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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Question Page Views have dropped badly since Christmas - Has yours?
    I posed this question to two affiliate friends over the weekend and have heard back from one. He is experiencing the same "drought" as I am and wondered why there hasn't been a discussion about it on ABW. So here the e-mail with a few changes that I sent to my friends:

    I know that you have several web sites. Have you had a decline in traffic to you sites since Christmas? My traffic has suddenly evaporated. According to my Google Analytics, my shoe site which has always been my busiest site has a 50.77% drop in page views, my shopping mall site 16.52% and another affiliate site 20.93%. I have of course felt this in commissions earned since Christmas. Last year after Christmas I went strong on all of my sites until August with commissions earned every day. Now I have had numerous $O commission days since Christmas. I have been doing this since 2004 and I have never experienced this before.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  2. #2
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Could be some sort of Google update targeting content-thin sites. There was another post recently mentioning something similar. Seems my big Personalized Gift Site (mostly datafeed and slim content) has done nothing as of late. But then again, it was not doing much anyway. My content-type sites seem to be doing better than ever. If this is indeed the effect, the solution is add content pages related to your products "how to use this product", "how to set up this product", etc.
    This World is Not My Home
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  3. #3
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    How does finding other people that have pageview declines help you understand WHY people are losing pageviews?

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmMe
    How does finding other people that have pageview declines help you understand WHY people are losing pageviews?
    at least I know that I am not experiencing this by myself. It also shows a trend that may be happening to all of us. Someone else may be out there going through the same phase and may be wondering - What's happening.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  5. #5
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Google has been doing something strange since about mid-December...

    It's been good for my content sites, but I've noticed a big decline in some pure affiliate sites..

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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Here is another thread recently that may be related:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=128944

    One way to check also is to see how your merchant is doing. Look at their 7 day or 3 month EPC and see where the trend is. If it has stayed the same/increased then perhaps it's affected your type of site but if merchants' stats have also dropped then it may be across the board.

    Of course checking everyone else's stats it is hard to tell and depends on the type of site (content vs. datafeed vs. social, etc.) and type of niche. But my sites (content/datafeed) have all increased traffic since Dec. December was actually not a good month for me but that is because that is typical for my niches.

    Another way to check is to find sites that are more comparable to you and though not accurate, check their alexa, quantcast stats to see if there was a dip in your competitor's site as well. This way you can tell if it's niche specific. If not, perhaps it is time to see where your site needs improvement.

  7. #7
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    Google has been doing something strange since about mid-December...

    It's been good for my content sites, but I've noticed a big decline in some pure affiliate sites..
    +1

    1) My main content sites are niche travel sites for Maryland and I always see an uptick in traffic in mid-January. However, this year the uptick has been much larger than expected. I'm figuring it may be a sign the economy is beginning to turn around.

    2) My "regular" affiliate sites are in the January (after Christmas) doldrums.

    3) On the other hand - our checks program site had just about double everything from December to January. Being very new we are certainly pleased with that. First quarter, however, is traditionally the best quarter for the checks niche.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  8. #8
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    Hmmm, my pure affiliate sites are doing great.. Improvement over 2009..

  9. #9
    Full Member gamweb61's Avatar
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    Some of my sites are up, and some are down. This is why it good to diversify.
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  10. #10
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Always tough to tell.

    My sites are all still doing well with no major change in traffic levels, but I don't have any retail shopping sites.

    Can you see with your Analytics if it is certain keywords that have lost traffic? Maybe one of your better performing keywords dropped a few positions and now you are getting less traffic.

    My guess would be that since most of your sites are shopping related (and you mention Christmas as the point when things changed) then you are just experiencing the usual after Christmas drop off. The same thing happens for malls and stores in every city. Very busy Thanksgiving to Christmas and then crickets chirping in January.
    Last edited by OICUAM2; February 1st, 2010 at 03:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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  11. #11
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Google, The Web's Largest Affiliate.
    My take is that the future is not good for affiliate traffic that depends on Google organic search. First to go are the thin affiliate sites, and that has been going on for quiet some time. Next to go will be those with so called content sites.

    Google is a learning organism and always evolving and GAN has helped speed up that learning curve. From their point of view it has been Google Query >> Search Result >> Affiliate Site >> Affiliate Link >> Merchant Visit >> Sale & Commish. If it's a shopping related search why not use a Google affiliate link in the Search Results and skip the traditional affiliate and go direct to the merchant? All commission goes to Google.

    Look at the newly designed search geared for shopping, personalization, caffeine to keep their prices current, and their lack of heart for traditional affiliates.
    And on the lead and retail front, Google is looking to become the web's largest affiliate. From October 2008 seobook.com
    I take a little consolation that as Google search has gotten harder for me that Bing and Yahoo have gotten better. The problem is that what works for Google is soon copied by the others.

    I feel that sooner or later Google will be able to sniff your site and if it smells of affiliate links it will find an algorithmic way to drop you in the SERPS to favor themselves. They will say it's for a quality search experience for users, but it's normal self interest on their own behalf. Many people here at ABW have been saying don't depend on G, and that gets truer and truer as time goes by.


  12. #12
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    Me too, traffic fell off a cliff in mid-January. Whew, at least I made it through Christmas before Google stopped loving me. Yahoo and Bing referrals have stayed constant while Google referrals are half of where they were before the holidays.

    This is really scary, that this might be a permanent change and not just a temporary hiccup in Google's system. Sure, my site could use more content, but generating content takes LOTS of time and effort.

    I was never a huge fan of Bing, but now I would rest a little easier if there was a little more balance among the big search engines - not just a 500 pound gorilla with a colorful G on its chest.

    Bring back that lovin' feeling, Google!

  13. #13
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    If you're providing value to the end user and not just replicating a merchant's product database than you will do fine in Google and the others...Affiliate site or not.

    If you're site is thin and doesn't include a unique service or value, you will be filtered from top SERPs. This has been the case for a while now. There is always the chance that Google will make an algo shift and a thin site will surface, but that's certainly nothing to rely on because if the site is of no value than it won't last.

  14. #14
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I keep telling myself that if I add value I will be rewarded in the search results, but a few of the top page positions are taken up by thin affiliate sites while my site is buried for most keywords. Hopefully with time this will change.

    I haven't seen a big rush of posts like this one on the web. Probably something more limited or something happening to individual sites due to traffic patterns or a drop in favorability from Google.
    [URL=http://www.investeverymonth.com]InvestEveryMonth.com[/URL] - Build Wealth

  15. #15
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Just finished a good article in the February 2010 issue of Internet Retailer entitled Heavyweights Battle Over Shopping. In my opinion it relates to this thread and is one of the reasons people that rely on organic search may be feeling the squeeze lately.

    I think it's worth reading in detail and can be found in an online version here.


  16. #16
    Full Member lintlin's Avatar
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    That was a great article, thanks John. I have been noticing a large spike in Bing and Yahoo traffic these past few weeks, and sometimes their traffic has been higher than Google's for one of my sites.

    It will be interesting to see what happens by the end of this year, I think there could be some big changes coming to Aff marketing...

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell
    Just finished a good article in the February 2010 issue of Internet Retailer entitled Heavyweights Battle Over Shopping.
    Good Article John. I agree, moving forward, the search engines will be squeezing affiliates as more price comparison functionality is integrated into the search engines.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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