Earlier this week Brian Littleton, of ShareASale, announced the new, proposed toolbar policy. You will probably recall that about two weeks ago there was a conference call on this issue. The proposed policy took into account many of the concerns and opinions expressed during that call. You can read the proposed policy at SAS Blog – Proposed Toolbar Policy and at ABW SAS Proposed Toolbar Policy- Discussion and Poll The discussion at ABestWeb is very open and spirited and I suggest everyone read through it. If you have questions or concerns, post them and after considering everything cast your vote.
When I read through the proposed policy I was very relieved to see that most toolbars will not be permitted. Still, I do have concerns and I expressed them to Brian. My first is the problem of monitoring the behavior of toolbars that are allowed in and the potential for those toolbars to escalate behavior at any time. Though the details cannot be shared, Brian did indicate that they will use a variety of techniques to monitor and test toolbar affiliates on an ongoing basis. It is clear that the proposed policy is more defined than current one. Certain behaviors that are parasitic will result in the toolbar affiliate being terminated.
My second concern was the ability of affiliates to easily identify which merchants permit toolbar affiliates and that we are also informed of a change in a merchant’s stance. Just as merchants need to know if an affiliate utilizes a toolbar, affiliates need to know if a merchant allows toolbar affiliates. It is important that we all make informed decisions about who to partner with. Brian has indicated that he is all for the disclosure.
As I read through the policy it is clear that Brian does indeed have the best interests of all in mind. One can also tell that he did consider every one’s input. Brian welcomes opinions and discussion.
While I prefer a no toolbar policy, the proposed policy is more defined than the current one. Please read through the proposed policy and the discussion at ABestWeb. Read the proposed policy, educate yourself on the issue and make an informed decision. Voice your concerns and opinions.