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  1. #1
    Member Tobius's Avatar
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    Ratio-wise, how many affiliate sites are there?
    According to Netcraft there are around 96,854,877 websites on the web and approx. 47,000,000 of those are active websites.

    I'm going to make up some numbers for the rest of this (because I didn't see real ones anywhere).

    I'm going to assume that 10% of those active sites are revenue generating websites (now we're at 4,700,000 websites). And out of those I'm going to assume that 5% of them have affiliate programs of one kind or another (now we're at 235,000 websites). And out of those I'm going to assume that 1% of those affiliate programs are getting decent affiliate traffic (now we're at 2,350 websites).

    Ok, my numbers are probably way off so feel free to correct me, but I needed something to seed the discussion with. So out of the 2,350 active affiliate programs I'm assuming that each one of these _successful_ affiliate programs have at least 10 successful affiliates sending them traffic. That puts us (the affiliates) up to a count of around 23,500 active profitable affiliate websites. So assuming (I'm doing a lot of that I know) that I'm even remotely close in my guesses here I'd like to ask the following questions to you:

    Why is it that I can't find ANY websites out there with regular search engine queries to compare against?

    I have some guesses but I'm not sure how close they are.
    1. There really are far fewer successful affiliate websites than I at first thought.
    2. Organic SEO is not a big focus for affiliate websites due to the time investment.
    3. Affiliate websites are mostly focused on SEM instead of SEO.
    4. More affiliate websites are utilizing shopping carts and drop-shipping than I had originally thought (I have been discounting sites as affiliate sites if they have shopping carts).
    5. Something else...

    One of the first things anyone starting a new business does is to look at their competitors ... and I can't find any. Am I hitting on anything solid here?

    -tm

  2. #2
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    How can you not find your competitors? Not understanding that. Just Google what you're promoting/thinking of promoting.

  3. #3
    Member Tobius's Avatar
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    I didn't mean that I couldn't find my competitors websites. I meant that I couldn't find any other affiliate managed websites. I was really expecting to see at least one affiliate website promoting some of the products that I want to promote, but there aren't any.

    I expect to have to compete with the merchant websites as they're the people that actually "have" the products to sell. What worries me is that I can't find any affiliate websites in those same search results. This tells me that I have a really long haul ahead of me. I guess I'd just feel a lot more comfortable to actually SEE others showing up from the affiliate space. But so far I keep coming up with nothing but the endpoint merchant sites.

    This is what got me started with this thread. I couldn't understand if so many people are out there making money with affiliate websites then why, when I search the search engines, I don't see them? That's why I was curious about a ratio guess from others. Do you think affiliate saturation is like 1% of online shopping sites (those with products listed) or more like 0.0001%?

    -tm

  4. #4
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    "I was really expecting to see at least one affiliate website promoting some of the products that I want to promote, but there aren't any."

    That's good, you might have found a niche. Not sure about percentages and such. As far as finding affiliate websites, try general shopping terms like coupon codes, online coupons etc. or just pick a known product and you're bound to find some affiliate sites. You might have to dig, they don't get the top serps as they did in the past, some still do.

  5. #5
    Member Tobius's Avatar
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    I guess I'll just keep researching.

    Thanks the for the ideas Trust

    -tm

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I'm going to make up some numbers for the rest of this (because I didn't see real ones anywhere).

    I'm going to assume that 10% of those active sites are revenue generating websites (now we're at 4,700,000 websites). And out of those I'm going to assume that 5% of them have affiliate programs of one kind or another (now we're at 235,000 websites). And out of those I'm going to assume that 1% of those affiliate programs are getting decent affiliate traffic (now we're at 2,350 websites).
    But, don't forget to include the revenue lost to parasites activities amongst other things.

    ...

  7. #7
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    Tobius - I expect to have to compete with the merchant websites as they're the people that actually "have" the products to sell. What worries me is that I can't find any affiliate websites in those same search results.
    The SERPs look quite different than just one year ago. Many affiliate sites have been pushed down by Google. Many are not getting traffic from SEs anymore.
    So, maybe you have found a niche or maybe you'll have a tough time to rank high with affiliate links. Check it carefully. Anyway, you're asking the right questions. It's just hard to answer if we don't know the vertical.

    I still see coupon sites with high ranking in Google, but it seems they are not immune anymore at Google cleanup. Many of them are gone or on their way to the bottom.
    There really are far fewer successful affiliate websites than I at first thought.
    Good observation. Less than before. The number of merchants is increasing, but the number of successful affiliates is going down. Many are making money, few are really making a fortune. You'll find some success stories but most are getting old.

  8. #8
    Member Tobius's Avatar
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    Hmm, I guess that's why I keep seeing diversification being pushed so hard.

    I think my plan then is going to be to pick a broad (but focused) category and build an affiliate website doing that. Then, based on the most popular niches within that category, start creating niche sites on top of the same infrastructure. Provide original content via articles, remold the product descriptions from the feeds, cross link everything, play the seo game, play the sem game, attach merchant coupons to my offering and create a newsletter that provides a new article every month and cross sells to products related to the article. Then, once that category has matured, pick a new category and do it again.

    If I'm off track please feel free to give me a push back in the right direction. I'm really glad I found this place.

    -tm

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