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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Affiliate Earnings Took Huge Drop. Help!
    I am new to Best Web and am hoping to learn alot, contribute and get help.

    Since January my sales have dropped continually and now are at virtually pennies per day. I have about 200 affiliate sites and was earning on average about $150 total per day. Now, many sites have limited visitors, and the sites with good traffic have poor conversions. I am earning literally pennies now.

    I'd discovered in January that new computers were being installed with Norton anti virus programs that were set on default to block affiliate links on my pages! (and yours) CJ changed their coding to overcome this but I don't know if they have stayed on top of it and I know Linkshare and BE FREE had no fix. I don't know if this continues to be a problem.

    Does anyone know what is going on? I went from being successful to being poor! Help!!!!!!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    You said now many sites have limited visitors. My guess would be it is a drop in your search rankings.

  3. #3
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    Seo
    Yes, Jane, that is probably true. We are at their mercy.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    "Does anyone know what is going on? I went from being successful to being poor! Help!!!!!!"

    You already know the problem:

    "We are at their mercy." Referring to search engines.

  5. #5
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    Do your sites have unique content? If not, it can be a struggle to maintain good rankings in the search engines.

    The best long-term strategy is to make good, useful, popular sites that are supported by ads... as opposed to using affiliate links as the basis of sites. For every 100 folk who can build a cookie-cutter affiliate site, there'll only be a couple who can build a good, useful, popular site.

    Ask yourself this - what is it I do that is unique?

  6. #6
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I have a site with unique content, at one time it was getting around 2000+ visitors per day now the same site is getting around 35 - 60 per day. If I knew what it was I would tell you (after getting them back for myself of course)
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    at one time it was getting around 2000+ visitors per day now the same site is getting around 35 - 60 per day.
    I was wondering when you'd notice that, and quit making like it's all CJ's fault!

    I had been noticing your site's ranks... I don't usually rank-check, but I was watching a few specific products and that site of yours kept coming up when I was looking for a much better affiliate site for those products (namely MY sites ). But a couple of months ago I stopped seeing it...unfortunately, they didn't replace it with mine, so I guess there's just something terribly wrong with the algos

    If I knew what it was I would tell you (after getting them back for myself of course)
    If I see your site ranking up there again, I'll hold you to that
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    It's definitely the search engines. I've started working on newer methods of traffic generation and believe this will improve my search engine rankings as a side effect. You really just have to stand out and offer something that can impress and influence shoppers. Think about the sites you use from day to day and try to figure out what makes them successful. I'll give you a hint, Google doesn't want you running 200 sites. They want only a small handful of high quality sites that are in it for the long haul. If you were Google, wouldn't you want to link to the sites with the highest quality content?

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

  9. #9
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    Less Sites, Better Content
    Thanks for this advice. Does it help to revise an existing site, or once unsuccessful is it doomed forever?

    Should I start all over with new URLS (a few with better content) and just leave the old ones sit? Or should I remove many of the old sites? (Which I actually don't know how to do. Help there will be appreciated)


  10. #10
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Leader

    I was wondering when you'd notice that, and quit making like it's all CJ's fault!
    I have never said it is ALL CJ's fault but lets be honest about it it the way CJ still allows the cookies stuffers and parasites to steal our commissions after being told about it for the last 3 years a fair proportion of it must be their fault.

    If I ever figure out what has gone wrong Leader rest assured I will tell you what I think it was/is. It seems funny to me that my best producing site that has been fairly high up in Google for at least the last 6 years should drop to where it is hardly visible now. I have done nothing different just added a couple of merchants to it so why it should drop so drastically has me baffled.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  11. #11
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    Question Google AdSense
    I notice several highly ranked sites have Google ads on them. I would appreciate feedback on whether you have had good results. Pros and cons please.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    Live by Google, Die by Google.


    While I don't think that this is in any way the entire answer, I think that people sometimes just get tired of the "old site" and go on to a "new site" to do whatever it is that they are interested in.

    I used to work for a webmaster who had the same home page look in 2004 as he did in 2000 and can't figure out why his income is sliding, sliding, sliding. A genius site but the look is the very same, year after year.

    Time and NewsWeek don't have the same cover week after week and they sell a lot of new issues each week.

    Perhaps redoing the home page to look a little more modern and up to date will help somewhat though I am at a loss to explain the huge drops in income I read about at ABW other than parasitic theftware and constantly changing Google search engine algos.

    Live by Google, Die by Google.

    Best,
    RadarCat, WebMaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  13. #13
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    Some More Thoughts . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by RadarCat
    Perhaps redoing the home page to look a little more modern and up to date will help somewhat though I am at a loss to explain the huge drops in income I read about at ABW other than parasitic theftware and constantly changing Google search engine algos.


    An ever expanding population of affiliate sites on the web may partially contribute to the loss of income experienced by affiliate marketers.

    For example, just look at the ever changing list of new merchants being added almost every day at CJ. On a global scale, that adds up to a lot more competition per dollar of goods sold.

    Also, some new sites are going to be coded better and will naturally rank higher in search engines that give more weight to on-page factors such as AllTheWeb, AltaVista, MSN, Teoma and Yahoo.

    Live by Google, Die by Google.

    Best,
    RadarCat, WebMaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  14. #14
    Member skishopmatt's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have to agree. Search engine work is key. I've been slowly working on it on my site, but it takes time. In the mean time, you mgiht want to consider a small PPC campaign? I know it costs money, but sometimes you've got to spend to make money, you know? Just a thought

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird
    Thanks for this advice. Does it help to revise an existing site, or once unsuccessful is it doomed forever?

