Affiliate marketing $7B exit: Insights on what makes an affiliate biz sellable. Shopify joins Libra: Zero transactional costs for Store owners? 103M subscribers YouTuber bashes a guru: Is Jake Paul’s course a scam?

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AFFILIATE MARKETING

“Affiliate marketing just went enterprise” – A $7B acquisition

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We found an interesting story shared by Amanda Orson which shows how affiliate marketing can be managed as a real, long term and sustainable business. We aren’t talking small time either – this is about 10-figure exits and IPOs.

The story revolves around Credit Karma, an affiliate marketing business that operates in the fintech industry. The company currently employs around 1k people and has been at the leading edge of a large group of start-ups in the industry.

How do they make the bread? Content + affiliate sales. They offer users a service to get their credit score, meaning people don’t have to buy it somewhere else. Based on this score, the company then proposes some fin services, from which they generate affiliate moneyz.

The big step: The company recently considered going public. Yeah, affiliate biz IPO baby! However, after looking at the likes of Uber and WeWork, they decided on an exit instead. We’re talking about a $7B deal here!

Who’s the buyer? Intuit, a company operating in the same sector.

Why are they doing it? Other than the Credit Karma business itself, Intuit is interested in the mountain of fin data the company has on consumers.

Oh yeah! Data is the catch! Consumer data is definitely an asset that makes a company more appetizing to buyers!

The Crew’s Take: Let’s briefly highlight just what made this affiliate business so valuable: It offers a unique service through content (The score calculation), a brand (The company was born in 2007) and data!

Some good points to think about when planning your next aff biz exit!


GOOGLE

Stop wasting budgets on close variants and same meaning search terms with this script

Every PPC marketer is well aware of Google’s extension of so-called “same meaning” close variants to exact, phrase and broad match modifiers (BMM).

How did it affect the PPC industry? Apart from plurals, stemmings, misspellings and changes to word order, implied words and synonyms in search terms also started triggering phrase and BMM.

What did it mean for PPC marketers? Phrase and BMMs started unnecessarily and inefficiently spending on close variants and same-meaning keywords, driving the ROAS down for most marketers.

But there’s still something that can be done: A script that provides a stopgap workaround, tidying you over until Google comes to their senses.

This script automatically applies relevant phrase match negatives based on data from search term reports.

It downloads your Search queries report and sorts out queries that meet the following criteria:

  • The query contains a BMM or phrase keyword from a different ad group. This enables it to identify where it “should have” matched instead.
  • The query is not a substring of any of the other keywords in that ad group. This prevents the script blocking ads from showing in multiple keywords per ad group situation.

It then applies these substring of keywords as a phrase negatives to the query’s original ad group match as selected by Google and seen in your search term reports.

It may sound complicated, but what this essentially does is make sure that search queries are matched to the most relevant keyword from the right ad groups.

These search terms then won’t be hitting loosely related keywords deemed by Google to have the same meaning or intent regardless of their spellings, function words, plurals, etc.

Check out the script and instructions to set it up here.


SPONSORED

📈 Outgrow Your Marketing Limits with Highly Interactive Content

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Do you know what is one of the most successful conversion-boosting techniques ever used? Interaction!

It’s been long proven that interactive content like calculators, quizzes, polls, surveys, etc. are some of the best ways to boost your conversions all while learning valuable information about your prospects! It’s no wonder all those funnels have quizzes, eh?

And it’s now super-easy to create any of that content thanks to Outgrow!

With just a few clicks, you can choose the type of interactive content you want, customize it and publish it without any tech-knowledge. Smooth and simple!

You can use ready-made templates in countless verticals like e-commerce, auto, constructions, beauty & health, finance, funnels, gaming, fitness and more than we can name in this limited space here.

Are you new to interactive content? No worries. Outgrow can give you tons of ideas you can use tailored to your industry. Just check out their idea generator here, it’s free!

It breaks up ideas based on the industry and category. Submit your email and you get ideas based on each stage of the funnel.

Maybe it’s time you give it a go with Outgrow!


SEO

New Google SERPs are now live in Europe

In an effort to better comply with the EU Commission’s antitrust actions in Shopping and Local search, Google has finally rolled out an updated version of the SERPs featuring branded directory buttons.

It’s not quite there throughout the entire EU yet, but the new layout has gone live in the UK, Belgium, Spain, Greece, and France.

Here’s an example showing directory links above the map and local pack.

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This change prompts a big question though: How are the displayed directories chosen by Google?

Comparison shopping engines and Google Shopping bid against one another for placement in Product Listings (PLAs). However, there’s no comparable “sponsored” label in the directory box or carousel above.

Well, for now, it’s safe to assume that Google is algorithmically choosing which directories to display. In the example above, clicking on the directory box links takes users to a category page in the case of Yell, but a business profile page in the case of Cylex.

Other searches (“dentists, London” for example) show a carousel with multiple, alternative directories.

Also, in some cases, these directories appear Just below the map on the first page of the organic results. In other cases, they do not.

Is this workaround acceptable to the EU Commission? Whatever is going on with Google SERPs in the EU, what remains to be seen is whether the EU Commission deem this as acceptable. This will partly depend on how much meaningful traffic these links are driving for the publishers.

If that happens, this change might revive the fortunes of publishers who saw declining traffic as a result of zero-click searches taking away their user focus and engagement.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

  • BUSINESS: Shopify decided to join FB’s crypto Libra. This could mean lower transaction cost to the 1M merchants that operate on Shopify.
  • GOOGLE: Search engines, including Google, were found to be indexing links to private WhatsApp groups. Well, your WhatsApp groups might not be as secure as you think.
  • BROWSER: Apple’s Safari browser will soon stop allowing HTTPS certificates with more than 13 months of validity. Users visiting sites with such certificates will see a privacy warning.
  • E-COMMERCE: Shopify shared a list of hottest e-commerce products for 2020. Okay, you won’t find the next $100k scaler on a popular blog, but this list might be a good source of inspiration.
  • CORONAVIRUS: An overview of how the outbreak is influencing the e-commerce industry.
  • CHROME: According to this Forbes post, Chrome 80’s new feature, ScrollToTextFragment, might be harmful for users’ privacy.

BRAIN TEASER

A man is born in 1946 and dies in 1947, yet he was 86 years old. How is that possible?

You can find the solution by clicking here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

I will teach you to be rich…maybe

YouTube, Instagram and this whole Influencer thing birthed some new content formats that we truly love. Two of them particularly stand out to us.

The first one is actually seeing teenagers come from nothing to start talking about businesses, e-commerce, why college is a waste of time, quitting the 9-to-5 to travel the world and making cheddar sleeping! You can do it all with their course, obviously!

They’re so funny eh? Some of them are really worthy of the Fake Guru Oscars.

However, jumping to the second content format we’re really loving these days… Seeing other influencers expose these self-proclaimed goo-rooos!

So, while we’re on the subject, we jump into this video by PewDiePie bashing Jake Paul’s latest business venture: Teaching kids to make tons and tons and tons of bread using the information he sells.

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Maybe you don’t know Jake Paul, but you’ll probably have heard of his more famous brother, Logan Paul.

Anyway, it’s hilarious to see PewDiePie highlighting just how funny these gurus’ pitches are if you just stop for a moment and analyze what they say!

On the other hand, we don’t know if Jake Paul’s program is effective or not and we’re not here to judge, but after watching PewDiePie’s video, it will be impossible to take this guy seriously!


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