I Shouldn't Share This: On Google Slap

by Harlan
78 replies
One of my close online contacts probably pays for more Adwords
advertising than anyone.

As a result, he has extensive contacts with Google.

In fact, he is invited into Google twice a year to teach Google about Adwords.

So at my Tactic7 seminar, he shared what he feels is the next Google slap -

It's going to be those fake review sites you see.

The ones steering people to one or two products.

You see these mostly in the weight loss and work from home categories.

So be warned, although this could happen any time, he expects it no later
than 1st quarter 2009.

So you might just want to rethink that strategy.

Peace.

Harlan
#google #share #slap
  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    I wonder where they will draw the link between what is "fake" and real?

    I mean, just about every "review" site out there is there to sell something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Harlen, if you have an in... much more importantly than just simple review sites slap... have you heard anything of the social slap rumored to hit all social sites soon?

    - Jared
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  • Profile picture of the author Jakehyten
    Originally Posted by Harlan View Post


    It's going to be those fake review sites you see.

    Peace.

    Harlan
    what constitutes a FAKE review site? The fact that it is only 1 page and 2 products and no content?
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    • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
      Originally Posted by Jakehyten View Post

      what constitutes a FAKE review site? The fact that it is only 1 page and 2 products and no content?
      Those kind should have already been "slapped". I usually see those in the Adwords section, though. I personally find it irritating to do a search and find sites like this that have little to no content. Many of those are in the PPC section, too...which is why I prefer "natural" search results.

      I'm skeptical enough that when someone tells me what they think the next "Google slap" will be, I either:

      1) Think they might simply be repeating something that "someone" told them (you see this all the time online) or

      2) Wonder if they're saying this because they want to lower the competition to their OWN sites.

      No one knows Google's algorithm. No one. It's such top secret that I suspect even Google engineers like Matt Cutts might not even have the whole story. You can bet that Yahoo and MSN would LOVE to have some information about the algorithm, to make their own search engines more competitive.

      My recommendation would be to use techniques that are tried-and-true; techniques which have worked in the past, are working now, and don't appear to be going away any time soon. Don't just jump on the bandwagon about stuff because "someone" said it might be so.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulGee
    Harlan
    Thanks for this warning - so if we buy every product we review rather than search for user 'comments' will this lose the 'fake' label in googles eyes? Will we now need to include five, six, seven or more products in each review site to avoid being slapped? No doubt time will tell.

    Interesting post.
    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      It goes without saying if you follow Google's proclaimed
      Question, does this site enhance the user experience, the
      Answer for the most part is no.

      It doesn't matter if the site has 2 products or 15 products,
      if all you have is a bunch of affiliate links, than this Google
      Slap is well deserved.

      Ask yourself.

      What would make a quality site people would want
      to visit and bookmark?

      That's where your energy should be directed.

      Peace
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      • Profile picture of the author sevenish
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        It goes without saying if you follow Google's proclaimed
        Question, does this site enhance the user experience, the
        Answer for the most part is no.
        Having been in the "user experience" business for more than 10 years, it's nice to see it coming into fashion.
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      • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
        Its about time they remove all those garbage review sites I'm seeing.

        As the internet evolves only the strong will survive. Its only the beginning of whats to come.

        If you follow trends, then worrying about that review site is only a small fraction of what's really going to hurt IM and information marketing. And google can't stop it- its only making it worse.

        Lets thank Google for taking the trash out.

        Thanks Big G!
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by PaulGee View Post

      Harlan
      Thanks for this warning - so if we buy every product we review rather than search for user 'comments' will this lose the 'fake' label in googles eyes? Will we now need to include five, six, seven or more products in each review site to avoid being slapped? No doubt time will tell.

      Interesting post.
      Paul
      Does posting more useless pitches make the site more useful to the users?

      You mean should the products you recommend really have some value?

      2 X 0 = Zero.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
    maybe this is a dumb, obvious question, but when Google slaps these people- CPC should go down, right? Possibly?
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by MaskedMarketer View Post

      maybe this is a dumb, obvious question, but when Google slaps these people- CPC should go down, right? Possibly?
      When Google slaps these people, they raise their CPC to 10, 15 or even 100 a click.

