The dark side of affiliate marketing.
Before you consider starting an affiliate program, you need to understand that you’ll be dealing with affiliate whores; and not all whores are created equal. In-fact many of Affiliate Marketers will do some pretty sketchy things to score a few bucks; because of this, it’s very important to make sure you define a solid Terms of Service for your affiliate program.
An affiliate program without a terms of service, will be targeted by the dirty affiliates who will try to spam, scam and ultimately ruin your brand with pop-ups, pop-unders and countless other nefarious “advertising” techniques. You should also consider finding an Affiliate Manager who can help you police the affiliates.
One very popular technique evil affiliates will use (if you don’t clearly define it in a terms of service) is called Traffic Stealing. This technique is used by setting up a domain name with virtually the same content of your own website, and using intense SEO practices to get their version of the website to rank above the actual website (damn they’re clever). For an example, check out Amazon’s Affiliate Terms of Service.