One observation I have quite consistantly is the lack of attention to SEO techniques for the paysites themselves.
So many are missing the META tags for KEYWORDS and DESCRIPTIONS, that give additional "points" for ranking in search engine results.
I mentioned this to a friend, whose reaction was that maybe the sponsors don't want to attract SE traffic because it might upset the affiliates.
That answer could have some validity if the paysites were using robots.txt to exclude search engine spiders, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The only other answer is that the webmasters forgot to do the SEO thing on their own sites, thinking the traffic will come from affiliate webmasters who do the SEO thing on their sites.
This makes me ponder the reliance on affiliate traffic by Sponsor programs. Like a financial portfolio, you need to diversify what you have your money in, in order to not take a hit by a sector or by a stock market drop, etc.
The same is true with traffic. There are many diverse traffic sources these days where paysites could try to gain their own traffic, instead of paying out high PPS that puts them in the red on the join or a revshare split that pays out more money in the long run if the member continue to join.
Sponsors who have their own exclusive content could watermark them and post them up on sharing sites like pornotube, xtube, etc to gain traffic.
Sponsors could post up on MGP/TGP, buy advertising spots as well.
Sponsors could use P2P with their clips for viral marketing.
Some sponsors and affiliates even use "dark side" marketing such as spyware and adware (ie. zango) to get traffic that bypasses affiliates.
The same approaches that an affiliate webmaster would take, a Sponsor could do the same, and have more choices and options.
It would be fair game, afterall; some affiliates have turned into their own paysites, driving traffic to themselves.
I suspect many Sponsors are fearful of not doing anything that might upset affiliates, for thinking they would just pull their links/traffic to promote another site.
Sponsors could gain good page rank for their paysites if they have affiliates linking to them using the same domain as the paysite, rather than some programs that funnel in links to a central domain and redirect to the target domain. Combined with the inclusion of META headers, paysites could be receiving SE traffic that is free from commissions.
Affiliates have their own SE and traffic strategies and employ a variety of traffic sources. It would make sense for a Sponsor to do the same.
Shaving is such a hot subject, and one that is almost at the level of acceptance for affiliates and sponsor programs. A lot of the blame for shaving is pointed at high PPS commissions or just flat out greed of the theft of monies owed to affiliates.
By diversifying traffic sources, Sponsors could gain additional revenue that would help to offset their marketing and operational costs, in addition to maybe turning down or turning off that shave function - the greedier ones will just keep it going.
Fight the Summary: Sponsor programs should be using good SEO techniques to capture SE traffic that doesn't require a PPS or revshare of the acquired members, that can lead to higher earnings.
Fight the after shave!