      They are saying, we don't want your business.

      I've had sites slapped. Most had really good reason for being slapped.

      You can whine or...

      Correct them.

      Most people who had sites slapped during Google Slap I tried to bluff their way
      out of it.

      They changed the URL.

      They opened new accounts.

      Google caught up with them.

      So if you are smart and have a review site, pay attention.

      Because your site is going down.

      For the record, I do not have any review sites.

      Peace.
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      • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        When Google slaps these people, they raise their CPC to 10, 15 or even 100 a click.
        They are saying, we don't want your business.
        Will CPC go down for other people (people not getting slapped). That's my concern. Or it won't effect people at all with no review sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
    If I'm not mistaken, not too long ago they passed some type of legislation in Europe making these type of sites illegal.

    I don't know the validity of the law, or whether or not it's really even prosecutable, but do remember something of the sort.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

      If I'm not mistaken, not too long ago they passed some type of legislation in Europe making these type of sites illegal.

      I don't know the validity of the law, or whether or not it's really even prosecutable, but do remember something of the sort.
      Sober up JaMo.

      Must be all the colon cleansing you've been doing.

      Coming out to secret headquarters in January for secret session.

      Don't tell anyone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
      Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

      If I'm not mistaken, not too long ago they passed some type of legislation in Europe making these type of sites illegal.

      I don't know the validity of the law, or whether or not it's really even prosecutable, but do remember something of the sort.
      In the US, the FTC seems to want people who are recommending a product to disclose if they are an affiliate for the product. Of course hardly anyone does this, and certainly not the review sites.

      Here's a great article about it:

      Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Now Required By Law? — Copyblogger

      I have mixed feelings about review sites. On the one hand, I think they gum up regular Google search as badly as MFA sites. They make it really, really hard to find genuine reviews and information about products.

      On the other hand I know they're great money-makers for a lot of people and I can absolutely see why people would create them.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzyjeff
    I wouldn't lose any sleep over Google "slapping" a review site. I mean, just because you are out in google doesn't mean you can't use Yahoo or MSN. Plus, it would just cost more per click if you use Adwords to drive your traffic to a review site.

    Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author Kiwigal
      Originally Posted by jazzyjeff View Post

      I wouldn't lose any sleep over Google "slapping" a review site. I mean, just because you are out in google doesn't mean you can't use Yahoo or MSN. Plus, it would just cost more per click if you use Adwords to drive your traffic to a review site.

      Jeff
      I agree, yahoo and msn may gain a lot more new marketers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by jazzyjeff View Post

      Plus, it would just cost more per click if you use Adwords to drive your traffic to a review site.

      Jeff
      Spoken like a true non-marketer.

      Google is the source of most of the PPC traffic.

      You want to pay $15 a click to bring people to a crappy site?

      The line forms right in back of you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jakehyten
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Spoken like a true non-marketer.

        Google is the source of most of the PPC traffic.

        You want to pay $15 a click to bring people to a crappy site?

        The line forms right in back of you.
        lmao! you are ruthless harlan
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  • Profile picture of the author Jkeown
    Is it safe to say a content based website which includes reviews will still be a victim of the slap?

    I've just finished creating an approx 10 Page website with good content but some review pages as well. Might not bother if it's going to get slapped straight away.

    Is purely content the way foward? Sometimes reviews can be so profitable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Max Ramocsai
      I think he is referring to sites that only offer reviews and no content. Sites with the sole purpose of making money and which offer no value to the visitor.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

    One of my close online contacts probably pays for more Adwords
    advertising than anyone.

    In fact, he is invited into Google twice a year to teach Google about Adwords.
    I'm confused here - why is your friend teaching Google about Adwords? Wouldn't they already know pretty much everything about it?

    Or is he like a bug-finding kind of guy or something?

    -Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      I'm confused here - why is your friend teaching Google about Adwords? Wouldn't they already know pretty much everything about it?

      Or is he like a bug-finding kind of guy or something?

      -Dan
      Yeah, I was wondering that myself. I thought maybe this person was teaching Google about Adwords from a customer's point of view or something. That would be really handy; having someone who uses the system teach Google what works and what needs improving. Kind of like a one-man focus group.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    Clickbank has the same type of meetings with some of the main users/customers on their network. They invited me to attend last year but my wife was having our son around that time and I couldn't go.

