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  1. #1
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    Does Google like these type of pages?
    Hi everyone,

    I just read a review today about using certain type of software / scripts (example: Wordmerge) to churn out hundreds, if not thousands, of pages using datafeeds.

    Of course, I understand that there'll be some customisation involved (from what I read at Wordmerge). What I'm not sure is, will the major search engines, especially Google, Yahoo, and MSN ranks these type of pages well?

    Or they are just not worth implementing?

    Thanks :-)

    melvin

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Do you mean WebMerge?

    If so, sometimes a diamond, sometimes a stone Depends on what you do to rise above the other billion WebMerge pages on the net.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  3. #3
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    moderators, why not move some of these threads to the 'Google' forum so that there can be some activity down there?

    melvin, if you can't beat 'em join 'em but be careful

  4. #4
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    Yes, Leader. It's WebMerge (sorry).

    From your answer, I presume you meant using them for a diamond/jewelry store? But it's true, getting ahead of millions of pages, if not billions.

    t5, you're to blame...I was searching high and low for it...LOL!!! Just kidding. You were saying be careful...meaning?

    Any others willing to share experience using WebMerge?

    Thanks.

    melvin

  5. #5
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    What Leader said.

    It's not a Webmerge issue that you are talking about; it's a duplicate content issue.

    Try to be creative and make some sort of changes to each item in the feed. Add product color where color is not mentioned, substitute synonyms where practical, etc.

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    From your answer, I presume you meant using them for a diamond/jewelry store?
    Oh~! No, sorry. That's from an old song. "Some days a diamond, some days a stone" is how the refrain actually goes, but I had changed it a bit in the other post.

    It basically means that you can do really well, or you may do poorly... In regards to WebMerge, I've seen pages both at the top of the engines and at the bottom--pretty much like any other kind of site.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I have created thousands of pages with Webmerge in the last year - Google now ignores them, regardless of how unique they are. Yahoo has picked up a bunch them so it has not been a complete bust. And these pages do have unique content - I made them after the big duplicate-content purge last year.

    Creating data feed driven pages only for the sake of traffic is not the best use of time IMHO. (Anybody dispute it please chime in - I would like to believe it is not the case) Create data feed pages if you can showcase different products from many different merchants and allow visitors to comparison shop - you would probably do better using php for this, not webmerge. I now use webmerge for one lead-merchant that keeps swapping and switching offers - it makes redoing the whole site a lot easier.

    Ask yourself, "Besides possibly getting traffic, will the data-base pages provide a benefit to the quality of my site?"
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  8. #8
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    Cheesehead, I was really thinking of using WebMerge solely for the purpose of generating pages for SE traffic. I suppose the duplicate content is a big issue.

    But as Leader said, making it unique would be the key. Seems like I'll go back to content writing :-)

    Thanks.

    melvin

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I agree completely with Cheesehead. Search Engines and shoppers don't like most Webmerge pages. Unless you build your own datafeed with your own information, I don't think webmerge is of any real use. Using datafeeds that others have access to won't get you traffic with Webmerge. You really have to put yourself in the shoes of shoppers who are using sites like Bizrate, Pricegrabber, Froogle, Shopping.com, Yahoo Shopping, etc. and ask yourself, can I compete with these sites?

    If you must use webmerge one good way to go about it is to start writing reviews about products. Only build pages for the products you've written reviews for. As you create more reviews, add to your spreadsheet. Take products from all sorts of datafeeds and even combine links so you can offer a comparison. Make a field for link1, link2, link3, etc. all leading to the same product on different merchant sites. Focus on your reviews and the unique content and don't create empty pages. By this I mean don't create pages based solely on a single datafeed without any of your own content. Add your own content or combine datafeeds. Most importantly, start small.

    As you create each page, create an AdWords campaign for that product and buy traffic specifically for that page. As you create more reviews and pages, create more AdWords campaigns. One campaign per review. Include a newsletter so you don't waste any of your traffic and hold on tight to the visitors you get, afterall you bought them.

    This is just how I'd go about it knowing what I know now about datafeed marketing.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  10. #10
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    When you make a page with Webmerge does it have something in the html that says it was made with Webmerge?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Trust,

    I doubt it. I think Webmerge pages are easy to identify because they're usually very static and they have information from datafeeds that are readily available.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    When you make a page with Webmerge does it have something in the html that says it was made with Webmerge?
    To the SE, seeing 10,000 carbon copies, I'm sure it reeks of duplicate content. The SE biggies with datafeed shopping directories have an automatic indicator of copycat wannabee merchants. The merchnat AM uploads their same affiliate feed to Froogle, Bizrate ,Yahoo et all making it stick out like a sore thumb for sandboxing the copycats. None of my merchnat clients release any feeds and their Google traffic and positions just improve, while the other SE's pick up steam. Heck even my Cybermall's Google traffic hasn't dropped off one bit in over 12 months and I don't SEO/SEM.

