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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Red face Running multiple sites for one program...
    This may sound like a stupid issue to some of you - but I just can't quite determine if doing this is ethical or not:

    Is it wrong to create multiple sites, using the same affiliate program, simply to get more exposure (i.e., across search engines)? Even if the sites are unique from one another?

    Simply put, some of my sites are great performers compared to the others - and I thought: why not try to replicate that success?

    Is this something that is done frequently? Or, in your experience, is it wiser to spend the time on one single site? Would I be crossing some kind of line by doing this?
    Last edited by MoneyBusiness; January 10th, 2007 at 02:04 PM.
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you are not using the same product lines for each different site. If that assumption is correct, I don't see a problem with it. It wouldn't make much sense if you made multiple cookie cutter sites with all the same products from a feed or something, as you'd probably get dinged by the search engines for duplicate content.

    In my experience, one big site with multiple product lines hasn't done as well for me as smaller sites focused on one niche product line or a small number of related product lines. Once I got a niche site going with some success, I have created other niche sites using different products from the same merchant. Sometimes they do as well or better than the original niche site. Sometimes they fail miserably. Sometimes you never know what'll hit and what'll miss.
    Last edited by meadowmufn; January 10th, 2007 at 02:23 PM. Reason: grammar
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  3. #3
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    Is it wrong to create multiple sites, using the same affiliate program, simply to get more exposure (i.e., across search engines)? Even if the sites are unique from one another?
    It's not wrong, in my opinion.

    Think of it this way, by extension the merchant you are affiliated with is doing the same thing through affiliates.

    Is this something that is done frequently? Or, in your experience, is it wiser to spend the time on one single site?
    I don't know.

  4. #4
    Newbie TooLegitToQuit's Avatar
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    I work with people who will run four or five sites using the same affiliate program. They market the product/service in different ways on each site. From what I have seen in these few cases, there is always one site that does far better than the rest.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Sheri's Avatar
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    I agree. I know of many people in the niche that I work in that have multiple sites that are even driven by the same database. They just find different ways to present the information and add unique content.

    You'll find that people search for things in very different ways. Some look for a specific product name, some look for the brand name, some look for the generic item name, some look for "discount" items, etc. etc.

    Check your stats to see how people are finding you and look for some different ways to present your information so that different people searching for different things can find you as well.

    Sheri

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    This may sound like a stupid issue to some of you - but I just can't quite determine if doing this is ethical or not:

    Is it wrong to create multiple sites, using the same affiliate program, simply to get more exposure (i.e., across search engines)? Even if the sites are unique from one another?

    Simply put, some of my sites are great performers compared to the others - and I thought: why not try to replicate that success?

    Is this something that is done frequently? Or, in your experience, is it wiser to spend the time on one single site? Would I be crossing some kind of line by doing this?
    I'm assuming that by "using the same affiliate program" you mean they'd all be promoting the same product(s) from those programs. In other words you're wondering about a strategy that would, if it works right, get you some listing panels.

    I don't think there's anything unethical about it!!! It's just sensible to want to do that!

    Of course, some will whine that that's "spamming" the engines (which it can be... ). So, it's not an ethics line, but yeah, you would be likely be crossing a line. The SEO line. SEs don't like a bunch of sites by one person, all going to the same spot. That's a line I don't have any ethical problems in crossing--but there are more pragmatic risks involved. You can be penalized. Or you can make a wad of dough! It's a gamble.

    But some people will also lay on a bunch of sanctimonious BS pseudo-reasoning to try to dissuade you (which is just what I called it: BS.). To me that part's just the noise of the competition whining--something to either be ignored, derided, or mocked, depending on your personality! They just don't want to get trounced. IMO there's nothing unethical about wanting more business, and wanting to trounce your competition's listings down to page 10...preferably by owning pages 1-9, which gives the best-of-both-worlds scenario.

    Of course, I won't exactly buy you roses if I see your panel on top in one of MY categories, but I won't go and call you "unethical" either.
    (And if it's under "tulips" and the like, and the merchant you're promoting is GoodBulbs, and your sites convert...where would you like your case of roses delivered?)


    If you were just meaning to seperate out the various product categories from some megamerchant(s) into different niche sites, then there should be no problems even with the SEs. Just the normal issues of getting enough new links in to get them seen, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Jones
    Think of it this way, by extension the merchant you are affiliated with is doing the same thing through affiliates.
    That is ABSOLUTELY correct!

    Is this something that is done frequently?
    I'd figure it would be. But I don't see nearly as many *obvious* panels as there used to be. So either the webmasters are better at being unique, or the SEs are better at whacking the stuff that isn't unique enough...

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. It's good to hear another person's opinion on this, especially since I've been thinking about it for a while now.

    Leader, you pretty much summed it up. I was afraid that this type of site might be construed as glorified spam - but for anyone to argue that (especially if the site is truly unique) pushes the envelope a bit, although I can see how that might be mistaken that way.

    The bottom-line is what I'm after, and if I can do it in an ethical way, then I'm there..!

    Thanks again!
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
    Recent Project: Cheap Personal Checks (using DigitalQuill)

  8. #8
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    lots of poo
    The mantra in this business is test, test, test, so I think you can just view it as a form of split testing. Plus you never know what will work so I'm all for throwing a lot of poo on the wall to see what sticks.

    Oh, and welcome 2legit2quit, now I have that song going through my head and I've even resurrected the old hand motions. My dog thinks I'm crazy.
    Last edited by OICUAM2; January 11th, 2007 at 02:29 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    Newbie TooLegitToQuit's Avatar
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    Thanks, OICUAM2. M.C. Hammer is "da man".

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