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  1. #1
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    Question Does Google Hate Affiliates?
    I've been reading on the forum and see where some people claim that Google doesn't liike affiliate sites. Is this true or not? Does anyone know for sure? Is it just that Google hates the links it sees, like the cryptic CJ links (andovers) or see the name linksynergy (or whatever)?

    Perhaps this is why Google doesn't seem to dislike coupon sites because I have seen at least one or two of them at the top of the list. Google likes what it deems as "something useful."

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    http://www.google.com/support/webmas...=35769#quality

    "If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first."

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the link. I guess that's why it likes coupons.

    "Avoid 'doorway' pages created just for search engines, or other 'cookie cutter' approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content."

    "If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first."

  4. #4
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    After reading this, truth is, I really do not feel like I'm adding anything to the Internet. I don't have a giant price comparison engine, and I get lazy on blogs. I have no real product, and I doubt I'm helping the merchant very much (shoes is a big market and I doubt they need me to reproduce their catalogs).

    Google also doesn't seem to like PPC to sites with ads that point to merchants (from what I gathered on here.) So giving folks a discount with a coupon sounds like a good thing to help someone.

  5. #5
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    Perhaps this is why Google doesn't seem to dislike coupon sites because I have seen at least one or two of them at the top of the list. Google likes what it deems as "something useful."
    Don't feel safe if you're running a coupon site. I saw several going down the hill lately. Google penalize duplicate content and they look for the same content (even minimal) and the same pattern. If you have the same kind of websites known for spamming, you'll be penalized by Google algo even if you're not an affiliate or if you're not spamming. Google is not too smart.

  6. #6
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    So if someone doesn't have a blog, a review, or price comparison site, how exactly does any affiliate "add value"?

  7. #7
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    In my opinion "add value" for Google means "be different"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyWebAffiliate
    So if someone doesn't have a blog, a review, or price comparison site, how exactly does any affiliate "add value"?
    According to google, it doesn't. The calculation for google seems to be very simple however, you're adding value to the web if a lot of sites (that are already ranking well with google) link to you.

    so even if you don't actually add much value to the web, but 500 high PR sites are linking to you, (and not just from "sponsored links", but links from within relevant content, articles, blogs, etc..), then google relies on all those votes to deem your sites as "valuable" to the web.
    Join The [B][URL=http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=10705]Giftshoppingzone.com[/URL] [/B] Affiliate Program on SAS - [B]10% on sales , Unlimited cookie, over 15,000 products in datafeed![/B]
    [URL=http://gift-ideas.giftshoppingzone.com/]Gift Ideas[/URL]

  9. #9
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    you must have noticed how many price comparison engines - all owned by ebay/shopping.com - rank oh so well with google. what I mentioned above is what I suspect to be it's reason.
    Join The [B][URL=http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=10705]Giftshoppingzone.com[/URL] [/B] Affiliate Program on SAS - [B]10% on sales , Unlimited cookie, over 15,000 products in datafeed![/B]
    [URL=http://gift-ideas.giftshoppingzone.com/]Gift Ideas[/URL]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashok
    so even if you don't actually add much value to the web, but 500 high PR sites are linking to you, (and not just from "sponsored links", but links from within relevant content, articles, blogs, etc..), then google relies on all those votes to deem your sites as "valuable" to the web.
    It was true before the last algo change, if you're tagged as a "thin affiliate" your 500 high PR links are worth nothing, you'll be pushed down the SERPs.

  11. #11
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    Does Google Hate Affiliates?
    Yes!


  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Another thing is don't get into Google's "supplimental" hell hole, often triggered by submitting a Google sitemap .txt or XML file. Seems once Goofle tags your site as suplimental even changing content, adding content and new pages, won't get the bugger to troll your pages. Some say it will take a year to get off the supplimental list supressing Google Bot...with or without verified sitemap files.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Another thing is don't get into Google's "supplimental" hell hole, often triggered by submitting a Google sitemap .txt or XML file. Seems once Goofle tags your site as suplimental even changing content, adding content and new pages, won't get the bugger to troll your pages. Some say it will take a year to get off the supplimental list supressing Google Bot...with or without verified sitemap files.
    Yeah, I made that mistake. No matter what I add to my blog, it goes right to supplemental - no matter how original, informative, or whatever. Now that my site has been "tagged" I need a new website.

  14. #14
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    Mike - Seems once Goofle tags your site as suplimental even changing content, adding content and new pages, won't get the bugger to troll your pages.
    Agree. I had one site penalized by Google 16 months ago for using too many affiliate links. This site used to rank first for many keywords. (never made less than $10K a month) I tried everything to get it back. Impossible. Last, I built a new site, great design, fresh, unique content. No way. Still have my PR7, incoming high PR links, but the domain name is dead.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    Agree. I had one site penalized by Google 16 months ago for using too many affiliate links. This site used to rank first for many keywords. (never made less than $10K a month) I tried everything to get it back. Impossible. Last, I built a new site, great design, fresh, unique content. No way. Still have my PR7, incoming high PR links, but the domain name is dead.
    By new site do you mean new design, but no new domain name?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    It was true before the last algo change, if you're tagged as a "thin affiliate" your 500 high PR links are worth nothing, you'll be pushed down the SERPs.
    I'm not very convinced about that yet,

    as I pointed out earlier:

    you must have noticed how many price comparison engines - all owned by ebay/shopping.com - rank oh so well with google. what I mentioned above is what I suspect to be it's reason.
    Join The [B][URL=http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=10705]Giftshoppingzone.com[/URL] [/B] Affiliate Program on SAS - [B]10% on sales , Unlimited cookie, over 15,000 products in datafeed![/B]
    [URL=http://gift-ideas.giftshoppingzone.com/]Gift Ideas[/URL]

  17. #17
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    Exactly, same domain name, totally new content in the same vertical, no network links. Some URLs were the same to take advantage of incoming links.
    Doesn't work after more than one year. Google sent me this email after my first request:
    "No pages from your site are currently included in Google’s index due to violations of the webmaster guidelines. Please review our webmaster guidelines and modify your site so that it meets those guidelines. Once your site meets our guidelines, you can request reinclusion and we’ll evaluate your site."
    No cloaking, no sneaky redirects, no multiple pages, subdomains, no Free-for-all link farms... At that time they were not talking about "thin affiliate", but they told me I had too many affiliate links.
    I replaced all the content, changed the design. The site was reinstated but the traffic is not back.
    Last edited by Zeus; October 7th, 2006 at 01:23 PM.

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    JohnnyWB...

    Assuming you have a shoe site - and you link to several shoe merchants - then you DO provide a benefit - you're a one-stop-shoe-store source

    Now that you all scared the cr#p outta me, since I DID submit a sitemap to all my sites, I just checked a dozen, and none of them were in supplemental. I still have good PR. Actually most have increased one number in the last 2 months.

    I saw one of my sites as supplemental - but when I looked at the link it was site adviser / mysite name

    Silly: It said "when we enterered our email on their registration form, we recieved... less than 1 email per month"

    And when I looked at the "list of spam emails recieved", there was only ONE entry, the "Thanks for registering" email the system sends.

    But they made it look bad!
    Last edited by Billy Kay; October 7th, 2006 at 02:12 PM.

  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    No cloaking, no sneaky redirects, no multiple pages, subdomains, no Free-for-all link farms... At that time they were not talking about "thin affiliate", but they told me I had too many affiliate links.
    I replaced all the content, changed the design. The site was reinstated but the traffic is not back.
    What's wrong with a subdomain? I didn't know subdomains were sneaky
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  20. #20
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    From Google Guidelines:
    "Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
    Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.
    Don't send automated queries to Google.
    Don't load pages with irrelevant words.
    Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
    Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content. "

    Subdomains were quite often used by spammers, some time ago, and they still have a bad reputation like "free hosting"
    It doesn't mean you can't use subdomains, it's just something that can trigger google penalty algo.