    It would be smart for Google to better understand the user experience from real users and not employees.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    "Thin affiliate sites".. the ones you speak of Harlan..

    Have been getting trouble from Google for a while now... you're a few months behind dude..... maybe your "friend" was telling you about the previous slap and you got confused?...

    Peace

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author James Schramko
    (Those pages offer no value and should be eliminated.)

    Where is the line drawn between pen-names and blatant Fraud?

    Here is what really happens:

    Some fat balding 43 year old man is sitting there with his book of infuence next to him at the computer writing acne ads posing as a 20 year old girl saying how well the XYZ cream works.......


    Or some 19 year old snotty university kid is sitting in his dorm writing a review site as a relationship expert who loved and lost and then found love again.....

    This technique has been popularized and pushed by many marketers for years. Eventually consumers will seek more truth in marketing and want even more proof and facts.

    Will marketers be sued for pretend reviews?

    Reminds me of TV, movies, radio and news papers where media and agencies manupilate people with propaganda.

    Interesting topic and one that will probably change the way affiliate marketing is done as the wild west becomes modernized and regulated.






    Note: They are also against squeeze pages. They state in their adwords training section that you should not require users to register.

    They want fast loading pages, easy navigation and useful information.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Responding to Responses to a few points:

      Fake review sites are one of the bans of IM. Many continue to get traffic .
      I am aware of one site spending in excess of 30k a day on PPC. It's a
      junk site with 1 page with two reviews.

      It's going down.

      When Google says they don't want squeeze pages, thats
      Not entirely true.

      Nor is it true that they don't want one page sales letters.

      It depends on what value you offer the reader.

      If you offer nothing that enhances the reader experience -
      you are gone.

      And ten pages of filler isn't going to make a difference.

      Why don't they slap Oprah.com (not that they do PPC)?

      Because Oprah gives real content.

      And thats what Sergey and Larry want to see.

      Peace
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  • Profile picture of the author ste25
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      Originally Posted by ste25 View Post

      How the heck does Google decide what's a fake review site and what isnt a fake review site??

      Yes there are fake review sites and then there are genuine review sites that steer people towards one or two products.
      I think they want more content then selling. Most review sites are garbage.. The ones ive seen in IM at least..

      And google knows its for making money.. Its not really there to "enhance" the user experience... They want to enhance the user experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by ste25 View Post

      How the heck does Google decide what's a fake review site and what isnt a fake review site??

      Yes there are fake review sites and then there are genuine review sites that steer people towards one or two products.
      Ever see a copy of Consumer Reports?

      They review dozens of products and different models.

      They don't put out an issue on ovens and just review one or two. When people think it's easy to fool someone, they are really annoying many people.

      I'm heading to see this guy this week and I'll ask him about the social netwoking but remember, his connection to Google is PPC.

      Google listens closely to it's top customers.

      It's a hint we should all take.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Ever see a copy of Consumer Reports?

        They review dozens of products and different models.
        That's a non-profit organization. Some of us here are trying to make a profit.

        It's also a print magazine which people buy vs. a website which is free to access.

        So other than the fact that they have reviews, I don't see the relevance.
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      Originally Posted by ste25 View Post

      Hmmm. What about sites that review say 10 products and recommend the best two?
      refer to post #7
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Look, the way it was explained to me, this is all going to be done according
      to the Google Algorithm.

      And it doesn't care that you reviewed 10 products and only recommended two.

      What about "provide a quality experience" don't you get?

      Think Google can't detect affiliate links?

      Think Google can't detect a spam site that only exists for the click on an affiliate link?

      You're not getting this.

      You need to provide quality CONTENT!

      Or, you're history.

      Read the comments I've made so far.

      Peace.
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      • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Look, the way it was explained to me, this is all going to be done according
        to the Google Algorithm.

        And it doesn't care that you reviewed 10 products and only recommended two.

        What about "provide a quality experience" don't you get?

        Think Google can't detect affiliate links?

        Think Google can't detect a spam site that only exists for the click on an affiliate link?

        You're not getting this.

