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  1. #1
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    Usually I can explain things, but this time I am lost. This weekend my average visitors amount dropped over 50%. This is for all my datafeed sites. My other sites are not effected at all. I do not see any recovery.

    The strange thing is, Google is spidering like crazy (but they planned to spider more often and sooner) and my pagerank is the same or has improved a little. I do not use any tricks to mislead search engines. Nothing wrong with my backlinks (I have the PR).

    The only thing I can think of, is Google is working on filtering out datafeed sites.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You'd think they wouldn't. Nothing like 500 mirrors of the same exact product information leading to the same SE "panel pushing" merchant.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
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    I hope I can post, because ABW crashes all the time.

    Okay, but why am I the only one at ABW. Two had the same as me, and one is recovering. There should be many datafeeders at ABW, but I don't see others complaining about a large drop of sales.

  4. #4
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    Some of my feed sites are up and some are down. I have a site with over 200 inbound links, lots of content and I lost half my traffic since last Sunday. While one feed site, which has no other content than, the feed data (please hold your content lecture) has doubled in traffic.

    Hold on for a bit, a geek at google will flip another switch and everything will go nuts again for better or worse.

    When I say "geek" I mean it in the nicest way.

    EcomCity, I try to offer a little more for the user with on page information and other content and information links.

    Uphill, Do you tweak the feeds a little so they don't look like everyone elses? I like to change certain words in the descriptions with a regex in perl. You could also use find and replace in some kind of editor or excel if that's where you start. Hang in there I think your sites will come back sooner or later.

  5. #5
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    My sites have a unique layout, but I haven't tweaked the content from the feeds. I doubt if Google can compare product x from my site to product x from a different domain. This will take to much calculation. Maybe he can compare size and the beginning of a page, but that's all. There are too many products.

    Probably Google can recognize sites created from feeds with affiliates links. Thousands of links to one merchant is not hard to detect.

    I am still very worried. I think Google will change indexing of datafeed sites. All my datafeeds sites dropped and none of them recovered so far.

    EcomCity I hope you are wrong and the "geek" only forgot my switch.

    But datafeed sites are not popular for Froogle.com, so Squiggie I hope you are right. If not, many others will be going down to.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Uphill, I don't use a feeds and one of my sites has lost over 1000 uniques a day and it's getting worse everyday.


    Prior to this weekend this site held high placement for certain keywords in a unique category, these have now all been replaced by 'all merchant' sites, not one affiliate site!

    I've only had time to check a handful of keywords in this category, but so far, it doesn't look good, they're all now taken up by merchants.

    I have pr, google is still spidering and I'm a nervous wreck

  7. #7
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    This is affecting static and feed pages for me too.
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have pr, google is still spidering and I'm a nervous wreck <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    me too.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  8. #8
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    There is no future in repackaging a merchants catalog. Once hundreds/thousands of affiliates get the same feed, it'll be a lot harder to get page 1 for Product X. Merchants can do this on their own, don't know why they don't do it now. They can repackage their own site and let the SE's at it. And i think a merchant should come up for the top spots on product searches since they're the ones actually selling the product. And if i was an SE i would filter out most feed sites. You can make the argument that they're relevant and i would agree. But if i was an SE i would want relevant with variety.

    Example: if i search for (insert brand name)shoes. If you were an SE would you rather have:

    1. Shoes.com feed site
    2. Shoes.com feed site
    3. Shoes.com feed site
    4. Shoes.com feed site
    5. Shoes.com feed site

    or

    1. Shoes.com
    2. Zappos.com
    3. Shoeline.com
    4. Payless.com
    5. Shoeworld.com

    both might be relevant, but relevant with variety better IMO. Those type of feed sites where it's nothing but a repackaging of 1 merchants site, i don't see much future. But i have seen some affiliates make good use of them.

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Trustno1 I'm inclined to agree with you. Even the merchant seeking to panel a SE product keyword will find the duplicate site worthless.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    Those type of feed sites where it's nothing but a repackaging of 1 merchants site, i don't see much future. But i have seen some affiliates make good use of them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Absolutely - they were the basis of my "phase 1" but they're not the future.

  11. #11
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    We've been losing traffic for a while and I long ago warned that the search engines would be pushing affiliate sites further and further back in the results. This is a big part of the reason I've "been stopped" doing additional traditional affiliate marketing development.

    As far as a merchant being able to get their products indexed - they do a terrible job overall on a wide basis. Their site designs are usually so deep in navigation that they've long lost pr before they even hit many of the products which causes them to not even get scanned or considered.

