In a performance sector where so much activity is on a global scale, searching on country specific basis can present some challenges. Advertisers like Apple or Nike, and even ASOS and GoDaddy operate in global markets, often only resolving to a specific location when loading in a users browser.
Not all advertisers operate global affiliate programmes, and many will run their activity on networks appropriate to country or region. Networks like Shareasale, Commission Factory and Daisycon (and of course ChineseAN) are fairly country specific. Others like CJ Affiliate, Awin and Partnerize operate globally - often with global advertisers.
Many SEO sites make an attempt at showing Country, though as with anything online, it's not simple and even inaccurate and misleading. Some like smartcanuks.ca or mydealz.de are nice and simple to understand - and recruiting for market-specific programmes isn't an issue.
The Problem with Location
It might seem easy to see where a website is located - but there are loads of reports of completely wrong locations. IP address can show up that your site is in a specific country, though that will depend on the web hosting provider and often where the server is located.
Language should give an idea of an affiliate website's location. However in this globalised online world there are many factors which make that more complex - and may well mislead. Affiliates can operate from anywhere and target any market - so you could easily find an affiliate in Belarus, using a GoDaddy website (showing as a US IP address), targeting a Russian emigré audience in Germany.
Top Level Domain (TLD)
Within many markets, using the country domain extension gives a pretty good idea that that publisher is based and/or targeting a country specific audience. This is perhaps a stronger indicator within some markets than others.
However, some such as .com websites could be based in and targeting almost anywhere as it simply indicates commercial, and it is widely used by all types of website. It's not clear at all what audience the website is targeting. In some markets, such as the UK, we see over half of affiliate websites using a .com extension, as opposed to the country specific.
In other markets, it's a clear indicator. The .com.au can only be registered by a person or organisation based in Australia (or with a trademark valid in Australia) and is widely used by well over 60% of affiliate websites. The same applies in many other markets.
Market Specific Advertisers
Many retailers run programmes for each country as in the example of Zalando here:
Each of these is targeted at a market - it is fair to say in this global industry, that not all affiliates promoting in each country will be from that country. They will all be targeting visitors in those countries and so valuable and relevant.
If you are a similar merchant looking to grow your programme in a specific country, searching in this way, especially across several other advertiser programmes, can deliver an excellent selection of websites to recruit from.
For some websites its clear where they are targeting from the website title, as with gutscheinpony.de - smartcanucks.ca - ozbargain.com.au. It's often also clear by the laguage the website content is written in, though a site in German could be targeting DE, AT, or CH markets; equally, a site in Spanish could be ES, MX or AR. We'd always suggest you check for context to be sure.
There are always the oddities, such as the example above, targeting emigré communities, such as londynek.net. These can be very valuable potential partners with highly engaged readerships and communities attached.
This is an aspect we are actively working on - so watch this space for news on new developments.
I hope this has been a useful guide. Feel free to make your own suggestions based on your experience so we can add them into this article.