        You need to provide quality CONTENT!
        Google's algorithm is a stupid machine. More complex than yahoo or MSN but still a stupid machine. If you know it well enough you can provide a decent amount of crap content that doesn't trigger any alarms and it'll treat your article out of a 10000 piece of crap plr package you bought for 7 bucks in a WSO like it was published in the NY Times.
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          Originally Posted by Darth Executor View Post

          Google's algorithm is a stupid machine. More complex than yahoo or MSN but still a stupid machine. If you know it well enough you can provide a decent amount of crap content that doesn't trigger any alarms and it'll treat your article out of a 10000 piece of crap plr package you bought for 7 bucks in a WSO like it was published in the NY Times.
          Still trying to scam the big G.

          They'll catch up with you sooner or later and ban you from AdWords all together.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kael41
    I'm on board with Harlan, as my own little "inside source" is basically repeating the same thing. Google does have a way to detect (whether it's a human targetted or automated fly by detection) the quality of experience website that is in front of it.

    Now, obviously the algo's and scores that go into what makes the site one that provides a good experience to the search engine user is closely guarded, as it should be. But, common sense dictates to us what should go into a site that provides some value to a visitor that falls into the good experience zone.

    How is the site structured? Are the links easy to follow and interconnect? Is the info on the site merely regurgitated duplicate or spun content or is it unique? Don't forget the importance of LSI...

    Look, in the end, it really does not take that much to flesh out a full website that includes a decent site structure, relevant unique articles, and a well thought out link targeting plan for some link juice.
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      Originally Posted by Kael41 View Post

      Look, in the end, it really does not take that much to flesh out a full website that includes a decent site structure, relevant unique articles, and a well thought out link targeting plan for some link juice.
      Google is doing a good job from separating the men from the boys.

      Can't wait to see this happen.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
    The only 'safe' avenues that anyone can say with any certainty are Adwords and selling your own products.

    Google have a vested interest in keeping Adwords profitable for people, so you can back it with confidence. For Adsense, not so much so, since it is actually wasting the majority of advertisers' money who don't use the Content Network properly.

    Selling your own products will always work, because it's YOUR product, you create them, you sell them. You are in control. You don't depend on others.

    I don't trust MFA sites, review sites, CPA offers, direct linking etc. These things have a very low likelihood of lasting the race. Sure I do CPA offers because it's very profitable, but do I expect it to last 10 years down the road? I don't think so. So either milk it dry now or build a long-term business.

    Fabian
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      Originally Posted by Fabian Tan View Post

      Sure I do CPA offers because it's very profitable, but do I expect it to last 10 years down the road? I don't think so. So either milk it dry now or build a long-term business.
      Fabian
      CPA can be a long term business depending on the angle you take. Its a media/advertising/ lead gen. company and companies always need that.

      The way its done might change but companies always need to advertise and generate leads.

      As for fake review sites... what else is there to expect? google is doing what is right..
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  • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
    Looks like far too many people are affected with Google Slaps...

    I think these are healthy.... these are just filters that clean all the garbage and leave the system with entirely useful and relevent posts/reviews etc.

    Of course you can post affiliate links, but the real meat of the stuff has got to be just that... REAL MEAT OF THE STUFF. Or you deserve to be slapped.

    -Lakshay
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  • Profile picture of the author milan
    This is nothing new. It may be a new implementation of the slap but not a new Google policy.

    I have an internal Google report (ooops) from 2007. and it's very clear they were clearly after "thin affiliate" sites even then. It's also no secret they call them like that and they don't like them.

    I understand that marketers freak out when they hear of a new Google slap coming, and that you would like to hear more details.

    Here is an example of a slap:
    If you review is not unique, the chances that you just pasted a 'review' given by the product vendor might be high.

    See? There are patterns. It's not like it's impossible for a machine to figure out everything that's fake.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by milan View Post

      Here is an example of a slap:
      If you review is not unique, the chances that you just pasted a 'review' given by the product vendor might be high.

      See? There are patterns. It's not like it's impossible for a machine to figure out everything that's fake.
      They are looking much beyond duplicate content.

      Everyone is looking for the quick fix.

