Amazon Site That Was Hit by Google? Read This

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  • SEO
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My sites were hit by the updates on July 18th and August 21th (not exact dates, as I can't really remember precisely when the updates took place). However, they have bounced back and traffic is now better than ever.

I won't go into too much detail, but I did the following.

1. The first thing I did was work to remove duplicate content. Now, people will say that Google is advanced enough to know that excerpts found on category and archive pages and so on are not counted as duplicate content. This may very well be true, but I simply did this to fix one more thing that may have affected my rankings.
This is in fact a short term measure, as later on down the line I will turn category pages into very user friendly, useful, unique pages. For now, though, I don't want them indexed.

2. Use a text browser to see what Google sees. This goes a long way in helping you to optimize your site.

3. Use just a few affiliate links per page. I had pages that had a number of (10+) affiliate links on them. I worked to decrease this number down to 3. CTR is actually at 30% now, which is better than it has ever been, even though there are less avenues for users to visit Amazon. Conversions are also better than ever. Strong CTA's are all that are needed.

4. Perhaps most importantly, add pages with no affiliate links on them. For the next month, I'm doing nothing but writing this kind of content. This tells Google that you're not just here to make money, keeping me safe from further updates. Long term, anyone?

5. Turn your site into something that users really benefit from. Amazon marketers get a very bad rap on this forum, and for good reason to. When I'm checking out the competition all I see is crap - sites that scream I'm simply here to make money. I'm here to make money too, but I want to do it in a way whereby both readers and myself benefit. Turn it into a win-win situation. I spent a good few weeks completely redesigning my sites (I never felt my content was the issue, though), to improve user experience.

How do you know when your site is useful? I use 3 metrics - bounce rate, average duration and conversion rate. I'm inclined to believe that conversion rate is the most important. This is because if my content is rubbish readers won't be pulling their credit cards out to purchase $500+ products within a 24 hour time frame (Amazon cookie length).

6. Don't accept failure. In other words, work your ass off until you find something that works. This means test, test, test.
I'm not the kind of guy who would ever fit in working a 9-5. In fact, I've never had a real job and I fully intend to keep it that way. Waking up early, always having to work everyday, income being capped until I get promoted etc. Ugh, I literally can not think of anything worse - perhaps because everyone in my family is or was self-employed for most of their life. That's why we got into IM, right? Well, remember this when times are hard.
Don't be sold on WSOs' hype - I doubt anyone is stupid enough to tell others how they earn $10,000 a month for just a few thousand dollars in return. I bought 2 WSOs in my life and both were pretty much useless.

Everything I've listed above is common sense - no secrets here, because they don't exist - which is why I have no problem telling others.
#amazon #google #hit #read #site
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    Yep, I yell it for the last 1.5 month already, lower amount of affiliate links per page and add a good amount of content without affiliate links at all, for me the 30% range works.

    I saw one surprising thing in my niche btw, a site that also no-indexed his category pages although he still left them there for the users to navigate. Same like you are saying, so I think I go noindex them right away, just to see what happens. Why? Cause that competitor is ranking very very well with a thin 6 page site.

    Uhh wait a second, my category pages are well optimized and have extra content and are ranking for a ton of stuff, not very wise to no-index them lol
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    • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
      Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

      I saw one surprising thing in my niche btw, a site that also no-indexed his category pages although he still left them there for the users to navigate. Same like you are saying, so I think I go noindex them right away, just to see what happens. Why? Cause that competitor is ranking very very well with a thin 6 page site.

      Uhh wait a second, my category pages are well optimized and have extra content and are ranking for a ton of stuff, not very wise to no-index them lol
      The thing is that my category pages, just like the majority of others', simply display excerpts. Even if this wasn't considered duplicate content, they are still pretty much useless for readers. Anyway, definitely a short term measure.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Originally Posted by dreamtoreality View Post

    2. Use a text browser to see what Google sees. This goes a long way in helping you to optimize your site.
    You can get a web developer plugin for firefox (free) that will simulate a Google Cache (text version).

    Download the browser plugin.
    • Disable all javascript
    • Disable all images
    • Disable all styles
    Signature
    Hi
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    • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      You can get a web developer plugin for firefox (free) that will simulate a Google Cache (text version).

      Download the browser plugin.
      • Disable all javascript
      • Disable all images
      • Disable all styles
      Good shout, Yukon. I've been using Lynx Viewer all this time.
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      • Profile picture of the author CatherineMay
        I've just stumbled upon this thread.

        I thought category pages were an integral part of the silo structure that's supposed to be so effective. So, if they don't have excerpts on them, what exactly should a category page have? Just links to related posts? And some other relevant content?
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        • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
          Originally Posted by CatherineMay View Post

          I've just stumbled upon this thread.

          I thought category pages were an integral part of the silo structure that's supposed to be so effective. So, if they don't have excerpts on them, what exactly should a category page have? Just links to related posts? And some other relevant content?
          As I said, it's just a short term measure. In a week or two I'm going to add plenty of useful content to these pages.

          For example, if the category is Sony TVs, I may list the strengths and weaknesses of Sony as a company and their TVs in general, and also write a short snippet beside all their products on my site.

          To be honest, I haven't thought about it much so it's just an idea. With 100 or so category pages, this may take awhile though!

          If all goes to plan then I will receive a good portion of my traffic and links going to my category pages, which will help me rank posts on the site and further boost conversions.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by CatherineMay View Post

          I've just stumbled upon this thread.

          I thought category pages were an integral part of the silo structure that's supposed to be so effective. So, if they don't have excerpts on them, what exactly should a category page have? Just links to related posts? And some other relevant content?
          Category pages are important & there's no reason to noindex them. Some folks jump the gun when their pages move in the SERPs.

          You can build a category page with unique content or simply all links/titles pointing back to internal pages. IMO, If you go with all links on the category page, add a description of what the category is about in case traffic lands on the category page first, plus you get the advantage of the description text for SEO (keywords).
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  • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
    Hmm I'm thinking of manually creating my category pages. Instead of the ones that do it for you kind of thing. It really does create a lot of duplicate issues and I would love to fix that. Damn. I got a lot of work to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    Are you finding this to be a really slow month with Amazon?

    I've only had 20 sales so far this month and it's half way through the month already. Last month I had about 97 sales the entire month. However, the number of clicks this month seem very similar to last month.
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    • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
      Originally Posted by cooler1 View Post

      Are you finding this to be a really slow month with Amazon?

      I've only had 20 sales so far this month and it's half way through the month already. Last month I had about 97 sales the entire month. However, the number of clicks this month seem very similar to last month.
      I'm actually finding this to be my best month. I've had 172 sales on Amazon USA so far. Although I redesigned my sites to improve CTR and conversions.

      You may want to create a new tracking id and then use a search and replace plugin to change all the tracking ids on your site in a matter of minutes. For one reason or another tracking ids become broken and you aren't credited with sales. This has been my experience anyway. For example, my best converting was doing really badly a few weeks ago, so I changed tracking ids and all of a sudden (the very next day) things were back to normal. It could be a coincidence but I'm doubtful.
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