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    Has google "defeated" affiliate sites?


    Hi

    I have an affiliate site with a lot of "thin content". I started in 2011, imported a lot of products from xml-feeds and hired some people to write content, category descriptions and so on.
    I read all I could find about seo and optimized speed, titles, descriptions...

    The website grew slowly but steady, and in 2015 the website made enough money for me and my family to live out of.

    But in november 2015 something happened. The traffic took a 50% dive, and ever since, the traffic has decreased every month and is now about 10% of 2015.
    Since the dive, I have tried even more articles, link building - I even tried to get SEO help from fiverr.com (don't do that), but nothing has helped.

    My question is: Is the age for affiliate sites gone? Should I give up and find other ways to make business?

    Does any of you have experience from affiliate sites?

    Thanks
    Rasmus / Denmark
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  3. Dinosaur
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    I must admit I used to see affiliate sites as poor quality sites with many just scammers with loads of adverts to trick the users into clicking with underhand tactics.
    Its perfectly correct that google should get rid of these type of sites.

    However that does not mean you cant build a good site and monetise it so its actually something useful. Of late there has been a lot of myths coming out about duplicate content as well which should effect all affiliate sites and many of them if the myths held true should not rank at all in google.

    I wanted to test this so create a site that pretty much only contains affiliate products so 99% duplicate content. I suspected it would work but we needed proof, I set about writing a test site and I want to just leave it for something like 12 months to mature.and see if google lost faith in it. The site launched in Oct ish last year so still young but I am still shocked at its growth. It definitely proves that a site can rank with little or no unique content.

    If your site is dropping then the problem could be elsewhere, dont go hiring on fiver that will just cause more harm,
    You would need to share your site in order for people to give you guidance
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    In November 2015 there was "phantom 3". Which was a quality algorithm update.

    As Chedders said, we setup an affiliate site and it's been going from strength to strength. What we've realised so far is that we need to offer something further than a standard ecommerce site. As an affiliate site you'll be in a unique position where you are unbiased about the product, you can show the negatives as well as the positives.

    One of the things you could do is a price tracking, I managed to find your site (username) and you've got a couple of issues I would look at tackling.

    One: Your sidebar lists every single brand, the page is incredibly long and doesn't help the user. Why not shorten it to "key brands" and then offer a "view all brands" section.

    Two: fedttoej.dk/mand/produkt/Jakker/Jakker/4861008-Vaude-FRENEY-Outdoor-jakke-fjord-blue for example, why don't you use the Zalando logo on this page to make it clear that's where the product is?

    Three: You're not using HTTPS? It's a small ranking factor but on the quantity of pages you have I'm sure it'll have some slight increase in rankings.

    Four: Your layout is pushing people away from the bit you want them to act on, have a look at this design: https://gyazo.com/6089259eeed37e0fddae2d61f2d8fe6f
    What i've done is just moved the breadcrumbs to the same level on the nav, changed the h1 to 2px smaller and moved the category bit to below the price. So what should hopefully happen now is people will see the "view shop" link as soon as they load the page, which hopefully leads to a slightly better conversion rate for you. It may have a ranking impact as there's now more "main content" above the fold.


    Also, a side question, what script is that, I've got a couple of smaller niches I would love to try out using it, obviously happy to pay.
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    Hi, thanks for your answers and inputs. From what you tell me, I should not give up just yet :-)

    I am new to this forum, and I did not know if it would be OK for a "newbie" to start posting links. But Thomas is right. My website is fedttoej.dk

    About the brands, should I make a new page for all the brands, or should I make a "show more" link which expands the list?

    I have thought about https, but since I have no transactions, I did not do anything about it. But if it helps in google ranking, then I would definately do it.

    Any other thoughts or inputs are welcome :-)

    Thanks
    Rasmus

    PS.
    I don't understand the question "what script is that"?
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  9. Dinosaur
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    As your a new member your posts get held for checking by a moderator if they contain a link. Its just a way of prevent the 100's of daily spams as they seem to think a nofollow link from here counts. Oh well.

    If you want to read about our experimental site you can find it on this thread Awesome SEO experiment by our members! We have not posted much about it of late and really just allowing it to grow and everything to settle down.

    I had a quick look at the site, I am sure it could be brought back to life, I dont think just adding more articles is the answer though, it may help but they need to be of real value and not just doing it for the sake of it.
    I think Tom was referring to if the site was automated in some way, there are many price comparison sites out there which automate getting the latest prices from different suppliers, its the script for that I believe.
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    How much traffic do you have on your affiliate site?
    In 2015 when it performed well, I had about 1.000 visitors a day. Now it is about 100 a day :-(

    You say that adding articles would not be the way to go. What should be my main focus then?

    About the scripts: I get XML-feeds from the affiliate companies. I then manually match each shops categories with my categories. It is a hell of a task for each shop, but when it is done, I just run the import automatically.
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  13. Dinosaur
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    Currently running at over 100k users a month and rising which I think proves the fact that affiliates and duplicate content is not the issue. Please remember though this site was set up totally as an experiment. Many people here talk about how things should / should not be done without proper testing and rely on little snippets they pick up from places like Moz, We decided to run a large scale test and put our money where our mouths are so to speak.

    At the moment we dont know if it will last the test of time and for that we need to wait, who knows we may also be at 100 users a day within the next few weeks but all I can say currently its still growing. I would drop Tom a PM as he had a few ideas on how you may stem the tide and how to turn the site around.
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    What happened in 2014 and the beginning of 2015 was Google wanted to get rid of affiliate site and the way they did it was to allow only sites with high Domain Authority to rank in first 15 results for that keyword.
    Just Google it, "How to lose weight over 40", "best pills for memory power", "gold investments" and what we can see now

    2017 1. Authority Site 2. Authority 3. Authority ...15 Authority
    back in 2014 1. Authority 2. Affiliate 3. Affiliate 4. Authority 5. Affiliate .... 15 Affiliate

    Why? Because these sites and keyword change people's life.

    So medical, investments, counseling, how to ... , etc. keywords require an obscene amount of DA. It does not mean it can't be done, it just got too expensive.

    PS: I have learned this the hard way.

    Comments on this post

    • KnowOneSpecial : You are still learning ... DA is not used by Google
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    You are still learning ... DA is not used by Google

    It doesn't matter if it's used by Google or not doesn't make it's any less true.

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    I do not need obscene amounts of DA to rank any site.... DA is a moz metric and is just an indicator of how easy a domain is to rank. Nothing more. Other sites moving up and down in the serps with high DA will affect the DA of all other sites... Read "All other sites". On the other hand, sites with low DA will have practically no effect on the DA of other sites.

    A metric that other sites can influence that can influence my sites ranking.... hmmmm I find fault with that concept. Glad its a moz metric and has nothing to due with Google.

    Edited to add....
    Originally Posted by Foreprime SEO
    Google wanted to get rid of affiliate site and the way they did it was to allow only sites with high Domain Authority to rank in first 15 results for that keyword
    If Google doesn't use it, why say it ?
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Feb 27th, 2017 at 04:16 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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    OK, I think you don't understand what I meant by DA. When I say DA it's "Domain Authority" (strong website) as a phrase, not a moz metric (no one uses moz for over 2 years). Btw this forum is oversensitive on this term. I already said today that I will not use this acronym in a different post. It's very of topic.

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