    Should I start all over with new URLS (a few with better content) and just leave the old ones sit? Or should I remove many of the old sites? (Which I actually don't know how to do. Help there will be appreciated)

    You have 200 sites and make about 150 a day. That is less than 1.00 per day per site. Seems like a lot of upkeep for little return. I would take the best perfoming site and work on it. It is already in the engines so I think you will get a return sooner than starting with a new site. If your sites are all linked together with similar content that could be the cause of your problems.

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    I have been advised that the use of csv feeds (which is more popular than ever) is behind the drop by search engines overall.

    Google dump csv sites because of duplicate content. Many affiliates are feeling the pinch and with regard to Norton...well I did mention this some time ago. Not all networks have adjusted their script.

    I've asked my techie to look at ways around this when he has the time. As we intend to write new script we intend to market it sometime in the future.

    Also the use of cookies is one thing that not just Norton strips away. The search engines are forever trying to improve their unique content. It won't be long before they dispense listing them in submissions.

    About the only thing that gets around it all at present is a Private Label option sufficiently modified to give unique content for each label.

  17. #17
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I largely abandoned CJ some time ago, but the same downshift happened to me from about January. There's been a fairly fundamental tweak in Google's algorithm. My best analysis at the moment is that sites with authority links (e.g from the ODP) are benefitting from this change.

    What I can't figure out is why conversion rates have dropped so low though.. perhaps it's just a seasonal issue.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    My conversion rates are way up. Click throughs are running at about 40-50% of impressions and conversion stands at just over 10% of clicks on most of my sites.

    About the worst performers for me are gambling sites (too many others) and also surprisingly Google's own ads on sites (1.2% click through).

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think the search engines are putting much more emphasis on your incoming links and authority. New sites tend to rank well for a short period of time if they come in strong with a decent PR, but that will wane over time if the same amount of incoming PR isn't maintained. With these new sites popping in periodically and much older sites with strong PR and authority, there isn't much room for an average PR on a site that's 1 to several years old. I was just searching Google for information on "Powerbook G5" to see if there is any progress on the design. Unfortunately most of the links in the top 10 were from 2003 and 2004. I could only identify 1 site that was written in 2005 and it was nearly 5 months old. This shows that Google doesn't really care too much about the freshness of the information. I think they're putting so much emphasis on your authority that they don't care so much about the age. This is something Google will need to address soon as the internet accumulates more and more old out-of-date information. As the algorithm stands, Google does a great job of filtering out datafeed and cookie cutter sites, but their replacement listings leave a little to be desired.

    - Scott
    Last edited by Snib; June 15th, 2005 at 01:08 AM.
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  20. #20
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    Freebird, if you have 200 sites and you have them interlinked, that alone could account for a drop in search engine rankings. The major search engines (particularly Google) now check to see if interlinked sites are on the same class-C IP address, which means the first three groups of numbers are the same. That's a dead giveaway that the sites are likely on the same server.

    Also, check to make sure you are not in violation of search engine guidelines. You can find links to the guidelines pages here:

    Webmaster Guidelines

    It pays to periodically read through all of the guidelines pages for Google, MSN and Yahoo. The guidelines do change and usually change prior to the search engine applying new penalties to sites.
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
    [url=http://www.topranksolutions.com]Phoenix SEO[/url] :: [url=http://www.tech-evangelist.com/category/affiliate-marketing/]Affiliate Marketing Tutorials[/url]

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I wonder if the class-C IP address issue really has an effect. My highest PR site links to my other sites and I recently broke it off to another dedicated server on a new class-C IP address. I haven't seen any sort of change due to it, but it would be nice to see. Seems I'm on the up and up with Google on the latest change, so I hope it continues.

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

  22. #22
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    I believe the Google info originated with a comment from GoogleGuy on one of the forums a while back. He is an insider and his advice has always been relevant.

    Whether or not a site gets penalized is always a roll of the dice. There are always 2 or 3 sites in the top 10 in almost any search that blatantly violate the search engine's guidelines. Black hat techniques do work, but only until you get caught.

    Yahoo has a warning posted about interlinking on their guidelines page:

    What Yahoo! Considers Unwanted:

    "Excessively cross-linking sites to inflate a site's apparent popularity"

    Google's Guidelines page includes a vague coment that can be interpreted in many ways:

    "Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank."
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
    [url=http://www.topranksolutions.com]Phoenix SEO[/url] :: [url=http://www.tech-evangelist.com/category/affiliate-marketing/]Affiliate Marketing Tutorials[/url]

  23. #23
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enginez
    Do your sites have unique content? If not, it can be a struggle to maintain good rankings in the search engines.

    The best long-term strategy is to make good, useful, popular sites that are supported by ads... as opposed to using affiliate links as the basis of sites. For every 100 folk who can build a cookie-cutter affiliate site, there'll only be a couple who can build a good, useful, popular site.

    Ask yourself this - what is it I do that is unique?
    Very true statement. Act like a merchant with unlimited product "buy me" spin, without all the hard to sell products. Now your a value-add affiliate. Just ask the satisfied referral.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  24. #24
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    Taking your suggestions to heart.
    I 'll report back about any difference that I notice after removing the cross linking. I had thought that my conversion rates had dropped since last year, but an up close analysis of my best earning sites revealed that the conversion rates are almost the same today. So it would seem that the real culprit is less/lower ranking of my sites in general. Thus all of the above advice is appreciated and apparently quite relevant.

    You are all so generous to take the time to share wisdoms and ideas.
    Thanks

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