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  1. #1
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    Hello -

    I have a couple of questions...

    First, on Inktomi results moving to Yahoo. I have been doing Affiliate Marketing for almost a year now, and Google has provided 80% of my traffic at least. I have not yet paid for any inclusion into Inktomi, and have never used PPC yet.

    The fact that Inktomi is going to be getting a larger share of searches with Yahoo switching to their results, tells me that I need to find a way to get my pages into the Ink index. Some of my pages find a way in for free, but not many at all.

    I use datafeeds with my sites, so a couple have a large number of pages (of course I add my own text and descriptions to the products, never saw the use of using the same datafeeds everyone else is without putting my own twist on it) - are these type of sites going to become less effective going forward, as there is no way I can pay to have them all included into Inktomi?

    Does it ever happen that a large site like this will have most/all of it's pages indexed for free into Ink?

    If not, it appears to me that smaller, more SEO targeted sites are the way to go moving forward. Larger sites that rely on sheer numbers of pages with varied keywords on each, seem to be a dying breed - assuming that eventually all engines move to pay per inclusion....

    What strategy do some of you take regarding this switch? I stand to loose 40% of my web traffic (40% comes from Yahoo right now) - and so far I have found no easy way into Ink. Do I just need to bite the bullet and change my strategy to smaller sites where I can get a better feel for which pages perform - and then pay to include them?

    Just trying to glean a bit of insight as to how some of you more experienced folk are handling this...

    Danski

    So many ways to make a buck, so little time...

  2. #2
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    What i've been doing the past few months are paying to get in my better performing pages hopefully making a smooth transition. One of my sites INK loves and all the pages are in free, so everything should be fine with that one. Another used to be all free then i noticed pages disappearing and i've been paying to get the better ones in. As far as feed sites, Google loves them more than INK. I've seen some post they have no problem getting their feed sites in but i think its a little harder. Also Yahoo is looking to push hard to make money next year and so it would be in their financial interest to somehow weed out feed sites. Unlike Googles Froogle which is free, Yahoo gets paid per click for their product search as much as $1.25 for a flower product click. And who knows what the people who buy Google will do with it and Froogle. Right now i'm just going to wait and see what happens and then go from there. Theres also MSN search that might be launching next year and who knows how they will index, they could eat up feed sites like Google. Right now i got the pages i need to get in and will wait to see what exactly Yahoo does. They also have Overture, AllTheWeb and Altavista and they might throw all that into the mix too.

  3. #3
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    Trust -

    Thanks for replying, I've always held your opinion in high regard. I like your ideas, and your optimism for affiliate marketing - frankly, I need a little optimism right now...

    Before I get to that - you mentioned that you paid for inclusion for your higher performing pages. On determining which pages are high performing : I assume that the only way to calculate how much revenue a page brings in (I equate this to high performing) is to not use the same affiliate links across different pages that the merchant (through CJ, or indy, or whatever) will list in your sales reports. Is there anything you do beyond that to calculate how high performing a page is?

    The reason I ask is that I centered an very large site around a certain indy merchant, but the sales reports don't tell me which links generated sales, or even which products were ordered...I can't see a way to calculate which pages are high performing in this case...

    Lastly, with the paradigm shift of the SE world coming up in 2004, it would appear that the days of the free search engine traffic are slowly - or rapidly, coming to an end. Inktomi is difficult to get free traffic from most of the time, and they are now going to be serving yahoo...is the pay per inclusion model going to be followed by other SE's going forward due to the sheer volume of web pages out there now? Will pay per inclusion really hurt the SE results, as long as the grandfathered in sites make up the base of the search results?

    If pay per inclusion gets more common with the SE's, adn they are able to better target money making keywords, and remove unpaid listings based on this - it appears that the only chance for affiliate marketing is to start paying more for advertising (as you are now Trust). Profit margins will be hit pretty hard - will affiliate marketing cease to be a profitable enough business to make some sort of a living on? (unless you have great branded sites, like FlamingoWorld, etc - which takes a lot of time and effort to do)

    I'd like to hear arguments against this, as I've been doing this a year and am paying an expensive mortage with my sites. I'd like to believe it will last for the next 5 years, but at this point I'm not sure if it will last the next 2. It's time to become a merchant, it would appear, so at least the margins will be such that I could justify paying advertising costs.

    Thanks,

    Danski

    So many ways to make a buck, so little time...

  4. #4
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    I don't think free search engine traffic will ever end, i think they might offer paid inclusion as an option just to get the pages in faster like INK does now. Paid meaning you'll get indexed not necessarily in the spot you hope, that depends on the algo they use. I don't think free search will ever end because i think there will always be search based on some sort of algo, theres no way you could hire people to index and sort billions of pages, with probably millions of pages being added every day. Google is free, MSN search whenever that lauches will be free, INK is free most of the time. Only including paid pages in an index would wipe out 99% of the index and people want relevant results paid or unpaid. I do remember GoogleGuy saying he doesn't see any reason why they can't index the whole internet. So i think you'll see a lot like you have now, pages getting added free, with paid inclusion as an option and paid advertising all around ala Adwords, Overture etc.

    I paid for my pages that got lots of Google traffic, and for pages with my better performing merchants. I also looked at Wordtracker to see what kind of competition i would have for the pages i pay to get in. Then i check my site stats to see what pages are getting the most hits. I know usually you can add some sort of parameter to your links so you can see which links are bringing in the money, for CJ its the SID. With Linkshare, they have great reports, you can see exactly what people order. I love indys but that seems to be a problem with a lot of them, the reporting section. Amazon is an Indy that has nice reports but most Indys reporting is lacking.

    I work in lounge pants . Looking for a sponsor, PM with offer.

  5. #5
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    I've found that pages that do well in Google also *tend* to do well if included in Ink. Basically, I look at where Google is sending me traffic and then either splash out $25 on them or change an existing Ink subscription.

    ________
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  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I don't think free search engine traffic will ever end <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    A couple months ago, I got an email newsletter from Ken Evoy - author of Make Your Site Sell, which stated this exactly. He compared search engine results with a newspaper's editorial and news articles. Without the free listings the search engines themselves have no real content, and it's doubtful that a search engine crammed to the gills with paid advertising is going to have much value to somebody searching for relevant content or products, especially if the amount spent on advertising is the deciding factor for search positioning.

    Example: Who seriously uses Overture to find anything on the web. Overture has search partners that display their ads so they will be seen along with spidered and directory results.

    It would be very interesting to know what the ratio of clicks is between paid/spidered results with the search engines.

    Greg

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