    They sure don't need to provide a datafeed to 1000's of affiliates to get marketing coverage but that doesn't stop them from doing exactly that. Even very experienced AMs here take on affiliates whose sites are so bad and so pitiful it is a crying shame.

    The hype concerning datafeeds and their effectiveness has been a double edge sword. This is just the beginning of what will be more sites being banned, filtered and or pushed back.

    Google has over 4 billion pages in their index and that is growing every day. It is not technically fesible that they can scan those pages everyday and update the results. This is leading to another whole different set of problems that consumers face with getting outdated results (incorrect prices, products not on the pages the search engine said they were, and ..... no coupons exist for merchant x..... LOL). Add in sites having well designed plans to manipulate the results to show up in top results (relevent or not), affiliates with schemes to attract consumers to - "no coupons exist" so they can autoset cookies and you can't blame the search engines for taking actions that negatively impact all of us. It's still only the beginning IMO.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Sit back and watch the sleezebag get rich quick crew drop like flies as the new monopoly of SE traffic weed out those who step over others in the SERPs. Trustno1, poon and others are smart enough to know what model works no matter how the winds of SEM/SEO blow.

    Heck I might need to actually get serious about domain bound affiliate marketing as this plays out.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    I agree Poon that SE's will be pushing aff's further back, it certainly applies to certain keywords I once enjoyed top placement.

    Once upon a time SE's neeeded aff's to fill their results, we were their content when not enough merchants were saavy enough to cover keywords.
    Now, many of these top keywords have more then enough merchants to fill placement, so affiliate sites are getting pushed further into the netherworld.

    I believe this trend will continue. In time more categories will return merchant only results.
    I don't believe it's the beginning of the end, but I do hear the death knell in the distance 6 months, 2 years 5 years however long it takes for merchants to fill all the keyword categories.
    As aff's our options to keep the death knell at bay is to be even more creative in finding the holes merchants haven't yet filled...or we too can become merchants.

    Interesting to note, the positions I once held are now occupied by my merchants, using 'my' keywords.

    Luckily my other sites are still up there in different category keywords, but you have to ask how long, as this disaster hit within a couple of days.

    Time to regroup and rethink.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Just noticed, previous keyword positions have changed now to mainly wholesalers

    Getting really tired of trying to keep on top of SE machinations

  15. #15
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    Hi All:

    I have 8 sites and none of them have any datafeeds. They have been getting very normall traffic and ranking in all major engines.

    But today I just noticed that 4 of them (3 are around 1 year old) lost almost all the traffic from google. It's so bad that I even though that they were dropped from google. While they have lost traffic from google, traffic seem to be more (or at least the same) from yahoo and msn.

    My other 2 sites (old ones) were suddenly dropped from both yahoo and msn on the same day without any reasons. The only traffic these two sites are getting is from google. The bad thing is traffic is much less after the most recent google update.

    I also never cheat or trick search engines. I don't know why suddenly it feels like those engiens don't 'like' my sites any more.

    I am wondering whether it is possible that certain damages can be done by my competitors. I know at least an affiliate click through my merchant links from time to time to dampen my own performance as well as my merchants' epc.

    Any ideas, input, or help would be appreciated.

    By the way, I don't care nor like CJ's EPC thing. I don't understand why merchants care so much about the stupid 'EPC' when all of us should know that this number can be heavily taminated with cheating (from both merchants themselves and evil intention from some affiliates).

    Thanks a lot

    snakebaby

  16. #16
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    I don't agree with SE's targetting affiliate sites from some of the previous posts:

    "pushing affiliate sites further and further back in the results."

    "I agree Poon that SE's will be pushing aff's further back"

    They could be hitting some, could just be an algo change or just more affiliates pushing products. My traffic has actually gone up last few weeks and MSN and Yahoo picking up more of my pages this week. So as long as you have relevant pages, riddled with affiliate links or not, doesn't matter IMO. And i like to look on the bright side of things, just added Adsense to one of my sites and damn, nice Also for one of my sites looking to add a forum, have a free one that is starting to grow, looking for a better one. Make a quality site and grow it to become its own brand, grow a community. Lets start a long thread in the other forum here about alternate ways to get traffic besides SE's. I just don't see much future in those set it and forget sites, but still a great future for affiliates that plan ahead.

