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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Google's Power Game
    I see they are de-indexing many affiliates websites including mine. Just after they enter the affiliate game themselves too, thanks Google! While their rich executives get huge checks, many of us have to work harder now just to survive. I'm hating Google the more I have to do with them and I find the timing interesting, just after I post here that I objected to their large monopoly.
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  2. #2
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    Was your site actually de-indexed, or is this a major drop in rankings..?

    My sites have been fluctuating since May/June, the only constant performer in SERP is the original content site (no CMS, no database-driven pages, etc)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    Was your site actually de-indexed, or is this a major drop in rankings..?

    My sites have been fluctuating since May/June, the only constant performer in SERP is the original content site (no CMS, no database-driven pages, etc)
    both, I have sites that lost most pages in the index and the others completely wiped out now. I guess they will all eventually be taken out by Google as well. I'm sure they are just making it a long slow painful death for me.
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  4. #4
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    This is a good lesson for every affiliate. NEVER rely on one means of drawing attention to your website. Ranking high in Google is an excellent way of getting traffic for no cost, but as Glinted pointed out, it can easily go away..

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the sites that are in the top spots for the terms you used to win?

    Can you objectively say those sites do not offer the best information for those terms?

    No matter what Google does I believe if they stop delivering the best results they will quickly drop. The reason people continue to use one search engine or another is that they trust the results they get.

    If you continually are delivered non relevant results people will quickly find an SE that delivers the most relevant and as big as Google is they can not afford for people to say their results are jaded or irrelevent.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  6. #6
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    Nothing new. Google changes over time, provides what they consider to be the most relevant results.

    Affiliate marketing isn't a target, but Google does remove a lot of the junk. A lot of affiliate sites are pure junk.

    It is the junk sites that are the target, not AM as a whole.

  7. #7
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    Yes, google giveth & google taketh away. This I know, first hand..

    I've been slowly climbing back up since a drop a few months ago (database-driven site, not the content one). My site wasn't dropped, but lots of pages were deindexed & natural search was very poor.

    It actually did force me to take a look at what I was delivering.. same products, same descriptions, etc as every other shopping site. Since then, I've been adding new features that (hopefully) make it a little more unique.

    I know this doesn't help you, but it's a shared experience, for what it's worth.

  8. #8
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    I think most people have a love-hate relationship with Google. We love Google when our pages rank well and hate Google when it decides to re-rank our pages down into oblivion.

    I myself am currently balancing on the hate side of the fence with Google.

  9. #9
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    I think google did something recently to filter out affiliates. My test site dropped in ranking and another affiliate that I helped just dissapeared totally..

    Definately agree with the love-hate relationship

  10. #10
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Well, I don't think it is filtering out all affiliates. If so, I think this topic would be on fire with a lot more unhappy affiliates. So it must be filtering out only certain types of affiliate sites. The question is what is Google using to filter.

  11. #11

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    I have to admit I get tired sometimes being at the whim of googles' dance. It gets old. There really needs to be more competition in the field.

    At least when you were in a B&M business things didn't change every day or week (or hour). If you had the scope of changes that google does to you in a B&M business you would be top of the world one day and the very next day you could be completely out-of-business.

    Sure I remember having to stay on my toes and keep expanding, changing, and innovating. Though you didn't have to it every few weeks.

  12. #12
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Answer from a QA question on affiliate sites, which I am sure has been referenced before....

    http://www.google.com/support/webmas...y?answer=76465

  13. #13
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    In other words, create unique sites.

    UNIQUE

    That is the key to success.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    Answer from a QA question on affiliate sites, which I am sure has been referenced before....

    http://www.google.com/support/webmas...y?answer=76465
    The same sort of rhetoric is found on ePN. I believe the trend is for quality rather than quantity. Those who start reworking and redeveloping now will weather the "quality" storm. Otherwise we may find ourselves isolated with no off-ramp.



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  15. #15
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    It's nice knowing that Google knows what's best for the actual shopper. I feel good letting Google make the determination what shoppers or buyers want, given that they are neither. I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside catering my site to a bot and not a real shopper.

  16. #16
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    Generally speaking, when any of us take on the challenge of using datafeeds, unless you have major resources at your disposal, you will be creating something pretty standard (can't believe I'm saying this about my own pride & joy too!!). We all have the same tools at our disposal.

    I thought I could get away with a unique niche/combination, but that only lasted so long.

