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How Not To Get Banned As An Amazon Affiliate

How Not To Get Banned As An Amazon Affiliate

You work hard to get your website working and getting traffic so it's now time to monetize your site. This is an important step so you will need to know how not to get banned as an Amazon affiliate or associate as they call it.

That's right you can be banned from the Amazon Associate program.

The Amazon affiliate program is probably one of the most popular stand-alone affiliate programs available. 

Their initial sign-up method is one of the easiest available.

Being one of the easiest programs to join, it's also one of the easiest for new affiliates to get banned for not following or neglecting to review all of Amazon's terms of service.

I've seen many new affiliates get banned from Amazon without knowing why they were locked out.

Only after a quick review of the top 25 reasons new affiliates get banned list do they realize where they made the costly mistake(s).

There are many other policies available for the Amazon associates to read which you can view here but it is full of legalese so I thought a nice regular English version of the top reasons would be helpful.

Here is a list of the current top 25 reasons many new affiliate marketers get banned from the Amazon affiliate program.

Top 25 Reasons You Can Be Banned From Amazon's Affiliate Program

1-No Sales

You need to make 3 sales within 180 days from the date you signed up to the program. This is a common reason new affiliate marketers get banned. They will have their skeleton of a website up and are eager to make those commission sales.

So they sign up to the Amazon associates program before they have any content on their website.

No Content=No Traffic=No Sales.

Keep that in mind before you become an Amazon associate. You are better off to wait for 2 reasons.

1-If you have no sales within 180 days, you get banned. You can sign-up again but most, like me, learn their lesson the first time it happens.

2-Not having any affiliate links on your new website will help your website ranking and will get you higher up in the SERPs much faster. Once the search engines have gained your trust and provide traffic then you can start adding your affiliate links.

2-Copying Images

There was a time you could copy, or screenshot an image from Amazon products and use them on your website if you were an active Amazon associate.

That has changed and now you cannot use any screenshots or copied images from the Amazon site.

You can only use authorized and provided image URLs, API keys or widgets to display products on your website.

This allows Amazon to ensure the images conform to the representation agreements with their merchants and can also add tracking code to all their linked images

3-Hiding Links

You are not allowed to shorten or cloak your affiliate links.  There is software you can use to do this. It's a way to take a long URL that has all types of numbers, letters, and symbols and shortens it into a short, identifiable link.

Amazon doesn't like this as many don't show exactly where the buyer is going when they hover their mouse over the link and it is harder for Amazon to see who sent that buyer there.

4-Using Your Own Affiliate Link

You can't use your own affiliate link to buy stuff for yourself nor can you share your affiliate links to family, friends, neighbors or old grade school buddies.

It may be harder for them to track this behavior but they may catch you. Again, if they do they will ban you from the associate program

5-Encourage Use Of Links For Support

Some people get banned for putting a short sentence above the affiliate links saying "Thank you for your support" or "Thank You, your purchase helps support this website."

You can say goodbye to your Amazon associate membership.  You cannot encourage your readers to purchase a product to support your website.

This rule differs from the next reason.

6-Missing Disclosure

This is where you need to display the fact that you can earn a commission from purchases made through the affiliate link on your website.

This is different from reason #5 where you are encouraging people to buy so you can make money.

You are required to have your affiliate disclosure visible wherever you have an Amazon affiliate link on your website.

Most will put this disclosure or a link to it in the sidebar or footer of the website so it is visible from every page or post.

7-Non Public Site

Your link must always be on a publicly available site. If your website is only accessible to members or a password-protected section of your website then you can't have affiliate links. The links must be accessible to the general public.

8-Using Amazon Name Inappropriately

Amazon wants to ensure proper representation of their brand so you cannot use their name in any clickable link you create. You may be safer to use terms like "Buy Here" or "Check It Out Here". Avoid creating your own clickable buttons with the Amazon name.

9-Using Customer Reviews

You can't use any direct quotes from customer reviews taken from the Amazon sites. That means you can't take a direct quote from a customer that reviewed a product on Amazon such as "Julie from New York found this product to be...". You can consolidate reviews in a general manner such as "This product has reported issues with...".

10-Misrepresent Yourself

Do not imply that you are Amazon, an employee or representative for Amazon. So don't pretend that you have some type of special access to Amazon as a representative or that you can speak on the behalf of Amazon.

11-Email Affiliate Links

If you have an email list and want to promote products being sold on Amazon you cannot send the affiliate link directly within the email. You will need to send a link that leads to your website that in turn leads to an Amazon affiliate link.

12-Links Within Files or Digital Products

The same goes for eBooks or PDF files, you cannot have affiliate links within products. The product must link people to your website where they can access the affiliate links from a publicly accessible website.

13-Directing Links To Children Under 13

This one can be a tough one if you have a website reviewing toys. You cannot have affiliate links if you on websites that are directed to children under 13 years of age. 

14-Providing Star Ratings On Products

You are not to provide star ratings either as an image or words. Some of Amazon's widgets have star ratings build into them and can be used in that manner. So avoid using star ratings, instead, use references such as "This is worth a try" or "Not Recommended" type of terms.

15-Listing Prices

Listing prices that are listed on Amazon are prohibited. That said you can use Amazon widgets that do display the prices from a live feed. So if they do change the price on their site it will also update on your website's Amazon widget.

16-Redirecting Links From Other Sites

Do not use any plugins, applications or some type of internet bots that can divert links from someone else's website. There are options that will divert other people's affiliate links to their own, so don't use any of these redirection tactics or tools.

