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My Amazon Woes

As a senior learning Internet marketing I have made no secret of what an uphill learning curve this has been for me. This summer has been no exception.

The focus of the summer has been to build backlinks by guest blogging. I would say this has been quite an enjoyable successful experience. Not only trying to find interesting topics to write about but also actually having them published on the blogs then interacting with the various people coming in to make comments has given me more a sense of community.

In amongst all this I have been having a disturbing problem with my sites that promote Amazon products. It is not a problem with the wide variety of available products or Amazon’s great customer service. It is something called “phantom clicks”. As best that I am able to determine this is something that some but not all WordPress sites can experience. It seems these “phantom clicks” give a distorted picture of traffic to your site and then on to Amazon.

If I go into my sites that have Amazon links to edit something (not the links themselves) then there are many more clicks from different posts within the site. Even if I do not enter the sites there are clicks but not just as many. Along with this sales have dried up.

I have been in touch with Amazon about this problem and they acknowledge that they are aware of it and their developers are working on it. However after two months with no resolution I am ready to tear my hair out.

On the discussion boards with the Amazon Associates I can see that others are having similar problems but no where can I see that there has been a resolution. I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has had this problem or has some ideas about a resolution for it.

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  1. AmandaRose says:

    This is strange. I’m in California and was cut off from Amazon in July due to legislation, but did not experience it up until then.

    Are you saying that your own traffic stats are inflated? And your sales are down too. Do you have any idea how actual traffic compares to the past? Are your rankings up?

  2. Sportate says:

    Hi Amanda;
    Thank you for your comment. My traffic stats are up about 50% however my click through to Amazon with no orders is up 500% and my conversion rate for the period in question has gone from 2.32% to 0.036%. Sales through this troubling time have been zero. I worry about being hacked and I am concerned that Amazon does not seem to be able to respond and rectify the problem. I have had a tech look at it and the consensus is that it is an internal Amazon problem. Meantime I am not sure where to find help.

  3. Astro Gremlin says:

    Hey there Sportate,
    I’m an Amazon affiliate and haven’t experienced “phantom clicks” or maybe I have?! I get clicks without sales all the time. Google Analytics confirms the URL of the Amazon links and they correspond to incoming hits on the review articles. (I get so little traffic, it’s pretty easy to track). I can share with you that my conversion rate has been exactly zero. Sigh.

    Amazon changed the banner widgets I was using, and so I converted to a “store” format to compare several Swiss Army knife models. Not crazy about the “store” format, which looks cheesy, suggests my blog lives at Amazon, and that the reader has already opted in to shop at Amazon. It must be great to be a programmer at these large corporations and say, “Hey, I want to show off a little and do something neato. Let’s change stuff!”

  4. Linda says:

    I think amazon is really a good way to mentize your website or blog. I to know how great it is to got a very good learning curve it’s really motivating. Keep on the good work!

  5. Peter says:

    I use amazon now for a long time and I totally agree with you Linda because of amazon my site is still online. Thanks for sharing this great article!

  6. Sportate says:

    Hi Peter;
    I have stuck with Amazon for several of my sites and I do make some conversions, particularly at this time of year. However I wish there was more response from Amazon about the Phantom click problem. They acknowledge it but seem unable to cure it. They don’t say that but it is in fact what is taking place.

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