In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon. The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
DeMers recommends researching competitor link strategy in order to see where they are building links and the type of links being used. Likewise, you can research competitors’ social following in order to mirror it, or even engage directly with competitors online. DeMers states that you can gain SEO momentum by watching what your competitors do, seeing what works and doesn’t, then using that as inspiration. For example, look at their content strategy and see what kind of topics they are writing about, which ones get the most comments or social shares, and how readers are reacting to the content.
At times, things can go wrong, and it is good to be aware of the issues that might occur. In this chapter, you will learn about fraudulent affiliates, whether the automatic approval of affiliates really is a time-saver, what cooking stuffing and trademark violations are, and about affiliate scams. Motivating affiliates can become an issue for merchants, which is why you will also learn about tactics that can help you motivate your affiliates.
Online marketing is cost-effective, it’s easier to reach your audience and you know exactly who you’re reaching. You have the ability to optimize campaigns and websites if they are not performing the way you want them to. You can clearly see how many people have opened your emails and clicked a link. You can even target who you want to when you want to. Stop wasting time and money on traditional marketing and go digital!