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  1. #1
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    Angry My 1 Month as a Super Affiliate - I hate you Google
    Well, it was nice while it lasted but the dream ended suddenly when I logged into one of my websites stats with a big drop in traffic and then the affiliate networks to see nearly zero sales. For the last 5-6 weeks I was making 20-40 sales a day with commissions averaging $400 a day. I'm not sure if that was Super Affiliate Status but it was plenty for me! I have done well for many years and enough to make a living but no where near that much, at least not recently. Most of the sales were through one of my ----- sites that has been around for years but Google picked it up early April and it was getting top rankings for a number of merchants. All my top listings are now taken over by - yes, you guessed it "retailmeNot", Googles best friend!

    I'm glad I was able to save enough to now head off overseas on a world trip for several months. I just hope I can get back to a livable income before I head off in a few weeks so I can enjoy my trip. It was such a horrible feeling to see it all gone. My traffic has dropped and I can't find most of the top searches I was getting anymore, in fact it seems many that I had good rankings for years have now all but dropped away but I still see a few top searches still there so it's a bit weird. I never changed anything besides normal adding promotions and cleaning up merchants etc.

    Now I have tasted what it is like to make so many sales a day I'm hooked and want to get back to that but I'm probably looking at a huge and long road ahead. In fact I would prefer this never happened and I was just making consistent sales before this spike and complete drop which is very unfair by Google to play around with peoples livelihoods like this. I don't know what to do now but turn to traffic generation and link building to get some back links? I'm going to start writing articles for some article directories in hope that Google might see the back links as a good thing and put me back in top positions again. I have never had to do much of this before as most of my traffic was built up organically over years, now my commissions have dropped below what I was getting before I was on this ride so it's damn annoying.

    No more stops at the coffee shop and not caring about loose change....
    Last edited by glittered; May 11th, 2011 at 02:47 AM.
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  3. #2
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    The Lord [read "Google"] giveth, the Lord [still Google] taketh away.

    The life-cycle of affiliate marketing.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
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  4. #3
    15 years and counting
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    I'm glad I was able to save enough to now head off overseas on a world trip for several months.
    That's enough to give you the Super Affiliate status, glinted.
    Welcome to this wonderful world. Now, you understand what stress is all about.
    I know the feeling. I lost around $1K in (daily) commission on may 6. The experts call it Panda (3). I saw a big increase in traffic after the first run of the farmer (panda) update. I though I made it just fine. I was wrong. Remember what you have learned at ABW. Don't keep all your eggs in the same basket.
    I lost traffic on some of my (cutting edge) sites but some of my old ones are suddendly back in business.
    PS: I'm sure you're not going to see RMN as before. Good luck for a fast recovery.
    Last edited by Zeus; May 11th, 2011 at 04:11 AM.

  5. #4
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    Yes I had been reading it was probably Panda as it happened to others. Thanks guys for the encouragement.

    Sadly I thought this was the big update I had been waiting for years to come.... how disappointing! I now realize it was more like a tease so I would learn that I should be a good boy and start to use Analytics and start paying for traffic like Google wants and expects me to, then WHAM, I get the real update a month later.... It was a nice tease though and then as I was enjoying the false reality I was slapped in the face.

    I have had drops in the past but they usually come back eventually so I do have some hope it is not going to be too long, how long until the next update I'm not sure?

    Any ideas how how to get a fast recovery would be good? Would getting articles out there with backlinks help?
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  6. #5
    15 years and counting
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    Getting good backlinks from no spammy articles or websites will help you.
    It's hard to predict a recovery but Google is pretty smart. If you find what gave you that penalty and remove it, Google will recalculate your site.
    Google caught me one day for using too many backlinks for one site. I got a warning in Webmaster Tools. I remove them and the same day my penalty was gone. Amazing and scary. Google is watching us in real time.
    The problem is to find what triggered the penalty. I think that the Panda update is not only about sites gathering articles, it's much wider than that.
    In my case, I think I overused sites interlinking.
    Have a look at Webmaster World. "Google SEO News and Discussion". Panda and how to recover from Panda is a hot topic.

