To Californians and others a have had Amazon cancellations: Though I don't write to target Amazon products, I did get some revenue from them and always added a few items to each hub.
Some of them were added specifically because they had a relation to my subject, and sometimes they also added to the graphic elements of my layout.
Lately I have been deleting some Amazon capsules and reconfiguring some hub layouts. One interesting side effect I noticed was--- MORE Google Ads and (I think) HP ads are appearing in my hubs.
Though I'm not earning a lot (and not trying especially hard to earn) I can see that deleting some 'dead' Amazon capsules can result in other, more active, ads to appear.
I don't know if this will work for you-- but you might want to experiment and see what happens, if your Amazon is now non-functional.
Thanks for the tip! I was thinking about this when I got the e-mail from Amazon - I didn't consider the additional revenue I could earn from HPAD or Google Ads, but I was thinking of deleting the capsules until Amazon gets over their fit!
Actually I think Amazon did the right thing. It will show the state of California that they can't get additional money by taxing (Non-brick and mortaR) affiliates. It's the only way Amazon can fight back, unless there are court actions.
I know it hurts people who depend on their Amazon income, but if the state sees that it is losing more by this action, this is the only chance of getting a reversal.
It is complex and fraught with unintended consequences.
Haha, well, here in California we feel differently about all of this - for years we've been saying that online sales should be taxed so we can get our revenue and level the playing field for brick-and-mortar businesses.
I'm in California, but I think we pay enough taxes. People in California already pay a lot of sales tax, and income tax, and property tax, and county tax, and gasoline tax and all the rest.
I respect your opinion! But I don't think that we pay enough taxes. I feel like we need to pitch in for the things that we get from government. Certainly I don't agree with all government spending, but I'm happy to pay more when I can to support small business, schools and public services, and bring our state back!
Although I am sorry for you guys in California, I agree with Rochelle that Amazon did the right thing. I live in TX and because Amazon pulled out of CA, our governor refused to add a similar tax.
Just wanted to let you know that there is no correlation between the number of Google/HP Ads and whether or not you have Amazon links on your Hub.
Maybe not but leaving Amazon product links on pages when you are no longer an Amazon affiliate is a wasted opportunity to earn from another source.
By the way, there is a correlation in that the viewer is given an assortment of choices after viewing a hub, either click an HP ad, a Google ad, an Amazon product link, an ebay product link, the back button, or an assortment of other on page links that provide no monetary value to the author such as related hubs, tags, Facebook plugin or the search box.
If you're trying to earn income on HP then you need to learn how to prod the viewer to leave your hub in a way the benefits you without coming right out and saying (thanks for reading my hub now click on an ad)
Ok we can disagree-- but being associated with small businesses, I can say the state seems to take more than it gives. I would rather it didn't try to 'help' so much.
Fair enough! I will say that I may have misstated my opinion - I meant support small businesses by trying to shop at more brick-and-mortar places rather than online giants. I don't really understand how taxes affect businesses in CA.
GlassVisage, a few things for you to consider.
An Affiliate in California is most likely not selling products to Californians. They are selling to all of America, and teh rest of the world.
This means that previously Californian affiliates were bringing money in to the state, they were paying taxes on their affiliate earnings, and they were bringing in money from the rest of America, as well as the rest of the world.
The only way to truely revive an economy is to bring in money from outside sources. For instance Hubpages by itself was earning a huge amount from Amazon, this money was trickling down to the government and the people in the form of taxes, wages and business overhead.
California just lost all of that, tehy have closed down businesses, forced millionaire affiliates to either give up or move out of state.
Texas has been fighting the affiliate Nexus tax, and for that reason we are seing an influx of some of the internets most successful affiliate marketers. They are bringing in millions of dollars to Texas, and that includes direct and indirect tax revenue, the moeny they spend which goes to those who earn less, the trickle down effect. With these people have come the venture capitalists from states such as New York. Austin has seen a boom in the tech industry, with a huge number of new startups in the last year alone.
Outstanding explanation. I hope everyone here copies this to some permanent memory for future reference and to use, adapted, in letters to state representatives.
Thank you thisisoli - so are you saying that the State of California shouldn't have made its decision regarding sales taxes? This is all very different from the buzz I've been hearing and seeing where I live.