  17. #17
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    I think its true that data feed sites and affiliate sites in general will get pushed down, but in the last google “change” (I don’t dare call them updates anymore) more of my feed sites went up then down. I do see more merchants at the top of the serps and I think that is a good thing. One thing that burns me is that merchant’s watch their best affiliates rise to the top of the serp’s and then they copy them. I have seen it myself, and I KNOW that it happens. I also think we need to get more creative with our sites, but believe it or not the merchant (some, not all) will be right behind you to copy your successes, and out with the affiliate again.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> posted March 18, 2004 09:05 PM
    Sit back and watch the sleezebag get rich quick crew drop like flies ..... I might need to actually get serious about domain bound affiliate marketing
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Mike,
    You sure do a lot of typing around here. If you’re so smart, why don’t you offer up solutions instead of waiting for the perfect moment to verbally sucker punch someone. Uphill asked for help, not criticism. Honestly, I would love to see some productive ideas out of you. What is "domain bound affiliate marketing"?

    It’s true that we need to get creative and create more and better sites, but it sure is fun to be in the “get rich quick crew” for a little while.

    &lt;/rant&gt;
    &lt;begin flame&gt;

  18. #18
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    How about this.

    We (several ABW members) start a new site like a portal. Index page contains 1000+ keywords, like backpacks. Each link leads to a content site with affiliate products about this subject only.

    This could be build like this :

    The ones at ABW who wants to join me, are going to start this.

    Each keyword has to be on a separate site. I am not sure what is the best; the one who creates the site, has to register the site himself or we register the name our self (in case of problems). But he has to signup as an affiliate himself. (Or as our sub-affiliate). We don’t have access to his sales.

    We could build this. We create a management group for this from ABW members. Then we are going to talk about how to build things. Each of us gets a certain amount of keywords. As soon as this is finished, other keywords can be rented by others. New members receive templates for building the site, tools and advice. As soon as the site is finished, he gets a link from the main index. We make the rules, like sticking with the layout, content site, no cookie stuffing, no spamming etc.

    The money we make from renting keywords, is ours and after deducting the costs, we split. Costs could be things like paying for writing content for us.

    Lets discuss if this is possible. Don’t start talking about which layout to use. The big picture first. I have more ideas, but not for now.

    To keep it short :

    x) We start a portal with content / affiliate sites
    x) We get several keywords
    x) Other keywords can be rented
    x) We create templates, tools, etc as a complete package for new members.
    x) We keep an eye on things
    x) Profit will be split up by the “management”

    Step 1 : Creating a “management” group from ABW members who wants to join.
    Step 2 : Start discussing how to build it
    Step 3 : Start the project and let members join.

    I think it is possible. A portal site with links to quality content and products.

  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> the “management”
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    AAK!

    Ack.

    And you fail to mention one thing--what's in it for affiliates that they can't get without being part of this portal?

    By my "acks," you can tell that I'm not about to bow down to any management, but I'd still like to know the answer to that question just for curiosity's sake.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Heck I might need to actually get serious about domain bound affiliate marketing as this plays out. ~Mike & Charlie
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'll definitely be seeing you in the Arena since the more competitors I see falling the faster I'm typing! Templates, that is, templates for feed sites!

    I saw that "how many CJ merchants do people have" thread and realized that my 75 or so is only a small part of the total possibilities. Plus, Roast Duck with Stewed Parrot garnish should taste good once I cook it in the SEs! I'll leave the bird feathers for Overstock and those other off-Broadway places you have.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I just don't see much future in those set it and forget sites, ~TrustNo1 <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Trust, I've been hearing that from various people for 5 years now

    First site's still making money and it's been set and forgot since then with the exception of removing a few dead merchants and adding a couple now 'n then just to let Google know it's not abandoned.

    I think that in another 5 years the biggest thing that will have changed concerning set-and-forget sites is the name of whoever will be saying they won't last.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> In time more categories will return merchant only results.~Mousejockey
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Until affiliates re-learn how to out-SEO them.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> They sure don't need to provide a datafeed to 1000's of affiliates to get marketing coverage <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually I think that they DO need to. Having a feed *available* to 1000s doesn't mean that even 10 know what to do with it. It's just like how auto parts are available to everyone, but 99.9% of people take their cars to the mechanic even for things as simple as an oil change.

    The merchant has no real way of knowing who will actually use their feed--and do well enough at SEO to get it seen--and the best solution IS to give access to as many affiliates as possible.

