The following is what Franklin Banker of BBL Internet Media had to say in response the the question, What is wrong with affiliate marketing and how can it be improved?
I have been an affiliate marketer since 1998. I have considerable experience and I market online with websites only, no email (my choice) using my domain www.bblmedia.com.
One of the practices I really hate, and I see some affiliates doing it, is cross linking their affiliate sites in unrelated markets. Affiliates who, like me, use SEO to promote content enhanced affiliate sites should never cross link in unrelated areas.
If I ask another webmaster for a link, I always look for a related market niche to the niche I am working in. The search engines like that better, and the results are less confusion for the surfer and improved listings for the entrepreneur who is doing the cross linking.
Too often I see affiliates trying to promote their gambling website on a retail food site, or on a health site. The fact is that some of these spammers are just doing mass linking with software programs.
I believe this is a shady practice and should stop. If affiliates who use SEO as their primary source of traffic will practice ethical business standards, the overall reputation of affiliate marketing will improve in the eyes of everyone online.
Affiliates should use common sense and think like a business owner, and stop trying to make the quick buck. Over the long haul, a higher level of ethical behavior will serve their success rather than failure in marketing online.