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  1. #1
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    Reliance on Search Engines? Who needs them
    Hi

    I am sure some of you will have seen Alex Tews Milliondollarhomepage over the last month and how well its going for him. Traffic Galore and not even been given a page rank yet.

    Got me thinking about webmasters reliance on search engines and how easy it is to sit on your laurels when you have had a good ranking for a while on certain keywords.

    You can enjoy this for months and even years and still lose out so I don't think there is virtually anyone who can rest easy about their traffic and position as search engines can go cold very quickly on you as and when it suits them.

    With this in mind you need a risk spreading strategy to cut down your reliance on the search engines. I have no doubt there will be threads on this somewhere on ABW there must be but its a good topic for newbies and veterans alike to keep refreshing.

    Heres a starter for ten :

    When talking about this subject most start with ppc , email newletter and so on which should all be included but imo the most important thing to do first is invest your time to:

    Build a good site - There is a genius behind the simplicity of this statement.

    I was talking with an affiliate friend of mine a couple of days ago and he was describing a new site that he and some colleagues are putting the finishing touches to. Its cost a fortune to develop and lots of time and effort but when he described what it would be like I could see the potential straight away as for a little more investment the site will be huge and really wont need much natural search engine traffic as paid search will yield so many voluntary bookmarks the site will always retain its visitor levels .

    Building sites for the people you want to visit them is the hardest part - once you have done that you have something to market. The good site is the root of it all and by doing that first then every investment you make from then on in will yeild a better return for you

    Bookmark - If you have a great site then really push your boomark - not in an unethical way of course but give it some prominence on your site - if you got part 1 right and have built a nice site then you can expect to get a lot of bookmark visitors coming back time and again which sure helps when your out of favour with the Search engines.

    Affiliate program - this has got to be next on my list an affiliate program could be just what your looking for to get you some extra traffic with a results led payment model to suit your cashflow.

    Newsletter - Every click you get for free is a potential customer but when they are gone you may never see them again. Think of your newsletter like an extension of your site - the same rules apply - build a newsletter for your visitors and they will want to sign up and want to remain opted in . There are many affiliates out there who run highly succesful sites which are almost entirley based around a newsletter. In site sales you often here that a site was sold to the value of x $'s per member.

    PPC - If you have the money and the patience then what you cant SEO you can buy - again if you have done number one right then using ppc you can get a lot of bookmarks. You don't have to pay the earth to get a good trickle of traffic coming in to test the conversion and its controllable to expand when you have got things converting how you want them. Trying this out when you already have traffic naturally is a good idea so that you have your paid plan if things gone wrong on the natural front . You can pay to keep your head above water.

    Linkbuilding - I reckon the majority of Webmasters don't give this one enough attention - a home page link from a revelant website in your sector with good anchor text is all well and good from a PR5 but I would rather have the same link with bad anchor text on a PR0 Alexa movers and Shakers website. Do your research before you link in or out and make sure the sites your linking to are not just floating graveyards with historic PR attached.

    If your building something of quality then dont rush your link building in a desperate effort to get results tomorrow . Like with your site and your newsletter think about link exchanges with your visitor in mind.

    I think the above 5 would be my main advice on risk spreaders but a couple more might be :

    Press releases
    Offline back to online
    Directories
    Advertising
    Incentives to your visitors for refer a friend style promotion

    I am sure there are more - anyone care to add a couple and help out some of the newer guys and girls and give them the benefit of your wisdom a little

    Thanks

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Good advice, Mal! A solid, basic ground to grow from is an important consideration for a new site. One that is often overlooked in the zeal to get a site online. (Speaking from experience...)

    Great post!

    Andy

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Excellent post! Many of us here have been huge proponents of building sites that get good word of mouth.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice. At the moment I am putting together my first site. Each day I am adding more and more and tweaking things and I know I still have a lot of work to do.
    At the same time I am starting to lay the foundation for it when it gets in full swing. Getting people to add a link to their page. Discussing my site as it comes together in forums and other little bits.
    Speaking of newsletters does anyone know of a good site on creating newsletters for your site?

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Nicely written summary of the basic message in thousands of my posts. Build first for the shopping needs of your intended audience and let the bookmark become your badge of honor. More bookmark traffic you get the better everything works. From e-mail newletter response rate to your PPCSE campaigns. Have a self sustainable site BEFORE thinking of an affiliate interface. You'll get lost in th enoise unless you can truly convert.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys.