    Niche' merchants wanting the same steady results can hire me for steady growth year after year.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
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    Oh ok, i thought they did. I remember reading about when Google wiped out the pages made by Webposition Gold. Webposition inserted something somewhere indentifying the pages being made by Webposition and Google just wiped them.

    Yes, i know Mike, i don't think too much of the standard feed site.

  14. #14
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    The first versions of webmerge did put in a tag - but after people started using webmerge for these datafeeds, Richard released a plug in to eliminate it - in future versions this plug in wasn't necessary and the pages no longer have it.
    Heidi
    "Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true"

  15. #15
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    Google now ignores them, regardless of how unique they are.
    Are they on the same site or on a different one?

    Once Google downgrades a site for high percentage of near-dupe content, any new content added to the same site will suffer the same fate.

    I know that what we read at WMW and other SEO hives will contradict that, but do you want believe the blowhards or do you want to believe what you see with your own eyes?

    When you do a try-again, do it on a fresh domain.

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The SE biggies with datafeed shopping directories have an automatic indicator of copycat wannabee merchants.~Webmaster Mike
    ...
    ....
    .....

    a-haaaa... So that's how they've been doing it... I did know their algos didn't suddenly turn into electronic Einsteins! They're just using a cheat sheet! A cheat sheet that's so obvious that I missed it...

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Search Engines and shoppers don't like most Webmerge pages. ~Snib
    SHOPPERS think they are perfectly fine. Otherwise my CR would suck, but it doesn't. But then maybe my pages don't look like "most" WebMerge pages...

    You really have to put yourself in the shoes of shoppers who are using sites like Bizrate, Pricegrabber, Froogle, Shopping.com, Yahoo Shopping, etc.
    You don't "have to" have the mindset of those sites' shoppers at all. Those sites only represent one slice of the ecommerce pie, and IMO it's not the slice to be trying for a bite of.

    The shoppers who will buy without comparing are the ones who will stay loyal. A BizRate et.al visitor is fickle almost by definition. No loyalty, and a penny-pinching miser. No thanks; no thanks to catering to the BizRate type, and no thanks to thinking like one of Them.

    Amazon is my idea of a site with exciting--and truly helpful to the good shoppers--technology. They have fairly decent "related products," they have "The Page You Made," and when you look at a product they say what other people who looked at the same product bought! And they have the wishlist deal. All very cool, and more importantly, it encourages more buying during the same session, while being really helpful to those "on the fence" about an item.

    They do have the infamous reviews, but at least they have enough traffic that most of their items HAVE had reviews--they don't have an endless sea of "this product hasn't been reviewed yet" notices, like most review wannabe sites end up with. And I think they could do without those favorite-lists (not wishlists, but the lists of "10 country songs I like" and that kind of stuff) people make.

    But overall I'd say Amazon makes the best use of technology of any ecommerce site on the Net.

    IMO it's Amazon and their customers that need a closer look. They have loyal customers who go straight there as a matter of course, without feeling like they have hit a comparison site to be sure they've squeezed every pathetic penny out of the deal.

    (And before anyone complains that Amazon's a merchant, remember that they're *affiliates* of many programs as well!)

    ask yourself, can I compete with these sites?
    Comparison cheapskate-enablers aren't the sites I want to compete with, so I won't be asking myself that.

    I want my sites to only list merchants who are Worthy. (Put the snoOOoty tone on that word: Worthy. ) Unlike comparison engines, I don't *want* to show the idiot merchants who charge 2x, 3x more than their competition for the same exact thing. I don't *want* to show the merchants who would draw bad reviews. And, I want customers who don't even want to see the loser merchants.

    I think improved technology could help a lot, but only if it provides something that's really useful, not just to show pages made up of 1 good merchant and 9 merchants only a stupe would shop at.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    great post Leader!!
    Ebudae


  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I agree that Amazon is a great example too. I do my best to mimic the shopping experience there as well as bits and pieces from every site I find useful. I wouldn't completely discount discount shoppers though. Some aren't very picky and will purchase with only one coupon or a 2 merchant comparison. It's difficult to appease those shoppers who demand a 20 product comparison. Also, if there are 20 different merchants that sell the same product, maybe you might want to consider a less saturated niche. I agree that a good merchant and good prices are key. I've gone from promoting no-names to promoting big brands and now I'm going back to the no-names simply for the variety of products and the uniqueness. We just need to consider what's going on everywhere in the online shopping world to be successful in this business.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  19. #19
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    > > Search Engines and shoppers don't like most Webmerge pages. ~Snib
    >
    > SHOPPERS think they are perfectly fine. Otherwise my CR would suck, but it doesn't.
    > But then maybe my pages don't look like "most" WebMerge pages...

    I can't even tell you what "most" WebMerge pages are supposed to look like.

    Look at the variety of layouts people are using with WebMerge:
    http://www.fourthworld.com/products/...e/gallery.html


    That was a great post, Leader, and I'd like to take this opportunity to reinforce what you say about content:

    As you see from our Gallery page, the question isn't "How many sites are using WebMerge?" The real question is: "How many sites are using data feeds?"
    And perhaps the best question is: "How many of those sites are using data feeds *creatively*?"

