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  • How Clickbooth is Destroying Their Business

    Update: Clickbooth has responded. I’m going to include what they had to say at the end of this post. You can scroll down or click here to be taken there immediately.

    Alright. Today in the spotlight, we’re going to have a company that has had some of the worst reputation management in existance today. I will summarize the drama unfolding, the crappy reputation management tactics, and really just an overall warning for affiliates before they do business with ClickBooth.

    Disclaimer: So I don’t get sued or anything, everything in here is my opinion. Use the sources I give you to form your own opinion.
    I am going to portray this as I saw it. I do not promote clickbooth, and never will. I believe the sources I cite support themselves, but my facts are based off of those. So take it as you will. And I am not a lawyer.

    Sorry for the long intro here. I have to cover everything for those unfamiliar. I’ll get to the new information soon.

    The Basics

    • Clickbooth is an affiliate network. They’re the guys that bring the affiliates together with the offers to promote.
    • Clickbooth [allegedly] has a bad habit. The habit of not paying their affiliates especially when they have a good month. (yes, all those underlined words are linked to unique people)
      Total debt exceeds $100,000
    • On the internet marketing forum Wickedfire, to respond to one guy complaining that they never paid him, and that he never sent fraudulent traffic(I have it from a source I trust that he did not, and there were not even allegations against the others), they posted his entire earning statistics and statistics. A major breach of privacy guidelines. Keep in mind, this was after he had waited 2 months for payment. And he was [allegedly] not alone in the not-getting-paid dept.
    • At this point, the story is no longer about withholding payment. It became about publishing private affiliate statistics(including sources) in a public forum.
    • ClickBooth was asked by Jon(the owner of Wickedfire) to come in and apologize, and would not be banned if they did so. However, in response to this request, John Lemp (the owner of Click Booth) demanded that Jon(the owner of Wickedfire forum) remove the posts in the thread, and that he terminate the moderator(Eli from BlueHatSEO.com) who edited out the private affiliate information that ClickBooth’s employee posted.
    • Jon held a poll, and Click Booth was banned forever from Wickedfire (86% in favor)

    Now It Gets Juicy (How NOT to do Reputation Management)

    Bad Move #1
    Ok. So after they were banned, John Lemp decides to send 2 cease and desist orders to wickedfire to get the threads critical of his company removed. Jon, in true wickedfire style, says no and publishes the Cease and Desist orders. Much taunting ensues.
    It then becomes clear that he is suing Jon of Wickedfire. Why do you ask? For emotional distress. Really? Yes.

    Bad Move #2
    So following those cease and desist orders, a few people decided to blog about it. Keep in mind, they were not leveling their own accusations. They were just talking about the ones that had already occurred, and commenting on them.
    They both got Cease and Desist orders as well. One of them in particular, alexb actually had to remove the post since he was a college student, and couldn’t afford to deal with law suit threats. I will be republishing his post(with permission) at the end of this entry. Blogosis was the other blog to get the C&D request.
    Ok, so here is where we move from a vaguely defendible action against Wickedfire, to some serious anti freedom of speech bullying.

    A History Lesson for Mr. John Lemp
    Do you recall when they tried to bury the HD-DVD decryption key on digg? How it exploded? Well, others are picking up the slack. Like myself.

    How Clickbooth [ALLEGEDLY] Destroyed Their Business
    You cannot be a bully in a community based industry like affiliate marketing. Word travels quickly. Wielding legal power because you have the funds to do so (when your targets cannot defend themselves) does not work well. You make enemies quickly, and people evangelize against your company.
    No amount of reputation management can make up for this.
    A quick look at the search results for “ClickBooth” shows us this.
    What was once a mess of several spammy blogspots, a (now much vandalized) wikipedia entry that is of questionable value, and a google custom search that provides no real purpose other than to rank and clear out competitors, is now swiftly falling. Courtesy of his crappy handling of the situation, anti-clickbooth threads are working their way up the rankings.
    You Cannot Blame Forums and Bloggers for your Company’s Downfall. Only Yourself.

    So How Could this Have Been Handled Differently?

