A few months ago, we were talking about the growing value
of "passed links" or "earned links." These are links that to things that others passed on to you, via email or social networking services like Facebook and Twitter. As more people have been using these services, the value of such links have grown as traffic generators. And yet, some have just realized that Amazon doesn't reward affiliates for using such links
. It's not difficult to understand how this came about, but it certainly seems like the type of thing that the company should reconsider. Basically, Amazon's original affiliate program was so that you could send people to Amazon from your own site
. In order to become an affiliate your site had to be approved. But if you're just passing around links, then that has little or nothing to do with your site, and thus Amazon doesn't pay such referral fees. I would imagine that Amazon is also quite worried about potential fraud.
But given the growing popularity of things like Twitter and Facebook, it seems like Amazon might want to reconsider this policy, and recognize that if someone promotes a book via these services, they're equally as deserving of the affiliate referral fee than if they had simply posted the link on their own site.