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  1. #1
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    GoogleGuy's Comment about Affiliate Sites
    This is very interesting information for all affiliates about the perception of affiliate sites by Google, straight from the mouth of GoogleGuy. I found this over at WebmasterWorld http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/29727-6-10.htm

    Member's question:
    Quote Originally Posted by A member called union_jack at WebmasterWorld
    Google Guy can i be total honest, i make my living as affiliate. I have worked on my site for 7 years and to the best of my knowleage have never used any black hat tactics. Also i fully understand that my business will be of more value if i can supply additional information to run along side my means of generating income, this i have tried to do. However i have found myself wiped out in this update. my question should i be looking to move away from the affilate industry.
    GoogleGuy's answer
    union_jack, I think the value you give to users is often proportional to the value add of your site: unique content, a unique service (e.g. comparisons of different cell phone or web hosting plans), or even a unique perspective. Too often though, affiliate sites don't add much value to users.

    It's fine for someone to say "the user wanted to book a hotel room, and I let him do that." But if 50 other sites are trying to do the same thing, and those 50 sites end up crowding out good results like the hotel's real home page with an actual phone number, then those 50 affiliate sites are clearly hurting diversity, esp. if all the sites are cookie-cutter/templates or nothing but repackaged feeds.

    So my answer would be to think hard about your value-add compared to other affiliate sites in whatever niche you're targeting.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    That pretty much validates everything I've been thinking for the past several months.

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

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Another Googleguy Quote:

    If you go back to say Feb 2004, I think spam had gotten to be an issue because we hadn't allocated enough resources to it. Google isn't a monolith; within the company there's always room for different opinions about what different priorities should be. But I'm happy that I think Google is paying more attention to this issue now. My opinion is that spam is getting hit faster, and that for the rest of this year, it will continue to get harder to spam.

    It's funny because a while ago, people would post on WebmasterWorld and say "When is Google going to pay attention to spam?" Recently I saw a post where something said "Why is Google so harsh on spam lately--why don't they work on other things besides rooting out spam?" I guess you can't please all of the people all of the time.
    Reminds me of some complaints on ABW, although many would contest they aren't creating spam.

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

  4. #4
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Snib, I read that very same post about 2 secs ago on WebmasterWorld. Small web

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Sorry, but what GoogleGuy says is no validation of anything except a company line.
    If a network rep said, "software only makes 1% of network earnings," would you call that a validation of anything at all?

    IMO everything GG says belongs in the dumper, ignored, or used as a "reverse guide" (depending on the particular BS he's spouted). Check my old posts and you'll see that I've always thought disinformation was GoogleGuy's primary product.

    Put on your logic cap!
    I think the value you give to users is often proportional to the value add of your site:
    What HE THINKS is totally irrelevant! Bald fact. It's all about the algo.
    The algo's a machine, and whoever figures out the key gets to drive. Remember that the algo is mindless code and CANNOT form a subjective opinion.

    The best Google can do is have the algo look for proxies that Google's programmers think stand for quality. That's not anything like a requirement for an actual site quality. Whatever element they come up with, a site can have that particular element without, in reality, it actually meaning anything more than that the webmaster has cracked the latest version of the code.

    So my answer would be to think hard about your value-add compared to other affiliate sites in whatever niche you're targeting.
    Yeah, that's HIS ANSWER because if he tells the truth he will be fired or at least muzzled!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Not much of a coincidence when I clicked on the link you provided and simply read 4-5 pages of it

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

  7. #7
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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  8. #8
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Bald fact. It's all about the algo.
    The algo's a machine, and whoever figures out the key gets to drive. Remember that the algo is mindless code and CANNOT form a subjective opinion.
    Yes but don't forget the new evidence of human intervention.
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=58977
    Now that is subjective.

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    No, the word for that is *baloney!*

    See my comment in that thread.

    In short I think it's 1) Propaganda!!! and 2) about as feasible as trying to hand-grade all the grains of sand on a beach.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    ...about as feasible as trying to hand-grade all the grains of sand on a beach.
    Yep.

    Imagine trying to hire and train the graders to do this job... you'd have to teach them what matters.... establish objective criteria... (like programming a bot!!!)... deal with turnover and the fact that most people are virtually untrainable and defintiely possess mediocre judgment and recall at best... in the end, why would the human rankings be better than algo ones? People have different tastes. And moods. And modes. And reasons for looking something up. And people are dupes - they fall for the easiest tricks - see Andy's post today about their naivete regarding prices (something they see all of the time)...

    Go hire a bunch of people to rate sites - and prove the results are better or more fair (I'll take either challenge on) than a machine!!!

    Ask people for feedback on your site... you'll quickly come to know what I mean... people say and think the stupidest shit... they are gullable and malleable and misinformed... often, they are ill-intentioned as well...

    Personally, given the number of sites and their ever-changing aspects, I'd rather have machines doing the scoring.

    Yes, people are behind the machines - I get that - but you're talking about the elitist smart people at google and elsewhere that we love to hate. Contrast that will throngs that would be needed to manually rate ALL the sites... ever been to a call center... seen the effort and brain power the employees put into their work... with all the shortcomings of machines, I'll pass on human graders because of the scale involved here...

    and if you say, let's just rate some of the 8 billion web pages indexed by google, i'm ready to discuss the criteria we should establish to determine who gets face time and who doesn't... by itself, thinking about this will piss you off - and rightfully so!

    sand grain #2,623,853,345...
    sand grain #2,623,853,346...
    sand grain #2,623,853,347...
    sand grain #2,623,853,348...
    sand grain #2,623,853,349...

  11. #11
    "An Englishman In New York" TJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    about as feasible as trying to hand-grade all the grains of sand on a beach.
    Can you say G'moz?

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ
    Can you say G'moz?
    You *know* what I think of the similar-sounding organization
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    d'snobs

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    How much longer do you think you will be able to crack the code? I am hearing top SEO's talking about being out of business in the next few years. The engines started out only reading meta tags. Do a search for a digital camera and you got a porn site. Do a search for Britney Spears and you got a digital camera. Engines had to get smart and read the page. Kewl, now we can stuff the page with text that matches the background, that gives us more room for keywords. The battle goes on and on until everyone but the engines lose. Soon big business will rule the web.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think the fact of the matter here is that Google's putting more resources than ever into fighting spam and spammy techniques. Personally, I don't see that as a challenge. I'm not going to fight Google and try to crack their code by creating 100's of spammy websites. It's an uphill battle and it gets steeper by the day. I'm much more comfortable on flatter ground with much less friction. It really just comes down to what you're comfortable with and what your abilities are.

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

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Just build Window showcases for the worthy merchants you trust and you'll always be able to snag good SERPs by fulfilling a web site enhancing the purchasing process.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Affiliate or not affiliate should'nt even matter. No Decent search engine should rank a bunch of basically identical sites near the top of their SERP's.
    BTW , 'adsense' is about as big a spawn of spam sites as affiliate marketing these days.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Your right simcat, the problem is that good sites, small biz sites that aren't even affiliate sites are being pushed down along with the spammers. I do sites for small manufacturers of high dollar industrial products. They don't have shopping carts and don't sell directly on the web. Because of the new algos they are being pushed down in the serps and the larger companies pages are rising to the top. So even if an affiliate makes a great page that has value it is going to be difficult to get it to rank above the large company sites for popular keywords.

    It's just a matter of time before Google gets rid of all these scraper sites. Are all the people they linked to going to be hurt by default when the links they never wanted suddenly disappear? Spam hurts us all. Merchants need to start checking affiliate sites and get rid of the junk sites.

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