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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    Question What does google mean by Cookie-cutter affiliate websites?
    In it's quality website guidelines google says something about cookie-cutter affiliate websites.

    but doesn't exactly say what it considers as cookie-cutter affiliate website.

    is it talking about coupon sites? or something else?

    obviously link farms and banner farms are not it.

  2. #2
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Maybe they mean a re-produced merchant database with nothing else added...or no 'value-add'. That's real easy to do although it's not the best practice. Search engines are filtering out those sites more and more..which dries up a huge converting traffic source for the Affiliate (people searching SEs for products by name, that is) ...just my opinion, though. GBM

  3. #3
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    This was originally intended as a slam against programs that give you "your own site" when you sign up for the program. Stuff like Cognigen and similar plans where you just append the vendor URL with an affiliate name or number, or get a mirror site that is a subdomain of the vendor's site.

    Some would also argue that they seem to be doing a pretty good job of nailing sites that are just slap-ups of merchant feeds, but those sites may be suffering due to natural causes; if there's a hundred or more sites that are basically just reiterations of an existing vendor's site, sites with unique content will rise above the slap up sites in the SERP's by default.
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  4. #4
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Well said NoWires..

  5. #5
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    Smile The dmoz listing
    Cognigen Communications - Telecommunications services. Mirror websites.
    Business: Opportunities: Networking-MLM

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    NoWires pretty much nailed this one. Basically if there's a tool that auto-generates a site for you using somebody else's data you're creating a cookie cutter site. There's limited skill involved in setting something like this up and it offers nothing helpful to shoppers. Usually these types of sites aren't user friendly and offer limited to no navigation. The navigation is only in place for search engine spiders to find each of the product pages for indexing. These sites usually have a very short lifespan due to the lack of usability and usefulness.

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

  7. #7

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    I also believe google considers GoldenCan type of sites affiliate cookie-cutter sites. Where you just use your affiliate numbers and it does basically the rest of the work for you (even if you change the header, footer, etc.) Since basically the datafeeds are all from the same vendors it's basically the same stuff over and over again (in their eyes).

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    GoldenCAN's default delivery is via script, search engines don't see the vendor's stuff on your pages at all.

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    GoldenCAN's default delivery is via script, search engines don't see the vendor's stuff on your pages at all.
    Is there a way for the webmaster to modify the code or how can a webmaster's input to a page (with GoldenCAN's script) alter the way the search engines view and index the page?

    Is it possible for a webmaster to insert GoldenCAN's script/code so that the results will be on half the page or a section of the page designated by the webmaster?
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    GoldenCAN's default delivery is via script, search engines don't see the vendor's stuff on your pages at all.
    I don't think that makes GoldenCAN sites safe from the new AdWords landing page quality guidelines. It seems they've got real people looking at many sites.

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

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    Well, it's true that I have golden can on my aff site but in addition to that i have like over 100 handwritten links , on pages that follow all of googles quality sites guidelines.

    but none of those pages that meet their quality guidelines are being indexed.

    mine is a new coupon site with no inbound links.

    so i'm guessing that all coupon sites are now cookie-cutter affiliate sites as per google

    Is it the end of coupon affiliate site?

    like one of you said before, we need to employ other means , like viral marketing and use other ideas to bring in people on our own.

  12. #12
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    but none of those pages that meet their quality guidelines are being indexed.

    mine is a new coupon site with no inbound links.
    Google won't index sites without any inbound links. And then, how much they end up indexing over time depends on inbound links, Pagerank and internal linking. Then, duplicate and near-duplicate factors have an effect at that point.

    Is there a way for the webmaster to modify the code or how can a webmaster's input to a page (with GoldenCAN's script) alter the way the search engines view and index the page?
    GoldenCan is Javascript, which the engines don't parse and index at this point. But that doesn't mean they can't at some time decide to detect the fingerprints that call the scripts.

