Backlinking directly to kindle sales page URL?

21 replies
Is there any reason why I should not build a backlink campaign to try to rank my actual kindle sales page on amazon in the top 10 of the SERPs?

Is it against amazon TOS or will google basically ignore links like that?

Very curious....thanks
#backlinking #kindle
  • Profile picture of the author Suzanne Morrison
    Hi Scott,

    I don't see why not. If your book isn't showing up in the first page of Google for your keywords, then doing some link building is definitely worth a try to see if you can improve your position.

    Go for high quality links and vary the anchor text.

    cheers,
    Suzanne
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Scott M View Post

    Is there any reason why I should not build a backlink campaign to try to rank my actual kindle sales page on amazon in the top 10 of the SERPs?
    Yes, there is, I think.

    In fact there are several reasons for not doing this.

    The general trend underlying all Google's algorithm developments over the last couple of years has been an attempt - albeit a not-always-successful one - to try to present SERP's which they think "give information" best matched to their users' search-terms. They've stated repeatedly and consistently, both explicitly and implicitly, on various blogs, websites and videos, that they don't feel sales pages, per se, quite qualify in that category of listing. So, even if it's still possible to do that now (I don't know whether it would be), it's probably only going to be temporary anyway, because Google has (understandably?) been pretty clear that it's not an outcome they want.

    In that sense, it could be argued that it's quite likely to turn out to be misdirected effort, one way or another, pretty soon even if not right now.

    Do you really want to commit your effort and energy to "struggling against Google's clearly stated intentions" while at the same time depending on them for your success, in the long run? It doesn't sound right, to me?

    In the current SEO climate, it would really be surprising if a plan to rank a sales page were well advised. I can't help thinking there must be better options than that.

    What might be far more profitable, productive and viable (as well as very much easier?) would surely be ranking an informative page, or a small site comprising a collection of such pages, which includes both links to your sales page and an opt-in through which you can subsequently promote your sales page by autoresponder messages.

    And beside all that, in principle, spending your time and effort on ranking a page on someone else's website surely can't really be a good idea, Scott? It leaves you, ultimately, not in control of your own business ...
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    • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Yes, there is, I think.

      In fact there are several reasons for not doing this.

      The general trend underlying all Google's algorithm developments over the last couple of years has been an attempt - albeit a not-always-successful one - to try to present SERP's which they think "give information" best matched to their users' search-terms. They've stated repeatedly and consistently, both explicitly and implicitly, on various blogs, websites and videos, that they don't feel sales pages, per se, quite qualify in that category of listing..
      If Google's goal is to give information, the last update was an epic fail IMO. I see more and more sales pages ranking in the tops especially from sites like Amazon.

      It was pretty clear from the Google Raters Handbook, that G appears to have a "distaste" for affiliates and prefers to go directly to the big vendors.

      So instead of going to a site that has reviews and information, I see more and more results going directly to the product.

      I have not looked into ranking a page at Amazon extensively yet, but I think it has merit based on the recent changes.

      Overall, I think the best promotion you can do is to work within the Amazon system with tags, categories, etc. to improve your ranking. Higher rankings to get the book views will help rack up the sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author getano
    My opinion is that ranking the Amazon page is a good strategy. I have used it in the past and it works.
    It's easier to rank with a page from Amazon than with one from your website and you have a better conversion rate by bringing traffic directly to your sales page
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott M
    I understand both sides of the coin. Pre-selling a 2.99 ebook on a mini site really seems like overkill when kindle sales seem to be primarily driven by reviews and the also recommended scroller.

    its getting those first few sales to create the momentum i guess. not sure yet, but i will probably try both tactics. I just dont want to spend loads of time putting up articles and blogs if I can rank for the direct URL and let amazon's authority + backlinks do the heavy lifting for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Scott M View Post

      Pre-selling a 2.99 ebook on a mini site really seems like overkill
      To me, it seems exactly the opposite, Scott. But perhaps I'm biased: I've just been reading mega-selling Kindle author John Locke's little book about selling over 1,000,000 Kindle books in 5 months, in which he explains why he always pre-sells all his $0.99 ebooks on a little site which he owns (and in various other ways). It clearly doesn't seem like "overkill" to him. And I don't for a moment imagine that you'd catch him trying to rank a page on a website he doesn't even own. I'm "just saying" ...
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott M
        Good points. The other thing I just thought of is Amazon could change their URL structure at any time and then poof! All the backlinks are toast!
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Scott M View Post

          The other thing I just thought of is Amazon could change their URL structure at any time and then poof! All the backlinks are toast!
          Yes indeed ... just one of the many unpredictable and precarious aspects of trying to rank sites you don't yourself own and control.

