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  1. #1
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Most of my traffic (and earnings) seem to be taken away in one day by google. A wide variety of link pages, how-to stuff, contests, webmerge generated pages nearly all penalized for reasons I am not even fully clear on. I am guessing they just penalized all the interlinked sites or perhaps even penalized the links from outside sources. As many of you know, when a page is optimized for search, many sites will (without notification or trade) link to you simply for the keyword-rich link. Since these links are many times part of a "link spam-type" page, google may have shut these down. At any rate, this means hours and days and months of hard work down the drain for me.

    I will not be defeated. My new content site in the works will be bookmarked by thousands if not millions of Americans. I will not need the search engines, fickled directories, and others that consider honest affiliates the scourge of the earth! Once I get the bookmarks and traffic, the monetization will follow.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  3. #3
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    "webmerge generated pages nearly all penalized for reasons I am not even fully clear on"

    "many sites will (without notification or trade) link to you simply for the keyword-rich link"

    We all need to stop and think about this. "webmerge generated" is the key, not other sites linking in. Not to knock Webmerge, but consider the fact that when hundreds or maybe even thousands of pages may have nearly the same content, the truly "unique" and original ones will float higher in the SERP's by default.

    Reliance upon Google is another thing that folks should reconsider. We are in BUSINESS trying to sell good to the general public. The tried and true method of generating more BUSINESS, ever since the beginning of time, is to ADVERTISE.

  4. #4
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Not to knock Webmerge, but consider the fact that when hundreds or maybe even thousands of pages may have nearly the same content, the truly "unique" and original ones will float higher in the SERP's by default. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is not to fault Webmerge. Webmerge is simply a tool to make pages. The data that is in your spreadsheet is the key. If you have descriptions that match every other affiliate out there, then your pages will have the same information theirs does.

    Use Webmerge to make pages - it is an awesome tool. But - make your content unique and you will stand out.



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  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateBuddha's Avatar
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    My content writers have written lots of VERY unique content that has been very nicely embedded into data-fed affiliate sites making them stand out drastically from the datafile-content only sites , yet they have been battered badly by google. I simply can't understand this update.
    Gift Shopping Zone Affiliate Program on SAS - 10% per sale with unlimited cookie duration, over 10,000 products.

  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Why would google drop a site?

  7. #7
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    "Why would google drop a site"

    The proper question to ask is this: Why would Google rank a site higher?

    The answer to that question is one of two solutions to the problem. The other solution, and a far more effective one as it is within the scope of your control (whereas Google certainly isn't ) is to find other methods of exposure. ADVERTISE.

    How do you think Yahoo and Coca-Cola got so big? They ADVERTISED.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateBuddha's Avatar
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    Chief, Without either a unique or a competitive concept, you can't be a yahoo or a coke, you can't advertise traffic diversion sites that don't really help the site visitor with anything new and simply send them to another site where the transaction is actually happening.

    You require a reason for advertising or branding, and most affiliate sites lack that.

    This brings a new question, what can you do to make your site advertisable.

    five years ago, affiliate sites used to be magazines, full of content and advertisements, now they have become mere classified pages. it's really next to impossible to brand a bunch of pages containing nothing but advertisements to other sites using the menthod you mentioned - advertising.

    The only affiliate sites that I think can actually be branded are coupon sites, rebate sites, sites with product reviews, compairison sites etc.. normal datafeed sites or SEOed keyword stuffed sites that make up the largest part of the affiliate business don't fall in this category.
    Gift Shopping Zone Affiliate Program on SAS - 10% per sale with unlimited cookie duration, over 10,000 products.

  9. #9
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    "Pretend all your sites just vanished from all the SE's and PPC didn't exist. Where would your traffic come from?"

