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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Google Quality Rater Guidelines, Thin Affiliates, etc.
    For those that missed it the first time around in 2005 -

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...hin+affiliates

    there is a new one (not really, it was from April 2007) that is making the rounds with some discussion. Here is the link to the pdf:

    http://www.mauriziopetrone.com/blog/...lines-2007.pdf

    A little controversy with them talking about a CJ link being a sneaky redirect, which I think they have wrong. You can start about page 32 where it gets into it.

    When talking about affiliates and "thin affiliates" and what should be marked as spam:

    "Exceptions: Pages should generally not be marked Spam if they provide added value. Added value refers to original or other useful content on the page, regardless of whether there are PPC ads.

    Examples of content that provides added value include:

    • Price comparison functionality: Even though the user has to go to another site via the affiliate link to place an order, there is value to have price comparisons right there on the page.

    • Product reviews: Pages that provide original reviews offer added value. Items that are commonly reviewed are books, electronics, and hotels.

    • Recipes: Pages that provide recipes offer added value.

    • Lyrics and quotes: Pages that display lyrics or quotes offer added value.

    • Contact information: Pages that provide contact information, especially physical addresses and phone numbers, offer added value.

    • Coupon, discount, and promotion codes: Affiliate pages that provide coupon, promotion, or discount codes for the consumer offer added value." (I liked this one the best since over the years some like to call coupon sites thin affiliates which never made sense to me)

    So it's kind of interesting in reading what they look at.
    Last edited by Trust; March 20th, 2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: added quotes

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Thanks for the synopsis Trust. Looks like some pretty straightforward blueprints. Build a site with price comparison, reviews and coupons.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  3. #3
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Much appreciated Trust. You are like CNN...affiliate-style. Even though this one is a tad bit old, I appreciate your daily news postings. Always something to think about.

    -sfcom


  4. #4
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    Trust- you are the Tom Brokaw of ABW

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Just to be clear, everything after:

    When talking about affiliates and "thin affiliates" and what should be marked as spam:

    was a copy and paste from the document. So Google's own words. It's good to read thru it, like I said, pg. 32 really starts going into what they consider web spam. And they give examples with framed pages, hidden text etc.

  6. #6
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    Google can suck my you know what as far as I am concerned LOL

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Thanks for the synopsis Trust. Looks like some pretty straightforward blueprints. Build a site with price comparison, reviews and coupons. Scott
    And contact address & phone!!
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    And contact address & phone!!
    Typical Googlian rot--Google's gotta do its best to make sure affiliates won't actually get any commission for their efforts!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Google Propaganda Machine
    Recipes: Pages that provide recipes offer added value.
    I'll believe they really work off of these guidelines when I see my recipe site getting lots of hits from G searches.

    Until then, I chuck this latest bit into the dumper along with the teraton of other BS that's come from Mountain View.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson992
    Google can suck my you know what as far as I am concerned LOL
    Bingo!

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    I like what Aaron Wall points out at http://www.seobook.com/official-maha...spam-documents :
    "Mahalo is Spam, According to Google's Internal Spam Documents"


  10. #10
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti
    I like what Aaron Wall points out at http://www.seobook.com/official-maha...spam-documents :
    "Mahalo is Spam, According to Google's Internal Spam Documents"

    Google is spam, according to Google's Internal Spam Documents.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson992
    Google can suck my you know what as far as I am concerned LOL
    And Jack it seems like they do!

  12. #12
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Google is spam, according to Google's Internal Spam Documents.

    -rematt
    Hahahahaha!!

  13. #13
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    The person who is posting the Quality Rater Guidelines obviously is doing so illegally. They either stole the document or if they worked for Google as a Quality Rater, they are disclosing the info in violation of the NDA & Confidentiality Agreement they signed.

    So I am a little confused.. especially since all the uproar over a merchant posting an affiliate's content on their website ("might be" accidental without malicious intent on the part of the merchant) here's my question --

    Why is it NOT OK to steal another affiliate's content, but it is "acceptable" to download an illegal document that a company only provides to its employees?



