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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    As an affiliate, publisher or whatever term you want to use, I just want to express my concerns about this concept. While it may be quick to create a sight with hundreds or thousands of product links, what is the real impact?

    Directories like ODP, GoGuides and JoAnt now ban all affiliate based sites because they consider them to just be spam and don't add to the value of their directories. While I believe this stand is shortsighted, I must concede I see their point if they come across many "duplicate" sites.

    With data feeds, it is far too easy to duplicate a merchant's website, brag about how quickly it was done and prove the editors right. Where is the value added?

    Furthermore, many merchants don't keep their product offerings up to date, and simply propogating bad links gives additional cause to stay away from feeds.

    I, for one would prefer a feed or report that contains only current items with as many object properties as possible. Color, materials made of, price, gender, etc. Then I could select all the "blue widgets for females that contain tin" from all merchants, put them on an appropriate page and offer the site visitor something of value.

    Of course, the directories would probably still ban me. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Reading your penultimate para, I think you answered your own question.

    There are many misconceptions about the sites that are created from data feeds - I don't have time to dispel them all but ...

    They don't all have to look the same
    They aren't easy to make (for most of us [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img])
    They don't recreate the merchant site

    As you yourself point out, datafeeds let you extract exactly what you want for your visitors from multiple sources and make a unique product range. They let you interlink and relate sites at a level of detail that otherwise would be impossible.

    Concerning directories, etc. I don't lose any sleep over it. Content schmontent. If you're on the 'net to buy a Che Guevara poster - you want places that sell Che Guevara posters. If you're looking for a hotel in Paris, you want places where you can book a hotel in Paris. I have great content on my sites for people who want to buy stuff [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Are you Crazy?

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005

    I think it really depends on how a data feed is used, for example in my opinion datafeeds are best used as part of search engines within a site, a price comparison system for example, not for just creating pages and pages of product links, our feed (once it gets sorted) will be able to bang out over 9000 SKUs in multiple custom feeds on a "build it yourself" basis, the aim is to allow people to feed this into their inplace databases and use on product searches and so forth.



    Chris Sanderson Partner Management
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I have a question for all of you who are using feeds. How do your feed generated pages compare to yourr banner pages, or your promotion/coupon pages.

    I am seeing slow addition to search engines, and a much lower click to conversion on datafeeds versus category links, coupon links, and the like

    anyone seeing a different performance, and if so would you mind offering advice on what you are doing

    Let us show you where the best online deals are!

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Blast it, I hit some odd key on my keyboard and my response disappeared! So here goes (again).

    Westmont-- The value add is in the presentation and in the findability in SEs, just like with hand-coded pages. Just because the feed provides some info, does NOT mean that should be the *only* thing on a page!

    And a lot of merchants have a hard time getting their individual items into the SEs. I've looked in noncompetitive categories (as in, Google shows very few listings for the item) just to check this out--and seen that merchants that I KNOW sell an item have not been able to get it indexed. In this case, a datafeed-generated page adds value to both the merchant and the searcher just by being findable! Without that page, the searcher wouldn't have known that MerchantZ even had the thing for sale, let alone been able to buy it.

    Chris--I think you are being too limited in your conceptions. The real money isn't in "the box". But your thinking on feeds IS inside it...

    I personally think comparison sites are irritating. If I've decided to buy something, I just want to buy it, not end up at what amounts to another search engine! I know some people like them but...there are certainly better ways to use a feed than to make yet another glorified SE that can't bring themselves to really recommend anything, even as they're mentioning everything.

    As for the site search, that's the Mistake of Merchants that I was talking about above in my response to Westmont! Namely, if the viewer has to be on your site to find out you have the product (which they DO when the feed's only used for site search), IT IS NOT FINDABLE from the SEs!

    Bigvaluezone--I've found that, AMAZINGLY, the CR on the datafeed pages isn't as good as my other pages. What's so AMAZING about it is that I have other pages where I basically "made my own feed" by going to the merchant's site and typing everything they had into a .txt file--and the pages made off of those .txt files convert wonderfully!!

    Thinking about it, the difference may be in the presence of direct product links. The pages where I had to make my own .txt file as a "feed" don't have direct product links (they aim the people at the merchant's front page), but the CJ Feed pages do. This effect definitely calls for more testing...

    As for coupon links, I hardly run any so I don't know about that. The reason I don't run those is because they expire! And I tend to forget just when it is that they expire...

    The SE addition speed seems to be directly related to the size of the site. Smaller feed (or otherwise automated) sites get right in just like hand-coded pages. But I'm still waiting for Google to digest the huge thumper I made a couple of months ago. It's got some listings, but not all. I can tell exactly what's in just by looking at the clicks for the merchants.

    All this is in my opinion, other people's experiences may vary.

    -Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

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