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Amazon Associates Terminates Your Account, What Next?

Updated on March 11, 2018
viryabo2 profile image

If Amazon or any other affiliate program you are registered with terminates your account, you'll probably be confused and helpless too.

In June 2013, I received a letter from Amazon Associates stating my account has been terminated.

I was stunned . . . It took me some days to gather myself together enough to send an email to them expressing my shock/surprise on the issue.

I was so confused and alarmed. I couldn't for-the-life-of-me understand what happened, and why. I searched forums that wrote on such issues but still couldn't figure out what could have happened. I didn’t know what to do.

Anger, agitation, and fear finally set in. My annoyance spurred me on to remove ALL Amazon links from my websites, blogs, and sub-domains. I felt I was unjustly treated and wrongly accused of something I wasn't aware of.

I lost $150+, but that wasn't my immediate problem!

I blocked anything Amazon from my thoughts and moved on with my life. But I still felt cheated, and because I wasn't as savvy as I am today, I didn't know what to do. I gave up pretty easy (the story of my life!).

The issue has recently 'reared its head' in my thoughts again and I decided to search for answers once again. I soon found a forum topic on the issue at Warrior Forum titled "I'm Banned from Amazon Associates Program-Can Anyone Help?

I'm glad I stumbled on that thread. Perhaps if I understood then what I understand now, I would have been more willing to at least fight for a reinstatement.

I Had No Idea My Amazon Account Was in Danger of Being Closed!

On the forum thread, I discovered much more than I expected to, and I'm happy I did. I read about cloaking, plugins, cookie stuffing, using i-frames, etc...

Have you ever experienced a termination of any of your affiliate accounts?

See results

These were names I have heard of but didn't understand much about.

I know I was not guilty of any of these acts, knowingly or not. I mean, how does one implement all these anyway? I WASN’T THAT SAVVY!

But there was one comment to the OP that caught my eye. It read . . . "My guess is that it's your image links. A common method of cookie stuffing"!

Then I thought back in time again. The only thing I could think of that MAY be the problem, had to do with my lenses at Squidoo. At least, I suspect so!

So I went digging into my past email messages.

Can SquidTools of A3 Labs Inc. Be the Culprit?

The termination letter from Amazon to me reads thus:

“You are not in compliance with Participation Requirement Number 27 . . . because you are automatically starting sessions on an Amazon Site tagged with your Associates ID in order to artificially increase your advertising fee earnings”.

Jeez! That was news to me. I wouldn’t know how to do that in the first place.

But that comment on the Warrior Forum thread made me remember something.

Because I preferred to have linked Amazon images (a picture= a thousand words) I opted to use this tool. Remember I found it on Squidoo so believed it was authentic.

I liked the idea of visitors clicking on product images instead of anchor texts. I stumbled on a Squidoo lens mentioning SquidTools, tailored for only Squidoo lenses, which can do just that.

It was some sort of plugin/tool I guess (not sure), and I registered for it. It was free and built (apparently) by some lens master.

Could this have been the culprit that messed up my otherwise good reputation with Amazon? I doubt it, but you never know.

I Am Law Abiding by Nature

Last year I was a victim of click bombing and THAT scared the life out of me.

I noticed I was getting something like 50 clicks/day on a site I only got a couple of clicks a week on. This happened for a few days. Rather than make me pleased, it made me feel uncomfortable and unsettled. I knew it was strange.

Off I went to Google Ads help forums to see if I'll find someone with a similar experience. I searched for hours, reading this and that about abnormal rise of clicks.

I read that this is invalid click activity, or click bombing. I found that if we notice such, we should immediately alert Google by filling this form online. ..... Invalid Clicks Contact Form

I also found out that its best to switch off Google ads on the affected sites for some time while trying to find the root of the problem.

I switched off ads and notified Google on the steps I took. Finding the root of the problem was a challenge for me . . . I wasn't THAT savvy and didn't know how to go about it. It was easier for me to just turn off my ads for an indefinite period.

I lost potential revenue on the 2 websites attacked but I was cool with that. Better than risking an outright ban just because of a few hundred dollars!

I read that the activity will pass at some point in time (I guess the 'bomber' gets tired) so I waited and persevered. When I finally turned my ads back on, I watched it for a few days. True to talk, the activity had ceased.

It is a good thing that I have the 'annoying' habit of checking my Adsense earnings thrice a day (I wish I did same for Amazon). If not for that, I would have missed that unusual activity and before I know it, KABOOM goes my account.

If I can go through such lengths for Google Adsense and take precautionary measures in February 2013, why will I jeopardise my Amazon account in June 2013?

I am proud to say that I believe in keeping and sticking to the rules. I believe in being law abiding and for all my six years of hard work online, I'd hate to flout laws and lose it all for such a stupid act and for how much money anyway?

I'm definitely not doing all this work for the money. It's more for the passion and the fact that I have my own little world outside the real world. My ‘virtual family’ keeps me on the Web.

Should I Appeal to

Right now, I don't know. I still feel pained for being punished for something I didn't do. Something still unclear . . . and IF using tools from SquidTools was what caused me the problem (I even gave them a donation. DUH!!), then it was due to my naivety.

I thought they're affiliated with Squidoo and thus felt safe.

But, if it's not . . . I wouldn't know what to do.

Why I Haven't Opted In for HubPages Earnings Program for Amazon

I haven't opted in for the Amazon on HubPages Earning Program because my account is terminated. And much as I enjoyed working for Amazon in the past, I don't think I can use them in the HP program. I haven't tried to find out though.

I probably should, and will post an update if I get word on that.

I have even been receiving messages from Amazon UK to promote their products on my sites too. But for similar reasons, I don't think I can promote them either.

Adding a Disclosure Statement

During my search for questions and answers to my predicament, I stumbled upon this article . . . Warning to All Affiliate Managers

Can this have helped me? I don't know since I'm still not sure of what happened.

But I have taken the author's advice and will add this disclosure to all pages of my websites and blogs. I'll rather be safe than sorry, now that I understand these things a little bit better now.

I wish I could get my Amazon account back. I really do. But I heard it's a futile exercise if one embarks on that journey. And like I stated earlier, I have come to terms with my predicament and moved on.

Yet . . . I still wonder!

© 2014 viryabo2

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    • profile image

      Amazon Sucks 2 years ago

      Yeah, after having them mess with me for a year, and over, they have a nice team that MESSES up with you, and they enjoy it.

    • viryabo2 profile image

      viryabo2 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for your kind words CANDLE. I really appreciate them. I have since moved on from Amazon in search of better options that won't give me the jitters . . . not knowing what i have or haven't done wrong.

      And you are right, i wasn't making that much anyway :)