Dave, I’ve been experimenting with the Google AdWords program and this morning they’ve suspended my advertising campaign with a note saying that I need to “Identify Affiliate Status”. What’s that all about?
The pervasiveness of affiliate programs, especially those from eBay and Amazon, has forced Google to create special rules for AdWords ads that are placed by affiliates, rather than non-affiliate merchants.
In this instance, you’re seeing their response to an advertisement that either goes directly to Amazon or eBay via an affiliate link or points to a page (or site) that lists affiliate program products rather than merchandise that you yourself ship and process. I assume that you’re an affiliate and that your ad points to an affiliate program or links to pages that are populated with affiliate links?
Further in your email message from Google should be the following explanation from the AdWords team:
Identify Affiliate Status: You must clearly identify yourself as an
affiliate or distributor in your ad text. This will help provide clear,
descriptive ads so that our users understand the nature of your site
and your business. Affiliate status cannot be indicated in your URL, as
the URL is not always visible on our ad network sites.
In a nutshell, you just need to add “aff”, “affil” or “associate” to your ad copy, somewhere. Some people use “[aff]” but most of the affiliate ads I see just tack “aff.” to the very end of the descriptive text.
Make that one change then respond to your email from AdWords indicating you’ve modified your ad copy and they should re-approve and re-enable your campaign. You might want to spend a few minutes reading the Google AdWords Editorial Guidelines.