    However I had a content site to fall back on, and have been rebuilding ever since - now I'm very aware of the common tools, and trying to REALLY create something unique.

    You're right Ed, those who can survive this will emerge stronger..

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    Generally speaking, when any of us take on the challenge of using datafeeds, unless you have major resources at your disposal, you will be creating something pretty standard
    That brings up some really troubling questions. The typical use of datafeeds would be in jeopardy if unique content is the trend. That would sure create a lot of headaches on both the affiliate and merchant sides. And what about PopShop type services... YIKES!



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  18. #18
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    It is like a city where people come in and think that they can make a living with their store or restaurant.

    But they offer nothing new to the city and they end up shutting down and moving on.

    Then some super duper business owner comes along with something unique and different, and then makes a fortune.

    I want to be that guy.

    Don't be like the rest, do something different.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Nothing prevents the addition of content to PopShops shops or datafeed shops. It just takes a lot more work. I can finish a WebMerge site from a datafeed in about 2 seconds, but it's not ready to upload until it's been 'contented' - about another two weeks or so. Updates aren't automatic but they are very fast.
    I would imagine that if your shop is on autopilot via ftp cronjobs that you can still add your own content and custom descriptions that stay in place through updates.

  20. #20
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    thanks for the feedback, yes I agree with most of the comments but I don't think Google is really a very good search engine anymore. I just searched for "Best GPS Solar Watch" as I wanted to buy a watch that has GPS and is solar powered. Most of the results are not relevant on the first page or are several years old. I was quite frustrated by that as I really wanted to find and buy a suitable watch. I would have been happy to have found an affiliate site listing these types of watches rather than finding outdated or non relevant products like Google offers in their results.
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  21. #21
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    There are GPS solar watches?

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...22&btnG=Search

    No results found for "GPS Solar Watch".

  22. #22
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    Generally speaking, when any of us take on the challenge of using datafeeds, unless you have major resources at your disposal, you will be creating something pretty standard (can't believe I'm saying this about my own pride & joy too!!). We all have the same tools at our disposal.
    My only regrets about using datafeeds is that before 03', I didn't knew all that I know by now about using datafeeds, because after I discovered ABW on 03', and by the time I learned about how to use the merchats datafeeds, I only was able to enjoy the big ride until 05'.

    After 05', when G. and other things hit the fan, it have not been an easy ride with datafeeds on those same web sites as before.
    I thought I could get away with a unique niche/combination, but that only lasted so long.
    Unique niche/combination?

    I thought about that idea, and since early this year I have been waiting patiently for G. or any other SE to send some juice to that unique niche/combination site that I made, but so far... (Let's just say that, so far...), there is not much there to write home about, yet.
    However I had a content site to fall back on, and have been rebuilding ever since - now I'm very aware of the common tools, and trying to REALLY create something unique.
    First, if you're going to use any of the common tools, then you too would be creating something pretty standard also, because no matter how you dressed those common tools, you, me, many here on ABW, and everywhere else, we'll would be using those same common tools too, and I am not even counting those new affiliates that are just starting on this business the other day and are already using those same common tools as is, since they're free and ready to be thrown on any new page, with just a couple cut and paste lines.

    Second, even if you, me, and the rest of us that use datafeeds, decide to not use any of the common tools to make our unique niches, and we all decide to create our own unique tools to make those unique niches, it would not be too long before many, many of us would be back on the same boat again.

    Why?

    Well, this is the way I see it, maybe I don't know how to explained the way I look at it, but here it goes...

    Let's pick any good merchant with a datafeed on any network, now let's make a niche site for just that merchant products.

    Now, whether we use our own unique spript tools, or those ready made tools that make a page or make a site, it should not make too much difference, because unless those products names, pictures, prices and descriptions are totally different for every affiliate that use that same merchant datafeed, close to 100% of us would be showing the same exact products from that merchant.

    So yes, we can say that we have made a unique site for that merchant, (we're talking about using that merchant datafeed on that unique site.) because we may have added some of our own (and maybe even unique different) content to that site to complement the same datafeed from that merchant, that hundred's of other affiliates might be using too, but... and this is the big butt...

    No matter how much different and unique we try to make that one merchant niche site, if that merchant sells "Pink Leather Winter Widgets", there is going to be a limit on how many different ways we can describe that "Pink Leather Winter Widgets" on our "Pink Leather Winter Widgets" page, that we made to show that merchant product.

