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  1. #1
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    Well I would have to say that I was definitely affected with the mid-November Google Florida dance on numerous sites (not all). My top ten rankings for major product keywords (which also happened to be my domain names) totally disappeared. I was among 80+ out of 100 former top listings that got the boot on several strong keywords. When over 80% of the top 100 listings in a keyword search go to elsewhereville - that's a big deal affecting a lot of people.

    Am I a SEOer? Hell no. I just followed the basics utilizing keywords throughout my sites as long as it makes sense. I'm a simpleton. I generally have high clickthrough rates on my sites plus enjoy strong EPCs because my sites get visitors rapidly over to the merchants in a simple process. The visitors got what they are looking for. My sites work great as far as results are concerned but web design awards aren't in my future (lol). Anyways those free visitors on those keywords are now lost.

    "Many" non-spam website owners are going to have an awful Christmas as their income disappeared. That is very sad as we all can agree. The total dependence on Google traffic sank them. They failed to diversify. Maybe Google will make some readjustments and some of that traffic will return but I wouldn't count on it.

    I always wondered what would happen if my Google free traffic disappeared - how would it affect my income? I saw what happened to numerous peoples incomes when Yahoo made changes and that is frightening. Not all my Google traffic is gone and I do still get free traffic on a number of keywords on various sites but not for those major ones anymore.

    So how did this major Google change affect me in November? The result was a record month with around $11,500 in commissions. How could this happen with the loss of a good portion of targeted traffic from Google halfway through the month? It is my belief it is because I spent about $4500 advertising my sites in November. I spent almost as much advertising as what my total gross affiliate commissions were in November, 2002!

    I have always said that spending money advertising provides stability in the affiliate biz as long as you get reasonable ROI. Search Engine gods like the Google god can make changes like what just occurred and your world can turn upside down unless you diversify your traffic. Paid traffic done properly can bring consistency.

    I see another thread discussing about the Google Florida dance and whether one can afford to lose money experimenting with advertising trying to find out what works and what doesn't. The reality is that you can't afford not to. Advertising is essential in almost every business and absolutely crucial in affiliate marketing. As affiliates, we are professional salespeople and advertisers with our words on our sites. Start spending more money (wisely) so people can see your words!

    I am not happy with Google's recent search result shake-up but am thankful for what Google has brought me in the last 2 years. That includes tons of free targeted traffic, quality paid traffic via Google Adwords and commissions from Google Adsense.

    How will these changes affect Google's future in the search engine arena? Well I do believe it has made them more vulnerable because there is a lot of ticked off webmasters out there. Webmasters word-of-mouse advertising is what got Google where they are. The experts told web newbies that Google was the best and that is what they should use for searches. That expert may now tell the web newbie to use All The Web, Alta Vista, etc.... . The Google blunder has now made the playing field a little more level now IMO.



    Larry Wentz

    AffiliateNetwork.org newWebsite.com (Host 200 Domains - $29/Month)
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  2. #2
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    I made just over $10,000 in November with no advertising. All of my traffic comes from free search engine listings. I have 4 sites
    I would hate to lose some or even all of that kind of income if Google changed their algo sufficiently to impact my sites.

    The recent update has been good for me, December has started very well. However, things can change very quickly when Google decide to change something.

    I would love to get into paid advertising, but it is such a risk.

    However, it may be a risk I have no choice but to take.

    How do people do ppc advertising successfully? It is something that I really would like to look into.

    www.cjshoppingnetwork.com

  3. #3
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    "Webmasters word-of-mouse advertising is what got Google where they are. "

    No, relevant search got Google to where they are. I first started using Google because someone told me about it, then started seeing it mentioned on the news.

    I think some taking a hit should look to next year. Google will take a hit next year with Yahoo switching to Ink and MSN search maybe coming out. Also whoever buys Google might screw it up by trying to milk it. There will always be some sort of free algorythmic search and if you're decent at SEO you should be fine.

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

  4. #4
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    I went from 17 thousand to 3 thousand after that Florida update. OUCH!

    I'd love to know where I could get a decent ROI on paid advertising. However, being that margins are so thin as an affiliate, I do not know if it is possible.

  5. #5
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    I lost 80% of my income after the update. But i don't believe this is the end of the world yet. We'll get back to google. Just Be Patient!!

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Google will take a hit next year with Yahoo switching to Ink and MSN search maybe coming out. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed. However, keep in mind yahoo now owns 2 other spdier-driven engines besides Ink (altavista has been looking better and better of late).

    Having said that, the new-fangled MSNBot is a almost daily visitor to my site(s), and slurped up over 90,000 pages in November. Frankly, I think MSN will be the "killer" engine to be on, as microsoft has made no secret they plan to integrate search into the next version of Windows.