    For anyone new reading hopefully it will give them a few pointers. The main thing to bear in mind in my experience is you will have to work and work hard to realise your success as an affiliate especially at the beginning of a project on a new site - if your the kind of person that gives up easy then this industry is maybe not for you at the content site level anyway at least.

    Good luck to anyone starting out

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

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  7. #7
    Full Member jerseyjim's Avatar
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    [B]Last year, before my computer repair service,(who knows nothing about online retailing, or E commerce) aded windows XP,I had 36 search programs,and FTP-PRO.since they didn't make any back up disks, I lost them all, and they cost a lot, Google adwords,adsense,etc. Now, i have rebuilt 4 websites,each has the same domain name.Meta-tags for each page, and content.that link to the prime site.Consider this, if you were shopping,and couldn't find what you wanted,and in a store where the clerks either haven't the time, or knowledge of (what a VCR) was,you wouldn't go back there.The first impessions of any store remain customer service, the last being how well you were treated at the checkout.I think all clerks are told to say "Have a nice day".even in a blizzard. So, search engines, not all the other gimmicks,rss, data links,won't help shoppers to find you.I don't waste time with the 3 or 4 day dated ads,since they have to be removed,using rotating ads,will, since using the merchants names,only put you in competion with them, and a million other affiliates,using unique content, and individual products give you a chance.I learned the online stuff, from a lady on this forum,the rest during 47 years of retail store consulting, for large corps. that don't know much about demographics,engineering, merchandising,etc. sinc ethey may know 1 or 2 products from there earlier experiences, but never all the complex requirements of color, all the codes, etc.
    JJ
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Even Einstein read comic books to relax[/FONT] :clap:

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Everyone NEEDS The SE's....

    Word Of Mouth????

    Who's Word? from Who's MOUTH..?

    They have to find you in the SE's before they can bookmark, tell their friends, sign-up for your newsletter and so on...

    Unless your going to tell Aunt Betsy and she's going to tell her friends and they number in the thousands...

    Originally Most traffic comes from the SE's..
    Unless You are paying for Radio, Newspaper and TV advertising...

    Word of MOUTH...
    I agree you have to have a really nice informative site to get people to "tell their friends" and "bookmark" but - they come from the SE's FIRST.... whether that be a PPC Campaign or not.. the SE's are where the ORIGINAL TRAFFIC COMES FROM....

    THEN the Word of mouth comes into PLAY.. it doesn't work the other way around unless you personally know millions of people to TELL... or you are happy with 10 or 20 visitors a day for the first couple of YEARS...

    SOMEONE PLEASE ::
    Explain how WORD OF MOUTH works.. without the SE's...??

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Natural SERP listings are more valuable then bookmarks as the clickable audience is larger. I often convience clients to even build a new in-house business enity to just get a boost in PR from cross linking. I just launched a site www.crystaljewelrysales.com that guarantees lot's of verbal referral buzz... while adding a new dedicated marketing arm to an existing company www.crystalare.com The Parent company never got traffic for Home Jewelry Parties, Charitable Fundraising and home based businesses. Now they can! I call this SEO with a legit purpose.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    Everyone NEEDS The SE's....

    Word Of Mouth????

    Who's Word? from Who's MOUTH..?

    They have to find you in the SE's before they can bookmark, tell their friends, sign-up for your newsletter and so on...
    I have several sites where natural search accounts for less than 10% of my traffic. Word of Mouth has always been my best traffic source for all of my sites.

    Look back at the original site PerAffiliate mentioned in this thread. It's receiving phenomenal traffic and making hundreds of thousands, before it even has a Google PageRank. I have no doubt that virtually all of their traffic is word of mouth.

    You do need some "seed" traffic to get started, but SE traffic isn't necessarily the best or the easiest. PPC, Press Releases, and other things can be even more effective. If the site is truly helpful and/or viral, the traffic will build quickly.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Nobody *needs* SE traffic. Back when I started online my traffic came from related sites. I'd do link exchanges in order to get traffic, not PR. Imagine that! Yes, there are such things as links that generate traffic. In fact, you can even get free links that generate sales if your site is good enough. You've got to think outside the box if you're going to succeed in this profession. Copying everybody else just won't cut it unless you do something truely unique and useful. Take a step back and look at what you've created. Are you providing a reliable service that's consistent and well organized?