    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...89&m=866104303

    Since day 1 i was never comfortable being totally reliant on free SE traffic. Not a way to build a business around, not a way to do this long term. At the beginning you're most likely going to get traffic from the search engines and you can continue, it's something you should learn how to do but don't base your business on it. You should also learn how to do PPC effectively so no matter what happens you still have the skills to make money. If all your free SE traffic disappeared, will you be in good shape? If not, start working now towards that. I'm sure we've all been to sites where we've bookmarked it or we continue to visit or we passed along to a friend. Do you have that type of site now? If not, start working towards that. Have a site worthy of advertising, of you spending some money on it. The SE's are going to continue to gobble up pages and you have more competition coming online everyday. There is only so much room on page 1. Next year this will be my focus, offline advertising. You can always have a site, you just need to get traffic to it. And it's good to find out other ways besides free SE search. I've seen too many stories of people being wiped out because of an update. Learn from that.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> it's really next to impossible to brand a bunch of pages containing nothing but advertisements to other sites using the menthod you mentioned - advertising.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ads-only isn't a new concept. Ads-only paper publications have been around for years! And yes--they're branded, at least in their local areas.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>normal datafeed sites or SEOed keyword stuffed sites that make up the largest part of the affiliate business don't fall in this category. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think ads that aimed at convincing people that your site had the best selection might do it.

    Would they actually be convinced? Put it like this, if people can be convinced to drink any of that cola swill, or to use that monstrous site known as Yahoo--they can certainly be convinced that one datafeed site is better than another!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Don't panic too soon. I have a page that has done very well this season and hovered around 1-5 for the chosen keywords. Yesterday it was at no.20, earlier today it was at 3, now it's at 11 again, the update is far from over.

  12. #12
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    For the last several years, there have been numerous postings on Abestweb about websites that were dropped by either Google or Yahoo. There was a huge blood-letting by Google around the 25th of August that nailed our primary site, and a large number of other affiliate sites, but it also penalized a lot of non-affiliates. Bottom line -- we can't tell why the SE's do some of the strange things they do, but like death and taxes, we do know that algorithm changes are a certainty. We're faced with SE's that don't want affiliate sites (unless there is heavy content), cookie blocking software, and many other challenges as we head into another new year. It's probably time to do some strategic thinking along CheeseHead's lines and come up with a new approach or two.

  13. #13
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    "The only affiliate sites that I think can actually be branded are coupon sites, rebate sites, sites with product reviews, compairison sites etc"

    Walmart doesn't offer "unique" content or information. They just sell a bunch of sh#t. They advertise "Come here and buy "sh#t, we've got all the sh#t you need!". People don't go there for education or cultural enrichment. They go their to buy sh#t.

  14. #14
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    But wal-mart isn't an affiliate site. Wal-Mart doesn't offer something and has k-mart sell it to you.

  15. #15
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    The difference between an affiliate and just about any merchant is the delivery of goods, sales support, and possibly keeping inventory. Virtually no merchant manufactures their own product - they are a broker like us. They do have to handle customer complaints where as we don't. So I guess they command the "accountability" for that reason. We are the "sales force" of the merchant but somehow we are portrayed as the devils of the world wide web. In many ways we are not much different than a TV station or other media outlet - they use their "content" to bring buyer to seller and they do not service, deliver, or maintain inventory. They do offer appealing content so wah-lah there's the secret! (Unless you can afford lots of PPC!)

    Back to work on my big bad project!
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Darn is this whole senerio from BHO consumer outrage, non-reporting low conversion fiascos, cookie stuffing outings to SERP whacking the good -bad and ugly ...makes the Safe Haven Network conceptlook like a savior.

    Heck my lame site never showed a burp in Google traffic except for a few old pages getting a revival. My clients like Holdup Suspenders love the changes too even though they always were page one since Googles launch. "men's suspenders"
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...27s+suspenders
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  17. #17
    I like traffic lights
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AffiliateBuddha:
    My content writers have written lots of VERY unique content that has been very nicely embedded into data-fed affiliate sites making them stand out drastically from the datafile-content only sites , yet they have been battered badly by google. I simply can't understand this update. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The links on those nice content pages all head (ultimately) to the same places as the links on all those cookie cutter datafeed sites. Maybe THAT'S the reason?

  18. #18
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    "But wal-mart isn't an affiliate site."

    So what.

    The best way too see outside of the box is to just get out of it.

    If you don't want to put the "marketing" into "affiliate marketing", then good luck. Over-reliance on Google and other free rides is the webmaster equivalent of panhandling. This is why affiliates generally get "no respect" in the webmaster community.

  19. #19
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    cheesehead, I think this is just an algorithm change, I don't think your sites were actually 'penalized' for anything ... because ...

    In late August, I lost almost all my Google traffic. I had been getting several thousand uniques a day and making pretty good money. It was just like you said - One day, I was going fine, and then Boom, like turning off a faucet, I had no Google traffic. The bot was barely even showing her face.

