Top 5 Reasons An Amazon Associates Account Will Get Banned

Do you know, or have you heard of anyone, who has been banned from the Amazon Associates program?

It’s not funny ! This has never happened to me personally. But I have known a few people in my internet marketing circles over the years who have had this happen. And it is not very easy to be reinstated on this same account. It is better to NEVER get banned.

It can be very complicated to read the Amazon Associates Terms of Service and understand everything. Here are some links if you don’t know them…

Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement (this one is pretty straightforward)

Amazon Associates Program Policies (Have a Caffeinated Beverage Before You Start Reading This)

Have you ever taken the time to read all of this?

The 5 Most Overlooked Mistakes (EASY to Avoid)

I see a lot of affiliate websites, and even blogs, that violate these 5 simple rules. If Amazon did a manual review of sites that violate these rules, it would be an easy decision for them to ban this account…

1. Identify yourself as an associate

The Operating Agreement clearly states the following… You must clearly state the following, or any other substantially similar statement previously authorized under this Agreement, on your site or any other place where Amazon may allow your posting or any other use of content: “As an Amazon Associate, I earn money from qualifying purchases. »

A substantially similar statement I’ve used on all of my sites for years looks like this… “[SiteName.com] participates in the Amazon Services LLC Affiliate Program , an affiliate advertising program designed to enable sites to earn advertising fees  HYPERLINK “https://fouineteau.fr/bigspy-loutil-despionnage-publicitaire-des-reseaux-sociaux-pour-une-campagne-marketing-reussie/” by advertising and linking to products on Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Note: We strongly suggest using the long version of the disclaimer, especially if you are using the Amazon Associate link tools or a WordPress plugin like AAWP to insert affiliate links that may include Amazon logos. This is because if you include “Amazon brands” (e.g. the Amazon logo or the Amazon Prime logo) on your site or webpage, the last sentence MUST be included (Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon .com, Inc. or its affiliates).

A disclaimer like this MUST appear on any page that links to Amazon with your affiliate tag. To make things easier, I’ve always placed the entire disclaimer, verbatim, in the footer of the site. I’ve seen a lot of sites that only hide it on their disclaimer page and put a link to the disclaimer page in their footer, but I’m not entirely convinced that this be considered sufficient. I prefer to play it safe and place the full text in the footer so it appears on every page of my site. Some affiliates even go so far as to display the disclaimer at the very top (or above the fold) of every page that includes Amazon affiliate links , just to make sure readers see it before clicking. Amazon.

2. Amazon star ratings and reviews

Here’s what Amazon’s current star rating policy says.

» You will not display or otherwise use any of our customer reviews or star ratings, in whole or in part, on your site unless you have obtained a link to this customer review or star rating through the PA API and that you comply with the PA API requirements described in the License. »

In other words, you CANNOT use or display Amazon star ratings on your own site or blog unless obtained directly through the Product Advertising API. The only exception I can think of is to mention in your text something like this… “at the time this post was written, [this product] had an average rating of over 4 out of 5 stars from over 500 reviewers “.

The other way around this rule is to create your own star rating system. Many base their own rankings on the current Amazon rankings. As long as you don’t say so, you should be fine. Personally, I prefer to avoid star ratings on my sites. It’s easier to place a CTA button (super easy with AmaLinks Pro) in the post containing the text, See ratings and reviews on Amazon. This achieves your ultimate goal… getting the reader to click through to Amazon!

And what about those reviews on Amazon…?

You may not copy and paste reviews from Amazon verbatim and post them on your website. Amazon’s Terms of Service clearly state that you cannot do this. I made this mistake myself when I first started affiliate with Amazon. I had the common misconception that it was okay to do this as long as I put a link to the source (the Amazon product page).

It was a big no-no! One way to use Amazon reviews to improve your content is to read a bunch of reviews and paraphrase them on your site. Rewrite, in your own words, the aspects and features of the product you are promoting, whether good or bad (for or against). In this case, you can reveal that this information is based on real reviews from Amazon customers.

So how do other plugins or tools get away with showing star ratings…? I’m glad you asked the question! I wrote another full article about it right here, Can I display Amazon star ratings on my website or blog? In this article, I show you exactly how another “leader” plugin displays stars and why it puts your Amazon Associates account at risk of being banned.

3. Amazon Brand Guidelines

This one is quite difficult to understand and apprehend. This also happens to be one of the mistakes I made when I first started using the Amazon Associates program. Fortunately, I never got caught and was able to correct my mistakes. Here is a link to the Trademark Guidelines for Amazon Associates .