    Erik

  7. #7
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    The Florida update and other google updates to come will likely end up squeezing affiliates more and more.

    To many affiliates have abused the system and until the system can be built up to a level where it only penalizes those with manipulating practices you can expect in general many affiliates to be impacted.

    PPC sucks IMO - would I rather make 10G with no advertising or 20G with 10G in PPC? It's a no brainer.

    While ppc can be lucrutive in some cases it can be very costly in many others. Just as there are no magic wands to say what merchants convert and at what rate - it doesn't exist with ppc either.

    Surely as more and more affiliates are squeezed from things like the florida update, they will be turning to ppc which will drive up costs and in turn make affiliates less profitable overall for the services they provide.

    Is it coincidental that several merchants here have even offered seed money for affiliates to do ppc campaigns for them? With this in mind - why in the world would a merchant offer ppc money to affiliates to promote their programs if ppc was really profitable overall for the merchant? Perhaps someone will tell me but I don't get it and remain very skeptical.

    I have a few merchants left hanging around like the gocollect program that pays me less than 1 cent per click due to their "no cookie in house system" for very targeted trafic. There are many others who convert rarely and get traffic from affiliates for dirt cheap as well. Will merchants who get traffic this cheap from affiliates jump up to pay a nickle, a dime - or more for a click themselves? Heck no! Would they ask affiliates or even entice you to do it for them - it seems they would, I expect this trend to continue!

    As usual, be very careful who you do business with. PPC can be even harder than general affiliate marketing because you not only have to know what merchants to promote but you better be being product centric as well.

    My only other comment is that for me - I only use a very small amount of ppc and those clicks go to my site. I am always leary of merchants who allow ppc from affiliates and allow that traffic to go directly to the merchant site. Why would I want to waste my time building a site when other affiliates can take a shortcut directly to the merchant site with no effort and overwrite my cookie that easily? Why would I want to spend top dollar to be in the upper end of a ppc keyword when the next ppc ad right under me will overwrite my cookie?

    If you're contemplating doing ppc or even building a site for a merchant, you sure better be doing a quick query and getting the answer to the above question and considering it before you invest your time and efforts or hard earned cash before promoting them.

    ===================================
    Child labor laws exist yet, parasite partnering merchants (PP Merchants) and the COC allow an adult affiliates income to be diverted into the pockets of parasites and consider it normal business!

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants and the COC directly supports what many consider unfair trade practices, identity theft and thievery!

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I think all you have to do to get around the "Florida Update" is un optimize your pages. Remove the extra bolds, headers and link texts. They removed sites based on the amount of optimiation done nothing else from what I can tell. I would guess they now base the results on incoming links and the pr of those incoming links but no longer give weight to other optimisation techniques.

  9. #9
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    Oct '02 I lost 80% of my sales overnight following a google algo change. I was using 1 site design that was doing great, then google banned the neat little trick I was using. Since then I've built new sites using different designs and optimization stuff, some work some don't ... but when the algo changes some go down, some up. My sales overall were not affected by the new algo change, even though all my home pages vanished from the SERPs.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by happypoon:
    PPC sucks IMO - would I rather make 10G with no advertising or 20G with 10G in PPC? It's a no brainer.
    QUOTE]

    I would definitely take the $20G with $10G in advertising. I now have control of my financial future and search engine earthquakes cause only minor damage. Those that don't advertise let the search engines control their financial future and 80% income drops (as posted in this thread) can occur which I would say is "major damage".

    So are the search engines in control of your financial future or are you?



    Larry Wentz

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  11. #11
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    - - - -
    I think all you have to do to get around the "Florida Update" is un optimize your pages.
    - - - -

    Heh, Heyder, can't tell if you are serious, or just trying to get rid of the competition, lolol.

    - - - - - - - - -
    Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. --Albert Einstein


  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    [QUOTE- - - -
    I think all you have to do to get around the "Florida Update" is un optimize your pages.
    - - - -

    Heh, Heyder, can't tell if you are serious, or just trying to get rid of the competition, lolol.

    - - - - - - - - -
    [/QUOTE]

    I think he must be serious. I spent the last few months un-opping my pages and saw a 35% increase in Google traffic. November began with MSN as top refferer (other than bookmarks). The first pages to un-op were my Christmas pages and each one is showing up in top ten results for several awsome keywords/phrases. Other shopping pages are showing similar results and the ones I've not un-opped yet have not moved in Googles results.

    Ernie

    It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I would definitely take the $20G with $10G in advertising. I now have control of my financial future and search engine earthquakes cause only minor damage.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm sure there are many here who have tried ppc and would agree that it in no way shape or form that it gives them "control of their finacial future".

