Linkshare Acquired PPC Affiliate Traffic

Linkshare announced today that they have agreed to acquire Traffic Traffic Strategies has long been known for the PPC Marketing and Lead Generation businesss. Marc McClure had precented an overview of their Extractor bid management technology at the Linkshare Summit in New York a few years ago.

Large Internet advertising companies have been getting swallowed up lately, it’s not to surprising that this merger activity has started to set it’s sites on the affiliate community.

Any predictions?

Kris over at PepperJam had some thoughts

“Does this mean that other top affiliate marketers such as Vinny Lingham’s Clicks2Customers or Jeremy Palmer’s Quit Your Day Job may also be viable affiliate marketing buyout candidates?

It’s been a long-time coming that pure affiliate marketing business models are recognized as powerful and sustainable businesses. Affiliate marketing search arbitrage is a real business and in Linkshare just acquired one of the top affiliate marketing search arbitragers in the United States.

Maybe the buyout is a sign that CPA Networks such as Azoogle are stealing too much market share and therefore the traditional idea of “affiliate network acting as affiliate presents a conflict of interest” is being replaced with the reality that “only the most nimble and aggressive will survive.”

My friends, the days of the BIG THREE are behind us – the days of super affiliates like Traffic Strategies, Clicks2Customers, and others creating meaningful and profitable businesses have just begun.

Does this acquisition make good business sense or is it a major conflict of interest for the affiliate networks to start owning affiliates? We have all heard the figure that the top 5% of affiliates drive 95% of the commissions. My guess is that networks could also be worried about the power of growing affiliates to squeeze them by doing direct relationships with merchants or putting pressure on their commission rates. By acquiring their top affiliates a network can insure that their partners are locked in to their network and could also push the full focus of that affiliate’s their efforts towards their own network. So for example If Traffic Strategies was a top affiliate for a CJ partner and made up a very large part of their business, Linkshare could exert pressure on this merchant to switch to Linkshare if they want to maintain that income string.

To me this all seems to make good business sense, owning large parts of the distribution channel for leads puts a network in a much better position to lure and retain partners.

Imagine what would happen if a new or growing network wanted to take on the top 3, and they started acquiring the top affiliates of the other networks. They would have a lot of bargaining power to get merchants to switch to their network exclusively. And with these top affiliates being so profitable, it really starts to look like a win-win deal from the network’s perspective.

About Adam Viener

Adam Viener is the Chairman & Founder of imwave, inc, a leading performance search engine marketing agency. Imwave focuses primarily on building and launching effective pay-per-click search engine keyword marketing campaigns for companies paying commissions on sales and leads generated. In 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 Imwave was recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies by Inc. Magazine. Imwave recently announced they had served over 5 Billion ads for their clients!

Adam is also the founder of Yazing, a new site that not only pays you cash back on the things you buy online, but also lets you earn cash rewards recommending the top brands on the internet. Yazing gives you instant access to top commission rates from the leading online brands without having to join each affiliate network or program directly.

Adam, a serial internet entrepreneur, founded one of the first commercial internet service providers (ISPs) in 1993. He has a deep understanding of internet technologies and profitable internet marketing tactics.

Social Media:

Twitter: adamviener

4 Responses to Linkshare Acquired PPC Affiliate Traffic

  1. Jim says:

    Shawn Collins points out on his AffiliateTip blog that Traffic Strategies lists HomeGain and eHealthInsurance as “featured partners”, both of these companies are Commission Junction clients. I wonder of Traffic Strategies will continue to promote them.

  2. Mike Allen says:

    Last year Revenue Magazine recorded my prediction that 2007 would usher in the beginning of a big mergers and acquisitions trend as companies expand beyond their core areas in the affiliate marketing space. Looks like the pace is picking up. I expect Microsoft and Yahoo! will acquire something significant this year following Google’s DoubleClick announcement.

  3. Adam Viener says:

    Microsoft bought aQuantive for 6B! I think we will see a Yahoo / eBay Merger sometime soon, and I still think AOL is up for Grabs.


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