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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Toronto, Ont, Canada
    Hi everyone - I posted this same deal in another thread here but thought it might be better if I open a new thread for responses specifically on this topic.

    The buzz of late has been that data feeds are on their way out. Because we have such a large number of folks who rely on our feeds, I was concerned about the future of data feeds given this buzz. Thankfully, I've been able to get in touch with some of the veterans to the field who assure me that data feeds are not necessarily on their way out - the SE's are just being pickier about what TYPES of data feed sites they index, and which they do not.

    From what I understand, the SE's don't like sites filled with back-end links that mirror the content of a merchant site too closely, because it detracts from a positive end-user experience, which makes perfect sense - the SE's are providing a service to the end-user and they want to be sure it is a useful one.

    For this reason, the changes in SE algorithms have caused a lot of havoc in the data feed world of recent whereby many data feed affiliates who were not creating their sites to "SE Standards" have had problems getting the SE's to index their sites well, if at all. Many data feed using folks are just beginning to find out now, that what the SE's require in order for data feed sites to be successful amidst changes to the algorithms, is not just any old site with data feeds plastered all over them but those sites that offer VALUE ADDED CONTENT.

    I am in the process now of trying to determine WHAT exactly is considered to be value-added content by the SE's and what is not, in order to best teach our own data feed users how to be successful through their use.

    I am interested in finding out what the rest of you have to say or might know on this topic - please share any insights you may have.

    I think because data feed marketing has always been such a large part of affiliate marketing as a whole, it is important that this issue be discussed here for the benefit of all involved.

    I look forward to your meaningful contributions and to discussing this in more depth.

    Thanks a million,

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Toronto, Ont, Canada
    Hi everyone,

    I'm bumping this one up because I'd really appreciate your insight.

    I know there are varying opinions on this matter from one end of the spectrum to the other and I realize it's a bit of a controversial topic at times, but since when has that stopped ABW-ers from discussing an issue? C'mon people - let's hash this one out.

    The future of data feeds is bound to affect our beloved industry overall, and I really feel it's something that the community needs to discuss as a whole - be it here, or elsewhere.

    Please note I'm not asking for trade secrets here folks (although those are always a bonus ) but please share any tidbits you may have as to WHAT defines "value-added content" these days to the SE's where data feed sites are concerned.

    I truly look forward to your comments.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Datafeed were originally only used to create product links one at a time from the networks link admin screens. Then some comparision shopping site DUPERS used the network feeds to do price comparision displays and showcase the same product from multiple rated sources. Very effective marketing there from a shoppers viewpoint.

    AM's cannot go back in and undo a few billion feed pages spit out as SE bot fodder. Smart affiliates like PhillyBurbs, who respect they have to add long term value to their shoppers, filters feeds for relevency to each shopping category and inserts feed displays into a fully navigatable page template. Few others have the skill or time or desire to do this. To them a 100,000 product feed is a hundred thousand SERP potential listing. Unlike in a ecatalog/cart navigation within those 100,000 items is of no import for the feed spammer.

    Those who can write cookie setting script tricks and cloaking find feeds their most important tool in their cookie setting arsenal. Regardless of what the PillyBurb types do the majority of feed freeks measure feed success at how many raw pages they can crank out/hr and look for ways to fool the SERPs. The blackhat feed freaks try to automate cookie setting re-directs, while detecting SE bots to show page content stuffed with keywords, and by-pass even letting the shopper know their domain or name.

    Smart merchants will contact Akiva (Essential Apparel's AM) and license his PSC tool to build mini-product showcases from feeds. That muzzles the feedfreak spammers and guarantees shopper friendly targeted displays.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  4. #4
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    On the other hand....

    The original question was about adding value to a site driven by a datafeed. So, first you must define 'value' from the point of view of the various entities involved.

    The entities include the webmaster, the merchant, the search engine, and the surfer.

    Novice, and lazy, affiliates will take a datafeed and slap a few db queries on set of pages and call it a day. These types of sites are the ones causing so much spam in the SE's.

    More mature and talented webmasters will take the information available and create a site with good navigation, better organized information, and more user and search engine friendly pages.

    If you do a search here for db + (author name) you will find much information on this subject. The specific authors that I have learned the most from include: Happypoon, SandraR, Loxly, Leader, and more that I can't think of right now.

    Perhaps some of them will weigh in and help define 'value-added'.

    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    West Virginia
    Value added? Well, it's an interesting question.

    I have heard the term value added thrown around by certain people for ages here at ABW without seeing any VALUE when I visit their sites. I personally try to do things that will help the visitor find what they are looking for. Making pages easy to navigate, search tools, etc.

    Now, as for the 'duplicate content' issue, I think it is something we have all been dealing with. I personally think that customized categories, unique category or product specific content can only help our standings in the search engines.

    I can tell you that datafeeds are not as easy to get placement in the SERPS with now as they were a year ago. I will continue to add content and wrap feeds around it in hopes that my visitors will see a 'value' in my sites.
    Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

    -- Lewis Grizzard

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