    Since most networks don't even have an EPC or bar-rating for affiliates (at least not that I know of), merchants trying to make restrictions would truly be GUESSING about affiliate ability. I don't think anyone should have a great means of promotion restricted based on a guess, especially since I've seen that merchants are often 100% WRONG in their preconcieved notions of what kind of sites are effective, and about what kind of affiliates will produce sales.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Even the merchant seeking to panel a SE product keyword will find the duplicate site worthless.~Ecom <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Baloney, because that statement assumes that all datafeed sites look the same and are presented in the same way. They're not. I've seen panels of sites so different that the only way I know they're using a feed is because I know just what to look for.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Getting really tired of trying to keep on top of SE machinations~MJ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    "Welcome to Markau: Where Both Paradise and Purgatory Await"~Sign outside "casino" in old video game.

    Maybe that should be on Google's homepage instead!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
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    Sure Google needs to hammer datafeed sites, and they will.

    But you are wrong when you generalize and say that they are going after affiliate sites. You have no proof of that.

    For the most part, datafeed sites are garbage and are destroying the search engines. They have no choice but to drop them to page 1,000,000.

    And it does not matter if you add a little something extra or change the layout. It is still the same rehashed crap as 3,000 other sites, just with a little extra nugget of useless info. Changing the layout is even worse, because now the user doesn't realize it right away and waste time before backing out.

    In conclusion, datafeed product page stuffing of the search engine is not something any respectable affiliate would be involved in.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    [Until affiliates re-learn how to out-SEO them-Leader]
    I agree but right now I doubt whether any out-seo'ing would have any impact on some of us - this one's different, it defies logic and it keeps changing

    Trust, my loveingly crafted, pet site, the one I get all warm and fuzzy about, the one that gets 'pat on the back' emails and bookmarks is the one hit, my set 'em up and leave them sites are cruising.


    Funny though, I seems to have hit a lot of webmasters that weren't hit in December ummmm.

    (Leader- Where Both Paradise and Purgatory Await)

    Hell of a place

    BTW can't comment on the portal yet, I'm having a nervy lol!

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Squiggie said ..."You sure do a lot of typing around here. If you’re so smart, why don’t you offer up solutions instead of waiting for the perfect moment to verbally sucker punch someone. Uphill asked for help, not criticism. Honestly, I would love to see some productive ideas out of you. What is "domain bound affiliate marketing"?

    Well every single pro-active Affiliate management change in 3 years came from my mouth and shoehorning examples into ABW threads. It was only me forcing the first ABW merchants to adopt CONVERSION RATIOS as their mantra with better creatives and landing pages. I've told every AM who ever came to this board to throw away their advertising cap and put on a sales managers cap with all the accompanying responsibilities.

    I challenged merchants to publish their honest networkwide conversion ratios monthly here to recruit active affiliates. Some did for a while, but slipped back into that mass advertising mindset and jumped to SE spamm food. Only Akiva has come up with a lasting domain bound affiliates conversion enhancement tool. he learn very well from some of my advice that the number of pay checks ...not the amount...determines his programs growth.

    Like the proliferation of BHO's, the SE spammers flocked to datafeeds pass out like candy. Some greedy Couponers where not content to just spamm the SEs, they then jumped to blind cookie setting from PPCSE's and their pages.

    A sixteen page Thread was fueled and keep alive by me challenging Haiko's "TrueTracker" program to become the SAFE HAVEN it could be if they had the never to ask how I'd structure it to cure all the affiliate-merchant-network abuses. No takers but a lot of hot air passed through those suggestions. I refuse to divulge the keys to that concept till this board and the industry wakes up to why it's so necessary for the few will will survive and prosper.


    Let the shake out continue as I'm more then happy I waited and concentrated on my clients sites ...not my own. I'm just a part time affiliate...not a player in an arena fixed by sleezebags at the Point of sale on one side and by the SE spammers and blind cookie setters on the other.

    When all parties are tired of the Eyeball War bloodbath I'll help launch a solution. Good affiliates and their best sites will sure be around no matter what happens in the short term. Good merchants are a dime a dozen if they are forced to adhere to a model that negates diversion, BHO, SE spammers and whacks them with real targeted traffic on high conversion product pages.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  23. #23
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    It is sunny today at my house.

    Thanks Mike!

  24. #24
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    Oh why don't you just go and work on your Tiger Direct promotions and take a break from posting such nonsense for a few hours Mike?

    You are just pissed off because you had to pay for a Press Release to get a good Google placement, while I and many others do it the old fashioned way (make good relevant sites that are useful).

  25. #25
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    "Well every single pro-active Affiliate management change in 3 years came from my mouth.... ~Mike"
    Wow! So you did you invent the affiliate concept, too?
    "... the old fashioned way (make good relevant sites that are useful).~jimbo"
    Yes, good relevant sites will withstand any google algo changes, or any changes at yahoo and msn.

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