Internet Marketing Blog

The Internet Marketing blog of Mike Merz, Internet Marketing consultant, in regards to what's hot ... and what's not, in the world of Internet Marketing.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


The Affiliate Joint Venture List For Experienced Marketers.

No ... I'm not being a snob. LOL

I've put together an exclusive affiliate joint venture email list for Internet Marketers that know how to sell.

Read all about it.

I know ... I know ... I'm the 'newbie' guy. ;)

But I've had the luxury of befriending and teaming up with so many successful Internet Marketers over the years ... it was about time I gave them some attention.

Sidenote - Hey ... It's not like you have to sell like Corey Rudl or John Reese to be part of it.
Just that there's no hand holding, here ... experienced only need apply. ;)


Friday, April 15, 2005


Updated ClickBank Hoplink FAQ ...

Although ClickBank's payment processing and affiliate network services have been a favorite of Online Marketers for years ... CB has been the subject of many issues regarding affiliate referrals ... more specifically, not being credited for referrals ... either due to 'hijacking' (sales stolen by other affiliates), losing credit by having their cookies compromised by spyware programs and filters, or not using 'legal' redirects.

A recent announcement by the folks at ClickBank may clear up the aforementioned issues ... well, hopefully. ;)


  1. What is a "hoplink"?

    Hoplinks are what Clickbank uses to track customer referrals from ClickBank affiliates to Clickbank vendors.

  2. How do I make a hoplink?

    To refer a customer from affiliate to vendor, the customer needs to pass through the following link:

    To make it work, replace AFFILIATE with the affiliate nickname and VENDOR with the vendor nickname.

  3. Where can I find vendors to link to?

    For an updated list of vendors visit the ClickBank Marketplace.

  4. Can I get paid for referrals without using hoplinks?

    No. The referral needs to pass through our link in order for us to track the referral.

  5. With hoplinks does the first or last affiliate get the commission?

    When a purchase is made the commission is awarded to the last affiliate who referred the customer to that particular vendor.

  6. For how long do you track each referral?

    After you make a referral, you will earn a commission if the customer purchases any product from that site up to 60 days later.

  7. What percentage of ClickBank sales are made by referral?

    Among our top selling products, over 75% of sales are generated by affiliates. Overall affiliates generate over 50% of all ClickBank sales.

  8. Can vendors cheat affiliates by "undoing" the commission on a sale, or by pretending that a sale was refunded?

    No. Unlike other popular affiliate solutions, we handle both the sale and the awarding of commissions. The only way to undo a commission is to actually undo (refund) the entire order.

  9. If I refer a customer to one vendor site, and they purchase several of their products, will I get a commission on each sale?


  10. If I refer a customer to one vendor site, but the customer ends up buying products offered by a different site, will I get a commission on the sale?


  11. I don't want the customers I refer to see my full hoplink url. What is the easiest way to "cloak" my hoplinks?

    The secret is to send the customer to a url of your own that quietly redirects them through the correct hoplink. We recommend using the html below. Don't forget to replace each occurrence of AFFILIATE and VENDOR with the correct value!

Read the rest, here:

Much success,



For every Pro ... there is a potential Con.

Here's what my dear friend Adrian Ling ( has to say about the update ...

I guess you would have seen Clickbank's new hoplink announcement,

ClickBank says that this may provide higher conversion rates
because the new hoplink will not be blocked by ad filters.

However, some people claimed that the new hoplink is slower
and even resulted in lower sales when compared to the trusty old
one. See this thread:

Friday, April 08, 2005


Search Engines, Search Engines, Search Engines. By Andy Jenkins.

Here's an article authored by my friend, and fellow 'New Jersian', Andy Jenkins ... co author (with Audrey Kerwood) of Online Store Profits (formerly Yahoo Store Builder), and co author (with SEO Expert, Brad Fallon) of Stomping The Search Engines.

Needless to say, Andy knows a thing or two about ...

Search Engines, Search Engines, Search Engines.

By Andy Jenkins

Search Engines, Search Engines, Search Engines.

Ever feel like your income revolves around them, their moods, and their latest corporate take over?

I feel your pain.

Long ago I decided that if such a beast was going to have such an impact on my business, I better figure out how to harness that beast in short order.

I guess my Account at the Bank of Karma was ready to pay dividends, because just about the time I figured out some immutable truths about Search Engine Optimization, I meet Brad Fallon, who had essentially figured out the same things. And one of the capital, essential truths about optimizing ANY site for ANY keyword in ANY search engine is this: "You are not competing against the search engines - you're competing against your competition."

Duh? Yes - Duh.

When I get emails from people that ask me what their keyword density should be, or how many keywords they should have in their meta tags, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. They just don't get it.

You see, you can spend your life chasing the formulas that make search engines work the way that they do only to have them make ONE little change to their code that will render your own research completely irrelevant. That's why most people don't mess around with Search Engines. How foolish.

What if Ben Franklin didn't mess around with that Kite in a lightning storm? If he didn't, right now you'd be reading this newsletter by gas light on a piece of tan parchment. You can buy 1000 eBooks about search, keyword density, meta tags, doorway pages, re-directs, etc. and you will be no closer to getting a good position in a search engine than you were when you had no idea what Google was.

Here's the deal. This is what I know to be true. This is what I base my business search marketing strategies on.

Ready? This is how you do it:

Riddle me this Batman: What never lies and always tells the truth? Search Listings.

