How to Rank an Affiliate Site

17 replies
  • SEO
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So after spending years trying to get blogs earning income, I've switched my focus on selling things. So I'm mainly focusing on e-commerce and affiliate now. The problem that I've run into is that I have no idea how to rank these sites.

A lot of my old ranks were achieved through guest posting, trying to create awesome content, and being involved in the communities. It's a bit different now, since those strategies don't seem to work for affiliate sites.

Does anyone have any input on how to proceed? I'd appreciate any suggestions.
#affiliate #rank #site
  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    Great content will always work. You do have to be careful with guest blogging—don't rely on it.

    Basically, if you want to rank an affiliate site on Google, the key is to —almost—not be an affiliate site. 50% of the content on your site should not have any affiliate links on it at all, and you should corral your monetized content under a single category, ie, "Reviews." This makes for a better user experience = Google will rank you higher.

    It also forces you to come up with categories that are more than subtle advertisements. Most importantly, this setup puts you on the track to becoming an authority site within your niche = people will be happy to link to you.

    This may seem very limiting, but it works really well with Amazon since people don't mind clicking through to that site. ClickBank? I don't know. Don't really use them.

    Naturally, some sites will still rank that are little more than thin monetized content. Some sites slip through the cracks. Don't mind them. They will probably get slapped eventually.

    The rest of your site should be full of valuable content that's focused broadly on your niche.

    Tips:


    Regarding guest posting, ask yourself: Would I still do it if the link was no-follow? If not, you probably shouldn't do it. Guest posts need to provide value beyond your own SEO.

    Sounds like you know better, but just in case: article spinning is well and truly dead. Google can detect it, and they won't rank it.

    Private link networks can still work, but I would stay away from them nonetheless. They won't remain invisible to Google forever. Content marketing works just as well or better and is much safer. Of course, this is dependent on content quality.

    Also, stay away from exact match anchor text and don't chase site-wide links. Site-wide links don't give much of an SEO bump, and they may be targeted in the near future by Google.

    The Hummingbird rebuild focuses more on broad terms and longtails than it does specific terms. That's why you want a robust site that covers your niche from every angle. Think in terms of how people are phrasing searches these days:

    • "Vacuum cleaners that don't have bags."
    • "Vegan pizza chains in New York."
    • "Power tools with rechargeable batteries."
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    On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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    • Profile picture of the author AuthorityRush
      Originally Posted by Ghoster View Post

      Private link networks can still work, but I would stay away from them nonetheless. They won't remain invisible to Google forever. Content marketing works just as well or better and is much safer. Of course, this is dependent on content quality.

      Also, stay away from exact match anchor text and don't chase site-wide links. Site-wide links don't give much of an SEO bump, and they may be targeted in the near future by Google.
      I don't mean to out you or anything, but you are WAY off base here and misleading people. I have a feeling you are not doing much SEO.

      First off, if you think networks don't rank, then you are either ranking super easy KWs, or just spouting stuff you heard on some other site from someone else that doesn't do SEO. PBNs WORK VERY WELL!!!!

      As far as safe...that totally depends on the set up. Any SEO worth their salt can create a PBN that will NEVER be found by G. I've had PBNs for 3 years. Never had, nor will I have a problem.

      I also have a lot of students that use them to rank a lot of KWs. So I am saying this from experience, viewing the same techniques that others are using now, and talking to some of the biggest SEOs on the net. So seriously...please do not pass mis-information.

      "Also, stay away from exact match anchor text and don't chase site-wide links."

      I don't even know where to begin with this statement...or what you are even trying to say?

      Are you talking about in the content? Links? And to be clear, you should still have exact somewhere.

      On page, have 1% exact or less. Links...choose the best (most relevant URL (Content on site is relevant to yours) with the highest DA/PA) and make that link exact KW. Then less than 10% of your links variations/long tails. Then 90 random blah, blah, blah links (click here, this content rocks...).

      Anyway, just wanted to comment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charli
    My boss constantly reminds me that Google is a content beast. So, we feed the beast with relevant and entertaining content. Everything passes through copyscape. Nothing is spun. You have to ask yourself - how much am I going to invest to make money?

    Set a budget. Set a plan. Get it right.

    Charli
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Mayers
    Hey Brock,

    It can be difficult to rank an affiliate site. However, I would prefer writing a blog post or just having a page that pre-sells your affiliate offer for you.

    Once you have this page set up, just buy paid traffic to send to your page so that they can read and see what your product has to offer. Many fail at affiliate marketing because they expect cold traffic to automatically convert when sent to an affiliate page.

    Hope this helps!

    -Josh
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    • Profile picture of the author itshappening
      Brock,

      It depends on the nature of your affiliate...

      I'll give you two.

      Technology - You might need a lot of effort to do! Because, if you want to be a successful in Technology you need to create each of those cool gadgets a page of full information and news.

      Gambling - Might be easy to create but hard to advertise. Target the brand name of your affiliates in your websites. WHY? Because a punters already know where to BET.
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    • Profile picture of the author BizOnTheWeb
      Originally Posted by Josh Mayers View Post

      Hey Brock,

      It can be difficult to rank an affiliate site. However, I would prefer writing a blog post or just having a page that pre-sells your affiliate offer for you.