    Now, on Thursday I think, the faucet has been turned back on. I have regained practically every spot I had lost and the big traffic numbers are back, overnight. That leads me to believe that it was just an algorithm change, because I did almost nothing to the site in the interim)

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CheeseHead:
    Most of my traffic (and earnings) seem to be taken away in one day by google. A wide variety of link pages, how-to stuff, contests, webmerge generated pages nearly all penalized for reasons I am not even fully clear on. I am guessing they just penalized all the interlinked sites or perhaps even penalized the links from outside sources. As many of you know, when a page is optimized for search, many sites will (without notification or trade) link to you simply for the keyword-rich link. Since these links are many times part of a "link spam-type" page, google may have shut these down. At any rate, this means hours and days and months of hard work down the drain for me.

    I will not be defeated. My new content site in the works will be bookmarked by thousands if not millions of Americans. I will not need the search engines, fickled directories, and others that consider honest affiliates the scourge of the earth! Once I get the bookmarks and traffic, the monetization will follow. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How does bookmarks get somebody more traffic? I have bookmarks in my favorites folder that I haven't been to in years. I bookmark pages and forget about them. So how can people bookmarking a website get you traffic?

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>How does bookmarks get somebody more traffic? I have bookmarks in my favorites folder that I haven't been to in years. I bookmark pages and forget about them. So how can people bookmarking a website get you traffic? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have the same thing. But, I also have a few sites in there that I DO come back to. Those lucky few won't lose me as a viewer if Google decides to tank 'em.

    What's it take to be one of the "lucky few?" The sites have to be extremely relevant to what I'm trying to do at the time. "Great content" in itself is not enough--it has to be about something I'm currently involved in enough to want the info "at my fingertips" and NOT disappearing under whatever Google decides to like better the next week.

    The key is how much recurring immediacy there is with my need for finding that exact site's information. (Usually with me it'll be a GAME walkthrough/mod place that gets the crown because the last thing I want to do is "go fish" through Google looking for how to get the God-Mode on, while I've got a game on pause in the other window with some w@nk enemy trying to cut my character into 10,000 pieces! ) But occasionally something business-related will get its bookmark used, too.

    So, while I think bookmarks are certainly overrated (most of mine are indeed just wasting disk space and cluttering up my list), there is *some* value in them to the sites that happen to be extremely relevant to what I'm trying to accomplish at the time.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I totally agree with much of what's being said here. This happens on a regular basis and as long as you stay loyal to your websites, you'll do fine. Each experience like this helps me stand back and put things into perspective.

    You have to maintain your own audience. Many affiliates don't have an audience of even 1 or 2 loyal visitors. Loyal visitors are what you want, so what are you doing to make them loyal to you? Let's not forget that a newsletter or deal alert is a great way to gather loyal buyers. Since the last drop in August I've implemented nothing but loyalty based features to cater to my visitors. I work to make my site run smoother, look nicer, and offer value to the customers.

    There's one thing Google can't take away from you and that's experience. Value this experience and the experiences you collect as you continue to expand your business. Think about the sites you admire and improve on their ideas. If you dig deeply you'll find some high quality sites out there that are pushing millions in sales. Sign up to their newsletters, study their marketing techniques. Figure out how to implement similar features.

    I've got a huge todo list and this Google algorithm change hasn't changed it a bit. Just stay on track and keep your visitors. Think about those thousands of visitors hitting your sites and think about what might disappoint them or what will make them happy. For example, do you send your visitors to out of stock items? Do you give them expired coupons? Are your prices as up to date as possible? Does your server run smooth? Is your navigation easy to follow? Do your search results offer relevant information?

    If you want to be serious about this, be serious about your visitors. Keep them and these Google changes will slowly dwindle to a minor itch.

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

  23. #23
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    Something curious happened. As many of us my websites disappeard in google, and now I am gettin gsales from merchants on that sites which had never produced sales. So I can nearly compensate the loss of income. I find it very strange: why did those sites never produce income when they were listed in google?


    carneol

  24. #24
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Carneol, there's also been a recent Yahoo! update. so perhaps you are getting traffic from there instead?
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  25. #25
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    - - - - -
    Carneol, there's also been a recent Yahoo! update. so perhaps you are getting traffic from there instead?
    - - - - -

    Makes me shudder, Yahoo has been velly velly good to me. Don't change, Yahoo!!!!!
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

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