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  8. #6
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    I was only going to write for Ezine this time and not bother with the other ones so I hope it will work. Actually I don't have many links in. I noticed I have not lost places for less in demand searches so I guess it must be just a ranking thing where I have not been dropped but just put down the ladder considerably for popular searches. I might go back to the Webmaster tools and spend some time there too. I noticed some things I can improve there but I might really have a good look at it, even spend a few days getting things improved with site maps etc. I will also look at Webmaster World too, thanks a lot for the ideas. It will basically be my full time job fixing this now until I get it back up....
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  9. #7
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    Sounds like you've got a bad case of Googlism. Learn to leverage social media as much as your Goog traffic to gain some of that back. You can probably make some small changes to regain most of your SERPs.
    Your first post mentioned Retailmenot, yeah, they have some mad SEO skills over there.
    Have fun on your trip.

  10. #8
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    glinted,

    Sorry to hear this - it really does suck. We are all slaves to Google. Unfortunately, I am currently enjoying a temporary surge in traffic and sales similar to what you had before the drop - your thread is a great reminder to all of us that this game is easy-come-easy-go. I wish I had some wise words to help you out but it seems like you have a good handle on the situation.

    On second thought, I have one little piece of advice on article marketing. I am seeing more and more of my articles ranking in the SERPs with the language all mased-up like it was translated by someone (or a script) that didn't speak good english. These article are ranking highly into my space without using my author details (links). So my advice would be to write great content for your own site, write articles with you links in the body as well as the author area (and submit to directories that accept this).

    Best of luck!
    When the only tool you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail.

  11. #9
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    superCool feels for you glinted...big time. this sounds like what happened to superCool back in Febuary - increased traffic and sales for a week or two and then sudden death. you just start to feel like you're really making it and then they lower the boom on you.

    for what it's worth (probably not much), superCool's site came back fairly well and was almost back to normal but then it got smacked again a few days ago.

    good luck getting back on top

  12. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    the Google has made multiple changes since Panda. We saw a crash, a spike, and yet another crash.

    My kids want a summer pass to the theme park. Think I'll get them into affiliate marketing and let them ride this roller coaster...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #11
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Been seeing much the same thing. I only have one site that I think is "immune" to Panda Bear Attacks, and even that one is seeing some odd fluctuations. Not so much in the WHAT (traffic volume) but the WHY (search terms). We clearly replaced some "farms" on our reviews and original content, but our interspersed "thin affiliate" pages took a beating.

    Those too, however, are starting to show some marginal increases.

    On another site that's pretty thin (although well built), I saw almost a 50% drop in traffic over the past month or so, moreso in the last 10 days. Watching that one to see the overall result.
    Kevin Webster
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  15. #12
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Glinted. Are you not getting any traffic from Bing or Yahoo? I have the same page rankings on these. I guess 99% of traffic comes from Google.

  16. #13
    ABW Ambassador daiarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glinted View Post
    I was only going to write for Ezine this time and not bother with the other ones so I hope it will work.
    Despite their claims to the contrary Ezine traffic has dropped since the Google changes, my article views are down by 50% compared to the end of 2010.

  17. #14
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I wouldn't spend time writing articles for other sites unless they are guest articles for a site in your niche. The big article sites are content farms that have been hit by Google and will get hit again until they are gone. The main reason article sites are being used is to alter SEO status. Goolge is not a fan of that and will try to get rid of that type of online strategy.

    At least you know your site converts when the traffic is there....

    Good luck and have a good trip.
    [URL=http://www.investeverymonth.com]InvestEveryMonth.com[/URL] - Build Wealth

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  19. #15
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    The only way to avoid this is to build something that stands on its own two feet. You need an audience that returns to your site regularly. Building an affiliate site with a loyal audience is very difficult because nobody wants to support an obvious for-profit website. It needs to help them in a very critical way. Retailmenot helps customers because it has just about every coupon out there. If you're building a coupon site and can't list every coupon out there, you will never stand on your own two feet. This is a saturated market and you'll always depend on Google unless you can offer a service that rivals sites like Retailmenot.

