Restrictions on Amazon Affiliate Links on Mobile Sites

11 replies
I was thinking about buying a review theme that advertised it was mobile-ready. I remembered from Amazon's participation requirements posted online that there were restrictions on mobile site linking to Amazon. So I went back and read them again last night.

#7 on the Participation Requirements documents says that Amazon will not pay commissions on links from mobile sites to Amazon.

I queried their tech folks there about how that specifically would be a restriction on mobile sites.

Basically, in summary - and you can PM me if you want the full quoted email reply but I don't want to post the exact whole thing here - you can link to Amazon from a site that is not designed as a mobile-specific site.

In other words, you can link from a site that happens to look OK when visited by a mobile device, and you can use CSS media queries to make said regular site look OK on mobile devices.

BUT, you cannot redirect your main review site to a mobile version through a mobile redirect and have links to Amazon on the mobile version - say on a sub-domain or .mobi or anything like that.

So direct mobile sites showing up in search and being viewed on a mobile device or tablet can't link to Amazon and get paid commissions, and if a mobile device visits your "desktop-type" main site and redirects to a mobile site, you can't link from that site to Amazon and receive commissions.

Basically, one site with a flexible design is OK, but a separate site for phones and tablets, not OK.

Just trying to save anyone from doing the work to capitalize on mobile and mobile search only to find out that Amazon won't be paying you for those mobile site links.
#affiliate #amazon #links #mobile #restrictions #sites
  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Originally Posted by esdavis View Post

    #7 on the Participation Requirements documents says that Amazon will not pay commissions on links from mobile sites to Amazon.
    The last time I read the requirements, that line about mobile sites was not there. Thanks for bringing this up. I will go over that page once more. And I will be glad if yo can PM me that email you got from Amazon.

    Here is the whole line about promoting Amazon products on mobile sites:

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    7. You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to the Amazon Site, on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition does not apply to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices (e.g., on a non-mobile-optimized site via an internet browser on a tablet device)), or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).
    ----

    Although the above line doesn't say that we can't promote on mobile sites, it says we need a written approval to do that. That really sounds nonsense. I cannot think of a reason why they require a written approval for promoting their products on mobile optimized sites.

    I would like to hear what other fellow Amazon affiliates think about this as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Soren Jorgensen
    It's very simple. Amazon has no clue what do to with mobile sites yet, so they restrict it - just to be safe. Once mobile optimized websites becomes the norm and standard, they will probably open up for it. There's probably also a whole lot of technical stuff that differs from regular browsing, so their tracking system might not yet be totally ready to handle traffic generated from a mobile device. I'm sure they'll get there, in time...
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  • Profile picture of the author KingMedia
    Amazon is being stupid. If the "link" is the same - what's the difference??

    What about domains that redirect to each other - kinda the same??

    I think the problem lies with when Amazon itself does it's own mobile switch - perhaps not keeping the link structure - thus locking out affiliates in some way.

    If you link to a product, it goes mobile - but not a search page as it stays normal desktop.

    Don't do much Amazon marketing anyway - country restrictions and low $%.
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmanjack
      Originally Posted by KingMedia View Post

      Amazon is being stupid. If the "link" is the same - what's the difference??

      What about domains that redirect to each other - kinda the same??

      I think the problem lies with when Amazon itself does it's own mobile switch - perhaps not keeping the link structure - thus locking out affiliates in some way.

      If you link to a product, it goes mobile - but not a search page as it stays normal desktop.

      Don't do much Amazon marketing anyway - country restrictions and low $%.
      What country restrictions? Does amazon not allow affiliates from certain countries?
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      • Profile picture of the author KingMedia
        Originally Posted by wolfmanjack View Post

        What country restrictions? Does amazon not allow affiliates from certain countries?
        If you promote Amazon.com (US) and get traffic form other countries like Canada, Germany, etc who land and buy - you will not get a commission. Only for US based customers.

        Now you can join Amazon UK, Germany, CA, etc as an aff - but it's a hassle trying to redirect all your traffic to those particular sites once they land on your main site.

        I'm just saying, they don't make it easy. :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author wolfmanjack
          Originally Posted by KingMedia View Post

          If you promote Amazon.com (US) and get traffic form other countries like Canada, Germany, etc who land and buy - you will not get a commission. Only for US based customers.

          Now you can join Amazon UK, Germany, CA, etc as an aff - but it's a hassle trying to redirect all your traffic to those particular sites once they land on your main site.

          I'm just saying, they don't make it easy. :rolleyes:
          Okay. Yeah i have been trying to figure out what to do with all of the Russian and Chinese visitors i get. China has an amazon but most of the time they don't have a product that is even close to what i am promoting.
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  • Profile picture of the author cheech1981
    wow, that's crazy, I never would have even thought of that. I bought a real nice .mobi site that I was hoping to use for amazon links so I'm glad I read this first. Thanks for the info.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    Am guessing (and this is the same issue that never got answered when trying to explain my concerns to commission junction) that sites like amazon and many of the major affiliates on CJ have a mobile specific website, typically on a sub domain - since many affiliate programs use cookies to track sales and referrals which are normally used on the main desktop site, it's my understanding that the same cookies technically would not work or play nicely if used on these "mobile" sites/sub domains - basically meaning you wouldn't get your commission because the referral cookie wouldn't function as intended and track the user/sale made by a mobile visitor.

    Most affiliate programs to me it seems are only functional for tracking desktop browsers/visitors On the main desktop websites and don't support the sales made on the mobile sites due to the technical limitation of cross domain and sub domain usage of cookies.

    It's a bit technical but read up on cookies and I think you will see what I am getting at

    Hope that helps more than confuses lol

    Cheers

    Jay
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    • Profile picture of the author Galahad
      Hi Jay,

      thanks for the information on this matter. Now I know why my commissions from Amazon are not working on a mobile phone ... ;-(

      Best
      Galahad
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      • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
        Originally Posted by Galahad View Post

        Hi Jay,

        thanks for the information on this matter. Now I know why my commissions from Amazon are not working on a mobile phone ... ;-(

        Best
        Galahad
        I was just reading that in some cases it is possible to have the cookie work on both the main domain and a sub domain however not all browsers support that, am not sure which ones don't but at a guess I would say Internet Explorer for starters! Lol if this is the case it could well be a logistical nightmare to manager and I expect people could well loose their commissions of actual sales...

        Am also wondering how the imposed cookie rule in europe is affecting affiliate sales?
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        • Profile picture of the author wpnona
          FYI all - Amazon had upgraded themselves and now accept mobile links.
          Here's the overview from Amazon's Associates for Mobile section:

          Starting August 27, 2013, associates can earn advertising fees by driving mobile traffic to Amazon from their mobile-optimized website. Approved Android developers can integrate the Mobile Associates API into their app through a separate sign-up process at our Mobile App Distribution Portal.
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