    1. Pay Your Affiliates – Every affiliate network has a certain tolerance for rule bending. But in this case, few users even had allegations of improper behavior. And of those, several had the tactics approved by Clickbooth. Take a look at Google. How do they get around issues? Even if they terminate, they PAY.
    2. Don’t Post Private Information to a Public Forum – Affiliates are fiercely protective over their traffic sources. This could have been handled easily by messaging the information to first and foremost, the person himself to explain. Failing that, messaging the forum owner instead of a public post could’ve easily led to an explanation and a thread lock.
    3. Don’t Intimidate People – Suing the source of the information is one thing. But intimidating people reporting or editorializing the story is beyond low. And it creates a stir.
    4. Apologize When You Should – No one was asking for Click Booth to sacrafice their employee or anything. Just an apology. One that was definitely required, as they broke their own privacy policy.

    Don’t like what they’re doing? (If you reached the same conclusion as me about these “allegations”)
    [edit: Calls to action are not in my best legal interests]

    XMCP, Aren’t you Putting Yourself in the Warpath Here?
    I’ve worked out some stuff so this should stay up regardless of what happens. I’ve expressed this is just my opinion, and I’ve cited where that opinion came from. This is not libel, this is not slander. This is an editorial, and protected by the 1st amendment. God willing, that will be enough. If it goes down, you know what happened.

    Oh, before I forget, here’s a copy of the post about ClickBooth that triggered the first C&D.

    Let’s see how this goes.
    -XMCP
    PS: In case I forgot any allegedly’s, I’ll cover it here [allegedly] [allegedly] [allegedly] [allegedly] [allegedly] [allegedly] [allegedly]
    PPS: Clickbooth is the name of the company. Yes, Clickbooth.


    The Clickbooth Response
    Alright. So in order to be fair, I contacted Clickbooth for their side of the story. I will include a brief summary of what they had to say here. This is not necessarily an endorsement, but to be civil they deserve their say.

    1. By eliminating fraudulent/sketchy traffic, they’re able to offer better conversion ratios and payouts than competitors.
    2. According to them, most terminations are either due to credit card fraud, or things like craigslist spam.
    3. They say they do not charge their merchants for traffic that came from terminated affiliates, and that the affiliates that sent a mix of traffic(legit and craigslist and such) got paid for their good traffic prior to termination.
    4. For the Cease and Desist orders (excepting the ones to Wickedfire forum) they would like to point out that they were not sent by lawyers, but were rather less formal requests. Also, they point out that they were just trying to protect their reputation.

    Darth Clickbank

    43 Responses to “How Clickbooth is Destroying Their Business”

    1. Clickbooth is picking on me - Page 2 - WickedFire - Affiliate Marketing Forum - Internet Marketing Webmaster SEO Forum says:

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    2. Blind Ape Seo » Clickbooth drama... says:

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    3. ClickBooth Is Suing Me & WickedFire - LOL - Page 3 - WickedFire - Affiliate Marketing Forum - Internet Marketing Webmaster SEO Forum says:

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    4. Clickbooth [ALLEGEDLY] Likes To Attack Their Affiliates says:

      [...] your company. Slightly Shady SEO went out on a limb and posted the seemingly highly controversial story of Clickbooth and their brigade of lawyers [ALLEGEDLY] throwing around C&D’s and [ALLEGEDLY] suing for emotional distress. Bunch of [...]

    5. Google Search Sucks says:

      As much as I hate CJ at least I haven’t had to deal with not getting paid, thats absolute horse sh!t

    6. Josh Garner says:

      I couldn’t hit the Stumble Thumbs up fast enough. Good on ya, XMCP. I like it when all the little guys band together to become the big guy.

    7. Clickbooth Email | Blogosis says:

      [...] http://www.slightlyshadyseo.com/?p=240 [...]

    8. Gab "SEO ROI" Goldenberg says:

      I love the clickbooth is the name of this company. Yes, clickbooth. LMAO!

    9. johnCard says:

      that was the hardest story i’ve ever followed.

    10. Clickbooth Are An Embarrassment To Affiliate Marketing says:

      [...] Clickbooth are an affiliate network – this means that they have a bunch of offers that people can promote and get paid for when certain requirements are met. [...]

