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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I've been dreading the day that datafeeds become less than useful and I think that day has finally come. Since Google's implemented their new duplicate detection algorithm many of us datafeed users are now out to the curb.

    What's next? Datafeed usage is going to need to be a lot more strategic. We'll need to start bringing multiple reviews to each product in order to make our pages unique enough. Of course this takes a great deal of time. There's no free lunch here anymore.

    I think we're going to need to get a little smarter and implement sites that use datafeeds a little differently from the tradition. What if products are combined for a particular event, outing or occasion. For example list a backpack, pants, shoes, climbing gear, etc. for somebody who wants to go hiking in Yosemite. Or list some binoculars, a digital camera, a light jacket and shoes for a trip to Disneyland.

    What ideas do you have to get past Google's latest changes? I'd like to hear them!

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

  2. #2
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    I have a PR6 site that I have done a LOT of work on to add information and usefulness to the data feed. I have more into than the merchant!

    Traffic has dropped 90% since last Friday. The site is 3 years old and I have never had a significant drop in traffic from google.

    I have a lot of unique content on the site as well.

    Has google gone too far with the last tweak? The results in my area of interest stink. Even the merchant has disappeared.

    Anyone else getting kicked in the pants by google since friday?

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I feel ya Sid! I'm down by about 70% right now since Friday. I hope it can make it up to 50% maybe today or tomorrow. I get the feeling Google is finding one piece of duplicated information and dropping the entire site just for that. I have one site that uses an uncommon datafeed that hasn't been hit at all, amazingly. This site uses the same format as my others so this has me a little curious what their new criteria is.

    I too have noticed a lack of sales related information in my areas of interest. Google has focused on high PR content sites with no datafeeds. Maybe they're hitting sites that use $ dollar signs or maybe sites that use canned product descriptions? I'm leaning towards the descriptions since they make it easy for Google to detect duplicate information.

    I wonder what would happen if we start removing our descriptions...
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    don't lose hope guys...my visitors dropped by over 9/10th's that is I lost 9 out every 10 visitors way back around March, I think I am slowly getting some of them back. It might be just a blimp albeit a long one but hand in there.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Sad fact here is I had the same drop in March. It wasn't quite as bad as this one, but it was bad. I recovered in about a month and a half and around June my traffic was higher than it's ever been. I took another big hit at the end of June but nowhere near as big as March or now. Just when that began to recover I got this hit. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle here
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Hey guys, searching through Google on several part numbers we carry, I see some significant changes on how sites are being included and how they are ranking as compared to early last week.

    One recommendation I believe could help is diluting all your title tags just a tad with your site name or one of the main features of your site (2-3 words max). Have that same extra keyword or phrase also run in your keywords, description, and in the body possibly. This way Google sees that you are making an attempt to promote something unique throughout your site.

    Remember, as you already know, the title tag is the most important. I don't see duplicate title tags in google search results anymore. Similar, sure, but different.

    Yes, what I propose could potentially reduce some of your page rankings, but in many cases I believe it could mean the difference between existing on the first 1-3 pages of results or even being excluded entirely.

    I began doing this with the free affiliate sites I'm building for LaptopsForless.com Affiliates. If you're interested in one of these sites for yourself, or if there's anything I can help you with while working on our program, please let me know.

    Best Regards and hang in there datafeeders!

    -------------------------

    For more info on the free sites, go to...

    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...45&m=889103394

    For info on our external datafeed go to...

    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...5&m=3586087165

    Paul

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    BDS will no longer publish a "public feed"

    Feed tweakers can contact me for the latest feed due out this week. We know who you are and will get to you individually.

    imho, mass distribution of feeds and FPCs and keyword lists is not a good idea and will hurt the merchant in the long run.

    "Let the affiliates do some work"

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Good idea Paul. I thought about that and considered the same problems you mentioned about less focus on the product name, but I think it's becoming necessary now. You can't just list a focused product name anymore. You need to indicate what else you're offering with that product, ie: price comparisons, coupons, reviews, etc.
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Smart move Adam. I think most merchants are going to need to be a lot more selective on who they give their datafeeds to. We need to start moving away from straight duplication. Shoppers, content searchers and the search engines have spoken and they'll have no more duplicate content.
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  10. #10
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    >no longer publish a "public feed"

    Balls-y, Adam. You're also about a year ahead of the game. If you don't force your affs to generate "somewhat unique" sites your merchants stand to have the SEs wipe their butts off the serps. So, chalk this up to tough love for your merchants and performing affs.

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Snib, yep and yep. The searchers and engines have spoken. And BDS, we do need to be more selective to who gets our merchant datafeeds.

    I believe straight duplication in affiliate land is about as noble and original as email spam.

    For this, I think that duplicate detection algorithms like Google's will affect us all in a similar way as mail server spam filters have.

    Some innocent players will get hurt, but more spam will be filtered out.

    Casualties of war... let's fight on.