      This isn't going to work long term.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom B
        Banned
        I do find it pretty funny to see people put so much effort into beating Google instead of just working with them.
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      • Profile picture of the author milan
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        They are looking much beyond duplicate content.

        Everyone is looking for the quick fix.

        This isn't going to work long term.
        That was just an example how a fake review can be detected by machine.

        But the policy is not new. But that's clear for a long time: they have it in their TOS.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt MacPherson
    I wonder how Google feels about sales letters. Does a sales letter designed
    to convert readers into buyers provide a "quality user experience"?

    It's a fine line to draw.

    Regards,
    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by Matt MacPherson View Post

      I wonder how Google feels about sales letters. Does a sales letter designed
      to convert readers into buyers provide a "quality user experience"?

      It's a fine line to draw.

      Regards,
      Matt
      Google doesn't like sites that are just a long sales letter.

      It's quite blunt about it.

      Unless...

      You really know what you are doing with PPC.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Maffei
      Hi Matt,

      I just put up a brand new site about 3 weeks ago, that has already attained a PR0, and it is 100% sales letter - albeit with a shedload of truly useful content. Harlan speaks absolutely correct, imho.

      Best regards,

      Mark

      Originally Posted by Matt MacPherson View Post

      I wonder how Google feels about sales letters. Does a sales letter designed
      to convert readers into buyers provide a "quality user experience"?

      It's a fine line to draw.

      Regards,
      Matt
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      • Profile picture of the author jcaviani
        This action is about as predicatble as Google not wanting huge masses of Traffic Equalizer sites clogging up their listings.

        As Harlan says, Google's question always is, do your sites add value? If they don't or they are riding the line, they will eventually be eliminated. The best content will rise to the top.

        Does that mean you can't make money riding the line? hardly.... but, if you're smart, you'll use some of your profits to create REAL content or value. It's the best money you will ever spend.

        What you really have to weigh is if you'd rather keep your ideas to yourself, which I always do, or sell them to the masses. Some people apparently need their five minutes of fame and a victory lap. I want my name spelled right on the check.

        If you decide to market them, you had better be a good marketer because you can't unring a bell.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      Originally Posted by Matt MacPherson View Post

      I wonder how Google feels about sales letters. Does a sales letter designed
      to convert readers into buyers provide a "quality user experience"?

      It's a fine line to draw.
      Did I slip into a coma and miss when they changed the definition of advertising? I figured publishers acknowledged that their advertisers were inclined to sell something to their readers by accepting payment for the ad space.

      Anyway, the "user experience" is a good reason on the surface. But ultimately it comes down to money. And if Google's biggest Adwords buyers are sick of the affiliate review sites, they'll nuke em. Whoever pads the bottom line more, wins.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Well I may as well let this spill out in this thread since it has to do with Google... But I've heard from insider sources at Google that they are planning to slap all the Word Press blogs that sell advertising because those blogs are only there to make money from the paid ads.

    Google is furious because these blogs are "stealing" advertising dollars from Google and once more these blogs are getting free traffic within Google's organic search.

    Mike Hill

    PS... Nice one eh?
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post


      PS... Nice one eh?
      Very nice one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      See what I mean about the "user experience" excuse being camouflage?

      If those blogs deliver the best user experience and that is truly Google's main objective, then they simply must keep them indexed. If they don't, they're nuts. Either that or everyone else is for buying into the "user experience" sham.

      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      Well I may as well let this spill out in this thread since it has to do with Google... But I've heard from insider sources at Google that they are planning to slap all the Word Press blogs that sell advertising because those blogs are only there to make money from the paid ads.

      Google is furious because these blogs are "stealing" advertising dollars from Google and once more these blogs are getting free traffic within Google's organic search.

      Mike Hill

      PS... Nice one eh?
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      • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
        Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

        See what I mean about the "user experience" excuse being camouflage?
        Google just studies the data, interprets trends, and will do whatever to please who they need to please and make the money they want

        Some decent books have been written on the subject of Google, like "Numerati" "Planet Google" and "Click", just to name a few...

        Interesting reads...
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        • Profile picture of the author Lance K
          Originally Posted by MaskedMarketer View Post

          Google just studies the data, interprets trends, and will do whatever to please who they need to please and make the money they want
          Totally. And I'm not saying that Google doesn't care about user experience. I'm just saying that it's not their main concern, as they would have you believe. It's VERY MUCH secondary.