And why is it best for Amazon to cut off its affiliates?
Read it again. Yes, he is saying that, and giving good reasons why.
I wasn't really starting this thread to debate the virtues or non virtues of the tax situation.
I only wanted to suggest a small thing to do individually for those of us who have lost our Amazon affiliation.
However, I am glad to see Oli's comments, because I agree.
Not all of us in California agree that we need more taxation. Some think taxing affiliates is like getting money from people outside the state, but it is really destroying a lot of business opportunities.
It's a confusing subject but just to clarify, the nexus laws are not set up to tax affiliates they are set up so that online merchants must collect sales tax from consumers if they were referred to the merchant website from an affiliate living in a nexus affected state.
I agree too that Amazon did the right thing as a protest. As I see it, the consumer is responsible for reporting 'use' tax on items purchased outside his/her own state.
The OP suggestion of re-optimizing for Adsense is the best scenario if you are here to earn from your hubs. Removing all other means for a visitor to click away from your hub only leaves the HP ads adn Adsense ads, or the back button.
I am sorry if you do not want to discuss topic on this thread - I feel like I am learning and it's good to read these other opinions.
For starters it means that Amazon is being penalized for using affiliate marketers, but not penalized for using other marketing techniques. Affiliates are not a sales location in a state, they do not compete with local business, they are basically a marketing company. If a company in Austin launched a National TV commercial and hired a media company in LA to create the TV advertisement, should the Austin company be required to pay California sales tax on every product they sell in California, just because they decided to use a marketing company in LA not TX?
Think about it, what company in their right mind would use an LA media company if it meant they would have to pay additional taxes when most states would recognise that the LA media company was providing a service for a company located in Texas.
In terms of taxation earnings, California gained $151 million in direct income tax revenue from affiliate publishers in 2010. The taxation was meant to generate an additional $200 million, however so far California is looking at a minimum 90%+ loss in direct tax revenue, without even looking at indirect tax revenue generated from the billion dollars+ that California affiliates had to spend in their state, which has now disappeared by above 90%. Think about what this is doing to the economy in California.
The one final thing I will add is that the companies pushing the Nexus tax changes in all states are part of what is called the 'main street fairness alliance'. Despite the home grown name, this alliance is made up of companies such as Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Sears, and so on. These companies are responsible for putting many more small local businesses out of business than affiliate marketters, especially since a persons decision to research and buy on the internet rather than in a store rarely has anything to do with an affiliates sales pitch.
These big name stores do have to pay local sales tax because they all have stores in state. However these stores are directly selling to locals. Affiliates are selling globally.
To keep things simple, yes I am saying that California has made a huge mistake. Not only are they looking at losing over $120 million in direct sales tax annually, they have removed over a billion dollars annually, much of which came out of state, from their economy in one fell swoop.
I don't see how in any way shape or form this could be seen as a good thing for California.
I wish we could do it with a press of a button, like the option we had with Kontera.
Good suggestion. Hubpages team should look into.
But the problem is , you should be choosing different keywords or products for variety of topics.How to overcome this. Is it possible based on content the capsule should choose the product? If it chooses that way also, is it going to satisfy one and all?
OK. Thank you, I guess it was a misperception on my part, perhaps caused by moving graphics around and seeing the ads pop in a different place.
Thanks for the clarity.
I can understand how you might think that when things are moved around. I still recommend just clicking the "do not display" box in your Amazon capsules instead of removing them. Have a great day!
I don't understand your suggestion. Rochelle is a Californian that was terminated from the Amazon affiliate program. What good would come from her just clicking the "do not display" box instead of removing the Amazon module all together? How would other terminated affiliates benefit from this rather than just removing the modules?
The benefit would be that if the nexus tax is reversed, then they would jsut have to uncheck the boxes to reactivate the Amazon modules rather than recreate them all from scratch.
Thanks Oli, You always explain it better than I.
Has any state yet to reverse the nexus? Is it going to happen anytime soon? New York passed the nexus back in 2008 though Amazon did not drop the state's affiliates so that they could bring it to court. It's still in the appeals court though NY has collected over $70 million in online tax revenue so Amazon's case is not holding water.