    ===================================
    Child labor laws exist yet, parasite partnering merchants (PP Merchants) and the COC allow an adult affiliates income to be diverted into the pockets of parasites and consider it normal business!

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants and the COC directly supports what many consider unfair trade practices, identity theft and thievery!

  14. #14
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    PPC done right can be great. I like to have constant traffic so besides the free traffic, i like adding PPC into the mix. Just keep trying different campaigns until you find ones that work, the more targetted the better. If a 5 cent click gives me a return of 6 cents, you're making money. Same ratio a $100 in PPC gets you $120. Of course with some campaigns you can do a lot better. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. I wouldn't use this as my sole source of traffic but as a nice addtion.

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

  15. #15
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    November was my best month ever.. didn't even notice there was a Google update. I've never succeeded competing on the terms that Google penalised, so it wasn't a problem.

    PPC. Hmmmm. Took me a looong while to get it right. My rule of thumb.. bid cheaply on as many terms as you can think of. Never go above the minimum bid. Keep your costs under control.

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I've built new sites using different designs and optimization stuff, some work some don't ... but when the algo changes some go down, some up. My sales overall were not affected by the new algo change, ~Midnightcoder<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Dittos to this part. It's folly to make only one site!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> bid cheaply on as many terms as you can think of. Never go above the minimum bid. Keep your costs under control.~Dynamoo <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's the keys to PPC.

    But I notice that Larry didn't say "PPC" advertising specifically. Larry, were you meaning other kinds of advertising as well?

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    If a 5 cent click gives me a return of 6 cents, you're making money.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yea - Precisely!



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  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:

    But I notice that Larry didn't say "PPC" advertising specifically. Larry, were you meaning other kinds of advertising as well?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The majority is PPC but I am using other methods as well. Buying sponsored links on certain sites is another ad method I use. I also plan on doing more offline advertising experiments promoting various sites.

    I will be going thru my sites that lost some Google traffic and doing some tweaking and pretending like I know what I'm doing to hopefully regain better positioning again on important keywords. LOL! You know - kinda like kicking a car tire.



    Larry Wentz

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  19. #19
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by elbowcreek:
    - - - -
    I think all you have to do to get around the "Florida Update" is un optimize your pages.
    - - - -

    Heh, Heyder, can't tell if you are serious, or just trying to get rid of the competition, lolol.

    - - - - - - - - -
    Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. --Albert Einstein

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    LOL I'm not telling either way

  20. #20
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    Nice job Larry. Way to diversify.

    PPC isn't easy, but when done right can be HUGE. (Get yourselves into Looksmart...)

    But at the same time, PPC and PageRank aren't the whole equation. They are important, but until you really think outside the box, you're holding yourselves back.

    There is a company in Inc. 500 magazine (the 500 fastest growing companies) who's entire business is basically affiliate marketing. Same terms, same cost-- only it's offline. Guess how much they do?

    $200 million annually!

    $200 million! And that's just in one section of the country. Offline audiences are (believe it or not) untapped to regular affiliates.

    Now, obviously, not everybody (especially foriegn affiliates) has the ability to grab those offline people. But it's the idea-- somebody has found out how to track offline sales, and turned it into a mint.

    All I'm saying is that Google, Yahoo, and MSN are not the only ways to get traffic.

    Bryan Simonson
    bryan@smoothcorp.com
    SmoothCorp Affiliates
    iFLOOR.com/3%/sale/avg.sale=$800
    RugArea.com/12-14%/avg.sale=$400
    CornerHardware.com/6%/avg.sale=$80

  21. #21
    Member leadmind's Avatar
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    http://www.webpronews.com/wpn-2-2003...Algorithm.html
    This article is very useful. I understood many things about the Florida update.

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yep ...absolutely spot on!

    But plenty of cocky search-marketing cowboys -- those who felt a growing sense of entitlement to rankings they "earned" for their sites on the strength of little more than a few cheap parlor tricks -- have been knocked to the dirt hard in this latest dustup. Most will pick themselves up, knock back a couple of shots of the hard stuff, and prepare themselves to fight again. But some won't. Some of Google's most notorious freeloaders may finally gather their things, put their crumpled black hats on, and ride unsteadily off into the sunset, never to be heard from again. ...That's the hope, anyway.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  23. #23
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    A good step in the right direction, but a lot of tweaking and adjusting is needed.
    The problem with a universal algo is that it doesn't allow for much relativity.
    I think the best would be to combine the algo with a bigger force of googlers who delete spam manually.

  24. #24
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    Just check my log file, my site is back to google. Did anyone have their site back to google after the google florida dance?

  25. #25
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    Yes mine reappeared again for some keywords for a few days and then disappeared again - I think it's still in flux.

    Oscar

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