          The way I see it, they want to provide the best user experience possible at the highest profit level. Not get the most possible profit out of the highest user experience level.
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          • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
            Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

            Totally. And I'm not saying that Google doesn't care about user experience. I'm just saying that it's not their main concern, as they would have you believe. It's VERY MUCH secondary.

            The way I see it, they want to provide the best user experience possible at the highest profit level. Not get the most possible profit out of the highest user experience leve.
            That makes sense. Its in there best interests that we have a good user experience.

            Google researches us the same way we research our markets.

            Except they have way more data and have scientists and mathematicians working on there data..
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  • Profile picture of the author simplosys3
    Google has turned out the 'Big brother' notion on its head, with slick marketing they are doing their damn best to get in some dollars. We all know the knocks that their ad sense program received of late with the clicks not amounting to much, resulting in a loss of revenue for the publishers. I guess, they will probably come out with these fake reviews, seeing that some of the other sites are already doing it, there is no reason as to why google should not do the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
    If you're relying on marketing from one source (even if that source is the Big-G) then you're setting yourself up for a catastrophe somewhere down the line, sooner or later.

    While it's wonderful to get traffic from Google, they aren't the only road in town. There are numerous amounts of different traffic generation sources, and yes even outside the paid realms.

    Social bookmarking can be a huge traffic source. Article marketing as well (not Bum - writing good content that people WANT to post on their sites). Viral marketing is hugely underrated. And never underestimate offline marketing .

    It doesn't matter how the prospect gets to your site. Just make sure you capture them in your list and the Big-G can't to a damn thing about that... nor do I think they want to.

    That's smart marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Michael, you are 100% correct on this.

      This is where the money is - of course - in the list.

      Of course, than you just have to worry about your email deliverability!

      Peace!
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      • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Michael, you are 100% correct on this.

        This is where the money is - of course - in the list.

        Of course, than you just have to worry about your email deliverability!

        Peace!
        The money is in the list that includes a physical address!

        As a person who deal with real Joe Blow and Jane Doe buyers (ones who shop online but aren't real Internet savvy like IM people) I can tell you the effectiveness of email is getting less and less.
        The average person is so fed up with SPAM they are quick to delete or report anything they don't like (even if its not SPAM)

        You can't unsubscribe from the real SPAM so they take out their frustration on "us".
        I've seen a lot of that this month.

        I'm going back to mailing my coupons and special. I had far better response rate when I did it before.

        As for slapping the review sites...
        If they are crap sites, Google will sort it out. I'm all for it. I build stores and larger information sites. I have to compete with those sites.

        Its Google's playground, they make the rules and most importantly they set the standards that the other big guys like MSN, Yahoo and others watch and emulate.

        I'm not worring about it affecting my sites.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        This is where the money is - of course - in the list.
        Not saying you personally, Harlan. Cuz I know you deliver some solid content and genuinely care about helping people...

        but what's the difference in affiliate review sites and the 90% (my own out of thin air estimate) of email lists that exist solely to extract money from their subscribers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Max Ramocsai
      Originally Posted by Michael Ellis View Post

      If you're relying on marketing from one source (even if that source is the Big-G) then you're setting yourself up for a catastrophe somewhere down the line, sooner or later.

      While it's wonderful to get traffic from Google, they aren't the only road in town. There are numerous amounts of different traffic generation sources, and yes even outside the paid realms.

      Social bookmarking can be a huge traffic source. Article marketing as well (not Bum - writing good content that people WANT to post on their sites). Viral marketing is hugely underrated. And never underestimate offline marketing .

      It doesn't matter how the prospect gets to your site. Just make sure you capture them in your list and the Big-G can't to a damn thing about that... nor do I think they want to.

      That's smart marketing.
      Very well said.
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnson Tay
      Originally Posted by Michael Ellis View Post

      If you're relying on marketing from one source (even if that source is the Big-G) then you're setting yourself up for a catastrophe somewhere down the line, sooner or later.

