How to Tell if an Affiliate Program is Legitimate

I have seen a lot of articles, and posts about how to tell if an affiliate program is a scam. As it is easy to label absolutely any program as scam, I started to think about the other side; how should we know if an affiliate/associate program is genuine. Ideally all of the below criteria should be met:

  1. Is it a large and internationally reputable company/entrepreneur. Large companies mostly avoid any actions that might hinder their reputation, image. It is a big advantage (although not a guarantee) that this wouldn't happen.
  2. Is the company and its affiliate/associate program being around for at least 6-7 or more years? If it stood the test of time it is likely that it is genuine.
  3. Are there recent payment proofs? This means that payment proofs, or posts at reputable forums, blogs stating that it has paid the poster in within 1 week. This is important because there has been opportunities (not just online, but also financial investments offline) that have started legitimate, but because they had a faulty business model they couldn't meet their contractual obligations (Term of Service) and became Ponzi scemes, and then scams that didn't pay.

Finally I would list some companies that I believe have legitimate opportunites:
Google
Yahoo!
Amazon
eBay
MSN (Microsoft)

These are just the ones that were at the top of my head. I general, I think that all Alexa.com Global top 500, as well as any money making opportunities of Fortune top 500 can be considered as safe.

Is there any OTHER that you can come up with. Write them in the comments section below.

PLEASE do NOT post affiliate link in your comments; this blog is not the place of promotion. Also, it would be great if you wrote the period that it has been paying you, and a total of how much it has paid you. PLEASE only write sites that have been paying you for AT LEAST ONE YEAR.

So write your comments, I would love to see your comments!

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