Google has sent an email to Android app developers the other day with updates to Google play policy. You can read the email at Android Police.
There is one section (pictured above) that directly affects affiliates.
Here are my guesses on how this will affect mobile affiliates.
- Utility campaigns will be hit the hardest. The biggest offenders were Mobogenie, Cleanmaster, and anti-virus applications. The reason is system alerts are a high converting tactic used by affiliate marketers.John could be playing a game on his phone and there would be a pop up ad. Oh no, it says that he might have a virus on his phone and he needs to install a certain app to get rid of it.You can see how effective this tactic is, and why Google hates it.He probably doesn’t have any Viruses, and it hurts Android’s reputation when people are seeing they might have viruses everyday.
- Redirection. John visits a website and he’s automatically redirected to the Google Play store to download an app. The problem is he didn’t want to visit that page in the first place.
This policy only affects Google Play store so it’s still possible that some advertisers will switch to having users download the file directly. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming month.
Typically there are three reactions to these kind of changes.
- Ignore the rules and try to find ways to circumvent them with shady tactics. I highly advise against doing this because you’re putting the advertiser at risk of getting their app banned. If you get caught then you’re not going to get paid your commissions.
- Adapt to the rules. Change your marketing tactics to become more compliant. With these changes, everyone’s on the same playing field. Sit down and brainstorm.
- Switch niches. There are plenty of other niches such as mobile content offers, adult dating, etc. that you can promote on cell phones.
Androids have always had a bad reputation concerning their apps when compared to iPhones. They allowed apps to place ads in your notification bar, place icons on your home screen, and have pop ups while you’re in an app. Google had to make this change to improve the user experience.
How do I feel as an affiliate? Nothing really.
The nature of being an affiliate marketing is to push the fucking edge so we can compete and increase our ROI. As a result of this, the Overseers will change the rules to benefit their consumers.
The FTC slapped Diet advertisers, Facebook banned most dating affiliates, and now Google is updating their policies.
That’s why when you’re making money, you have to seize the momentum and push it. Policy changes can happen anytime and crush your earnings.
Good affiliates and advertisers will find ways to adapt and keep making money.
Adapt or die. Adapt or 9 – 5.