      While it's wonderful to get traffic from Google, they aren't the only road in town. There are numerous amounts of different traffic generation sources, and yes even outside the paid realms.

      Social bookmarking can be a huge traffic source. Article marketing as well (not Bum - writing good content that people WANT to post on their sites). Viral marketing is hugely underrated. And never underestimate offline marketing .

      It doesn't matter how the prospect gets to your site. Just make sure you capture them in your list and the Big-G can't to a damn thing about that... nor do I think they want to.

      That's smart marketing.
      Sorry I am total idiot when it comes to SEO.

      But don't Social Bookmarking and Article Marketing ultimately rely on search engine traffic?

      I mean the whole point of submitting your content with your URL to either a social bookmarking site or article marketing directory is to get the search engine to pick up your submission and hopefully get it listed for the keyword you want your site to get ranked for. Isn't it?
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
        Originally Posted by Johnson Tay View Post

        Sorry I am total idiot when it comes to SEO.

        But don't Social Bookmarking and Article Marketing ultimately rely on search engine traffic?

        I mean the whole point of submitting your content with your URL to either a social bookmarking site or article marketing directory is to get the search engine to pick up your submission and hopefully get it listed for the keyword you want your site to get ranked for. Isn't it?
        Johnson,

        Let me start with article marketing because I see a lot of people confusing article marketing with Bum Marketing.

        Bum Marketing focuses on finding highly searched phrases which do not have too much competition (i.e. results in Google when doing a search for the phrase in quotes).

        The Bum Marketer then quickly creates content around those search phrases and posts that content on more established (more Google friendly) sites like an article directory.

        The Bum Marketer knows, if he/she did their research correctly, how well the target article directory will rank in terms of the top 10 SERPs for the target search phrase.

        Say the Bum Marketer found the phrase "buy black ipod cheap" had less than 10k competing sites when searched in Google (in quotes) and the top 10 sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages) had a pagerank (PR) of 3 or less. If they know that their target article directory has a history of outperforming PR 3 sites then they'll feel pretty good about their article being in the top 5 of the search results for that phrase.

        An article marketer, on the other hand, doesn't really concentrate on the whole "highly searched/low competition" aspect. They create quality articles that people WANT to read and find homes for those articles on sites (and it doesn't have to be an article directory) that have a hungry crowd of people waiting/wanting to read it. This is what I was referring to.

        Article marketing has nothing to do with starting a search at Google.

        Social Bookmarking is very powerful tool that can operate quite nicely without any help from Google as well. It allows you to create bookmarks and share them with anyone and everyone. The more popular BM sites have enormous traffic. I'm talking big traffic jams.

        Think of the power when a marketer in a particular niche can share his/her bookmarks with prospects, customers, other SB users, etc. And who knows, maybe that marketer even throws a few of their sites into the shared bookmarks.

        It's very powerful... and it's very non-Google dependent.

        Note: Just to get the record straight, please don't get me wrong, Google certainly adds to the excitement of any marketing campaign, when they like you. But they shouldn't be relied on. I'm not bashing Bum marketing, either. I'm just making a small comparison. I know there are other aspects.

        Just remember, nowhere in the great bible of Internet Marketing does it say that all sales begins with a Google search.
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          Originally Posted by Michael Ellis View Post

          Note: Just to get the record straight, please don't get me wrong, Google certainly adds to the excitement of any marketing campaign, when they like you. But they shouldn't be relied on. I'm not bashing Bum marketing, either. I'm just making a small comparison. I know there are other aspects.

          Just remember, nowhere in the great bible of Internet Marketing does it say that all sales begins with a Google search.
          Of course not but it would be one foolish marketer to ignore them.

          When I had a hypnosis center, I advertised in the largest paper around.

          Another center advertised on the back of cash register receipts.

          Guess who got all the business?

          Peace.
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          • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

            Of course not but it would be one foolish marketer to ignore them.
            Yes, I totally agree.
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          • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
            Originally Posted by Michael Ellis View Post

            If you're relying on marketing from one source (even if that source is the Big-G) then you're setting yourself up for a catastrophe somewhere down the line, sooner or later.
            Some will say if you're marketing online only, that you're also leaving a sh#tload of money on the table. If possible, you should be marketing in every communication channel that you can!


