+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Ranking high in Google - Business owner attacks food blogger

  1. #1
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Kent - the garden of England
    Posts
    6,166
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks
    4,297
    Thanked 3,342 Times in 2,133 Posts
    Rep Power
    95

    Ranking high in Google - Business owner attacks food blogger

    The thread about a French court fining a blogger for ranking high in Google reminded me of something that happened to me. Here's the story.

    I have a food blog which has product reviews, recipes, and various other food-related content. It's monetised by AdSense and various affiliate promotions. As part of this, I sell catering equipment on behalf of N (a prominent catering equipment supplier in the UK).

    My little blog was ticking along nicely and had decent enough rankings in G for its search terms. Then I received an email from N's affiliate manager which asked me to remove a page from my site. I was dumbfounded. What was wrong with the page? It was a nice page where I had given a detailed product review with photos of me using the thing. At the end of the article was - if you want one of these buy here, with my aff link to N. I couldn't see anything wrong with what I'd done.

    The affiliate manager then explained. There was a man who had a business selling used catering equipment and he was ranting and raving because I was ranking above him for his keywords.

    Huh?

    I tried to explain that this is part of affiliate marketing, rank well, get more traffic... sell more stuff.

    He conceded this point. Sure enough, SEO and ranking well were part of what affiliates are supposed to do on behalf of their merchants. But could I please remove the page anyway?

    Me: No. That page took hours to make, going through all the steps of using the tool, taking and processing the photos, and creating the blog posting. There's no good reason why I should remove it.

    Affiliate manager: But the man is very angry and I can't placate him.

    Me: So you'll sacrifice the good work of your affiliate because a man doesn't understand that they're not his keywords?

    And so it went on...

    Eventually we compromised that I should change the page name. Bah!

    If I hadn't, I wonder what the man would have done next? Tried to sue me or N perhaps? I would have stood my ground but at that time didn't want to endanger my relationship with N. The man's point was that I was harming his business by ranking above him. If that had ended up in court, I wonder if some loopy judge would make an award in his favour.

    (It's different from a negative review, because up to that point I'd never even heard of the man and his used chip shop equipment.)
    Last edited by Kay; 21 July 2014 at 9:03 am. Reason: edit for clarity
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Kay For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (21 July 2014), Clinton (21 July 2014), crabfoot (21 July 2014), Mikl (21 July 2014)

  3. #2
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    499
    Thanks
    125
    Thanked 407 Times in 225 Posts
    Rep Power
    14
    Good story, Kay.

    I think the reason that the French story attracted so much attention was that the ruling was so obviously absurd. And that was because (i) the judge clearly didn't understand the technical issues, and (ii) the defendant didn't have the resources to properly defend herself. In any other circumstances, it's hard to imagine the court doing anything other than throwing the case out.

    What's really puzzling in your case is the attitude of N's affiliate marketing manager. You would think that he would have a vested interest in helping his affiliates to do the best they can. And also that he wouldn't want to be seen as trying to stifle fair competition. He could quite reasonably have told the catering equipment vendor that it's free market, and that he had no control over what his affiliates were doing (or, more correctly, over how Google was ranking the affiliates' sites).

    If I was in this situation, my initial reaction would be tell them all to take a walk. But, as you rightly say, you've also got to consider your good relations with N. (Do you need them more than they need you?)

    By the way, when you said "But the man is very angry and I can't placate him", I'm not clear whether that was the affiliate manager or the other guy?

    Mike

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Mikl For This Useful Post:

    Kay (21 July 2014)

  5. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    550
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked 278 Times in 120 Posts
    Rep Power
    17
    That's an interesting story Kay. I wonder what would have happened if instead of caving, you had told the affiliate manager that you're just going to change the links over to a competitor of theirs.

  6. #4
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    East Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,194
    Blog Entries
    8
    Thanks
    489
    Thanked 1,991 Times in 1,038 Posts
    Rep Power
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    By the way, when you said "But the man is very angry and I can't placate him", I'm not clear whether that was the affiliate manager or the other guy?

    Mike
    O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie -
    to edit a' for clarity
    But leave a man for a' tae see
    A foolish notion
    Siccan changes are sae cruel
    Tae mak a man sae seem a fool
    Outwith a comment tae ane side
    tae set us richt.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to crabfoot For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (21 July 2014)

  8. #5
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Kent - the garden of England
    Posts
    6,166
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks
    4,297
    Thanked 3,342 Times in 2,133 Posts
    Rep Power
    95
    I do quite a lot of affiliate marketing (travel, food, forex, etc) and I've found that most so-called affiliate managers haven't a clue about what they're doing. I've raised this a few times here on EP but no one ever seems to want to talk about it.

    I would like if an experienced merchant with an affiliate programme or affiliate manager for a network would speak up and give their point of view because, as an affiliate, I've mostly just met people who have no idea about affiliate marketing and what it involves. Many companies outsource this to advertising agencies. Why? I don't know, maybe because they recognise they don't have the experience in-house. The advertising agencies are even more clueless. Can you believe that one asked me to "just send your list, if that'll make it easier for you".

    Life is tough enough as an affiliate marketer and the merchants sure as heck don't help us to sell their goods.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  9. #6
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    499
    Thanks
    125
    Thanked 407 Times in 225 Posts
    Rep Power
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    I do quite a lot of affiliate marketing (travel, food, forex, etc) and I've found that most so-called affiliate managers haven't a clue about what they're doing. I've raised this a few times here on EP but no one ever seems to want to talk about it.
    Well, I would like to talk about it. In fact, it sounds like a good topic for a new thread.

    Mike

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 21 July 2014, 6:14 am

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts