Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Datafeeds and Duplicate Content in a Panda World

For those who are unfamiliar, Panda is a Google search filter that penalizes (in part) sites that contain a large amount of thin or duplicate content. Panda has been a harsh filter for those who use data feeds in general – be it a merchant or an affiliate. As affiliates, we (and all other competing affiliates) get our data feeds from the merchant. The use of the data flow as it is often leads to a site whose content is duplicated on other websites.

Adding to this difficulty, data streams often contain small amounts of content (which we call thin). The feed usually contains some statistical information about each item, an image or two, and, if you are lucky, a brief description of the product. This small amount of content leads to creating pages that, even if they were unique in the text provided, are thin.

Before Panda, if you created a site using a data feed, and the data flow resulted in duplicate or thin pages, Google simply made a decision as to which page was # 39; original. " Google has generally determined the "original" source of content by the strength of the incoming link. Google then posted this result for the query, omitting what it believed to be duplicates. The fact that your pages were considered duplicates meant that you would have trouble classifying this duplicate content unless Google was of the opinion that you were the most powerful version of this content. However, the effect of your page being considered a duplicate of another page was limited to that specific page and potentially even specific search terms contained within that page.

Pre-Panda, we tried to improve we used them to not appear as a duplicate so Google did not omit our page on some search queries. But, in the post – Panda era, we do not try to avoid omission. We try to avoid site-wide penalties that can affect all the capabilities of our pages to rank all keywords. The more duplicate and end content your site contains, the more likely you are to be hit by Panda.

Disclaimer: The use of affiliate data feeds can be dangerous for your SEO, especially if you do not know what you are doing.

Information for Merchants

The first rule of affiliate data feeds that merchants must follow is simple. Never, ever give your affiliates an exact copy of the data feed you use on your site. While Google does its best to find out who is the original owner of duplicate content when they find it, a lot of things boil down to the site's age and strength.

Which means that the older and stronger (in regards to quality links) a site is, the more likely it is to gain as an "original" source of content. Top affiliates have been at this game for a long time and as a result, many have aged, strong sites. If you give them an exact copy of your feed, you risk getting your site out of search results.

Does this mean that you should not offer a data feed to your affiliates? Absolutely not. Datafeeds can be a valuable tool for affiliates, and one that you should offer. The key is to provide affiliates with a stream of data without potentially harming your rankings. This means creating a separate, rewritten data stream so your affiliates can use it with rewritten product descriptions.

You do not need to create a separate feed for each affiliate. You simply need two versions of your feed. One for you (the merchant) and one for all your affiliates to use. How to avoid duplicate content on my affiliate site when using your data feed is my problem.

Pro Tip: If you sell your products via Amazon, Amazon is affiliated in this regard.

And while I have the attention of a few merchants, here are some additional tips on creating happy and profitable affiliates .

Information for Affiliates

Although I can not I give you all the advice I've learned over the years about the use of data feeds ( competitive advantage and everything), I can share some tips.

Accept that the feed should be modified and added to

An affiliate data feed provides a solid foundation for the content of your individual product pages. But it can not be the only content you include on product listing pages. You will need to create additional fields in the data feed and fill it with content that adds value to the list of products.

This unique content may be additional information about the product or uses of the product, additional information describing the product, or anything else you can imagine. I will often hire a programmer on to scratch the generic product information (such as the size of an article, etc.). I refer to this as "content of the box from the back" in that the content is not proprietary. I paid teens to rewrite the product descriptions so that they were original in the wording and more robust than those included in the base stream.

Changing Things

Not displaying things in the same order they appear in the stream. If eight different fields describe the product, change the order in which they appear in the feed. You should also upload the images in the feed to your server and give them new naming conventions. This allows you to separate from all other affiliate sites using the same feed. I will also assign SKU codes from the origin to each article to prevent SKUs from clearing an affiliate fingerprint.

I also run all affiliate links through redirects in a secure folder. I do it for two reasons. The first is to avoid an affiliate footprint. The second is to track the traffic passing through them internally.

If you are confused as to how to implement the above, I highly recommend you to consult WP All Import . This is a great plugin to WooCommerce that lets you implement most of the above without having to create custom code.

Publish Product Sheets Carefully

I generally refuse my product listings when I launch a site. Instead, I limit the content that I allow Google to index my site's basic pages, the site's blog, and the commodity category pages. In WooCommerce, this means that I allow Google to access the core / shop / folder, as well as the / product-category / folders, while blocking their access to individual product pages.

This allows me to build an audience, a brand, a social presence, product reviews and links before releasing the entire site. This limits the ability for Google to see my site as containing mostly duplicate content while allowing users to view individual product listings. Instead of publishing all the product pages at once, I'll publish the product listing pages slowly, as the pages build an individual value and the overall site strengthens the strength.

Adding Value

In a post-Panda world, you need to add significant additional value to feed and product lists if you want to develop the type of site that Google wants to rank.

This additional value could give visitors the opportunity to leave comments (which WooCommerce has incorporated), to compare prices between different merchants or to download photos of the product being used. You might find it worthwhile to create a custom product search feature (and kickass) or tutorials for the product. Your added value will be the secret of your success (or lack of). Differentiation on a real scale, coupled with the technical differentiation listed above, will put you far ahead of the too lazy competitors to make the extra effort.

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