What you call a benefit may be a time saver down the road, but right now, when it matters, hiding the modules does not leave the page clean code for the spiders to crawl. How will that affect page load times? How will that affect the overall SEO value of the page? Does the "do not display" place a noidnex,follow attribute on the module or does the spider still see it and the keywords inside the module? There are probably very few people here that know how to check this and even fewer that will take the time to do so.
The fact is, if you are no longer an Amazon affiliate then the best, most beneficial practice would be to remove the Amazon module from your hub. Allow the code on your page, the stuff that only the search engine spiders see, be clean so that the keywords you target can best be served.
I would guess that the do not show box would place a value in the PHP code which means that it would not be loaded at all, it doesn't hide it on page it should stop it from being loaded entirely.
Hi Richard, we are working on a solution with Amazon. I wouldn't want you to delete your capsules and then have to create them again when you can just hide them until we have a solution. There is no disadvantage to you for hiding capsules, they are not seen by google, only by you.
I'm sure you mean for those that have not been terminated from the Amazon affiliate program as I have been here in Illinois and for those in California, North Carolina, Connecticut, Arkansas, Vermont, and Colorado.
And you are right there really is no disadvantage to hiding the capsules, other than the ugly white space that replaces them or the time it takes to edit a page layout or the text that needs to be edited that discusses a product listed. Nothing online is ever as easy at it first seems.
Sorry I wasn't clear; yes, I mean just for those that no longer have an Amazon affiliate program. As for the layout of your Hub, it shouldn't have any white space present unless your Amazon capsule is justified to the left, in which case your other capsules will fill in the space. If you are unhappy with this layout, it might take a little bit of rearranging but could eventually take you less time in the long run. Personally, I am leaving all of my Amazon capsules alone for the time being, but you are more than welcome to delete or hide any capsule of your choosing.
Hi Robin, although it doesn't effect me directly, can you say if 'Working on a solution with Amazon' is being done 'face to face' with Amazon representatives, or if like with Google and Adsense, it is actually being done via forums and possibly emails? I ask this on behalf of fellow Hubbers/friends affected here, and also because it was disappointing to find that no actual meetings appeared to be happening when it came to the problems with Google and Panda, just Webmaster forum questions by Paul to Google. I would be sad to think that this is the case again now, and that an effort is being made to make it sound as if direct interaction is taking place. In the UK we call it 'spin doctoring', I am not sure of the equivalent term in the US.
Thanks for your response
Hi Misty, I appreciate your concern for other Hubbers,but I'm not sure where you got your information about Google because it's incorrect. We have had direct contact with Google and Paul has exchanged personal emails regarding Panda with Matt Cutts. Matt has given us direct feedback regarding changes to the site post-Panda. (Unfortunately, there are many untruths going around in the Forums, and innocent Hubbers believe them.) As for Amazon, since they are in Seattle and we are in SF, we communicate primarily via email and phone. In the past, Paul has been to their offices and we have a good working relationship with them. Paul will be providing an update soon; unfortunately, these things take time. It's important to understand that we operate under NDAs with both of these companies, so we can't disclose all of the inner-workings of the agreements and discussions. We realize how important this matter is to many Hubbers and we are hoping to find a solution very soon. Thanks again for being a good community member and looking out for your fellow Hubbers!
lol - I imagine that simple line would have cooled much of the rabid speculation
Thanks Robin, for letting us know how things are going with the Amazon affiliate situation. Looking forward to the update from Paul.
Thanks for responding so promptly Robin, and with useful information to help alleviate the concerns of those who have been affected by this. I am sure it is very much appreciated
I think the 'hope' is that the state, and then Amazon, might change their collective minds and allow the affiliates to operate as they once did-- then we can just click them back on "if and when" that happens. I'm removing most of mine, right now anyway.
Yes, hope is a good thing. Here in Illinois we lost our affiliation back in march but there is a collective action to bring this to the Supreme Court by PMA and if we win out then it is a win for the entire country. However, our affiliation is still terminated until and if that happens. No point in sending referrals if you cannot capitalize on them.