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


  20. #16
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Snib! God to see you sir.
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  21. #17
    15 years and counting
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    Where do you stand, glinted?
    It took me 10 days to be back on track with my sites. It seems the last Panda changes are not a penalty, just a filter.
    Just remove what Google don't like and it should work. It took me from 1 to 10 days depending of the authority level of the sites.

  22. #18
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    Just remove what Google don't like and it should work. It took me from 1 to 10 days depending of the authority level of the sites.
    Do you think you added something that Google didn't like, or did Google just decide it didn't like something all of a sudden? How did you determine what it was?

  23. #19
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    I think I did push too much the limits.
    Each time something works in my favor, I'm pushing it a little bit further. I try to stay inside Google guidelines, but you still have a lot of grey areas (That's where the money is).
    If it was working before, it means Google did accept it. If you're the only one to push the limit, you have no problem. You're cashing in.
    The problem starts when everybody is doing the same. Google changes the rules and you're back to the drawing board. It's why it's hard to exchange tips on a forum.
    Google gives you more and more information at Webmaster Tools, you need also to have your own stats and read Google own blogs and Webmaster World.

  24. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    Where do you stand, glinted?
    It took me 10 days to be back on track with my sites. It seems the last Panda changes are not a penalty, just a filter.
    Just remove what Google don't like and it should work. It took me from 1 to 10 days depending of the authority level of the sites.
    Still the same I think but yes I have just lost rankings, not taken out. So for example if I was no 1 or 2 for a key phrase I might now be 4 or 5 or even worse. Some not so popular searches I still have top rankings but most of my best sales searches have lost out so income is still way down.

    I wish I could find out why I got dropped down but I have no idea as I had not changed anything leading up to it. I just try to improve things each day, add a few links here and there and hope that I might get picked up again next round.... I have also been building better social media, improved twitter updates etc but it has not made any difference yet although it has improved traffic but they have not turned into conversions. The stupid thing is that I had a 93% bookmarks in my stats, since the drop I'm now down to the low 80's so it goes to show that my visitors were happy before Google messed around with it..
    Last edited by glittered; May 18th, 2011 at 07:13 PM.
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  25. #21
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glinted View Post
    I wish I could find out why I got dropped down but I have no idea as I had not changed anything leading up to it
    Do you wonder how you got up to the top for those 5-6 weeks?

    It could be that nothing changed on your part, but all related to new things that the competition did, or even that Google started to devalue some of the things that helped you up there temporarily.

  26. #22
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    superCool almost thinks the G might be testing us with these "good" weeks. G sends some extra peeps our way and if the site passes the test (whatever that might be), then we get to keep some of the extra volume, if we don't pass.....goodbye traffic

    just a theory - based on nothing but paranoia

  27. #23
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    Never put all eggs in one basket, you need find more methods to get traffic instead of only depends on Google ranking.

  28. #24
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Snib, you make a lot of sense, but for many it would mean revamping their sites almost 100% with a slim chance of getting the big G to even recognize them again. G has their own plans and it doesn't include affiliate marketers - if anything, just the opposite. They want that piece of the pie for themselves. I know...I know... they are a company -- can do what they want. And they do. If something is successful (and who would know better than they given they have access to the private world of everyone--every business--everything) then eventually they move in and make every effort to take it over.
    Last edited by leeann; May 19th, 2011 at 09:01 AM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  29. #25
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Also-- I don't know if I would bother putting articles on other websites like ezine. It used to work, but since they are categorized as "farming" I would think working up other types of networking/article exchange with related, but non-competing sites would be more beneficial. On the other hand, sites like ehow still seem to be surviving and often land on the top 5-10 ranking. I guess people like simple -- how do you do that --- type articles (or G does).
    Last edited by leeann; May 19th, 2011 at 09:06 AM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

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