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Googles Secret Guidelines On Thin Affiliates



AliExpress by Alibaba.com


Journalist Henk van Ess has caused a flurry of excitement on blogs and forums. In his blog he revealed that Google uses teams of humans all over the world to evaluate the accuracy of Google's search results.

These "international agents", who are paid $10 to $20 an hour, were recruited mainly through universities. They're paid to check search results at Google every day.

Don't be distracted by the debate over whether Google should be doing this.

Of course it should. It's just a form of quality control.

Google can use the evaluators' findings to tweak its algorithms and reduce search engine spam.

Spam Recognition Guide

What affiliates need to pay careful attention to is Google's "Spam Recognition Guide for Raters", which Henk revealed.

If you're a "thin affiliate," beware.

Although the report is a year old, about 80% of its contents are still being used by Google's evaluators, Henk says.

The confidential document gives us an unvarnished look at Google's attitude to affiliates.

If you're using any of the "manipulative techniques" Google describes, this report will probably encourage you to take a hard look at your website.

I hope you're not silly enough to be using hidden links or hidden text. Not surprisingly, Google teaches its "raters" how to detect them.

PPC revenue earners under fire

Are you creating pages without much content with the aim of collecting pay-per-click (PPC) revenue? Google's raters are taught to mark such pages as "Offensive", and gives examples.

Google secret guidelines spend some time discussing different ways in which some affiliates display results from pay-per-click search engines, so if you're doing that, you'll definitely want to study this report carefully.

Are you displaying ads disguised as search engine results? Google finds them offensive.

Are you adding a dmoz.org feed to your site with the aim of earning PPC revenue? That's "offensive", too.

Google says:

"We differentiate between affiliates that produce extra service, value, or content, and those that simply are duplicates of other sites, set up to boost traffic to other sites and earn a commission for it. The former ones are not Offensive and should be rated on the merits to the query. The latter ones are Offensive...

"Thin affiliate doorways are sites that usher people to a number of Affiliate programs, earning a commission for doing so, while providing little or no value-added content or service to the user. A site certainly has the right to try to earn income;

we're attempting to identify sites that do nothing but act as a commission-earning middleman."

Affiliate networks seen as warning signs

To Google, affiliate links such as qksrv.net, bfast.com and myaffiliateprogram.com - on the page or in redirects - "strongly suggest" that the site is a thin affiliate.

Are you using an affiliate datafeed? To Google, that's another warning sign.

However, if you offer a comparison of prices between different online merchants, you're OK, you're not a thin affiliate.

Google provides an incredibly tough guideline, which hundreds of thousands of affiliate sites fail to meet.

Google says:

"Do not call a page affiliate spam when an affiliation is only incidental to the message and purpose of a website. To determine whether participation in affiliate programs is central or incidental to the site's existence, ask yourself this question: Would this site remain a coherent whole if the pages leading to the affiliate (merchant) were taken away?"

That probably counts out most affiliate sites.

In summary, if you want to be friends with Google, make sure you provide extra value or content.

I've quoted only parts of the report. Any serious affiliate will want to study the whole thing carefully.

You can read the full report on Henk's blog here...

http://www.searchbistro.com/spamguide.doc

Note: A Google employee broke a non-disclosure agreement by revealing this report. I don't know how long it will stay online. You may want to do what I did - save a copy of it on your hard drive.

Now we know what Google really thinks of affiliates. You've been warned.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allan Gardyne has been earning a very good living from affiliate programs since 1998. Learn from an affiliate veteran. Get his FREE newsletter... http://www.AssociatePrograms.com

AliExpress by Alibaba.com


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Affiliate Programs Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide For Ecommerce Sites  Business 2 Community

Getting your products into people's hands and generating new sales is tough as a new ecommerce business. Aside from organic ecommerce SEO which can ...


LPL affiliate Private Advisor Group launches new plan to attract wirehouse brokers who may want to go RIA - InvestmentNews
LPL affiliate Private Advisor Group launches new plan to attract wirehouse brokers who may want to go RIA  InvestmentNews

LPL Financial's largest affiliate, Private Advisor Group of Morristown, N.J., is launching a new platform its partners believe will give it the ability to attract ...


Affiliate Marketing in 2018: What It Is and How You Can Get Started - Business 2 Community
Affiliate Marketing in 2018: What It Is and How You Can Get Started  Business 2 Community

Wake up at an ungodly hour. Drive to the office through total gridlock, streets jammed with other half-asleep commuters. Slog through email after mind-numbing ...


What Will Disney's Near-Term Revenue Growth Look Like? - Forbes
What Will Disney's Near-Term Revenue Growth Look Like?  Forbes

Disney (NYSE: DIS) had a mixed first half of the calendar year, despite solid gains in core segments – as both earnings per share and revenues came ahead of ...


Comcast Posts Mixed Quarterly Earnings As Falling Film Revenues Impact NBC Universal’s Numbers - Deadline
Comcast Posts Mixed Quarterly Earnings As Falling Film Revenues Impact NBC Universal’s Numbers  Deadline

Comcast posted mixed quarterly financial results – beating earnings estimates but falling short of revenue targets. The company, which is in a bidding war to ...


Can Viacom Turn Around Its Core Business In Fiscal 2019? - Forbes
Can Viacom Turn Around Its Core Business In Fiscal 2019?  Forbes

Viacom recently announced mixed Q1 results, as its earnings per share came in ahead of market expectations but revenues missed. The company's total ...


Cars.com Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results | News - Cars.com News
Cars.com Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results | News  Cars.com News

Cars.com Inc. (NYSE: CARS) (“Cars.com” or the “Company”), a leading digital automotive marketplace, today released its financial results for the quarter ended ...


Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) Q2 Earnings Top, Revenues Lag - Yahoo Finance
Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) Q2 Earnings Top, Revenues Lag  Yahoo Finance

Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) second-quarter fiscal 2019 results benefit from increase in affiliate revenues at Cable and growth in advertising and affiliate ...


How programmatic auctions are creeping into publishers’ commerce links - Digiday
How programmatic auctions are creeping into publishers’ commerce links  Digiday

It was only a matter of time before publishers' commerce operations started to get a little more programmatic. Over the past year or so, a number of publishers, ...


Fox Boycott Push Faces Tough Reality: Ad Revenue Isn’t Essential - Bloomberg
Fox Boycott Push Faces Tough Reality: Ad Revenue Isn’t Essential  Bloomberg

Activists seeking an advertising boycott at Fox News face a conundrum: The network's main source of revenue comes from cable subscribers, making it harder to ...


Cars.com Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results | News - Cars.com News
Cars.com Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results | News  Cars.com News

Cars.com Inc. (NYSE: CARS) (“CARS” or the “Company”), a leading digital automotive marketplace, today released its financial results for the quarter ended ...


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