Plenty of high earning Cafornian affilaites are rightly annoyed by the law, not just because it was implemented, but because Brown rushing it through as part of the 'fiscal crisis' laws the Terminator introduced. Basically this meant there was practically no time for appeal, for representation, or for affiliates to organise a defensive group on this matter.
There was time to do this, but by the time the matter became public knowledge (It apparently was kept very hush hush) it was signed within 24 hours.
So every Amazon capsule we have on our hubpages will not be posted to our account any longer?? The sales will go directly to Amazon?
Only if you live in a state affected by the nexus law. If you were not terminated from Amazon then you will continue to earn.
Thank you very much. I live in MI and we are not affected.
What about HP, itself, being in CA and being terminated? Doesn't that affect all Amazon earnings through HP?
I am in the process of removing every Amazon capsule on my hubs (I'm in Cal) because yes, any clicks will not benefit me in any way. All the sales would be 100% Amazons.
I would wait off for a bit before you go to all that work. You can always hide them, but until you hear official word from us, I advise to not delete them all. Cheers!!
No States have reversed the nexus changes yet, but some states are starting to talk about it.
True but many others are considering adding it. And if they look at the results from NY then it becomes very compelling. I understand the ramifications because this is part of what I do for a living. There are millions upon millions of others that have no clue what this is and the language of the bills say they are going after the giant online merchants that should be adding to the coffers.
They do not realize that the revenue earned from sales tax is miniscule compared to the loss of income tax from affiliates, or the loss of affiliate revenue being spent in their state.
I would like to ssee a fiscal rundown of how it all impacted New York (Impartial and comprehensive) Since the big players Share-a-sale and CJ dropped NY, as well as hundreds of other affiliate networks, I can see this being a big deal.
Somebody posted a map recently which showed red through to blue (Red = state accepted tax, blue = state rejected tax) and fortunately the number of states which did not accept teh tax vastly outnumbers those that did. Texas has deflected it twice now, I have helped a little with that, but funnily enough the biggest helping hands have been from Affiliate marketers who have moved away from states which have implemented the Nexus tax law.
They have moved once, and they will do it again, tkaing their annual million dollar incomes with them.
I had that map somewhere, and I agree that the numbers in NY may be skewed but those are the numbers that legislators are touting. You say that Texas deflected the nexus twice. Did you know that California deflected it four times before it became law? I'm sure you know that there are at least 20 states that have such legislation in the works and the only updates we get are that certain legislation's closed without any action this session. Doesn't mean it won't happen next session, or the next.
Would you give a link to that list of states, if it is convenient? (I'll do a search, if it's not easily at hand.) Thanks! - [Note - I'm "next door" to you.]
Neither CJ nor ShareAsale (networks) dropped NY affiliates. As a NY affiliate I know that first hand. Occasionally, I will come across smaller advertisers within the networks that do not accept NY affs - but it is surprisingly rare. That could just be luck and I have no way of knowing how many do not allow NY affs.
Maybe just luck - but I have had only one door closed from being a NY aff and that was the cafepress program - which was easily replaced by dozens of other providers of the same service.
I dont think NY would be a good baseline - after all we even still have Amazon.
Thats strange, I have seen plenty of people posting emails from both of those affiliates saying they have been removed.
I think he was referring to the fact that even though NY passed law with nexus language in it back in 2008, Amazon and others, have not dropped their affiliates. Amazon did not drop NY because this is their battlefront.
Last year, NY reportedly brought in over $70 million in online sales tax revenue and since most online merchants did not drop their affiliates in that state there can hardly be a claim, as with other affected states, of loss income tax revenues from affiliates or the loss of their trickled down income.
Okay, a question: Is PMA or any other organization keeping track of how much of that $70 million is from a nexus (not sure I'm using the word right) as opposed to coming from businesses which actually do have a physical presence in the state, and which also make online sales. Wouldn't that be a very important distinction for Amazon to use in their argument?
Is that why?
In 2008 - Amazon already had warehouses in NY. So a virtual nexus shouldnt have been an issue when they already had a physical one.
I always thought they were fighting on principle but they were already paying sales tax so was a bit less of an issue.
Admittedly, I never paid much attention since I had no issues getting an amazon account. I think I got mine in 2007 and never heard a word anout losing it.
