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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Time Wasted on Datafeed Sites
    I have put off developing any websites using datafeeds from any large merchant that is not in the Google network. Abt & Shoes.com are now moved as are many others so developing sites using datafeeds from other networks can be a complete waste of time because a few days later after you have spent hours on utilizing the datafeed to work with your system you find they have moved networks and you have to start all over again, what a pain in the butt!

    This is getting seriously bad, soon there will be only one affiliate network at this pace and that is really worrying when you have no competition anymore at all besides the smaller networks. This is really worrying for me as I hardy make any sales at Performics, now Google and for any other affiliates who never done well at Performics then the future is dim. I'm just glad I have other eggs spread out over the other networks including indy's because if I had to rely on GAN I would be looking for a job now.

    Unfortunately I think people just don't realize how limited and restricted they will be in future years with no competition, I'm surprised how hardly anyone seems to care!
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  2. #2
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    If you were making money with those merchants elsewhere, you'll make money with them at GAN. If anything, it'll push the other networks to be better.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    If you were making money with those merchants elsewhere, you'll make money with them at GAN.
    That's not necessary true, I'm sure I have merchants that moved to Performics from other networks where I now make no sales at all. Don't forget not everyone pays for traffic, I'm 100% organic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    If anything, it'll push the other networks to be better.
    I would like to think so and I do agree that this is probably going to get the other networks to pull a few strings out and finally start delivering to affiliates. I know Linkshare have been trying to improve things in the last year although most often the delivery has failed. Linkshare still have a lot of issues that they just don't see like affiliates do. They really will need to start assigning staff to giving us affiliates a user friendly network. CJ are going to really have to start doing some work instead of spending all their time with affiliate managers sending out threatening termination letters or spending so much time on other areas. Now they will have to start updating their website (which has been basically neglected as far as development goes for years) and delivering features that affiliates have been requesting but they have simply ignored as they have always seen themselves as far superior to affiliates. Now they better listen to us, give us RSS feeds, get rid of parasites, better communications (see my other post in the CJ forum) and give us what we need and be much more friendly.

    This is the positive, it will shake other networks up but sadly I see beyond this... if I can predict the future based on the speed in how I have seen major merchants move to GAN then they will be the only major network in future years. There will be the smaller networks who should survive like Avantlink & ShareASale. Linkshare & CJ will be competing against them or they may have just completely disappeared, nearly all the other smaller networks would tumble but some niche or country specific ones might hang on.

    Google do make things work well as we have seen within their other services, they do a good job but if we don't have competition everything becomes predictable and sterile. It's nice to jump to one network and find a merchant there etc now. In the future it will only be lucrative for a select number of affiliates who have pumped the GAN system and are flying high, others will fall and struggle. If it doesn't work then your options will no longer be open but they will be limited.

    I hope I'm proved wrong but I seriously doubt it!

    plus, this is also about how it will be difficult to know whether we should waste time on developing websites using datafeeds etc. We now would need to contact each merchant and ask them if they have any plans to move to GAN soon, this is going to be a real pain in the butt!

    If I was a merchant looking for a solid network then Avantlink has been way ahead of any other network and they still are, they have the tools and they work (no technical problems, no parisites and regular sales are made for affiliates).
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  4. #4
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    isn't it just a matter of updating the database? :-)

    ok maybe that is over simplification but....

  5. #5
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    While I understand the frustration when a merchant changes networks (especially when I've spent time adding links).. I wouldn't say time is wasted on datafeed sites, outside GAN merchants. My best performing merchants are on LS.

    Reformatting text files to facilitate database imports is an important part of any system design. A system has to be flexible enough to handle change. There are plenty of utilities out there to help convert text files into a consistent format.

    Personally, I wouldn't put off using other network feeds for this reason.. could be some missed opportunities.

  6. #6
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Time Wasted on Datafeed Sites
    When I saw the title I had another idea of where the thread might go.

    For me it seems like organic traffic is getting harder and harder to obtain for full blown feed based sites. I have tried editing the content to get away from duplicate content with little success.

    Maybe I have just "missed it" but it seems like a lot of effort for very little return. If it works then I have missed the key piece of the puzzle.

    Quote Originally Posted by glinted
    you find they have moved networks and you have to start all over again, what a pain in the butt!
    I definitely feel your pain on this. It's hard to generate the same URLs for G so that you won't loose what little inventory you have in the index.


  7. #7
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    This sounds like a set up issue.
    I'd think if you set up your database table in a standardized way and adapt each network feed type to that, then all you'd have to do is to move the merchant from one import script to another and your URLs, etc would be the same.

    That has worked for me so far with SAS/avantlink/and CJ. I still have to try with LS and Google.

    Of course getting access to datafeeds is much easier in SAS and Avantlink than the other networks.

  8. #8
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    Bumpaw, I think you hit the nail on the head.. the challenge isn't so much the technical issue of integrating the various datafeeds, it's how you set yourself apart from the pack.

    Organic traffic for (pure) feed-based sites is much harder to come by now..

  9. #9
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    Yes it's not too hard to adjust to a different network feed but often the categories and some fields are different although I have found Google datafeeds to be similar to CJ. Urls usually have to be edited and often it's just using a query to just add a subid. But it is often an hour or more work by the time you make changes, create new query's etc, upload and setup future updating systems etc. I often run my datafeeds through local software to reshape and get categories working how I want etc so it's not just a drag & drop thing. Let's say you had several of these a week, it could be 3 - 5 hours you could have been doing other things plus at this rate most of our datafeed sites will need to be changed to GAN at some time in the future... but I agree it's probably better to just still continue and deal with it and not stop developing.

    Yes talking about Google, their search now seems to be ditching datafeed sites anyway, you just need to work a bit more I guess to go beyond a datafeed site but have a catalog more as a feature.
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Fun, a good old datafeed rumble. I agree with everybody who said it's just a matter of adapting and adjusting. Merchants change networks all the time and its not going to stop happening any time soon. Also, not all the merchants are moving to Google, so no worries there either. There will always be a handful of large networks.

    Now on to the matter of datafeeds and organic SEO. This is still a challenge, but Google still respects shopping sites. It's all about the value you add and the quality of service you provide. Try getting your site mentioned on a couple major blogs and Google might just think differently about your service.

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

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