    Is it possible for a webmaster to insert GoldenCAN's script/code so that the results will be on half the page or a section of the page designated by the webmaster?
    Sure, HTML at the beginning and the end, with GC in the middle. Take a look at how Ecomcity works it in.

  13. #13
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    ummmm guys you don't have to use Javascript any longer with GoldenCan. You can do straight html pages.

  14. #14
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson992
    ummmm guys you don't have to use Javascript any longer with GoldenCan. You can do straight html pages.
    Wow, sounds like the opposite of what CJ would like to say:

    ummmm guys you don't have to use html any longer with publisher's links from our network. You can do straight Javascript pages.


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  15. #15
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Speaking of CJ parodies, here is one right HERE
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  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWires
    Speaking of CJ parodies, here is one right HERE
    Yeah.

    Ahh, NoWires, why does your sig say:
    Don't need no crystal ball 'round here?
    I guess it's hard to run with crystal balls
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  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    GoldenCAN's default delivery is via script, search engines don't see the vendor's stuff on your pages at all.
    Umm, why not use Datafeedfile.com? via php or other spiderable integration?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  18. #18
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson992
    ummmm guys you don't have to use Javascript any longer with GoldenCan. You can do straight html pages.
    It's still JS code inside!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWires
    Some would also argue that they seem to be doing a pretty good job of nailing sites that are just slap-ups of merchant feeds, but those sites may be suffering due to natural causes; if there's a hundred or more sites that are basically just reiterations of an existing vendor's site, sites with unique content will rise above the slap up sites in the SERP's by default.
    I would buy this a lot faster than any ridiculous claims of Goofle manually looking at our billions of sites, or that a mindless program can tell quality from a box of rocks on its own.

    But, Goofle has also been known to rank up spammers with absolute junk scraper sites! Certainly those scraper sites don't get any natural links. And the spammed blog links their creators get for 'em aren't exactly screaming "quality."

    Quote Originally Posted by Best123
    but none of those pages that meet their quality guidelines are being indexed.

    mine is a new coupon site with no inbound links.
    Like Webworker said, you need links.

    Preferably lots of them. No inbound links = no indexing. And if you just put 1 or 2 links somewhere (and Google finds those links--no point in putting links on other unindexed sites), it'll get indexed, but no rank...unless there's absolutely zero competition for your keyword.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    There's limited skill involved in setting something like this up and it offers nothing helpful to shoppers. Usually these types of sites aren't user friendly and offer limited to no navigation.
    Amount of technical hair-pulling involved is irrelevant to the user. K.I.S.S. Users who aren't into programming (which is most of them, even if they like gadgets) don't know, and couldn't care less, what's involved on the backend of a site.

    As for the nav, a good search function rules all. For a user, having to dredge down through 10 levels of categorization is no more fun than looking at a single megalist of items. ALL nav on giant sites sucks, no matter what perfume is put on the pig. Only the search box lets the user just skip the digging and dredging inherent to other forms of navigation.

    Usefulness? ALL sites which get the shoppers to what they're looking for are useful. Doesn't matter if they're totally unique, or stamped out McDonald's style.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Bump.

    Was approving affilaites today via LS.

    Came across 6 cookie cutter websites. Denied all.
    Did a whois search and all were from the same owner.

    it does not create value at all and I would post the links to all the site for R&D but that would be against the policy.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    As for the nav, a good search function rules all. For a user, having to dredge down through 10 levels of categorization is no more fun than looking at a single megalist of items. ALL nav on giant sites sucks, no matter what perfume is put on the pig. Only the search box lets the user just skip the digging and dredging inherent to other forms of navigation.
    Even a good search requires good navigation. Suppose you search for "women's shoes". A good search will break it down by category and let you filter your results by color, size, price range and maybe even popularity. This is all navigation and very useful for helping users find what they're searching for.