            Originally Posted by Michael Ellis View Post

            That's smart marketing.
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            • Profile picture of the author Harlan
              Originally Posted by MaskedMarketer View Post

              Some will say if you're marketing online only, that you're also leaving a sh#tload of money on the table. If possible, you should be marketing in every communication channel that you can!
              I agree.

              The smart money does this:

              online
              offline - direct mail, radio, television, newspapers, magazines etc.

              How many people on the Warrior Forum use SRDS anymore?
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
              Originally Posted by MaskedMarketer View Post

              Some will say if you're marketing online only, that you're also leaving a sh#tload of money on the table. If possible, you should be marketing in every communication channel that you can!
              Absolutely right! I come from a mail order background... most would be shocked at how well some mail order marketing tactics work for online marketers.
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              • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
                Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                I agree.

                The smart money does this:

                online
                offline - direct mail, radio, television, newspapers, magazines etc.

                How many people on the Warrior Forum use SRDS anymore?
                No one needs to now about the SRDS (and other) goldmines

                Originally Posted by Michael Ellis View Post

                Absolutely right! I come from a mail order background... most would be shocked at how well some mail order marketing tactics work for online marketers.
                I would consider myself a marketer and not really an internet marketer.

                I also started in magazine advertising and newspapers and failed at that.

                To think how much further that money would have went on the web..
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
    Harlan
    I'm sure there are no problems like A pile / B pile or getting your mail read. :-)
    Are you saying email is more effective then direct mail?
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by Debbie Songster View Post

      Harlan

      Are you saying email is more effective then direct mail?
      It depends on the list.

      Is it a buyer's list? A compiled list?

      Who has mailed it recently?

      What do they spend?

      What is your offer?

      With an email list, you can always email them again.

      With Direct Mail, you've got to rent the list again.

      Unless you've bought a crappy list from Info USA.

      Their lists aren't worth much...

      Peace
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
    I was continuing with the statement that Michael made
    It doesn't matter how the prospect gets to your site. Just make sure you capture them in your list and the Big-G can't to a damn thing about that... nor do I think they want to.

    That's smart marketing.
    So in this case we aren't talking about purchased lists.

    I find email to be less effective (deliverability is an issue - people change their email address frequently) than it used to be. My direct mail campaigns generate more sales.

    Thats all I was getting at.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
    I think a year ago Ezine Articles had about 80,000 authors. That number is now up to almost 140,000 folks. That's almost double the amount of authors in the space of a year, and I think Ezine Articles has been around since 2000.

    More people are going to come in to Internet marketing, it's going to make every traffic generation strategy more of a challenge.

    The solution? Use automated tools (think $297 tools that are out of reach for 90% of marketers)/outsourcing to dominate ad avenues and produce SCALABILITY in minutes while your competitors flounder.

    At the end of the day, money talks.

    Fabian
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
      Originally Posted by Fabian Tan View Post

      I think a year ago Ezine Articles had about 80,000 authors. That number is now up to almost 140,000 folks. That's almost double the amount of authors in the space of a year, and I think Ezine Articles has been around since 2000.

      More people are going to come in to Internet marketing, it's going to make every traffic generation strategy more of a challenge.

      The solution? Use automated tools (think $297 tools that are out of reach for 90% of marketers)/outsourcing to dominate ad avenues and produce SCALABILITY in minutes while your competitors flounder.

      At the end of the day, money talks.

      Fabian
      Well, the article directories are simply getting full of junk. Articles are being written by people that have absolutely no clue on the topics. Automation tools aren't going to help, they'll make matters worse. Bum Marketing, as much as I love it, is a major reason for the junk articles. People just want to put their links under a few key words. The content, well, sucks.

      This is precisely why I speak of Bum Marketing and Article Marketing as being two different things. True Article Marketer's know their topic very well and produce quality content that people want to read. You don't need automation when you have quality. People will seek you out.

      Have you noticed the growing number of forum posts where people talk about how many articles they have posted and how low of CTR they're getting? I have. Why? Their articles are junk - there's no substance - no authenticity. They just don't know the topic. And it won't matter if you take these articles and send them to every article directory on the Internet, the results won't change very much.
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