similar to the Facebook page and Email, you are obviously not allowed to share your links via eBook. That is a big no!
Don’t Copy Features from Amazon
Amazon hates copied content. Especially, if you go ahead and copy features or the FAQ section of a product page of Amazon. You have to be creative. Don’t just rewrite. Rearrange everything so that it becomes a fresh content on your blog. There were multiple cases in both 2015 and 2016 where people got banned because of using same language like the feature section of certain products.
Make sure that you do not do that.
Don’t Ask People To Manually Buy Using Your Link
This is another violation of Amazon’s policy. Obviously, as an affiliate, you are always asking people to go to Amazon and buy stuff. But Amazon at the same time also do not want you to use your relatives to get approval or up sales. Therefore, don’t ask people to manually buy things from Amazon using your link.
It is a bit tougher for Amazon to figure out whether you are doing so or not but if they can, you will surely have a tough time ahead.
Disclosing Your Amazon Income Publicly
This is another strange one. Make sure that you are not disclosing your income of a certain affiliate website on that same site. Amazon does not want you to show off. Obviously, if you run another blog or if it is a Facebook screenshot then there is nothing to worry. But make sure that you are not showing off on that same blog.
Using Pirated Content On Your Website (Pirated Music Download For Example)
You have to keep things legal. Make sure that you are not promoting anything illegal on your website. Pirated music, movies, DVDs that are still running on theater or even software, if you have anything illegal then Amazon might ban you.
So don’t use pirated content on your website to get visitors.
You cannot just tell people that if they buy $100 worth of items from Amazon going via your link, you will give them $3. It is illegal. In fact, you cannot even offer them non-monetary prizes in exchange for their purchase from Amazon. It has to be organic and natural.
Promoting Sexual Content/Gambling
Where Amazon has a pretty strong adult section and affiliate marketers are also doing well for that section, Amazon also said on different occasions that they don’t like sexual content or gambling. Let me explain. Suppose, you sell viagra on your affiliate website. You review those units which is fine. But you cannot show porn to people and attract them to your website. That is illegal on Amazon’s perspective.
Targeting Under 13 Year Olds
All content on your website will have to target people aged 13 or more. You cannot build a website for kids who are less than 13. Amazon probably wants kids to play outside on fields. (Joke) That’s a noble thought I must say.
Manipulating Amazon Images
Did you know this? This is an interesting one. The images that you download from Amazon to review products, you are not allowed to alter them anyway. You cannot edit them, you cannot add anything to the images and you cannot remove anything either. The only thing you are allowed to do is resize the images.
Mention You are an Affiliate
You have to mention that you are an Amazon affiliate on every page of your website. You can keep it in a menu and then show that menu on every page or you can also keep it on your footer. The statement is this if you are using it on Footer:
YourWebsite.com 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 to Amazon.com. Additionally, YourWebsite.com participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.
So yes, there you go! These were the 16 reasons why Amazon Ban Affiliate Marketers. I have a feeling that I missed one or two. If I did, kindly comment and I will update the article.
Also, I recommend that you all read this Operating Agreement where Amazon pretty much explains everything. Amazon has a friendly help chat feature for affiliate marketers that you can use too.
Hopefully, this article helps.