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  1. #1
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    My best months ever were October and November of 2003. Prior to that things were climbing each month, traffic, clickthoughs and sales. December was ok, but worse than the two months prior.

    Each month after that my traffic has been dropping my clickthroughs are next to nothing (example.. so far this month thorugh BeFree I have had 32 clickthroughs and no sales and things are not much different with the rest either) and my sales are in the toliet. Even one of my best performing merchants that I ususally make no less than 900.00 a month from only has 100.00 in commission this month.

    I have totally dropped out of site on most of my good keywords in all the search engines except a few obscure ones.

    I have busted my behind the past few months doing everything I can think of to bring my traffic and sales back up. I have studied my pages, I have checked my links, I have studied other sites similar to mine in the searches and made adjustments to my site accordingly.

    Traffic is slowly starting to increase, but the clickthrough aren't. They are less than ever. Almost all of my backlinks in google are gone too. They still exist, but google doesn't think so.

    I was excited that yahoo was rolling out, but, even though it indexed the heck out of my site, it apparently hates me since I am hard pressed to find my site using the search as a normal user would.

    Three things occured during late December til now.

    1) My host bought new servers and moved everyone over to the new ones. All sites received a new IP address and they all have the same IP address. (I don't think the shared IP is the problem because the search engines claim that they understand that ICANN has cracked down on issuing new IP's and most hosts will have to move to shared)

    2) I redesigned the main page of my site. It isn't a huge change, and it loads faster than the old design, etc. I left the rest of the pages alone.

    3) I switched all my links to Designer Wiz's redirect script. Prior to that I was using a meta refresh on all my links to send the customer to the merchant. Since many of meta refresh pages were indexed, I left the files on my server so as not to loose traffic by removing them and having dead links in the searches.

    So, in summary, traffic dropped along with everything else. Traffic is now climbing, but clickthroughs are next to nothing meaning sales still suck.

    Any suggestions on what could be going on? I am stumped. The only other thing I can think of is the nortons blocking thing and I am working on fixing that just in case that is it.

    I just need some ideas. I need to stand back, regroup, and tackle this again, but now I don't even know where to start.



    (please ignore the typos - just on my first cup of coffee - was up all night working on this problem)

    [This message was edited by ~ Michelle on March 22, 2004 at 09:18 AM.]
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  2. #2
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I don't know what the problem is, but I have it too. That's why it's a bad idea to depend on this month's earnings to pay next month's bills.

    For me it was December and January that were good, and February started the slide.

    Fortunately I can manage through a long dry spell, but I sure don't want to.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  3. #3
    Full Member ellen-s4y's Avatar
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    Nov - Jan were good, Feb. was back to pre-holiday levels, March has been a downward spiral. What get's me, Click-Thrus are at the same level as last month, sales are 1/4 what they were in Feb.

    Maybe everyone is waiting for their tax refunds to shop again and they're just doing a lot of browsing right now.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I switched all my links to Designer Wiz's redirect script. Prior to that I was using a meta refresh on all my links to send the customer to the merchant. Since many of
    meta refresh pages were indexed, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not familiar with the redirect script but why are you not just letting them click a link and travel on their own? You just sweep them off to the merchant automatically?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Michelle I'm glad you started this topic because now I know there are other people out there who are experiencing this "phenomenon" as well. Things started deteriorating for me from the beginning of December, particularly with Linkshare which seems to be dead in the water for me these days! CJ is still bringing in some good sales for one particular merchant but, even on CJ, my commissions are not what they were prior to December. BeFree has brought a few sales, but nothing to write home about either. I have spent hours and hours looking at my site and asking myself "what am I doing wrong?", but cannot come up with an answer. My clickthroughs are good but the sales just don't seem to come. Sometimes one just feels like throwing in the towel but, after all the hard work I've put into my site, I am not about to do that (at least NOT YET!). Cheer up and let's keep our fingers crossed that things will improve.

  6. #6
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jane:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I switched all my links to Designer Wiz's redirect script. Prior to that I was using a meta refresh on all my links to send the customer to the merchant. Since many of
    meta refresh pages were indexed, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not familiar with the redirect script but why are you not just letting them click a link and travel on their own? You just sweep them off to the merchant automatically? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I wasn't meta-refreshing straight to a merchants site. Once a user clicked on a link to the merchant, they were taken to an html page the meta refreshed to the merchants site. I was trying to hide my aff links from the parasites in that way.

    What I am using now does the following when a user clicks on a link to a merchants site.

    Instead of the url being long like:
    http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/...type=3&subid=0

    It is short like:

    http://www.mydomain.com/jump/a.cgi?ID=185&afsrc=1
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Wouldn't google follow the links and find the meta refresh? Thought Google didn't like refresh tags.. But I guess it was working for you.

  8. #8
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jane:
    Wouldn't google follow the links and find the meta refresh? Thought Google didn't like refresh tags.. But I guess it was working for you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I thought they didn't like it either, but they have indexed every single page of them. (a lot of good it is doing me right now though )
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "Wouldn't google follow the links and find the meta refresh? Thought Google didn't like refresh tags.. "

    Yup ! That's my understanding too. You could be thought of as a spammer on the meta-refresh.

    Michelle, are you able to tell if the meta refresh pages have dropped out of Google?

    btw, I have noticed a huge drop in my sites as well. So it isn't just you.

    Fred

  10. #10
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buy_online:
    _"Wouldn't google follow the links and find the meta refresh? Thought Google didn't like refresh tags.. "_

    Yup ! That's my understanding too. You could be thought of as a spammer on the meta-refresh.

