Amazon.com has recently changed their affiliate policy regarding promotions using paid search. They are to cease paying referral fees to associates who promote amazon.com through paid search. Meaning that amazon.com will not provide commission payouts anymore to associates who promote their affiliate links through search engines.
This policy is said to be effective as of 1st May 2009 and applies only for amazon associate programs in North American and Canadian region.
In short, as of now, you can’t use ppc ( pay-per-click ) direct linking method to promote amazon products and earn referral fees from amazon.com or amazon.ca. However, if you are an associate for the other amazon international sites program such as for UK (amazon.co.uk), Germany (amazon.de), France (amazon.fr), Japan (amazon.co.jp) or China (amazon.cn) you still are able to promote their products through paid search. The only drawback is that you need to be able to promote in their languages. So, if you speak all those languages, you shouldn’t have any problems. So go ahead and do your thing.
But what if you choose to still promote amazon.com products using paid search (ppc)?
A straight answer would be to use your own landing pages hosted on a domain other than amazon.com, amazon.ca or endless.com.
You can setup a website or blog and put your promotional efforts there and then put up a ppc campaign using your own landing page with your referral links on its pages.
Just make sure that you add quality content to your landing page or throughout your website to add value to your visitors, not just a mere simple and straightforward ad only page.
Write useful content such as related articles, tips & tricks, or discuss benefits of products, solutions to known problems users are facing or tips to avoid mistakes and much more.
While your at it, consider setting up your landing pages also for the amazon international sites (provided you manage to adjust to their local languages). It’s a lesson learned and who knows if and when the international sites also pull their plugs from paid search, you’ll be ready. Just a thought.