    11. Jack Rack says:

      This is nonsense! If Clickbooth is so bad, then why does Shoemoney plug them everywhere on his blog? Oh wait…

      I’m glad to see this being Sphunn crazily. Given the way Clickbank rolls though, that could mean defamation lawsuits for all!

    12. Amit says:

      Very nice post XCMP and nice research. Clickbooth has just dug a big hole for themselves and just digging it further.

    13. Whats All the Drama with ClickBooth | Inside the Secret Life of a Super Affiliate - Zac Johnson dot Com says:

      [...] How ClickBooth is Destroying their Business SlightlyShadySEO has been doing his own writing on his thoughts and experiences with ClickBooth. [...]

    14. jole says:

      why are you all bad mouthing clickbooth for no reason? I have not seen any proof of what they did to you, no account termination emails, no nothing, I bet all of you are just wickedfire members trying to bring some attention towards your forum name cause the industry is becoming saturated.

    15. laura says:

      why do you guys keep on posting the same articles about a company that pay’s users that use the system legally, all I see you guys doing is posting these articles and then posting comments with links back to your own posts to build a higher rank on serps and some reputation for your blogs.

    16. admin says:

      @Jole: That’s right, there’s a conspiracy. Really, wake the hell up and read the post. I cited about a dozen different sources for people getting terminated

      @Laura:My blog has a reputation, I don’t need more. And yeah, Clickbooth is going through some serious reputation management, and sometimes people do post back to our articles…what of it? People do that in an effort to warn others to be careful of CB’s [alleged] practices.

      And by the way, it’s NOT just users who use the system illegally judging by the people I’ve talked to. People get [allegedly] terminated for absolute crap reasons.
      And yes, I removed your link back to the wikipedia article about them.

    17. Igor The Troll says:

      Ha, Ha! Shady, looks like they got a nasty Spanking..:)

    18. matt says:

      Why would wickedfire go out of their way and set up adwords campaigns just to hate on clickbooth then? Because they know they are wrong and their crusade on clickbooth is failing since all of the reputable clickbooth publishers, such as myself are shedding light on the situation that clickbooth in fact is a great company, if you follow the rules!

      Admin: I’m editing this one in place so no one misses my response:
      I have heard the tale of the guy who is running that campaign, and he himself was directly (allegedly) ripped off by clickbooth. It’s not some weird conspiracy theory. And it has been shown(I believe) in this entry that it’s NOT about following the rules. I wish I could post the stuff I’ve (allegedly)heard.

    19. matt says:

      @admin: and why would a person do such a thing as keep on wasting money on adwords? trying to prove a false point?

    20. admin says:

      @matt: No, because they believe in their cause. The same reason you waste time coming back here.

    21. matt says:

      @admin: I dont waste my time here, I read your blog posts and gain information, that is what blogs are all about, to spread information, and after reading this it seems that you are trashing on clickbooth for your alleged reasons without no proof, one of your worst blogpost’s so far.

    22. admin says:

      @matt: Ok sorry. I shouldn’tve had that temper flare up there. But take a look at the second bulletpoint, and all the links under it of people with problem. How is that not proof? It’s not some vendetta. They’re real people.
      Actually, I’ve worked something out which hopefully should help to bring this episode to a close. We’ll see.

    23. AffiliateDude says:

      This is nuts – I promote some affiliate sites for extra $$, but this would seriously tick me off. I have been burned (minorly) from some programs before and know how much it sucks. Good to know about this – will stay far away from ClickBooth

    24. luvbroker says:

      Zaire Brown has my attorney’s phone number. Zaire Brown is welcome to give him a call to resolve our dispute.

    25. matt says:

      @affiliatedude: I also got burned by cpaempire for 2 grand, but clickbooth never did anything but pay on time, If something I would be complaining about CPAempire instead of clickbooth.

    26. johnny says:

      I agree with you matt, Ive seen this stuff being posted everywhere and its always the same people posting crap about companies, I think it is true that these wickedfire members are just trying to get some attention.

    27. Charles says:

      They didnt pay me too.

      Proof of termination email – sorry cant show what they never sent. You will just wake up one day without being able to access your account.
      Your AM wont be able to access it either.

      Payment for all “good” campaigns – Total BS. I hand leads for no lesss they 3 completly different campaigns and got zip.

