December 27, 2013

The Biggest Stories of 2013


Just like you, we’re looking forward to the new year and all of the exciting things that lie in store for affiliate marketers in 2014. It’s going to be a great year.


But we also like to reminisce (please don’t judge us!). So, before we close the books on 2013, we spent some time going through the 52 issues of the 2013 editions of our Affiliate Marketing Digest weekly newsletter.
In doing so, we identified many important headlines.


Here are the biggest news stories of the performance marketing industry in 2013.


1. Mobile! Mobile! Mobile!
By a 7:1 ratio mobile commerce was the subject of more stories than any other topic in performance marketing this year. From the tremendous growth to its worldwide adoption, mobile commerce was the buzz in a year when mobile ad spending reached $7 billion in the U.S. alone.

2. Supreme Court Denies Amazon Affiliate Nexus Tax Petition
Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions by Amazon and Overstock to appeal New York’s affiliate nexus tax law. New York was the first to pass such a law. Today more than 80,000 online affiliate marketers in the U.S. who have had their incomes devastated by various states’ attempts to regulate interstate commerce.


3. Asia! Asia! Asia!
2013 was the year several e-commerce companies in Asia rose to prominence in the U.S. LightInTheBox became the first company to hold an IPO in the U.S. this year, and Alibaba entered the U.S. marketplace.


4. The Performance Marketing Association Turns Five; It’s Changing Role
The Performance Marketing Association turned five years old this year and continued to be champion for an industry that continues to grow and mature.


5. FTC Tightens Regulations That Affect Affiliate Marketing
The Federal Trade Commission was also very active in 2013, introducing new legislation that affected affiliate marketers – from the crackdown on alleged spam text messages to new disclosure rules for digital advertising and a suit against online poker sites that resulted in the seizure of $13.62 million in assets.


6. Google Panda, Penguin Change SEO Landscape
Affiliate marketers and advertisers who relied on natural search traffic as part of the marketing mix struggled in 2013 to navigate, endure and recover from the numerous Google organic search result algorithm changes(called Google Panda and Penguin).


7. Google Affiliate Network Shuts Down
The announcement in April that Google Affiliate Network would shut down at the end of July put the industry on alert as hundreds of advertisers were faced with network migration decisions.


8. A Year of IPOs (LITB, Twitter, RetailMeNot)
It was a year of big IPOs. There were huge IPOs such as the Twitter IPO this fall. In the industry there was the $230 million IPO for RetailMeNot.


9. We Were Asking: Is Attribution the Future of Affiliate Marketing?
The tracking of sales – and the crediting of sales to affiliates – will always be central to affiliate marketing. In 2013 the industry examined the future of cookies and asked: is attribution the future?


10. E-commerce Continues to Show Strong YOY Growth
The industry is encouraged by phenomenal growth of performance marketing year over year that continued in 2013.subscribeAMD


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