Mention “affiliate marketing” and many folks automatically will associate the term with Amazon.com’s Associates Program. Around since July 1996, the program uses specially formatted links on affiliate sites that drive traffic to the section of Amazon most relevant to the merchandise being sold. For providing the link, merchants and other service providers can earn up to 10.5 percent commission.
Inarguably, the ever-swelling ranks of affiliates — now more than 900,000 strong — speak to Amazon’s program’s institutional status in the world of online affiliate marketing. Institutional, yes. The highest profile, yes. An innovator? Of course. But the inventor and founding pioneer of Internet affiliate programs? No, not by a long shot.
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