The domain name is brand new and registered in May, and have never been registered before.
Let's say his niche is "headphones", the keywords he gave me to target are:
- best headphone
- best headphones
- headphone review
- headphone reviews
The site is decent optimized, not over optimized or keyword stuffed.
The site contains no duplicate content of any kind so all good and well.
He received 3 months link building from me and none of his target keywords show up in the top 500.
Another customer of mine has already launched 20 Amazon sites in the past 1.5 years and only used me to rank them and obvious with success or he wouldn't keep hiring me for them.
He is having the same problem right now, not ranking anywhere in the top 500 after 2 months of link building for his latest 2 Amazon sites. His other 18 sites are still ranking fine, so are my own Amazon sites.
A Skype friend of mine is also having the exact same problem, not ranking for his "best / review" keywords with his most recent Amazon sites. He doesn't outsource the link building to me but uses his own private network.
All the sites are build in the same way really, 20-40 pages of content with a few categories and noindexing of date / author archives and using static category pages instead of the typical WP read more snippets.
Anchor text distribution is a mix of URL / domain name / exact / longtail / generic and exact in combination with URL, same like we do for quite some time already.
Affiliate links are reduced to a minimum, that first client of mine has max 1 affiliate link per page but on most pages, the other client of mine has affiliate links on half of his pages and several per page. The Skype friend monetized also about half of his pages. None of them are cloaking their links.
To be more certain I also checked the rankings of the main keywords with other prefix/suffixes like:
- buy headphone
- headphone discount
- headphone comparison
- cheap headphone
These aren't ranking in the top 500 either so it looks like Google is ignoring certain types of keyphrases that are popular with IM'ers, specifically Amazon affiliate sites.
I have other customers with brand new sites that are not into affiliate marketing and I can still rank them fine, and all the existing Amazon sites maintain their rankings as well so it's not like our blog networks are affected.
Not long ago I read the sales thread of another popular link seller on this forum and he received a lot of negative feedback in the past weeks/months. He is much more popular with the affiliate crowd then me so naturally he has many more Amazon sites to rank then me and it seems he deals with the same issue. The Skype chat friend used to be a customer of him and told me he wasn't able to rank his sites anymore so did someone else that I speak with on regular base so all this together seems to make it more of a global problem that haven't been discussed that much on IM forums so far.
I do remember Terry from Traffic Planet starting a thread about this a few months ago but with few details, as well as people on BlackHatWorld complaining about sites not ranking in the 1st month. This was a bit of a hot topic a few months ago and I think that 1 month delay was pure guess work as several months have already passed and the sites are still not ranking.
I also checked other keywords from the same non ranking sites, for example the keyphrases with a brand name in it like:
- Sony headphone
- Samsung headphone
We haven't targeted those keywords in the link building btw, and those are ranking in the top 50 which makes it even more likely that Google is filtering certain popular keywords used by the IM crowd.
What's your take on this? Did you build an Amazon affiliate site with a brand new domain after May/June this year and is it ranking well? Would you care to show me the site by PM and tell me what type of link building you used?