  21. #21
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Zeus,

    Thanks for the quote from Google.

    I interpret (the color, underlining, and * * are used as emphasis) this line as a warning against creating subdomains with duplicate content:

    Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains *with* substantially duplicate content.
    It didn't say "don't create multiple pages and/or subdomains at all."

    I would guess that a subdomain would be alright if it is related to the main in some way but it avoids repetitive content.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Zeus
    It didn't say "don't create multiple pages and/or subdomains at all."
    I would guess that a subdomain would be alright if it is related to the main in some way but it avoids repetitive content.
    Sure, there's no reason not to use a subdomain, it's how you use it. Google don't say either, don't use Affiliate links.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I don't think the supplmental myth is true. If you've got a site that is of value with consistent, natural incoming links from blogs and forums you won't have this problem.

    I also disagree that by simply providing coupons and a couple datafeeds that you've got value. IMO a coupon site that's valuable is updated daily with at least a 1 to 2 yr track record of near-daily updates. This track record isn't for Google, but for you to develop an audience that relies on your updates for purchases. If you've built up this audience and they come to you before Google then you're providing value.

    The same can be said about datafeed use. If you've done a wham-bam job of organizing the information so it's easy to search and browse then *maybe* you've got something. Of course you'll need automatic updates because no shopper is going to develop any loyalty towards a manually updated datafeed site.

    So basically, if you can generate loyal users who will use you first before even searching Google then Google won't hate you. It's kind of a catch-22 because you need to harvest your own traffic first before Google will send it to you consistently. You'll get opportunities from time to time when Google decides to send you traffic, but it won't last as long as those visitors aren't sticking around.

    Bottom line, if you're being mentioned without solicitation in articles, blogs and forums then Google won't hate you.

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

  24. #24
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    This is strictly my opinion - and it's just that:

    There are 3 kinds of websites

    1. All the established stores, catalog companies, brands - everything you've ever heard of and see commercials for. They are now all online. Even those that held out, are now here. They've tweaked. They've changed. But they're all established.

    The search engines are smart. Despite numerous attempts by SEO experts, a search for Sears will generally show it in the top 5.

    2. The 2nd tier is Professional sites that no one's ever heard of. This includes National Association of Eye Doctors-type sites, professional service industries, and the affiliates who took the time to learn their craft (us!).

    3. The other 85% of the web is filler- which are sites we all avoid. Porn. people who just got a computer and built their homepage using their ISP's free template, adsense sites, link farms, etc. Search engines devote a LOT of their resources downgrading these sites

    I think the search engines have done a good job of making the Sears and Targets get to the top. And they're almost done getting all the folks in category 3 into the supplemental listing.

    That leaves #2 - us. I think we'll all get good PR simply because we're all that's left after giving the brands the #1 spot and hiding all the useless stuff. We all take the same information, and redo it to fill a need - price comparison, coupons, niches, whatever.

    A few bad players - like in any business - give us a bad rep - but if we weren't providing a service, there would be no affiliate marketing. And the amount of money that flows thru our sites clearly show that people LIKE the needs we fill

    Just my opinion
    Last edited by Billy Kay; October 7th, 2006 at 03:44 PM. Reason: too many spelling errors

  25. #25
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Does Google Hate Affiliates?
    Yes, but..... Who cares!

    Google is like an exwife, she might not give you now what she used to give you before, but she will keep on trying to collect alimony, (like from the adsense kids that you two already have) now that you're married to Yahoo, because Google don't like you anymore, every time that Yahoo send you a visitor to a page were they can see your Google's child, Google will try to get some money from your work, and maybe she will let you have some pennies for yourself, so you will keep on trying to make your new wife Yahoo work harder and harder, so she can send you more visitors..... ( and the vicious cycle continue.)

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    But, who knows what the future holds!

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    Maybe one day the exwife Google get a plastic facelift surgery and she tries to get you back.

    Only time will tell if by then, the current wife Yahoo would need to be replaced because of too many wrinkles or not.







    I'm not signing this post because my lawyer advised me to take the Fifth.

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