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

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    Right on, Mal. The basic idea is "don't put all your eggs in one basket" when it comes to developing traffic. Another way to spread out your risk is to develop multiple websites of different types. Also, if you keep your visitors in mind when exchanging links you get some great traffic when the traffic moves in both directions. I exhanged links with a small mom & pop site four years ago and they have sent me an average of 300+ visitors/day and at times exceeded traffic coming from Yahoo!, MSN and AOL.

    I get great Google traffic over the long haul, but when an update disrupts the traffic flow I'm seeing about 40% return visitors from bookmarks or direct type-ins. Other ways to stimulate word-of-mouth include choosing a memorable domain name. Everyone, even non-computer people know Google, Ebay, etc. I wish I would have done that. This is my fifth anniversary for my main site I still mistype the url.

    I've experienced huge surges in return visitors during major holidays and seasonal shopping periods. If someone had a good shopping experience buying a halloween costume they'll be back to check out what you've got for Christmas or Mother's Day. Last December's Google update dropped my traffic by 60% but my return visitors were the shoppers and buyers. Overall commisions earned that month were only down by 10%.

    I found that testing your site by becoming the shopper helps alot. I originally developed my site by building it for me and my wife to shop at home in our underwear - really. We continue to find ways to make the experience better. If I get frustrated shopping for something, I fix it. When something works to increase your commissions, do it again. If somethings not producing sales, try something new. There's no textbook for affiliate marketing, so enjoy experimenting with different ideas. That's how some of those million dollar ideas are found.
    ~Ernie

  13. #13
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    Lightbulb Different SEO Methodologies
    >Another way to spread out your risk is to develop multiple websites of different types.

    I can agree with that...

  14. #14
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    You can also have a search engine on each of your sites that lists results from all of your sites when a search is made.

    If one of your sites has good traffic - the search results from that site can also send traffic to your other sites.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  15. #15
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    Mal:
    As a person who is new to the affiliate area with very limited success, I appreciate your comments. After reading comments do most of you have content programs, run datafeeds, storefronts, etc.? I have a lot of content sites where the industry doesn't change every day & when it does it's more relevant to the insiders rather than the consumers. I know it would be better if I had a shopping site but I don't. Sending newsletters, etc with a content site seems somewhat overwhelming particularily when I have numerous sites(over 15) & really don't do a good job on any of them. I can get great SEO rankings when I have the time (I own my own business in addition to this) but too many sites, too little time. I suspect I should concentrate on a couple of sites but I have great generic names & want to take advantage of this.

    Linking was mentioned & I try to link what I feel are worthly sites. Problem is I get 10 or more requests a day & many of them I don't respond to because they are not what I want. In most cases my names are better than those wanting to link to me so I want to be somewhat conservative in this matter (not bragging I just know the business my sites are representing ----I'm not a programmer or computer person either just someone who has a plan but the industry hasn't accepted it that I know of).

    My question is ---------how to manage a lot of sites (I don't even have all the good generics up for lack of time and experience) yet get decent revenue from all the work that goes into operating these sites?

    Needs Help

  16. #16
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    Hi

    Simple answer - get some staff :-)

    There are many people out there who can help you complete your jigsaw so to speak. Let me know if your UK or US based

    I know some affiliates with 20-30 staff most full time - this is at one end of the spectrum and I am not suggesting you need to go to those lengths but 1 or two guys developing those generics for you on a 2 year 50 - 50 % split would seem like a win for both of you.

    Save you donating so much time and energy into something you don't have the time for but could end up with a flourishing site in 2 years time with little of your own efforts needed.

    Falining that sell the rest of your generics as the market is not to bad for domains right now and then concentrate your efforts into the couple you keep and really make a go of them yourself.

    Good luck

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  17. #17
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Have any of you tried E-Bay as a different source of income while the SE's are trying to get rid of us??

    If so - what were the results - good or bad?

    Mr Sal ??????


    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  18. #18
    Full Member jerseyjim's Avatar
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    Bottom Line
    Quote Originally Posted by perfiliate
    Hi

    Simple answer - get some staff :-)

    There are many people out there who can help you complete your jigsaw so to speak. Let me know if your UK or US based

    I know some affiliates with 20-30 staff most full time - this is at one end of the spectrum and I am not suggesting you need to go to those lengths but 1 or two guys developing those generics for you on a 2 year 50 - 50 % split would seem like a win for both of you.