    Paul

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    So back to the purpose of this thread.. What can we do instead of straight duplication? What good is a datafeed data now that it's obvious search engines are filtering it out?
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #13
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    Rework it so it's not a straight duplication. Seems work (w*rk) is a bad word around here sometimes. A little hard work never hurt anybody

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Google and the other majors might be tasked by the Feds with immediate identification of phisher sites using merchant datafeeds to acquire CC# and identity info. In that process of identifying identical product #,description, price hooked to a cart the Google weenies see 200 million pages choaking their SERPs. Little tweeking and bye bye duplicate feed listings making the Phisher perps stick out like sore thumbs.

    Then again what would I know as I was the only one in the affiliate industry, starting with TD's Andy, warning AM's feeds should never be handed out like Holloween candy. Best case senerio was it became SE spam panel food. Worse case senerio was it became a 1 hour effort for a Phisher gold mind and cranked out 200,000 hidden doorways pages for the cookie stuffing tricksters.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> A little hard work never hurt anybody <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unique-izing 150,000 products is NOT a "little" hard work!

    A person would get OLD before completing one update of that, without some serious automation going on.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> no longer publish a "public feed"
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    That's not ballsy at all, it's a chicken's move, like when a kid isn't winning and "takes his toys and goes home."

    The Game will go on, with or without you.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    Any tool is only as good as the affiliate that uses it.

    Pulling a datafeed based on feedback in one thread is a bad business move. If you have other reasons,fine, but based on what Google is doing? Come on.....

    And if you live and die by Google listings, you are in the wrong business. We are MARKETERS. It has been said often enough, diversify, market outside the search engines. Yeah, we love being on top in the SE listings, but for the majority of us, it ain't happening enough to pay the bills. Get links from sites that bring you traffic. Promote to your niche. Build a site that gets bookmarked and that people come back to without going to Google first.

    Just my opinions of course.

    My datafeed sites don't look like anyone else's, not to the public and not to the search engines.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    There is no reason to believe google is doing anything about datafeeds. If you listen to those people at wmw you'll think the sky is falling about once a month. The fact is they have nothing to talk about but search engines and in a desperate move to make it more exciting they always come up with crap. You'll never learn a dang thing over there that will help improve listings or positions.

  18. #18
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    WOW Deborah!

    Right on target

  19. #19
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    From the reading I've done around the subject, it does appear that massive datafeed driven sites have been hit hard, but it's not exclusively confined to them.

    There's a lot of speculation. Certainly I've seen a lot of *huge* (in page terms) affiliate sites wiped out in recent updates. There's a lot of speculation that there's more agressive duplicate filtering too.

    Every time there's an algo shift like this people get clobbered

    But a successful affiliate is normally pretty resourceful and used to the ups and downs. Errr like that Chumbawumba song, we get knocked down, but we get up again.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Dang!!! Now I'll have to go and play 'Close To The Edge' anti-socially loud!

    (It's something I have to do every few months just to get it out of my system) (sorry neighbours)

    Jon Anderson's amazing silvery tenor singing "I get up..... I get down.... I get up...."

  21. #21
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    I'd like to be clear whether it's only datafeed pages that are being hit, or whether it's whole sites - non-datafeed pages included?

    My main site took a hit back in May, but only on the datafeed pages, which didn't get much SE traffic anyway. Nearly all my traffic comes from my other pages which I feed through to my datafeed-generated catalog.

    Oddly enough, another site that I use mainly for testing is still fully indexed by G, and it has nothing but datafeed pages.

  22. #22
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    &gt;it does appear that massive datafeed driven sites have been hit hard, but it's not exclusively confined to them

    Agreed. And this isn't a new scare based on a few threads. Anyone that went to the Vegas meeting got an emphatic heads-up then. ...Most chose denial as their response but that's the usual course of action anyway.

    Speculation: I'm looking at tell-tale site structure revolving around categories.

    &gt;150,000

    Yep. No way to hand-customize a big feed.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Personally, if this gets rid of all the junk datafeed pages that always seem to get you stuck in an endless loop of other datafeed pages, I say good job, well done!

    I know there are many here with good datafeed sites that are actually helpful in connecting buyers and sellers, and I feel bad that those sites might also get whacked. Yet another example of abusing a good thing, the parasites should pay attention to this. They might be next on the SE radar.

    Andy

  24. #24
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    You know, if I were Google, I would be measuring site usefulness in some way.

    Since I'm not, I can only guess that a site that has an 'ABC Store', a 'PQR Store' and a 'XYZ Store', each featuring the products of only one merchant, is not providing usefulness greater than the merchants' sites themselves.

    However, if the site has a catalog that includes several merchants, for say apparel, then the user is getting more info in one place than at a single merchant.

    Now that can't be a bad thing, and surely Google knows it.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    There are other models.
    Some of the most successful affiliate marketers don't use individual product links at all.

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