Being involved in internet and affiliate marketing for a number of years now – on and off, most of that time was seeing some income one month and then see it disappear the next.
Being content based, rather than email based this is due to the evolving nature of search engines and Google in particular as it is the biggest and most important.
The whole time I’ve been involved people have talked about content being king for ranking and conversions – write for the customer first and the search engines second.
But there was a time when this wasn’t necessarily true if you wanted to rank to get found. you could get there by stuffing in keywords and building links using the keyword as many times as you could to make sure you were at the top of Google search getting most of the visitors and most of the income too from affiliate marketing or any other way you monetized the content.
There were auto-blogs that scraped content and re-wrote it in to all most gibberish, and automatic link building methods and there was other methods too. You got as much content out as quickly as possible and saw the income coming in. I tried that and it worked for me for a very short few days until they sites disappeared out of the index gone forever.
The Google Slapping Machine
Then it became write better content, be cleverer with your back linking and make it look more natural – not using the anchor keyword to be what you want into the back link – it had to be there in a natural number of times. Building links never seem to work for me for too long I always got caught with it after it worked for a short period of time.
Some people got this to work and got it to work for awhile to until Google released the Panda and Penguin on to them which did bring down a large number of affiliate sites because they were “thin” sites – just there to get people to click on to another site. The changes seem to hate show that affiliate sites were hated and large authority sites (not affiliate sites) were preferred.
There was “collateral damage” of course with some good sites caught up in slapping and purge – and from Google perspective it was “so what” as long as their earnings from adverts went up as a result overall which is what they are after – as it is with any large public company.
The response from affiliate marketers was to give up, continue to try and workout how to still game the system or respond with providing better content only and forget about forcing backlinks (some people had this approach the whole time).
Where Are We Up To?
This is kind of where we are now with Google still trying to clean up its search listing for improved profits. There are still people trying to guess how their algorithm works so they can get to the top of listing with backlinks and content written for the search engine but made to look like it was there for the visitors benefit. As the algorithm got more complicated so to do the factors you need to include in your SEO strategy to get to the top and stay there.
But this is one of the things that these affiliate marketers aren’t necessarily interested in – staying at the top – they are quick enough on their feet to get the next site up and running learning from the previous experience to get back to number 1 and have their site up at the top again. You can see them at or near the top for a number of searches still.
The forcing backlinks to content is continually evolving as the people do this continue to try determine what it is that is needed to get to the top whether it is longer content or what type of links and what type of anchor text and so on – and then be prepared to lose it all with one algorithm change.
I just can’t do that myself. I get far too invested in the site to be able to let it go like that. It is something I do need to work on to keep myself from chasing after lost causes – although sometimes that patience and determination can be a good thing too.
Has Content Become King Now?
Anyway back to the other way people use content on sites. They write the best content they can for the customer from their own experience and research. There is research on what people are searching for so you can write to answer those questions or problems. In particular with affiliate marketing you are looking to help people with their buying questions they have with a product or group of products.
This type of marketing hasn’t evolved I guess unlike the SEO experts methods but it is likely that it has become more successful. It’s still slower and not subject as often to the sudden change of those people trying to force their way to the top of search listings.
It is a frustrating slow process all the same following this way – well it has for me – I know there are other people who seem to be able to get this going quicker -who get the idea of writing reviews for the customer with personality and uniqueness. For me this is all a long learning process with some revenue coming in now.
Of course, there is a risk building sites with the best content you can as the site can still get caught in a Google slap but there should be less likelihood because you’ve not be pushing at the limits. But there are no guarantees (this is where an email list or big social media presence could help).
From spam to better content and links to even better content with or without forced backlinks is how I’ve seen affiliate content marketing move. More of the same in future – change upon change. (I’ve not even mentioned the Squidoo and other free sites changes that again was another lesson.)
What’s your experience been like? Where do you think affiliate marketing go in the future?
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P.S. If you want to get started in affiliate marketing the right way check out Extreme Review or Home Blogging and Affiliate Marketing courses for taking you from beginner to intermedfiate and beyond.