          (In other guises, that problem/issue arises in so many forms of internet marketing: it's notoriously difficult, however many threads there are recounting people's disasters from doing so, to dissuade people from trying to rank pages on Squidoo/HubPages/Blogger and so on - all pages which one can never own and control oneself, where the terms of service and their interpretations change frequently, and therefore ultimately very high-risk/misguided effort. All the same thing, really).
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  • Profile picture of the author BulletheadX
    Yet people put up review sites to sell Amazon products all the time. Why would using the technique for your ebook differ substantially from using it for a vacuum cleaner?

    Do you intend to write other books? Would you not then want an author site?
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  • Profile picture of the author BulletheadX
    When twenty years older your eyes are, to read that tiny font you will not want.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by BulletheadX View Post

      When twenty years older your eyes are, to read that tiny font you will not want.
      Sorry - it was only an obiter dictum, but I've edited my post to put it in normal-size font, now.
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  • Profile picture of the author topgold
    Don't bother with Google. You make at least 10x more money ranking internally in Amazon's own engine. Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suzanne Morrison
    It's hard to know how for sure as it is difficult (or impossible) to track.

    My Kindle book was ranking on page 3 of Google for my keywords and I managed to push it up near the top of page 1 with some backlinks. However, there is no way for me to quantify this traffic as you can't track the traffic going to your Kindle book sales page.

    My sales have gone up, but I can't say that this was directly due to extra traffic from Google, or not

    I agree with the points above about the unreliability of Google and its algorithms, but if it is a case of 2 or 3 extra hours of work to build some backlinks, it is a low risk, so a no brainer for me. At the same time, I am promoting the book on my own site, but it is good to get traffic from more than one source.

    Of course, it depends on the keyword and how competitive it is + how much time are you willing to spend compared to other promotional strategies. Ranking a page on Amazon.com will take a lot less links than ranking a page on a new website though!

    Cheers,
    Suzanne
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      My first thought was that, with Amazon's massive linking (both internal and via ads), trying to buy enough links to ensure a profitable ranking would be like spitting in the ocean. This is even more true now that Google is taking affirmative steps to discount or ignore the types of links a single individual can usually get in quantity.

      On the other hand, you may gain your initial traction with some combination of paid ads - much quicker exposure and much easier to measure...
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    • Profile picture of the author JerryKuzma
      Originally Posted by Suzanne Morrison View Post

      My Kindle book was ranking on page 3 of Google for my keywords and I managed to push it up near the top of page 1 with some backlinks...
      It's a fact that many movers in our industry, including Ryan Deiss, advocate creating or buying backlinks in order to boost rankings of amazon salespages....and Ryan seems to know what he is talking about....

      Jerry K
      N Ireland
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  • Profile picture of the author brchap
    Rank your Amazon sales page, but do so in a very specific way:

    Amazon is a powerhouse of authority, and if harnessed, will provide you with a river of traffic. Google might hate your site, but they LOVE Amazon. Sometimes, if the niche isn't too competitive, your book will rank all by itself.

    However, if you are trying to rank your book for a competitive keyword, your page might need a little push. But, since the days of "Quick and Dirty SEO" are gone (thanks to Penguin), you'll need to be a little more conservative with your backlinking.

    Use a hybrid method... a two-tiered approach, such as Joseph Archibald's technique.

    If you like to write, then it shouldn't be a problem to knock out 50 to 100 short articles. Just write one per day and in a few months, you'll have an arsenal of articles that will live (virtually) forever and work 24 hours a day for you.

    These articles should be 300 to 600 words each, and should be optimized (not too heavily) on a long tail keyword related to your book. At the end of the book, simply link to your book. Or, better yet, link to your Facebook page (which will also link to your book on Amazon.com) and also provide a direct link to your Amazon.com page with your book on it with the anchor text you want to rank for (mixed in with some "Get My Book", "See My Book on Amazon.com" and "Click Here For More Info" call-to-action anchor text).

    For example, say you had a book about roses called "How to Care For Roses" (1300 exact monthly searches). You could write a ton of related articles that were optimized for keywords on the subject of rose care and post them on popular article sites and Web 2.0 properties.

