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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Google SPAM Guide For Affiliate Sites Document

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Great read!!

    I just went through and highlighted some key factors that are relevant to ABW. It's interesting how Google differentiates between "thin affiliate" and "relevant". The traditional ABW datafeed method is exactly what Google is eliminating and labeling "thin affiliate". They make a good point. If you remove all the affiliate content from your site, what will you have left? If there's nothing, Google will label you as "Offensive".

    pages with the same content may be assigned vastly different ratings based on the absence or presence of a ppc program
    We differentiate between affiliates that produce extra service, value, or content, and those that simply are duplicates of other sites, set up to boost traffic to other sites and earn a commission for it. The former ones are not Offensive and should be rated on the merits to the query. The latter ones are Offensive.

    ...

    A site certainly has the right to try to earn income; we’re attempting to identify sites that do nothing but act as a commission-earning middleman.

    Observe where the links on the site take you. If the links are overwhelmingly leading you to one affiliate program, this is a strong signal that the site is a Thin Affiliate. Likewise, if the pages on the site are homogenous, and the links go to one or more affiliate programs, this is also a strong candidate.

    ...

    Here is an example of a site that should not be labeled Thin Affiliate:

    http://www.bookfinder4u.com/detail/0767914104.html

    At first cut it may look like yet another thin affiliate doorway to Amazon or B&N, but bookfinder4u.com is providing a value-added service to visitors by offering a comparison of prices between different online merchants. Ultimately you will be taken to Ecampus.com, Half.com, Amazon or another affiliate online bookseller, but the fact that they have their own price comparison infrastructure is the differentiator.

    ...

    Do not call a page affiliate spam when an affiliation is only incidental to the message and purpose of a website.
    The only datafeed practice that Google seems to accept is price comparison. They'll cut you slack if you offer a strong comparison that's fully functional. Of course this is no easy task, but it's encouraging to know that those of us who have comparison engines are in Google's good graces.

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

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Seems a bit dated...check those network domain names. Also, some of the affiliate sites mentioned in it are dead now (turned into domain-park pages).

    And, where's linksynergy in their list of networks?

    The only phrase that comes to mind when reading it is "Oh, b*gger off." (Directed at whoever wrote it.)
    will label you as "Offensive".
    That's why they can b*gger off. I'm offended by anyone who considers my sites to be offensive. G (or whoever) would do, to remember that you catch more flies with honey than with salt!!

    And speaking of who wrote it, it seems a bit too "exactly" like what some people have been saying lately, for me to give it much credibility. It seems like a propaganda piece.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    According to this post on SearchBistro, GoogleG*y admits plain-out that Eval.Google DOES NOT "actively" alter search results. (Scroll to the end of the post for that part.)

    POST

    Personally I don't trust GG, but if there's anything true in what he says, it's that a few temps are not making massive manual changes in the results.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think a lot of this is common sense. When I started working with datafeeds, I knew when I wasn't adding value and what needed to be done to make the pages worthwhile. Google is just trying to eliminate sites that knowingly spam the results and don't do a thing to add considerable value. As long as you forget about the spiders and focus on giving your visitors a reason to come back to your site, you can hope for positive Google results.

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

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I think a lot of this is common sense.
    That doesn't make it
    1) True
    or
    2) In line with affiliate objectives

    Anyway, what's "common sense" to G, is to list the merchant sites only (like d-blows). This other stuff is like turning up the heat on a bucket of frogs and hoping they don't realize they're being boiled.

    It's not in my best interest to go along with the boiling, just to have the heat rise a bit slower than if I don't!

    Webmasters do more damage to their own sites and sales trying to fit into the latest SEO fad, than the algos do. I'm not going to kill the sales effectiveness of my own sites. If Google wants to kill 'em, the least they'll have to do is go hunting; I'm not going to commit suicide.

    BTW assuming that a company has "common" sense is a risky proposition. Just look at the networks
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    So the mighty Google joins the ranks of those who dislike affiliates!