17-Affiliate Links In Popups

Avoid putting links in pop-ups unless it is specifically related to your content. I say avoid as I can't seem to find examples of where or why a pop up would not be related to your content.

18-Automatic Linking To Affiliate

Do not use an automatic redirect to Amazon affiliate linked products. The customer must have clicked on the affiliate link in order for it to be considered a legitimate referral. There are plugins that will direct people to a link if they do certain actions such as hover over an image.

19-Using Whole or Part Of The Amazon Name in URL

You can't create a new website with full or part of the Amazon name in the URL. Do not try to fool people in thinking you are related to Amazon by creating websites such as "Amazn(dot)com", " AmazonShopper(dot)com", nor "Amzondeals(dot)com" type of names.

20-Automatic Click Generation

I'm not sure why you would do this but you cannot use any type of software, apps or bots to generate clicks on your affiliate links. I can see why advertisers would not want you to create fake clicks. I am not sure why anyone would want to create fake affiliate links that will result in no sales?

21-Providing Rewards For Purchases

You are prohibited from giving a gift, coupon, reward or any type of incentive to people if they click your affiliate link. You may have seen these types of tactics for other affiliate programs where people will say you can get 20% off the purchase price if you use my link or phrases like buy now and you will get a rebate on your second purchase. This is not allowed with Amazon. 

22-Unconfirmed Compliance

Amazon will assess your file and request proof that you have complied with all of their terms. If you do not provide proof or written certification that you have complied to all of their terms then your affiliate membership can be canceled.

23-Violent or Sexual Content

I think this reason explains itself.

24-Inappropriate Use Of Amazon Trademark

There are a couple of sections about this. In general, it means you cannot use Amazon's trademark logo on your website without their permission unless it is part of the widgets or APIs that they allow you to use but copying and pasting their logo onto your site is not allowed without advanced permission.

The other part is using third party trademark property on your websites such as putting the logo from Sony or Samsung. Again you can have those logos on your website if it is part of the Amazon API or widgets where they may fully display them. So no copying or pasting logos of products that are being sold through Amazon.

25-You Can't Use Links On Sites You Don't Control

You cannot display affiliate links in forums or other sites that you don't own or control. That also goes for guest blogs you write, do not put affiliate links within those blogs. You will need to have a link that brings people to your site then have the affiliate links.

Conclusion

The Amazon Associate programs is one of the easiest programs to sign up to but don't let that fool you. They also have many policies where you must be in compliance in order to maintain your affiliate program membership.

Take the time to read through the top 25 reasons you can get banned from the Amazon associate program and when you have it, take the time to read through the whole Associate Program Policies to ensure you are compliant to take full advantage of their affiliate commissions.

Are you new to affiliate marketing and want to learn from the best? Then be sure to check out Wealthy Affiliate and Income School to learn everything there is to know about Affiliate Marketing.

Have you ever been banned or warned by Amazon about your Associate compliance?

If you have please post them down below. I would love to hear your story.

Do you have a comment or question? Be sure to place them below and don't forget to share with your friends.

Cheers

Paul

Paul
 

I have been working from home and making an amazing living for over 8 years. I started affiliate marketing about 3 years ago. If you would like to learn how to work from home and earn money as an affiliate please hit the subscribe button on the bottom of the page. Paul

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Buck - March 22, 2019

Great article you’ve got here. I knew some of these but not all of them, so I’m glad you covered this. There are so many ways to get yourself in hot water with Amazon, so it’s super important to be careful and make sure you stay strictly by the book. I mean, it’s one of the best affiliate programs for a good reason! 

Cheers!

Reply
    Paul - March 22, 2019

    The Amazon Associate program is one of the reasons I started as an affiliate marketer. It’s also available across major economies globally so you want to maintain a good working relationship with them.

    Cheers

    Paul

    Reply
Dapoach - March 22, 2019

Your post has really been eye-opening, as it will really be helpful for those into affiliate marketing with Amazon. I really commend you for taking the time to put together twenty-five good and valid reasons people could get banned. The irony there is that, as it is easy to get signed up so its also easy to get banned. Thanks so much for this informative post. I hope to read more from your subsequent posts.

Reply
    Paul - March 22, 2019

    It is ironic that the easier it is to sign up sometimes makes it easier for you to get banned as we forget that there are still rules that need to be followed.

    Cheers

    Paul

    Reply
Etah - March 22, 2019

Thanks for this very helpful article, I am new to the affiliate marketing world and I am already signed up to the Amazon affiliate marketing program.

As I read, I began evaluating some strategies  I put in place for the promotion of my affiliate links, so far, I don’t think I have done any of the reasons pointed out but I will be looking at making corrections with some affiliate links that I posted to be sure. Thanks for this truly helpful article, very helpful indeed.

Reply
    Paul - March 22, 2019

    It’s always good to read all of the terms to be sure but really it is a matter of common sense.

    Make sure the links are accessible by the public, don’t use any copyright or trademark content, don’t try to cheat the system, and you will be just fine.

    Cheers

    Paul

    Reply
Harish Kumar - July 27, 2019

“I have recently started an Affiliate Marketing Business and for this purpose, I have started a blog on this but somewhere I found difficulty in searching for new content for my blog and I was also confused about what products to promote on the blog which I have started. Finally,
I found your article which was so useful and an eye-opener for me. I have learned a lot from this post.”

Reply
    admin - July 27, 2019

    Terrific! It’s always a pleasure to hear that a post I’ve written has helped someone out. Cheers
    Paul

    Reply

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