    How to prune climbing roses? (320 exact monthly searches)
    how to grow roses from cuttings? (320 exact monthly searches)
    how to cut roses? (320 exact monthly searches)
    how and when to prune roses? (320 exact monthly searches)
    how to keep roses alive? (210 exact monthly searches)
    How to grow climbing roses? (170 exact monthly searches)
    How to graft roses? (140 exact monthly searches)
    How to cut roses? (91 exact monthly searches)[/B]
    How to grow roses indoors? (91 exact monthly searches)
    How to keep roses from dying? (28 exact monthly searches)

    Add all these up and that's over 2000 more opportunities per month for rose enthusiasts to find you and your book.... and that's just 10 long tail keywords. Imagine having HUNDREDS of these long tail articles and Web 2.0 properties working for you.

    Most of the competition on these long tail keywords are VERY low. For example, the results of allintitle:"how to prune climbing roses" results in only 130 results, which is very typical for these very long tail keywords... but, these are the types of questions people type into Google all the time.

    So, try to rank for these keywords using Joseph Archibald's two-tiered SEO strategy and you will not only have a good chance of ranking for these long tail keywords, but you will also have a pretty good shot at ranking your Amazon.com book page in Google too.

    If you aren't camera shy, it goes without saying that you could add some videos to the mix and show some actual video instructions. YouTube videos optimized for long tail keywords are much more likely to show up in the Google results. Personally, I would do this IN ADDITION to the articles and Web 2.0 properties since YouTube doesn't allow anchor text. But, if you can also do videos, you will get traffic from both YouTube and Google, which will make you less prone to the effects of Google algorithm changes.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
    BI have no idea how kindle ebooks work and make profit. Backlinking to Kindle will be like backlinking your youtube video. It can be easy. But makes sense only if it converts..

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author brchap
      Originally Posted by jaiganeshv View Post

      BI have no idea how kindle ebooks work and make profit. Backlinking to Kindle will be like backlinking your youtube video. It can be easy. But makes sense only if it converts..
      You can definitely make a profit with Kindle. Just like anything else, it depends on the niche, the market, the perceived value of the information, etc.

      A $2.99 Kindle book is a very low risk purchase, and you rarely have to worry about returns, even if the book is horrible (but, you SHOULD always provide a lot of value, as positive reviews help a lot and negative reviews can have a permanent impact on your sales volume).

      Making $2 per download may not sound like a lot, but once you start getting 50 to 100 sales per day, the numbers start to add up fast... so a popular niche with a "hungry" market will help, as well as having multiple books in the same niche. I have also seen good results with a Part I, Part II, Part III series of books too.
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  • Profile picture of the author colinph970
    I wouldn't bother ......if it happens naturally then good but I would not spend effort on it for the reasons mentioned above. Concentrate on producing a quality product, with a strong sales page and which offers real value for money to readers. You won't go far wrong with this approach!
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    • Profile picture of the author jdiaz
      The I way that I have been recently learned was that you should provide a value to people before actually selling them something. Try sending them to something they can get for free. Like an e-book related to your sales page or something.
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      • Profile picture of the author brchap
        Originally Posted by colinph970 View Post

        I wouldn't bother ......if it happens naturally then good but I would not spend effort on it for the reasons mentioned above. Concentrate on producing a quality product, with a strong sales page and which offers real value for money to readers. You won't go far wrong with this approach!
        If you can piggyback on Amazon's authority by getting to the top of a competitive niche with 20 or 30 backlinks, why wouldn't you?

        It takes a lot of time and effort to write a book that offers real value in the Kindle marketplace. Why wouldn't you want to do a little more work to rank the sale page? Google already likes Amazon, so authors should use that to their advantage.

        Originally Posted by jdiaz View Post

        The I way that I have been recently learned was that you should provide a value to people before actually selling them something. Try sending them to something they can get for free. Like an e-book related to your sales page or something.
        A $2.99 Kindle purchase is something that almost doesn't even register as a sale in a consumer's mind. I have seen a box of breath mints at a convenience store priced higher than $2.99... It's incredibly low risk... almost throwaway money.

        Because of this, there is almost no barrier to entry. Therefore, a $2.99 Kindle book can be used at the TOP of the funnel to collect email addresses for a newsletter. THEN, you offer them a ton of FREE valuable content so that down the road you can offer them a higher-priced, more valuable product related to the same niche as the Kindle book they originally purchased.
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