Affiliate websites are often categorized by merchants (advertisers) and affiliate networks. There are currently no industry-wide standards for the categorization. The following types of websites are generic, yet are commonly understood and used by affiliate marketers.
- Search affiliates that utilize pay per click search engines to promote the advertisers’ offers (i.e., search arbitrage)
- Comparison shopping websites and directories
- Loyalty websites, typically characterized by providing a reward system for purchases via points back, cash back
- CRM sites that offer charitable donations
- Coupon and rebate websites that focus on sales promotions
- Content and niche market websites, including product review sites
- Personal websites
- Weblogs and website syndication feeds
- E-mail list affiliates (i.e., owners of large opt-in -mail lists that typically employ e-mail drip marketing) and newsletter list affiliates, which are typically more content-heavy
- Registration path or co-registration affiliates who include offers from other merchants during the registration process on their own website
- Shopping directories that list merchants by categories without providing coupons, price comparisons, or other features based on information that changes frequently, thus requiring continual updates
- Cost per action networks (i.e., top-tier affiliates) that expose offers from the advertiser with which they are affiliated to their own network of affiliates
- Websites using adbars (e.g. AdSense) to display context-sensitive, highly relevant ads for products on the site
- Virtual Currency: a new type of publisher that utilizes the social media space to couple an advertiser’s offer with a handout of “virtual currency” in a game or virtual platform.
- Video Blog: Video content that allows viewers to click on and purchase products related to the video’s subject.
- File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites, and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The web sites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.