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  1. #1
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Comparing networks
    I did some experiment these last three months with a new website just to test new "white hat" SEO techniques. New domain name, new site, I took 5 merchants from 5 different networks, AffiliateFuture, CJ, LinkShare, Performics, Shareasale. The merchants were new for me. I picked the merchants at random (after they passed my test) I had no Indy involved.
    I gave each merchant and each network an equal exposure, space, time, ... The site being new, I set a few links from some of my high PR sites to start the spidering process. None of the links were related to a merchant product line.
    My experiment was based on how to get faster and better ranking in Google not to test a network. Each merchant had two affiliate links.
    I'm quite shocked by the results, in three months (Two and half exactly), with no PR, no "Alexa ranking" for sure (just to refer a thread at ABW), no PPC, no advertising, no links bought from other sites..., just Google love, I had sales. I'm used to that, it's not the problem. I had sales for all networks except Commission Junction. All other networks had at least 10 sales with roughly the same click to sale ratio.
    What does it means? I don't know. I can analyse my SEO strategy but not why CJ merchants are not converting. Am I bad selecting them? Maybe. I still have sales everyday with CJ from my other websites.
    Once again, I'm not an expert in stats. Maybe the time frame, the period, the number of sales is not significant... I did that experiment to improve my sites, not to bash a network. Just for what it's worth, not much but I'm still wondering why I had no sale from CJ. It not going to help me feel better about them.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Nunya, Business
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    23,684
    Your experiment means nothing:

    "I still have sales everyday with CJ from my other websites."

    So CJ is working for you on other sites, moreso the merchants at CJ.

    Just one merchant, haven't posted stats whatsoever. How many clicks to the CJ merchant, was the traffic targetted etc. And it's got nothing to do with the network, has to do with that 1 merchant you're using that just so happens to be at CJ.

    Comparing networks

    Can't do that on 1 merchant per network for such a limited time. I have them in every network and have good ones in each of them, ones that convert great in each of them.

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
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    It's not about 1 merchant at CJ but FIVE of them. The traffic was targeted enough for others.

  4. #4
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    Oh 5 each, read that wrong. Still doesn't prove anything since you're getting sales at CJ on your other sites as I'm sure a lot of people are. And you haven't provided any detailed stats at all for anybody to make any kind of judgement.

    "I still have sales everyday with CJ from my other websites."

    Me too, everyday. And overall, CJ sends the biggest check of the month for me.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Zeus, I don't see any harm in you naming those 5 CJ merchants. After all, you haven't historically depended on them for income. Then you'll have the opportunity to hear the experience of others who are affiliated with those merchants.

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    6,121
    I selected these merchants because I think they are converting. They all have a decent volume of sales and a correct EPC. Discovery is not a merchant I really like but the timing was right.
    The wall Street Journal 3 month EPC $139.10 USD
    Discovery Channel Store (parasites friendly) 3 month EPC $14.11
    Guitar Center 3 month EPC $12.23
    Westin 3 month EPC $34.70
    eWatches 3 month EPC $12.58
    They must be working for somebody.

    These merchants like the others on other networks are from various categories.
    The anomaly in my stats (if it's one) Over 40 sales in less than 3 months spread equally between 4 networks and none for CJ may reflect an other problem. Could be a saturation in the SERPs, these merchants could be targeted by more affiliates...
    it could be just a stats problem... not enough data.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I've been in the Westin affiliate program since it started. I've also been in the Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton programs since they started. All three are brands of Starwood Hotels. Westin doesn't convert well because they are a premium brand and they are only in larger cities. As hotel chains go, they are one of the smaller ones. Sheraton converts much better for me. With little exception, my conversions come from direct links to a specific hotel. What is very important to know about any of these three brands is that you will only get credit if the customer books the same brand as the advertised link. For example, if you click on a Westin link and search for a hotel in a specific city, the Westin hotels will be listed first (if there are any Westins in that city). Then the Sheratons and the Four Points will be listed. If the person books a Sheraton or a Four Points, you will not get credit. I don't think this should be allowed, but it is.

    If you want to affiliate with a hotel program, the more moderately priced ones convert better and as far as I know all of the other hotel programs in CJ will commission on any brand booked that is part of the parent company regardless of which link you click in that program.

    I am not affiliated with the Wall Street Journal but that's not one I would test without some targetted higher income customers. As far as publications go, they are expensive.

    Guitar Center is very niche.

    No comments to offer about the Discovery Channel Store.

    eWatches network earnings are low.

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