In short… you are not permitted to use any Amazon trademarks or logos on your site except as specifically provided to you by them. In other words, you cannot Google an image of the Amazon logo, then upload that image to your site and use it. But this is where it gets confusing… This is stated in the Amazon Associates policies under the “Trademark Guidelines” section…

  1. YOU ARE PERMITTED TO USE THE AMAZON MARKS ONLY BY DISPLAYING THEM ON YOUR SITE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ANNOUNCING THE AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCTS ON AN AMAZON SITE, WITH A CORRESPONDING SPECIAL LINK TO THAT SITE.

But just below that, we can read this…

  1. We will provide you with one or more images of the Amazon marks for you to use. You may not modify any Amazon Mark in any way. For example, you may not change the aspect ratio, color or font of an Amazon mark, or add or remove elements of an Amazon mark.

Read the rest of the Trademark Guidelines section carefully , as there are very specific rules to follow if you display an Amazon trademark on your website.

An example of when displaying Amazon marks is permitted is when you place an Amazon widget on your site that features the Amazon logo. Another example is the approved “Buy Now” buttons that Amazon provides. Alert: It looks like they haven’t updated this page or these buttons since 1996! Many affiliates still use them…

In Summary: There are very few Amazon trademarks or logos that we are permitted to use as affiliates. To remain compliant, we may ONLY use those that Amazon provides to us.

4. Amazon Product Image Guidelines

The display of Amazon product images is permitted ONLY if the images are pulled directly from the Amazon API. You are NOT allowed to host Amazon product images on your site, which means you cannot save an Amazon product image to your computer and then manually upload it to WordPress.

You may use other images in your article (eg your own images or images provided by the manufacturer), but you may not hyperlink to such images using your Amazon Affiliate Tag. It is suggested to link images to Amazon using your affiliate tag, but you can only do this with product images accessed directly from the Amazon API.

Here is a link to an Amazon Associate Resource Center page on how to use images.

The following image search guidelines are copied and pasted from this page in the Amazon Associates Resource Center…

And for specific affiliate needs, you need to be aware of what is and is not allowed for promotional products and graphics. For the Associates Program, these guidelines are detailed in the Operating Agreement and there are various opportunities to obtain relevant photos:

Create an HTML file in Associates Central: Search or browse for products in the “Quick Links” or “Browse for Product” sections of the Associates Central program home page, enter keywords or product numbers in the search for the “Product Links” page, or use the search functions or the “Get Banner” buttons on the “Promotions” pages to access linking options that allow you to generate images in HTML format.

Use the SiteStripe tool: Get the image code directly from the product pages by clicking Image on the SiteStripe toolbar.

Install the Link Builder Plugin for WordPress: This official plugin allows WordPress users to generate preview images (and more) from Amazon, without having to leave the WordPress editor.

Implement Product Advertising API: The API is an advanced option that provides programmatic access to, among other things, image URLs .

5. Amazon Price Display Guidelines

You may NEVER display pricing information for Amazon products on pages that link to Amazon using your affiliate tag, EXCEPT when accessing actual current prices directly from Amazon’s API.

This is another very common mistake beginners make.

The reason why Amazon does not allow this is quite simple to understand. Suppose you write an article and you post a certain price for an article. Well… the prices on Amazon are constantly changing! If one of your readers expects a certain price based on what you’ve posted on your site, then they go to Amazon and see a different price…this can be considered a form of false advertising.

There are a few easy ways around this problem. One of them is to place a text link that says something like: “Check the current price on Amazon”. An even better strategy is to place this text inside a beautiful and attractive CTA button.

Questions and answers

1) Can you use the word “Amazon” on the buttons?

YES as long as you don’t use the Amazon logo or a font that looks like the Amazon logo.

You can also use words like Check the price.

2) Do all images need to be pulled from Amazon’s API?

Yes, they must be pulled from the Amazon API.

You cannot copy the url directly from Amazon. This is a trademark violation. You need to get the image from the API or using Sitestripe.

3) What happens if we get an image of a seller’s site that looks exactly like Amazon’s?

You can of course use an image from the seller, but if it is identical, Amazon may not know the source.

Stay compliant and don’t get banned!

Whether you are an experienced Amazon Affiliate and already know all of this, or perhaps your brand new Affiliate, it is always good to review all of this information and stay up to date. The five areas listed above are just the few that are overlooked and the ones that people tend to violate the most. Amazon’s Terms of Service contain many other rules and requirements.

We hope you find the information in this post helpful in avoiding getting banned from Amazon Associates.

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