    Hank van Ess's blog: http://www.searchbistro.com/index.ph...ion-Guide.html

    Yes, spammy sites have to go, scraper sites, etc. No one questions that.

    But what are they going to tell the merchants who like having "middlemen"? They singled out Commission Junction and Bfast. So what should we do about our links? Hmmmm, let's tell Amazon they have to generate most of their own traffic, as most of their affiliates are going to be banned from SERPs for duplicate copy and datafeeds. I happened to like the shoe mall they gave as an example of a "thin affiliate."

    Don't they understand how a lot of people shop online?
    1. They do their offline research, then buy online
    2. They find stuff online not available in the usual stores
    3. They don't feel like shlepping to the mall, dealing with parking and waiting in line

    Only price comparison rates as content?

    And merchants need middlemen to advertise their products to billions and billions of people. Oh, I read somewhere that Bizrate and Shopping.com were exempt. A lot of their results are useless, but that's OK by Google.

    Some sites are appropriate for content, some aren't. My site happens to be a content-oriented gift site. My content pages have links woven in, but people know they're going somewhere to shop when they click, but hey, that's exactly what they wanna do!

    Do they understand #1 above? Those shoppers don't want to wade through content, they want the fastest way to the best buy online.

    Pure content pages without affiliate links? Isn't this a bit virginal?

    OK, I need to read more about this, it's late, and I'm not coherent. I'm gonna have some
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    OK, I need to read more about this, it's late, and I'm not coherent.
    You're coherent enough; you saw the absolute bogusness of their presumptions, and raised good objections.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link Trust!

    Admittedly, I do have some of those thin pages. Not a lot, but they are there. Good reading and food for thought on "value added" versus "cookie cutter" spam...

    I do think "value added" can take many forms other than just price comparisons. You just have to get a little creative.

    The great thing is we all work for ourselves and get to decide what kind of sites we want to make - and either reap the benefits or not, as the case may be..

    But then, that's just me - for those who love churning out those datafeed sites - go head on
    Ebudae


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    And speaking of who wrote it, it seems a bit too "exactly" like what some people have been saying lately, for me to give it much credibility. It seems like a propaganda piece.
    It is 100% genuine. Somebody has broken their non-disclosure agreement, which means instant dismissal.

  11. #11
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    But then, that's just me - for those who love churning out those datafeed sites - go head on
    We will! So, why don't you drop the holier than thou attituted and get off everyone's case about it?

    And, BTW, I don't buy it, either.

    Like they are going all over the web and checking all the sites. Sure they are.

    But, I am going to change the name of my
    "More Info" button on the new site. Not that it matters. It does fine on a site or two as is. Maybe, I should name it the "Welcome, Google" button.

    Tell you what. If you have good keywords and have adsense plastered all over the page, Google would rather have people find the merchant by clicking on their ads on your page than through a natural search that brings the merchant to the top. That is how they make money! Did you ever think about that?
    Last edited by SSanf; June 24th, 2005 at 02:37 AM.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    I think that just about everything you read is propaganda of some sort..
    either FOR or AGAINST one thing or another..

    Leader - I have heard a lot about catching flies with honey..
    but I have never seen anything that will attract flies like


  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    have heard a lot about catching flies with honey..
    but I have never seen anything that will attract flies like

    You got that RIGHT!

    Time to throw more poop on the walls!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd
    So the mighty Google joins the ranks of those who dislike affiliates!
    Google respects sites with affiliate links. You just need to do something really neat with them. A lot of the time one or two features won't cut it. Sometimes it takes 50 or more. I put my time and money into features because they're investments that no search engine can take away.

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

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    FIFTY features?!?!

    When I thought about it just now, I could come up with 12 offhand, but 50? I doubt that there are 50 things that would actually be useful...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    We will! So, why don't you drop the holier than thou attituted and get off everyone's case about it?
    Sorry you took it that way - it wasn't meant.