    WebMerge has no influence at all on content. You design your own templates, you select which fields to use and where they go in your layout, you decide what gets linked to what.

    And most importantly, you're in charge of the rest of your site (articles, tips, product comments) which adds unique value to the user's Web experience.

    As the name implies, WebMerge is just a sort of copy machine: it copies content from feeds into your pages. But it doesn't affect that content at all, nor alter the layout of the pages that content's copied into. It's like an extra set of hands, doing thousands of simple copy-and-paste operations much faster than your hands could do them, with the result being pages that are qualitatively identical to those you might make by hand (except that you did it all in seconds or minutes rather than hours or days <g>).

    So the true value of WebMerge is that it handles the tedium so you can spend your time on making a really great shopping experience, and adding unique content that will make customers glad they found your site and want to bookmark it to visit again and again.

    When you see pages built with WebMerge (or Dreamweaver or Golive or FrontPage or WordPad) and you see them all over the place on SERPs, ask yourself the key question that drives all things on the Web: What is that site doing for their customer?

    If all they're doing is making raw text links, they'll likely have a low PageRank and an even lower conversion rate.

    But if they took the time to cater to their customers with a site containing great content well presented, chances are they have happy customers and are making money.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Thumbs down
    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Search Engines and shoppers don't like most Webmerge pages. Unless you build your own datafeed with your own information, I don't think webmerge is of any real use.
    Sorry Snib, you just don't have any idea about what you're talking about.

    Fred

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld
    > >
    As the name implies, WebMerge is just a sort of copy machine: it copies content from feeds into your pages.
    Garbage in Garbage out.

    Pages created using an unmodified feed, whether utilizing WebMerge or PHP or another tool will have the same content.

    The feed has to be modified to be effective. With WebMerge the feed gets modified in advance of running the tool. With PHP (as an example), the feed gets modified "on the fly," or can be modified in advance.

    Fred

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Cheesehead,

    I have had a few feeds get dumped by G**gle, but that represents about 30%. Like you, I have also had most of the sites in the other major engines and get great targeted visitors out of it. In fact, I'll go so far as to say the visitors I get from the other engines give me a better click/purchase ratio than from the big, almighty G**gle.

    I should also say that the pages I produce are NEVER just published "as is." The feeds are substantially modified, as is the look, feel, and content of the pages and sites. The pages do need to be updated at some point. Like anything, if it's stale it just doesn't work as well. I should mention that I have a couple of feeds that have not been updated in six or eight months, and they continue to bring in steady revenue.

    On a smaller note, (paraphrasing Snib) a mixture of technologies on websites seems to work well. A better visitor experience always translates to more sales (in my case anyway). Please note, I didn't say "More complicated."

    Fred

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buy_online
    Sorry Snib, you just don't have any idea about what you're talking about.

    Fred
    I'm talking about building a website based solely on an unmodified datafeed. I've seen more than my fair share of sites that follow this formula. People spend 1 hour building an entire site with no unique content. I'm sorry if I'm generalizing, but this type of site is very obvious when you see it. My point is that you cannot use a datafeed out of the box in this manner. I can't see how a customer would find value in a site like this.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I'm talking about building a website based solely on an unmodified datafeed. I've seen more than my fair share of sites that follow this formula. People spend 1 hour building an entire site with no unique content. I'm sorry if I'm generalizing, but this type of site is very obvious when you see it. My point is that you cannot use a datafeed out of the box in this manner. I can't see how a customer would find value in a site like this.

    - Scott
    Then why did you make a statement like this?:

    "I think Webmerge pages are easy to identify because they're usually very static and they have information from datafeeds that are readily available."

    and this:
    "Search Engines and shoppers don't like most Webmerge pages."

    And this statement lacks any forethought at all:
    "...I don't think webmerge is of any real use."

    I really think you should think before you write things like that. If you meant something else, then you should not have made statements like you did.

    Fred

  25. #25
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    If you must use webmerge one good way to go about it is to start writing reviews about products. Only build pages for the products you've written reviews for. As you create more reviews, add to your spreadsheet. Take products from all sorts of datafeeds and even combine links so you can offer a comparison. Make a field for link1, link2, link3, etc. all leading to the same product on different merchant sites. Focus on your reviews and the unique content and don't create empty pages. By this I mean don't create pages based solely on a single datafeed without any of your own content. Add your own content or combine datafeeds. Most importantly, start small.

    As you create each page, create an AdWords campaign for that product and buy traffic specifically for that page. As you create more reviews and pages, create more AdWords campaigns. One campaign per review. Include a newsletter so you don't waste any of your traffic and hold on tight to the visitors you get, afterall you bought them.

    This is just how I'd go about it knowing what I know now about datafeed marketing.

    - Scott
    Good Advice!
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

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