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Coding For Online Success

EPN – Quality Click Pricing (My Thoughts)

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ebay-partner-networkI’m just like many EPN members out there that are very concerned with the new Quality Click Pricing that will be implemented. Going to the official EPN forums, I have a better understanding of the upcoming plan. Basically, it will be more of a CPC (Cost Per Click) type model where earnings are calculated by EPC (Earnings Per Click). EPC is determined by what customers are buying on the site and the quality of  incoming traffic in conjunction with the clicks moving in.

Currently EPC is displayed with your reports broken down by campaign as well as a overall average of all of your campaigns.

Issues that are being addressed, and are still quite unclear:

  1. Will low EPC sites (less than .03) will cause your account to be banned? They mentioned that low EPC for ‘extended’ period of time will get you in trouble, and also stated that they are planning to contact publishers that have low EPC to help correct the issue. I certainly hope so. The thought of instant ban with out any discussion has always left me uneasy.
  2. Will EPC earning be based on a per campaign basis or average of the entire account? I’ve read mixed answers on this. So this is unclear. We’ll know more when they provide this information in the reporting area. Apparently, they’ll be providing reports showing what our earnings would be under this new structure.
  3. Do we or should we remove campaigns with low EPC? And if so, how are we expected to start new sites and get their EPC up to snuff? Again, this is mixed. If it’s a average of campaigns to determine EPC, then low EPC sites would be dragging our account down. But if this is a per campaign EPC then we should be okay.
  4. They’re going this route to get ‘better’ traffic to the site and punish affiliates that provide them with low quality clicks. Question, what do they determine as ‘high’ quality? There seems to be discussion that they’re determining this if they purchase items related to the niche that provided them. They’re also looking for recurring visits throughout the life time of that customer related to your site. Obviously, this is ideal for the affiliates, since having visitors returning to our niche site provides us with additional earnings. I wish we could get a list of high/low quality points they’re looking at. Having a clear understanding of this will help us avoid problems, and also help think of new strategies to meet those high marks.
  5. Will this transfer to new payment structure be painful (lost earnings, etc). They seem to have a pretty poor track record when they migrate to new systems. I still have nightmares of their migration from CJ to EPN and the massive loss of earnings and the echoing chant of ‘There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong’ on our end.
  6. Will they be implementing better bot click handling since that directly affects our EPC. I know for a fact that I’m still seeing bot clicks on my sites even though I’m still using robots.txt to deny access to certain directories for bots. I see odd spikes to a few of my sites which can only be related to bots. They say that they will be implementing better handling for this (again, I worry about lost commissions or valid clicks being called bots).
  7. What are the issues with seasonal sites? We might have several sites that only really get traffic during Christmas, and no clicks throughout the year driving our EPC down. I’m not seeing any real answers to that issue as well.

I personally feel that this new payment structure should work out pretty well for me. I know I try to foster community traffic and repeat visitors. I also promote various sites with PPC providing very targeted users to the site. My ACRU quality score has been ‘high’ for months, so I’m anticipating that my quality should be okay. I’m concerned since I have a few ‘dead’ sites that are not producing very well and have low EPC now, so not sure about the impact there.

Everyone should read the following thread at EPN’s official forum.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to work on my CJ/Amazon store fronts, maybe see if I can migrate some of my low EPC sites to other networks.

One Comment

  1. Sounds a lot like Adsense “Smart Pricing”. Pretty much the same set of questions too (questions never definitively answered by Google). So, like Adsense, we’ll likely have to trim sites. I just looked at my transactions for the month, and it appears most of my sales came from 5 or 6 sites. I guess trimming all of the others is in order? Not 100% sure about that. I also wonder if it would be a good idea now to create another EPN account for new/testing purposes only.

    Sigh, I wish eBay ran their program more like Amazon. Then, you have measurable incentive (increasing scale based on sales) to focus on “good” areas to get your sales to that next level.

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