    But wait a minute, yes... maybe we can all go and seach the net to find everything there is to know about that pruduct, so maybe now we all have that same product on our product page and we all (by a holy miracle) also have a unique way to show that same product to our visitors, so now anyone and everyone of us that use that merchant datafeed have a page that G and the other SE's would have no problem listing, because they are all unique and targeted for the "Pink Leather Winter Widgets", but...

    There are only Ten free spots on the first page of the SE's. Yes, we can also make it show 100 spots on the first page, but not too many people have time for that, especially those that are almost ready to buy.

    Now I have some questions...

    How many affiliates promoting that merchant, may have a unique page on their site, promoting that same "Pink Leather Winter Widgets" product?

    Let's not say 1000's, let's just say only 100 affiliates...

    So, if just 100 affiliates are showing that product page on a unique and best way, with plenty of extra info, and different and useful content. But, since only Ten can show up on the first page of the SE's...

    What criteria would the SE's use to pick those first Ten, since all 100 of them qualify as having the kind of relevant useful content, that the SE's are talking about?

    Ok, who really knows how the SE's pick the top Ten of any search, because I have seen many of garbage sites listed on the first page for many searches that I have done in the past, and not just about products.

    So how many other ways can the "Pink Leather Winter Widgets" product be called, if you just want to sell a "pink widgets made of leather, to use in the winter"?

    Because if those Ten top links on the SE's are going to list those relevant useful content web sites, they may all have the same product title, that comes from that merchant datafeed.

    As much as I would like to hate the SE's for listing totally and useless junk sites, before they list our datafeed pages because of the duplicate content issue, I can really blame some of the SE's for trying to clean the big mess out there, even if some of our sites become collateral damage on the cleaning of the net.
    You're right Ed, those who can survive this will emerge stronger..
    Even if I end up on intensive care, I will survive this SE's roller coasters, and I even think that I may also outlive some of those SE's out there today.

    Btw teezone, this post was not directed at you, I just quoted you because I was inspired to release some stress about this SE's topic.

    Sorry for my rant, and if this post make no sense on this thread, that's ok.

  23. #23
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    Btw teezone, this post was not directed at you, I just quoted you because I was inspired to release some stress about this SE's topic.
    I didn't take it as directed at me as you're preaching to the converted, lol.. we reached the same conclusion in different ways!

    I started using datafeeds in late '07 and had a great ride with G until a few months ago. I stayed near the top (I believe) because the datafeed site supports a highly ranked content site. It has settled back in the rankings now, with no extreme swings anymore, but it's climbing slowly as new entrants come & go.
    Unique niche/combination?
    While some go for as many merchants/feeds as possible, in my content site I focused on a niche that served me well. I hoped G would see this as an expansion site - my attempt to create a "suite" of sites (for lack of a better term).

    Most of us have no choice but to start with the common tools as a foundation. And I'm in TOTAL agreement that the title & descriptions are all the same, irrespective of the tools used. My strategy now has been to focus on new functionality & content around that foundation. I'm trying to build a useful site based on the products, but not ONLY listing the products. If that makes any sense...

    Will it work..? I'm not sure.. but I've moved up a little. Plus I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet!

    I popped into this thread as I think many datafeed sites have shared the same experience as glinted (me included!) - if they haven't, they're either very lucky, or it's coming soon

    Your rant made perfect sense to me, btw... I completely agree!

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I was looking through my daily traffic reports checking keywords and how visitors are finding us. A hot seller right now is the newly released Hannah Montana Beach House doll house. They're selling for around $200 on eBay currently. We're getting quite a lot of traffic for this item so I clicked the referrer link. Guess who's at the very top, numero uno[!], above Amaz0n, A0l, T0ys R Us, everyone. You got it!
    Why are we number one on such a hot item? Two reasons I believe. First, we created this page months ago, before there was even a release date for the toy. So before those other places even listed them, we were getting visitors asking questions. Second, and I think probably most importantly is that Sandy (my wife) did an excellent job of writing the copy. All original unique content. So if that's the biggest reason for the ranking, it says a lot about original content.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...a+beach+house&

    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 16th, 2008 at 02:28 AM.



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  25. #25
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Ed, I can't begin to tell you what an affirmation your post was. Content is king and an early start on a product sure to be seller and not released yet is the best way to compete. Why shouldn't the cream rise to the top? You put in the work you should come out on top!!
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