As far as I'm aware of, they are fighting on principle for all online retailers. They are, and always have been, paying the state sales tax for purchases made by consumers in NY. They're fighting the language of the law that they interpret to include off line out of state merchants that use print, radio, and TV media to entice sales to NY consumers. Their claim, and I agree, is that it is against interstate commerce laws.
Since they were, and still are, paying the sales tax in NY then there is no changes they would need to make. It would be very costly on their part if they took a stand in every state and since Amazon is almost a household name, and rank top in the SERP's, dropping affiliates really isn't costing them much.
Many many other companies did drop their affiiates after the New York law was passed. I was at the Affiliate Summit East that year and it was devastating to many. However, some merchants, agreed to reinstate affiliates if they agreed not to use PPA and other means to directly solicit business. Which was a loophole included in the language of the nexus law.
This is wrongly thought of just affecting Amazon affiliates. Many affiliates received hundreds of emails tossing them from programs.
A very vocal affiliate started writing a blog that turned into this http://nyaffiliatevoice.com/. Then she morphed herself into something called http://affiliateadvocacy.com/. I like her stuff because it's the viewpoint of someone trying to build a business in the face of this law.
I have followed this very closely since the NY vote and I am very interested in what these talks between HP and Amazon yield. It's got to be considering the loophole similar to NY where you can remain, if you don't actively solicit customers. We'll see though.
My personal opinion might not be worth much I am however giving it anyway. Any hub written which will allow an Amazon ad has to be written on the subject the Amazon capsule covers. This in and of itself is advertising the product.
The internet is replacing many other forms of advertising because they are no longer as effective. When you can search for something you want on the internet a reply pops up within seconds where it might take some people hours to find something in a phone book and you might not hear an ad on the radio for what your looking for at all.
Television ads have not been working as well for years. People just tune them out now if they see them at all. Why pay for a newspaper when everything its going to cover can be gleaned within a few minutes of web searching. The newspapers have even started having an online presence. I live in what many would consider a backwater town in the middle of nowhere in the center of America. My local newspaper has an online presence where you can choose to pay for the whole paper or just look at the major headlines for the area.
For everyone to gain from whatever talks people are having its going to take changes from each of the people effected. I truly hope they go well.
I guess my point was there would be no negative SEO impact and negoligible page load increases :p
I get it, the only benefit is a time saver IF Amazon ever reinstates terminated affiliates. My stance is, don't hold your breath.
Hiding modules can really mess up the page layout, leaving very unattractive 'white space' where this can be taken care of when removing the modules and optimizing the page layout. Also consider the text that was used in Amazon optimized hubs, where hopefully you came right out and 'asked for the sale.' But if there is no product there any longer then the text makes little sense. So simply hiding the modules will not work for most Amazon optimized hubs.
I followed the link (from that page) to the explanation of the Tax. I think someone referred to it in another thread, but it is worthwhile for everyone to read, to see some of the issues that would be created.
http://performancemarketingassociation. … ssociation
Especially look at the section "Simplification of Sales Tax" (not simplification at all - far from it).
The Performance Marketing Association is probably one of the best resources around right now for up to date information, I wasn't aware it had been brought up in California so many times, with that history Hubpages should have been more active in blocking the tax.
Every appearance of the tax in Texas has had affilaites present to defend their case, and it has been working pretty well so far!
They are not affiliates - they are networks
Individual Advertisers may have removed partners from NY but the networks remain as always
NexTax was passed in 2008 in NY - so it would be surprising if any partners were booted for that reason legitimately.
Sometimes, good performing affs are booted for whatever reason the partner can make up when they figure out how to tap that market without the middle man.
Thanks for the update Robin. I think Misty got some of her information directly from Paul's blog post on 6/15 http://blog.hubpages.com/2011/06/prepar … ess-panda/
where he stated:
"Third, we’ve spoken out against Panda’s effects on HubPages’ open platform compared to Google’s own properties, and we’ve reached out to Google in the official forums, and to Google employees directly. This effort has been fruitful in getting feedback on our overall plan. Our changes line up with the feedback we’ve been given from Google directly and their communication to us should allow us to better serve all of you."
It seems that the part about speaking to Google employees directly was probably taken out of context and mixed with some rabid speculation.
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