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Still Reeling From The Affiliate Slap
2009-11-02 22:47:01
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Link Obfuscation Necessary On New Sites
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2009-11-01 21:46:56
By: dirtsgood
2009-11-02 22:47:01
In case you missed this in June, Google decided to shut down an industry based on single sourced affiliates using AdWords as the traffic source.

My guess is that this coincides with the new treatment given in micro tags (RDF data) to review data. To review, using special tags, you can identify the particulars of any product within a review for more granular search on specifics.

How does this tie into the affiliate slap? Well the problem Google addressed was caused by sites using overly positive reviews to drive traffic to one merchant, and using AdWords as the starting point. So when a deceptive reviewer tricks a buyer, Google is seen as complicit. It's clearly in Google's interest to protect the searcher.

This probably does improve the search in general, but it also shut down an industry - and we're still seeing sites getting shut out of AdWords. But now, we're seeing penalties given to sites that rank in the natural search that drive affiliate traffic to just one merchant.

Not saying this is a new penalty - too early to tell. It could be other shared issues. But it's looking like it may be the business model they're targeting, and I've seen enough to warrant some defensive action if you need to protect your business.

Here's what we're recommending if you run a site that is primarily feeding traffic to one merchant: add merchants. You can always find others that, while providing an alternative, will not cannibalize your sales. Within a niche, many will be shady and only offer higher priced alternatives, but you can do better - sign up a competitor that will enable you to offer real choices. Even if that competition is against your own business, it might provide the cover that will keep your business in the search until you find a better solution.

Starting to see a theme here? When it comes to things that Google doesn't sanction, sometimes the best defensive course is obfuscation. Just like in link building, it's harder to get nailed if they have to look at more stuff.

Blog_id: 3 | Posted: 2009-11-02 22:47:01 | Views (7,623) | Comments (2)  
Comment By: BigJohn
re: Still Reeling From The Affiliate Slap
(posted 2009-11-04 20:45:49)

Far out post!

Seems possible - clear the garbage away before it becomes obvious that garbage dominates the search. At least it will be obvious to everyone when rdf goes mainstream.

So let's start using rdf to avoid the affiliate slap!!

Comment By: Tango
re: Still Reeling From The Affiliate Slap
(posted 2009-11-09 12:53:25)

My adwords ads were the only source of traffic for my referral sites. The trick used to be to find keywords that are still affordable and buy from multiple sources. I was shut out of both adwords and adsense because of this, I think. Not sure whether it's because I was using so many sites, or because all were directed to only one site for conversion. I was going to shut these sites dcwn, since I can no longer buy the easy traffic & business is dead, but will try your suggestion and let you know.

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