    Michelle, are you able to tell if the meta refresh pages have dropped out of Google?

    btw, I have noticed a huge drop in my sites as well. So it isn't just you.

    Fred <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    using site:www.mydomain.com on google shows that they are still indexed.

    They have been for at least 2 years. I also have a pretty good pagerank too. The refresh pages have no rank, but all the main pages of my site do.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  11. #11
    Member marbrun's Avatar
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    Seems like most of us are experiencing the same problem. February was my best month ever on LS but business has now practically come to a halt! I know the number of affiliate sites is growing by the day and we are bound to feel the impact, but surely they can't be siphoning off that many sales?

  12. #12
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    It's happening too fast to just be more competition. Dunno what it is, but I'm sure it isn't that. I think google hates me.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    i have exactly the same!

    i really thought after last december that i would make loads this december, so i made loads more sites, like a mad man, i was working every day, and thought yes!!! i am well happy.

    anyway, nove and dec were crap! so crap, they only made a little bit more than last year with cj anyway!!!
    how can that be? i have 10 times the website, but only a third more profit! my search engine rankings are still kind of ok, but hits are half what they were,

    one of my pages a content site is now only getting 200 hits when it was getting 800 uniques a day - its still in the same place in google so tell me why?

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    More competition and SE changes.

  15. #15
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    More competition and SE changes. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree there is more compitition and I know the SE changes have had an impact, but I don't think that these two things are the major problem.

    There is something else going on, but the question is what??
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  16. #16
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    Mainly SE. In "search engine insight" is also a discussion about this.

    Last month my visitors dropped 30% because Yahoo dropped Google and last Sunday I dropped 50% from what was left. This was Google. They are changing things. It looks like against affiliates. Yahoo and MSN are rising a bit.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> agree there is more compitition and I know the SE changes have had an impact, but I don't think that these two things are the major problem. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why wouldn't the SE changes be the problem?

    If Google traffic dropped and it was made up for by Yahoo or something else, then are you saying that the new traffic is just as good as Google? I would think it could be totally different because you might rank differently for various phrases on the new searches.

  18. #18
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    Free traffic comes, and free traffic goes.

    If you want some illusion of stability, you're probably going to have to pay for it.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    In my case I can't blame the search engines entirely. I advertise with AdWords and have noticed the drop with paid ads as well. There is something more going on here than meets the eye. Very . Either people have no money or it's those crooks out there overwriting cookies and stealing commissions OR (heaven forbid) sales are not being tracked correctly by the big networks. Guess we'll never know the truth.

  20. #20
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lansing:
    Free traffic comes, and free traffic goes.

    If you want some illusion of stability, you're probably going to have to pay for it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have been. I have been using adwords for 3 months now. When business started dropping off I signed up and figured I would use it at least until things improved.

    As Grumpy stated, the drop is still there. Traffic is coming in from the paid ads, but producing pretty much nothing.

    I decided today to pull my paid ads since I am just throwing good money after bad with them right now.

    I tell ya, there is something up somewhere.

    I am going to keep plugging away though and hope for the best.

    All I can say is thank goodness I still do web design, it is going to pick up the slack for me this month. I took a couple extra jobs to make up for the lack of sales.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    Tamalyn &gt;&gt; i have 10 times the website

    And a bunch of others have 20 times the websites of a year ago

    Keep your eyes open for evolving business models in e-commerce. The affiliate marketing model is spammed out so start looking for new horizons. Try to maintain what you have while you scout out new territories.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    Your right Wiz,

    I too believe that it's time for many to jump the ship before they can't pay their bills, feed their children and end up on welfare. Find a real job and tackle the next wave to ride.

    I can use a little less competition.

    Allen

  23. #23
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    A lot of people may just think we're just complaining, i.e. "the sky is falling". And, there will be those who say they are still doing great and these kinds of problems are surely self-inflicted.

    But, I think this is a Real phenomenon. I would guess there is probably a lot more that one cause, such as:

    &gt;Increasing competition and the resulting over-saturation in the industry. (Many people want to stay home and be their own boss for their primary living as well as those who are just supplementing their family incomes).

    &gt;Spam and other undesirable tactics that some people in the industry employ. (This may have surfers beginning to distrust affiliate links in general and looking harder to get to the merchants sites directly)

    &gt;Search engine monetization and their trend towards removing the middle man (affiliates). It is becoming a "pay to be found" internet. It will eventually become "pay Astronomical amounts to be found". The search engines seem to be leaning towards presenting the final point of sale (merchant) and presenting less of the multitudes of other sites that "lead" the customer to them (affiliates).

    &gt;Parasites. In my opinion, the worst problem plaguing this industry! Many merchants and affiliates tolerate and promote them. And, MOST of the networks openly embrace them regardless of what propaganda they release.

    And, nope, I don't have proof. This is speculation. I'm sure others have more reasons that I have not thought of.

    What do we do about it? I don't have a F*#!ing clue.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    My problem is different. I started a year ago, and I have worked hard and published probably 30 websites, but I find it impossible to get off the ground.
    Zilch.
    When I get traffic, my sites convert.
    But, they don't get traffic.
    Or, they start getting traffic, then die a couple of months later.
    Is anyone else in the same boat who started a year ago?

  25. #25
    http and a telephoto
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    My best converting programs are indies, the networks have never performed well for me. So the answer seems to be parasites and Norton and other ad blocking software. There are solutions to cloak your links in a way that will not hurt your SE rankings, but they are not inexpensive.

    The model may need to change, and sooner rather than later.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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