      Once you have this page set up, just buy paid traffic to send to your page so that they can read and see what your product has to offer. Many fail at affiliate marketing because they expect cold traffic to automatically convert when sent to an affiliate page.

      Hope this helps!

      -Josh
      Honestly not trying to take this off-topic, but.... where do you buy your paid traffic? I am looking for a new source that is effective and have yet to find one. Any recommendations you can make would be appreciated. Thank you in advance, Josh!
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  • Profile picture of the author greatar4
    Ranking the type of site called "affiliate site" this particular user is talking about is no different from a regular site. It's pretty much the same search engine optimization methods which is good on-page and off-page optimization.
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  • Profile picture of the author Generalbrock
    Thanks for the great answers everyone. I'm going to try some of these ideas and see how it goes. I never really thought of posting articles and what not to go along with a lot of the affiliate items.

    I do wonder how sites like Thisiswhyimbroke.com rank, when they have absolutely no content.
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  • Profile picture of the author 101geeks
    Write down what you want from your affiliate site/s, targets, views, and money you want to spend.
    Pick a niche where you can write good quality content/get someone to write good quality content.

    Build a mail list from the start and make sure you've got useful content, a big mistake a lot of people make is making an affiliate site with no real value.

    Go for long tail keywords and remember that google spam detection is getting better every day and it's going to keep improving. If you can see it's spam then so can a crawler.

    Find a keyword and stick to it.

    Use social media and social signals. (good for reputation and getting traffic without search engines)

    Don't rush, if you rush then you'll most likely get caught out, there's really no such thing as a quick buck so make sure you take your time and try to do everything properly and if you can't do it properly then just take your time at least.

    I find people are spending so much time trying to make links unique when it would most likely be easier to just get real, unique links because the content you have is good. So just think about your niche and what you're selling and ask what the person you're selling to needs to know.

    And sites like that can rank by getting a high PR link from a number of sites and you can still rank a site on page 1 Google with spam but it will most likely get black listed/de ranked after 2 maybe 3 months max.
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  • Profile picture of the author seopnc
    Keep adding valuable content on your site.keep track of your site traffic,and take a note of popular pages,so you can add some more content based on your reader's view.
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  • Profile picture of the author dgui123451
    Those strategies can still actually work but you must change your niche, also you can try to get some back-links.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Affiliate sites are not harder to rank, they just require a different approach in setup these days.

      Like the other poster said already, don't monetize every single page, try to make it look more like a real site.

      What I do these days is only monetize my homepage + category pages while not monetizing the actual product reviews, that way you kind of trick Google a bit, obvious the product reviews links back to the category or homepage.

      The category / homepage are set up in such way they give the visitor the idea that they end up at the review page while in fact they end up on Amazon, using anchor text links like: Click here for price / user reviews.

      Yes I like to game Google, shoot me
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      • Profile picture of the author spain
        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        Affiliate sites are not harder to rank, they just require a different approach in setup these days.

        Like the other poster said already, don't monetize every single page, try to make it look more like a real site.

        What I do these days is only monetize my homepage + category pages while not monetizing the actual product reviews, that way you kind of trick Google a bit, obvious the product reviews links back to the category or homepage.

        The category / homepage are set up in such way they give the visitor the idea that they end up at the review page while in fact they end up on Amazon, using anchor text links like: Click here for price / user reviews.

        Yes I like to game Google, shoot me
        Good point.
        Would be great to see an example on how you manage this.
        Maybe with a PM.
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  • Profile picture of the author patco
    It depends on the niche and the KEYWORDS you want to get a bettar ranking for! You should choose them REALLY careful, then start posting GOOD and UNIQUE content, build backlinks on Good websites (*Use Social Bookmarking sites for every article for example is a good idea to boost your rankings!)
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  • Profile picture of the author Kikrly
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    • Profile picture of the author zissop
      Google hates affiliates sites despite they say they don't. So it's very difficult to rank well except if you are a big player in the area, for example shopstyle.

      The only way to rank well without spending more money on content creation is by fooling Google algorithms. It is not easy but not impossible. Of course you will play the game of cat and mouse but that's life.

      Google is a terrific search engine, miles ahead from its competitors but many people believe false things about it. Like it can detect content spinning easily. No it can't,at least not so easily as some people believe.
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  • Profile picture of the author skriker
    Do an analysis competition, lots of keyword research, good quality content, backlinks, blog commenting, the list goes on!
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Power
    These are the steps I take to rank any affiliate site.

    1. Publish at least 10 posts before building a single link.
    2. Make sure the the homepage and the supporting posts are properly optimized (I.e. keyword in title, alt, etc.)
    3. Group the posts under relevant categories and noindex the categories and tag pages to prevent duplicate content.
    4. Keep the number of affiliate links on the site at a minimum.
    5. Build relevant and high authority links slowly.

    Above all, be consistent. The steps above is by no means exhaustive but it's a good starting point.
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