SEO for "product review sites" not so hot anymore? Looking for experienced marketer's opinions

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I, like many others, took a big hit during the Panda disaster of late April/early May. I wasn't totally destroyed, but it definitely hit me where it counts. And it was painful.

Looking at the SERPS, I can see that almost every listing for buyer-centric keywords is dominated by big sites like Amazon/ConsumerSearch/ComsumerReports/BestBuy(or other online stores)/Goodhousekeeping, etc. A lot of people that ran successful WSOs on Amazon review sites have had their sites decimated as well (Jan Roos, Erica Stone) or at least the ones I've looked at.

I'm not saying all affiliate sites have been killed, but before where a search for a certain item would return 9/10 affiliate sites, you now get 1/10 affiliate sites and the rest are ecommerce or other large sites. It seems like those straight up affiliate sites that are in the top rankings are there out of sheer luck and it's only a matter of time before they get kicked in the ass. I had one that ranked very well even through the Panda stuff and it took a plummet too just recently.

So the question is, what have you guys been doing if your sites got dropped badly in the past few months? Google seems to be on a warpath of destroying affiliate websites and boosting big/ecommerce sites by the looks of things. I just don't see any real path through what's going on here.

The obvious answer would be "become one of those big sites" but that's easier said than done and would take an incredible amount of time, effort and money if you could do it at all.

If you were making a good income with the SEO/review site and got tanked recently, or are even still managing to do well lately, I'd love to hear your comments on the matter.
#anymore #experienced #hot #marketer #opinions #product review sites #seo
  • Profile picture of the author boxoun
    Yup. Ive been bringing this up also. People seem to be sticking to the "look for sites with no title tag" nonsense.

    I'm still getting long tail so that's a good sign. I'm looking to build my authority and trust rank and see if I can get back on the first page.

    Nice to see someone else notice this as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    No other comments?
    "Keep moving forward."
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    After Penguin, the income from my review sites dropped by around 75%, but since the penguin 1.1 refresh it got even worser and dropped to around 80-85%.

    So far, i've mostly just changed the anchor text of exisiting backlinks so it's more diverse. I doubt it will make any positive difference, but a lot of people say anchor text diversity is more important now so thought I may as well change it.

    Regarding building new backlinks, im not sure whether that would make a positive or negative difference so im not doing that for now.

    There are some people who have said their review sites weren't affected by Penguin such as Ashera. He uses a private blog network mainly, I think using sites with at least PR2 domains. So it seems like either the domain authority of the backlinks allows him to avoid the penguin trigger or maybe it's combined with the fact they are in-context links.

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  • Profile picture of the author MikeRub
    I have websites negatively affected after the latest updates (Panda especially). I don't have any affiliate links, just Adsense. The websites was affected and the traffic decreased with 50-60%.
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