    I did say everyone should make the kind of site they like to - and I meant it.

    I don't think I am on anyone's case about it.
    There is a lot at ABW from the "datafeed" VS "content" people that I never comment on.

    Maybe next time there should be a post disclaimer saying only those who agree with you are allowed to say anything...
    Ebudae


  17. #17
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Well...
    I never thought of myself as being thin, but hey! According to this thing I am as thin as a rail. Do they not see the paradox here? or perhaps they do, and they have figured out how to make money off of 100's of thousands of thin affiliates who get penalized, then get desperate for traffic. Google boy, I am sure, is enjoying his money now that Googley Woogley has gone public. Maybe he ought to leave us thin affiliates alone, huh? Doesn't he have enough money? lol. Gawd! Lawd! Dayum!

    Well, I got to get back to listing all my "free offers", har! I am getting thinner by the minute - lol! Great diet!

    Leader - when did you start selling direct? or, are you an AM now?

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Sorry you took it that way - it wasn't meant. ~Ebudae
    I don't know about Ssanf, but YOU'RE not the one *I* thought of when I read her remark!

    I am getting thinner by the minute - lol! Great diet!~Lurker Jones
    Yeah, isn't it? Weight Watchers had better watch it...the Google Diet can make someone thin INSTANTLY!

    Leader - when did you start selling direct? or, are you an AM now?
    I announced the affiliate program here at ABW yesterday (LINK), but GoodBulbs.com has been up for a few weeks. So it's all pretty new!

    I'm selling direct--full merchant-side. Being someone else's AM doesn't float my boat.

    I'm resisting the urge to put a big pitch right here, but please do check out the announcement thread~!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I wondered about this at the end.
    "One cannot both be an affiliate of others and offer affiliation opportunities. So the presence of the link to become an affiliate is your hint that the site has its own functionality ..... "

    I seem to recall some sites (hotel & coupon) that do both?? But its late & I could be wrong.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    I wondered about this at the end.
    "One cannot both be an affiliate of others and offer affiliation opportunities. So the presence of the link to become an affiliate is your hint that the site has its own functionality ..... "

    I seem to recall some sites (hotel & coupon) that do both?? But its late & I could be wrong.
    Hmm, I think we're on to something here. Maybe we should start adding links to ShareASale with the text "Become an Affiliate".

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

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    I wondered about this at the end.
    "One cannot both be an affiliate of others and offer affiliation opportunities. So the presence of the link to become an affiliate is your hint that the site has its own functionality ..... "

    I seem to recall some sites (hotel & coupon) that do both?? But its late & I could be wrong.
    They are wrong, not you. I can think of numerous sites that are doing what it purports "cannot" be done.

    I thought that document was closed-minded and wrongheaded, and that proves it. If someone at G actually wrote it, it was some high-school intern working there for free (for the "experience"), and Google got exactly what it paid for!

    Scott--for once I agree...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Fine! Just put an affiliate program link in your naviagtion. How easy is that?

    The lazy and not too smart reviewers, if there are any, will move right along.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  23. #23
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    So now I guess all these "Thin Affiliates" will have to start using PPC!
    That seems just too convenient.
    Last edited by Cheesehead; June 24th, 2005 at 07:54 AM.
    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

  24. #24
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    One thing I have come to realize over the past 8 years in affiliate marketing. Most people really don't know WTF is going on with google or other SE's. All freakin consipracy theories, sure many are true but some I think just like to smell their own farts

    Some people come here ranting and raving about lost traffic but they fail to change the way they make their sites.

    The days of keyword stuffing craps sites are coming to end. Crap is crap no matter where it comes from. Make a site that makes sense, maybe be a bit original and you will have a fighting chance. And no this is not a fact, I have no idea what google is doing. I have some sites that rank great and others that are on results page 100.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    "Time to throw more poop on the walls!"

    "some I think just like to smell their own farts"

    Too funny, this thread is going downhill fast
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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