A shot across the bow to search engine marketers?

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associates-logo-small._V265885005_.gifAmazon sent out an email today and announced inside their affiliate program pages the following:

Change to Amazon Associates program

After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or www.endless.com through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you're not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.

There is more to it but I am sure you can find the rest in the news. It may not seem like a big deal, but I am sure that it could put a certain number of people virtually out of business. Key word bidding on certain retail items is both science and art - and Amazon's decision, at this stage of the recession, is pretty curious. Do they feel the Google has their merchandise covered well enough that they are throwing money away paying these affiliates? Or do they plan on advertising themselves more? Either way I am sure it came as a shock to some SE marketers who may have seen a big chunk of their business disappear in an instant. I am sure lawsuits will follow.


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