    Also, I read somewhere that most of the online shopping process is research. Finding out where to purchase is only a small part of the process. This is where a solid navigation and browsing system comes into play. If you can help a customer come to a decision about what to purchase you're doing more than most affiliates.

    Usefulness? ALL sites which get the shoppers to what they're looking for are useful. Doesn't matter if they're totally unique, or stamped out McDonald's style.
    Obviously Google disagrees with this.

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

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Even a good search requires good navigation. Suppose you search for "women's shoes". A good search will break it down by category and let you filter your results by color, size, price range and maybe even popularity. This is all navigation and very useful for helping users find what they're searching for.

    Also, I read somewhere that most of the online shopping process is research. Finding out where to purchase is only a small part of the process. This is where a solid navigation and browsing system comes into play. If you can help a customer come to a decision about what to purchase you're doing more than most affiliates.



    Obviously Google disagrees with this.

    - Scott
    It probably disagrees with it because it hurts their business.

    Why send traffic and money to affiliates, from their search engine?

    A true search engine should be totally free and should not be monetized.

    Once it's monetized, then the owner of the search engine will do whatever they want to run their business.

    Many people say that google's advertising is 98% of their revenue, may be they are seeing a fall in their revenue, and thats why they are making aff sites look bad.

  23. #23
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Obviously Google disagrees with this.
    It's simply not for the Gazelle to cater to the Lion's wants, and vice-versa.

    Objectively, though, my statement is a fact. Some may prefer fine steak, but McDonald's food is indeed still food. And their "billions and billions served" worldwide proves that despite what people say about it publicly, their food is actually quite acceptable to the vast majority of the population.

    The lack of a Zagat rating, and the snooting-up of Zagat's nose at them, hasn't hurt McD's in the least little way! They sell more meals than any "fine" restaurant on Earth!

    So Google only wants the equivalent of Zagat-rated "restaurants" now. That doesn't mean to turn a McDonald's into a 3-Star Zagat restaurant. That means, F Google, they're no longer relevant for anything more than using them as something to kill time with by coming here and flaming them. But business-wise, their opinions have no more relevance now than the opinions of the residents of Morrowind!

    I can agree with getting traffic from somewhere else, but I can't see throwing away a McD franchise in order to get in. Ooohs and aaaahs and kudos don't pay the bills anywhere near as well as serving up thousands and thousands of stamped-out, overdone burgers without fanfare. You can see this by looking at ANY industry at all. The upscale examples are never as successful, financially, as the mid- or sometimes even the downscale ones. From motels to restaurants to automobiles to computers, it pays to be where the masses are and to ignore the snoots.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Objectively, though, my statement is a fact. Some may prefer fine steak, but McDonald's food is indeed still food. And their "billions and billions served" worldwide proves that despite what people say about it publicly, their food is actually quite acceptable to the vast majority of the population.
    I think your analogy is a little off. McDonald's isn't some small one man operation. They're a multi-billion dollar business which really can't be compared to any single-person website operation. If you want to use food as an analogy why not say the cookie-cutter affiliates are opening hot dog stands on every street corner. And we've got so many hot dog stands we can't walk half a block without running into another. The worst part is some of these hot dog stands aren't even manned and many are so covered with ads for other hot dog stands that you can't even read the menu. Customers with specific needs will have to find another and another until they find one that meets their needs. Google can't send customers to each of these little stands, so they choose to send customers to Wienerschnitzel. They at least have enough employees to accomodate the demand. Why send customers to a hot dog stand that really can't effectively cater to the demand?

    - Scott
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  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    And we've got so many hot dog stands we can't walk half a block without running into another. The worst part is some of these hot dog stands aren't even manned and many are so covered with ads for other hot dog stands that you can't even read the menu.
    I'd also like to add that 99% of these hot dog stands don't even carry hot dogs. They have a menu and sometimes even prices, but when you proceed to make an order they just give you directions to the nearest Wienerschnitzel. What value is that?

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

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