Affiliate Content, Duplicate Content And The Crucial Differences Between Them; Er, There Are None...
Posted by nick_niesen on October 29th, 2010
Going by word on the Search Engine news group, alt.internet.search-engines, it's looking like Google is getting better at spotting and demoting affiliate content. It could well be that because the same text content is repeated over and over on
My crystal gifts site is powered by a feed from GoCollect.com using a Cusimano script. I've personalised the templates so if you know me you'll recognise the standard BB layout of the individual product pages. Visually, therefore, it isn't like any of the other sites using the same feed. It still has the same text content, though. Inputting a sample into Google produces "about 584" results, all of which, or the majority of which we must suspect as I'm not going to go through them all to check it absolutely, are built around the same feed. The problem here for both affiliates and for affiliate merchants and for Google is, what's the point in having them at all? If there's one site that has them,
So, to counter this problem, you could substitute your own text for the original, and you could take your own photographs of the product. Not a problem for a small site, however, many have tens of thousands of pages. How is anyone going to re-write that lot? Obviously any lone affiliate can't begin to, so the idea of affiliate sites as we now have them, I think, must inevitably give way to niche sites where the affiliate presents a small range of items in an individual style that will appeal to certain of the buying public. The idea would be to create a brand of presentation that clients would get to be familiar with and feel comfortable with. If you look at the items on my crystal gifts site they're all photographed out of context. In your home they are unlikely to be suspended in mid-air against a white background, which is how they're presented in the data feed and thus on my site. I'm suggesting taking pictures of items as they might actually appear in situ, do a little mock-up of a down-lit corner table and snap that from a typical viewing angle, or have an item on a coffee-table against a background of muted lights, featuring an expansive sofa, giving a feel of general relaxed easy-living. This, by comparison with simply outputting the existing data from the feed, would cost a bundle, but it just might might be the only real way forward for niche affiliates. You know what that would result in? Quality sites. The kind Google professes to like.
Meanwhile, though, I suspect people who've built one multiple-product affiliate site, and seen it do well and are now busily engaged in building more and more multiple-product sites on the basis that they'll all do well too, are in for multiple disappointments. I'm trying to go niche in general with my affiliate sites and I've picked on crystal and glass gift items to work with as I can break then down into categories and maximise the potential of each category. What I've got then, in effect, is a legion of niche sites all interconnecting.
For choice, now that I understand more of the industry than I did when I began with affiliate sites, I'd really like a site that does watches and jewellery, these are the items that people are happiest buying from the web, research has
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