    Save you donating so much time and energy into something you don't have the time for but could end up with a flourishing site in 2 years time with little of your own efforts needed.

    Falining that sell the rest of your generics as the market is not to bad for domains right now and then concentrate your efforts into the couple you keep and really make a go of them yourself.

    Good luck

    Mal
    Question, while having a lot of help,and some have a lot of webhosting expenses,don't you think the net profit is the idea for all of this.Reason I ask, I spent 11 years with one of the top retailers in the country,SGC, they put together one stop shopping centers,kept the overhead down,used energy saving, and many other things to sell more than the A&P, or other large chains.Most stores were open 24 hours a day, for maintenabce and restocking.We traded in low income areas,provided good jobs to the locals,taxes to the communities, and lowest prices, with 2 private label brands, and only 1 national brand,each store averaged a million per week gross, but had a lowe profit margin, the others tried to copy, but never caught up.Point here, the company kept their operating costs to a minumum, and succeeded so well, they were bought out in a greenmail scheme, and we lost our jobs.
    Can we still compete with out the high operating costs online.I don't need thousands,at 72, I collect S.S and if i eanr too much, I go back in the higher tax brackets.
    Just a question.
    JJ
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Even Einstein read comic books to relax[/FONT] :clap:

  19. #19
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    Hi

    Course you can mate you don't need 20 staff and an adwords bill of thousands to make good money. You just need a domain name , a good idea for a site and a good work ethic and you can make a lot of money.

    My response was geared for someone who had to many projects or possible projects and not enough time to develop them hence the staffing up response.

    Its horses for courses and not everyone needs to follow one model - for some $20 a month keeps them happy for others its $20k and for some its $200k and more.

    I know plenty of guys who are in the $20k bracket and apart from a domain name for sub $15 origionally invested nothing else apart from themselves.

    Good luck in your endevours

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Have any of you tried E-Bay as a different source of income while the SE's are trying to get rid of us??

    If so - what were the results - good or bad?
    JadaKiss does that. It's kept her out of empl*yment and off of Cardboard Box Avenue...

    She's got a thread going here: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=64091. Even though that thread's asking about CJ links, she'd probably tell you more about the eBay biz (in general) if you ask her.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  21. #21
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    SEO and search engine page result listing have been critically important in revenue generation for SBS.

  22. #22
    Full Member jerseyjim's Avatar
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    Flea Market
    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    JadaKiss does that. It's kept her out of empl*yment and off of Cardboard Box Avenue...

    She's got a thread going here: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=64091. Even though that thread's asking about CJ links, she'd probably tell you more about the eBay biz (in general) if you ask her.
    When I found out that e-bay was used mainly by pawn brokers,and they want credit card numbers up front, I dropped all auctions, and added the Flea market, fom one of SAS merchants, for $5 someone can sell all their "stuff" I like the front page too

    jj
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Even Einstein read comic books to relax[/FONT] :clap:

  23. #23
    Moderator Nabz's Avatar
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    I was always feared of this. But now I have created multiple websites, If SE drops on of my website rankings, then I will have other websites to generate revenue.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nabeelk
    I was always feared of this. But now I have created multiple websites, If SE drops on of my website rankings, then I will have other websites to generate revenue.
    It's always a good idea not to keep all your eggs in one basket, but be careful that you aren't still relying on the search engines. You can have 50 sites, but if they all rely on the search engines you're still at risk. It's always a good idea to build quality sites that people can use as a resource. Those return visits are much more valuable than any search engine traffic.

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

  25. #25
    Moderator Nabz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    It's always a good idea not to keep all your eggs in one basket, but be careful that you aren't still relying on the search engines. You can have 50 sites, but if they all rely on the search engines you're still at risk. It's always a good idea to build quality sites that people can use as a resource. Those return visits are much more valuable than any search engine traffic.

    - Scott
    I have started thinking about this, after reading this thread. I will try this on a few of my under developing websites, will probably add both Articles and Affiiate Pages.
    I currently operate 8 Affiliate websites, I know that currently I rely on search engines, I always add my own reviews to specific products to give unique content to search engines, and SE response is always good for my websites.

    Though I will try to get Direct visitors, but I thing I will rely on Search Engines in future.

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