25 Reasons to Get Banned from Amazon's Affiliate Program
One of the most painful experience you can have when you are promoting Amazon affiliate program is when your account being banned by Amazon due to breaching one of their terms of services (TOS).
While there are so many grey areas in Amazon TOS, it's good to know the main reasons people get kicked out from Amazon affiliate program so that we could avoid them at our best level.
So here are the most common reasons why you account can get banned/suspended which you want to avoid and not risking your account.
- The most common reason Amazon suspend your account (and I believe many of us are already familiar with) is when you are not generating 3 sales in 180 days from the date joining the program. So want to make sure your website has started to generate decent traffic before applying as an affiliate with Amazon. I know, newbies are eager to start earning as fast as possible, but you need to bear this term in mind before even put forward your application.
- Using images from Amazon and uploaded them on your website. To certain extent, you not even allowed to have a screenshot of the product and upload the image to your site. You need to use Amazon image urls or get these images via their API keys. I have seen people still uploaded images from Amazon site to their website and display them in their product promotion. If Amazon do their audit check on your site and find this, you could be suspended or banned.
- Section 6(v) and (w) in their terms prohibits you from link shortening or link cloaking. So if you have an Amazon link and use bitly to shorten it, it's not okay because Amazon wants to be able to see the page that sent that traffic and also the user should know when they hover over the link exactly where they're going to go
- Section 6(u) of the Associates Program Participation Requirements (“Participation Requirements”) says that you're not allowed to use your own Amazon links yourself or to encourage your friends, relatives or anybody you know to use that link to make a purchase. If you do that and you get caught doing that, that's a surefire way to get yourself kicked out of the Amazon program.
- Some affiliates got banned because they put at the top of their website just a simple sentence that said by using our affiliate links you help to support this website. You are not allowed to encourage your site visitors to use the links on your site to make a purchase as a way to support the website.
- The operating agreement section 5 which requires affiliates to display Affiliate Disclosure on your website and it has to be visible wherever that you're gonna have a link. It's actually a good idea to post this like on the sidebar or footer so it'll appear on every page on your site. Basically the statement says that you are Amazon affiliate and you are earning commission when the visitor making a purchase through the link on your site.
- Section one in the preamble says you have to use your link on a publicly available site. If you have a membership site, you can't have affiliate links on there or you sell a course and in the password protected section, you can't have affiliate links there too because those areas are not publicly available.
- Next one, you are not allowed to use Amazon's name within the clickable link. Grey area and there are many interpretations on this term. I would suggest use the generic CTA like "Check It Out", "Buy Now" button.
- You are not allowed to quote in part or in whole a customer review. For example, if you're writing a product review, you want to consolidate a lot of the common issues or the things that all the customers really like or whatever, just be careful don't do any quoting e.g. Carol from Indiana says this is a great product so-and-so. (Note: I had been banned for this reason LOL)
- You can't say that you are representing Amazon. You cannot say something that you are Amazon or lead people to believe that you are.
- You cannot use affiliate links in emails. If you have an email list and you want to include affiliate links you need to send them to your website and not directly to Amazon site with your affiliate link embedded in the link.
- Likewise you can't have affiliate links in PDF s or in ebooks .
- You can't use any affiliate links in sites directed children under 13 years of age. So if your kids have YouTube channel and they're reviewing toys for kids and you want to have affiliate links in there, it's not allowed. How you do that is something you need to figure out.
- No posting star ratings whether as a display or even as words. Again, another gray area as we have seen people do give star rating when they do Amazon product review and the site are still active till today. Just be careful!
- You can't list prices from amazon.com in your review. And you cannot post affiliate links on a website that you do not control such as in forum. You cannot post affiliate links on a website that you do not control such as on a forum or from website that somebody else own.
- Section 6(r) - You can't divert any links from somebody else's website. So you shouldn't try to use plug-in that does that. There are plugins capable of doing that.
- Section 6(o) - You cannot put an affiliate link in a pop-up unless that pop-up is directly related to content on your website. That was a little confusing but it's there.
- Section 6(q) - You cannot cause amazon to open in a browser without someone when clicking on a link e.g. using a plugin that force visitor to be directed to Amazon site when they do certain action on you site.
- 1(g) - You cannot use Amazon or any misspelling of it such as AMZN in the URL of your website. There are a lot of better domain name that represent your business. Just avoid something that has Amazon (in words or sounds) in the url.
- Section 6(s) - You cannot generate clicks using any sort of software or robots. This is quite clear. If there are people doing this, I am not sure the motive.
- Section 6(g) - You cannot provide a reward or any sort of incentive for people using your link to make purchase. This is clear cut.
- Section 6(x) - upon Amazon request, you failed to provide written certification to Amazon that you have complied with all of their terms.
- Section 1(a) and (b) prohibits any violent or sexually explicit website. This is quite straight forward.
- In the trademark section 9 says you cannot use any trademarks of Amazon or any of its affiliates. (My interpretation is that you are not allowed to use your trademark when you are promoting Amazon as those products you are promoting are not yours).
- In the trademark section 8 says using Amazon's trademark without their permission is not allowed. So if you are using Amazon logo on your site, you should get their permission first. Again, there are many people who are doing this and they are still there. Grey!
So there you go. Hopefully these lists would help you a bit to make a self-audit on your Amazon affiliate site and see if you are 100% compliance to Amazon TOS.
I know it's too much to chew at once. You should bookmark the post for your future reference.
My last words,