    *not trying to diminish what happened with the content being stolen; as it was completely unacceptable, I am just wondering why it is OK to steal from Google?
    Last edited by TheFashionista; March 23rd, 2008 at 05:41 PM. Reason: changed "most likely" to "might be" since a determination hasn't been made and added sentence

  14. #14
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFashionista
    (most likely accidently/without malicious intent)
    /begin sarcasm/

    Riiiiight. I think I'll go accidentally plagiarize someone. Would you mind if I started with your work?

    /end sarcasm/

    ...continue on with the discussion of the guidelines.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    Google probably leaked it themselves. This is the same company that has to ask people to help them with spam, report paid linking etc. This kind of thing being out there helps or hurts them? You notice from the other link, the 2005 Guidelines got leaked too.

  16. #16
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFashionista
    I am just wondering why it is OK to steal from Google?
    Why not steal from Google?

    They steal from us.

    Just ask anyone who runs ads with them.

    One day it's .25 per click and two hours later it's 10.00 dollars per click - and they hope you don't catch it until you owe them a lot of money.

    They also screw affiliate sites in SERPs results - even though - some affiliate sites may be nicer than the merchants site.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    They also screw affiliate sites in SERPs results - even though - some affiliate sites may be nicer than the merchants site.
    I disagree with this. Free SERP traffic is never something to be taken for granted and is certainly not owed to us. And I don't think you can really compare an affiliate site to a merchant site, two completely different sets of standards.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    A picture (with my added caption) is, as they say, worth 1000 words. So, see pic.

    It's a bit big, so I put it here as an attachment instead of inline.

    Pic by robholland on Flickr. Caption mine.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Off Topic, but I have to say... That's totally awesome! I didn't realize that Despair.com had a DIY option! That rocks.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  20. #20
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I disagree with this. Free SERP traffic is never something to be taken for granted and is certainly not owed to us. And I don't think you can really compare an affiliate site to a merchant site, two completely different sets of standards.

    - Scott
    And thus the problem. You can't have two sets of standards based on the type of site one has. Everything needs to be level across the board.

  21. #21
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    Off course you can. Affiliate sites aren't merchant sites. They'll always be more relevant for any given product search because they actually sell the product, affiliates just link to it. And I'm mainly talking about affiliates that just put up product links and nothing else.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Affiliate sites aren't merchant sites.
    Except the leaky merchant sites that have affiliate links and adsense all over them.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Off course you can. Affiliate sites aren't merchant sites. They'll always be more relevant for any given product search because they actually sell the product, affiliates just link to it. And I'm mainly talking about affiliates that just put up product links and nothing else.
    The two can be compared with the value being offered to the visitor.

    Except the leaky merchant sites that have affiliate links and adsense all over them.
    That isn't what Trust said or referred to, he didn't say that merchant sites aren't affiliate sites (which most aren't anyway), he said affiliate sites aren't merchant sites.

    OK, so even they're an affiliate also, that's the inverse logic of what Trust said. Even if a merchant site is running Adsense & affiliate links (which makes them also an affiliate - which most don't), they're still more than just an affiliate, because they're offering the product for sale to the visitor.

    But affiliate sites aren't merchant sites, is what Trust said, because they don't offer the product, and there has to be some other kind of value to be considered relevant and meet the customer's needs.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Thanks for the synopsis Trust. Looks like some pretty straightforward blueprints. Build a site with price comparison, reviews and coupons.

    - Scott
    Price comparison is not necessarily valuable, and to be perfectly honest, as a shopper I find the Google serps that are full of the "big" comparison sites to be totally worthless. They're only comparing a couple of merchants' prices who PAY them, and by the nature of the contractual payment differences often provide less value than an affiliate site that provides more variety of choices - even without price comparisons.

    Just having coupons on a site won't get the nod from Google either; regardless of what other kind of content is offered, that in and of itself won't help.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Question
    I doubt that google goes around and places sites in a merchant or affiliate category with automatic points for being a merchant.

    But merchants should (usually) be placed higher in product search SERPS because they have better and older backlinks, and originate much of the product related content that affiliates copy.

    I have a (what I would call) affiliate site based on a certain topic and I also sell an ebook on that site. Am I a merchant?

    as a shopper I find the Google serps that are full of the "big" comparison sites to be totally worthless.
    gotta agree with that.

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