      Oh, I just post here to get a backlink….nope. I didnt enter a website.

      And I am not just one of the same people posting elsewhere. This is my only post about this issue.

      Sure, I too know people who are getting paid from CB. But I know of a lot that are not.
      And I too know about people that are not getting paid from other networks. The reasons vary.
      And I bet we all know of people who have been kick out of adsense and adwords. It happens.

      But there is a very high percent of issue with CB compared to these other networks.
      Seems like something must be fishy.

      But if you are getting paid from them, congrats. I wouldnt give up on a successful campaign either. So keep it going. Just be very careful of what you do.

      And for people not using CB yet, just know that there are hundreds of other networks that dont have this many alleged issues.

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    29. Clickbooth Victim says:

      CLickbooth are thiefs they owe me $3000 and they found all kind of reasons to ban my account.

    30. ClickBooth Affiliate Network Review | The Net Fool says:

      [...] and this is actually a company with quite a lot of history. I had heard of the supposed “shady business” involving ClickBooth, and I decided to check it out first because I would definitely never [...]

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      [...] has a great bit on Clickbooth and why Clickbooth [...]

    32. indo says:

      @Charles: you better that me. i never get termination email.
      the only thing i know i cant login to my account at they site.
      i email, aim but never got the reply. they only owe me 1K!!.
      CB [email protected]!!!!. [email protected] ny [email protected]!!!

    33. Chris says:

      ‘Allegedly’ this is a great post. Like you, I’m about to be going through some warpath scenario’s by only reporting on situations around certain companies. It’s amazing how much power and clout money can get you and typically the little guy can’t do squat.

      Keep fighting the good fight!

      I was drawn to this article because I think he is now the new owner of V7N, although I’m not for sure.

    34. Nick Stamoulis says:

      Thanks for this post! I will be sure not to promote Clickbooth to any of our clients…there are always a few bad seeds that ruin it for many! Thanks again!

    35. Recent Industry Drama | NickyCakes.com says:

      [...] a bit going on worth mentioning, so here goes!

    36. Internal Link Building v. 2 : Return on Investment says:

      [...] Blockquotes and lists can now feature links within them. So go ahead and cite Nickycakes: Ongoing ClickBooth vs Wickedfire [...]

    37. Kayak says:

      hi,.i agree that it is an affiliate network having many offers but the bad thing is that if an employee in such a big organization did some thing wrong so the employee should be terminated instead of company banned.I just want to say that company should not be banned.

    38. dave says:

      I think clickbooth has changed their ways, I know a lot of publishers that use them personally, they are making a living off affiliate marketing with them without any problems, I also joined with clickbooh a few weeks ago and i am making some decent money. I recommend it for new comers to the industry.

    39. hockey equipment says:

      How could this possible that an affiliate network having many offers is sealed ,just because of an employee who did something wrong in the company.This is not fair.I want the restoration of such company.

    40. sindra says:

      WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
      CB IS THE BEST

    41. nfl draft says:

      Its really amazing for me.I don’t agree on this that on the mistake of an employee a company is banned.Its not possible.

    42. secret sprite says:

      The main point here is that as an employee we have no rights. It is not proven that the aforementioned employee did anything wrong. Perhaps it was a simple misunderstanding in conduct and what is or is not allowable. The point is do you think the company (pick one anyone) should be able to at will decide which of your work is payable and which not?? With no notice, no one that they have to answer to?? And that it now becomes your job to try to through the lengthy legal process gain back what is rightfully yours?? I say NO Hell no!! This has happened to me three times now. I am involved in two lawsuits and the last being friends I have to just let the damn thing go. I have plenty of witnesses who know I did nothing wrong. In fact in each situation I always went out of my way to do more than was required of me. The whole point of this situation is workers have no rights! You people who are sticking up for the company have a very small and selfish perspective on the situation. Open your eyes to the bigger picture and don’t be so quick to judge you could be next. You don’t realize how fragile your position is with the company. They could misread one thing you do or have been doing and decide it’s not in compliance and withhold pay. Wake up people. I reiterate again – worker’s have no rights.

    43. OnlineHustler says:

      Well it looks like everything is resolved, I’ve seen the post on wickedfire. Good to see everyone getting along again.

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