That's right, if you want to know what you should do on and off of your site to get great positions in a search engine, then look at what sites are currently ranking on the first 2 pages - and DO WHAT THEY DO. You see, there must be something about what's happening "on page" and "off page" with those sites that cause the Search Engines to like them. So, it would stand to reason that all you need to do to get a slice of your own top rankings IS to do what they do, right? RIGHT!

What if I told you that it works? That and 10 bucks will get you a cup of latte at Starbucks. What if I proved it to you? Fine.

Search Google for "Wall Tapestries". Then Search the same term on Yahoo and MSN. I'll save you the trouble - depending on the day, I'm either #1 or #2.

That one was easy. Here's a tough one: Search Google for "Build Yahoo Store". Yep, that's me again, #1 on Google. Ohhh - look at that, I'm even ahead of Yahoo (Yes, that's THE Yahoo) for that one. (Grin)

And finally, search Google for "Coolest Guy on the Planet". Then, just for fun, search Google for "2nd Coolest Guy on the Planet". Heh.

The point? I have NO idea what the Google, Yahoo, or MSN mathematical algorithm looks like. But I do know how to observe a site and make educated guesses about why it's effective in the Search Engines. And I use SEO Elite to do my observation.

You see, this tool will allow you to gather the most important bits of data that we know search engines consider when making a ranking judgment. Using this technology, you will be able to see how other sites link to your competitors - So you can see what percentages of keywords to use in your own links. You will be able to see how many words are contained in a link that points to a competitor's site - So you can know how many words you should use in your own links. You will be able to see what Themes of sites are linking to your competitors - So you will know what sorts of sites to get to link to YOU. You will be able to see WHO is linking to your competitors. And just for Giggles, if they are linking to your competitors, do you think that they might link to your site too?

Just guessing, but I'm gonna say "Yes".

SEO Elite will show you how many links you'll need, what the page rank those links ought to be, what industries those links should come from, and to top it all off, where you can start to get those links for yourself. It also includes some other useful functions, like a Rank Checker.

No more crawling through the search engine manually to find out how those last titles tag change affected your results. It includes an auto-mailer so you can easily email sites that your competitors are getting links to (amazing). It will even tell you what IP address links are coming from, so you can see if your competitor is gaming the system.

True Story: The creator of SEO Elite allowed Brad Fallon and I access to his latest, unreleased version to do some research.

We found that Google has quietly shifted it's algorithm to include Latent Semantic Indexing, A Site Wide Link Trap, and a Natural Keyword Occurrence Filter. We figured this out on November 22nd, 2004, and announced it to our apprentice group that week.

You didn't see any posts in any Search Forums about this until late January.

While everyone else was loosing their mind trying to figure out what happened, we had real data that proved to us what was going on and we made adjustments accordingly.

The result? Well, we're still on the first page when we want to be. And now that version of SEO Elite has been released to the public

STOP chasing the Math. STOP chasing formulas. Just STOP wasting your time.

The only way that you can ever know how to optimize your site for both on page and off page factors is to know WHY a search engine "likes" a site.

And the only way to do that is to have a tool that will let you "SEE" what a search engine "SEES".

And that tool is SEO Elite.

If you do search engine optimization, you need it.

That's not a sales pitch, it's not a plug, it's just the way it is.

After all, Google says that I'm the "Coolest Guy on the Planet" - so I must be telling the truth.

And if you don't believe me, you can always ask the "2nd Coolest Guy on the Planet".

Oh, wait. Check it out : SEO Elite

Till next time!

Andy Jenkins


Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Traffic Secrets (John Reese) Relaunch Special Offer

Yeah ... OK ... I know.

You've probably just finished mulling through the dozens of Traffic Secrets Relaunch emails that have been relentlessly bombarding your Inbox since 9 AM, EST, this morning. ;)

That's why I've waited for the smoke to clear to make my offer ... believe me, it was worth the wait ... I assure you.

Let's just make a couple of things clear, first.

1) I already own the Traffic Secrets course.

I bet 95% of the marketers that have courted you this fine day can't honestly make that statement.

2) I knew John Reese long before he put out Traffic Secrets.

I'm not just jumping on the bandwagon ... I actually know this guy, and that makes a world of difference. John's talents are nothing new to me.

But that's not the only thing that makes my offer stand out, of course ... you want something extra, don't you?


I'm about to offer you a special set of bonuses that have been developed by one of John's premier students ... Alice Seba.

But wait a second ... isn't Alice Seba one of the most admired and trusted members of the Work at Home Mom community?

Yep ... one and the same.

And the unique bonuses that Alice Seba is offering are just what you'd expect from the Net's premier Work At Home Mom ... a step by step roadmap to utilizing Traffic Secrets, based on her own real life experiences.

Honestly ... this is the most useful bonus you're going to find, today ... so toss those other emails in the cyber circular file ... and let Alice Seba teach you how to make the most of this potentially life changing investment.

Alice Seba's Traffic Secrets Special Offer


Mike Merz


FYI ... there are a few surprises waiting for you on Alice's Traffic Secrets site that I have not mentioned here. But then ... it wouldn't be much of a surprise if I told you, would it? ;)


I can't believe I forgot to mention this ...

Alice is offering a $200 rebate to her first 20 customers ... I noticed that her TS page shows (at 7:30 AM, EST, Wednesday) the offer as being live ... but I'm sure the number of available rebates is in the single digits by now ... grab this terrific offer while it lasts!


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