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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Google Panda impact on affiliate marketing


For long enough if you had a web site and a basic knowledge of SEO you could probably make a decent living promoting products through affiliate marketing.  Since Google has become a major force on the web things have become a lot more complicated.  Now you have to be aware of how Google reacts to your whole website in order to survive.

If you understand the new order you can accommodate the changes into your marketing efforts and continue to profit from marketing on the web.  Google is only making changes like Panda in order to give its customers a better experience when using its search engines.  After all the reason Google is the most used search engine is down to the fact that it gives in most cases the most accurate results.  Google is wanting to provide the best user experience for its customers and it is intent on doing this even if this leads to many websites seeing a dramatic drop in traffic.  The fact is that some major websites did see major traffic drops after the introduction of the Panda algorithm.  This happened because Google changed its criteria from evaluating a site on a page by page basis  to looking at the overall site.  If a website was considered to have poor user experience Google downgraded  it;  which is why, in many instances, there was such a massive drop in traffic.  This of course had a huge financial impact for those sites which Panda hit hard.  

Understanding how Panda affects your internet marketing is crucial to maintaining your web presence. Firstly it is all based on what should be your aim anyway.  That  is to give your visitors a good experience when they visit you.  So if after using Google to search for a relevant website they click on a link which takes them to your site and they immediately press the back button to return to the search engine then Google will note this.   So how long someone now stays on your site is now a relevant factor for Google.  After all if someone browses a site for ten or fifteen minutes rather than five seconds they must have found something relevant in most cases.  

Article marketing until the advent of Panda was always been seen as a sure fire method of gaining ranking.   By placing links in articles back to your website you would in the past have improved your ranking through back linking.  Now Google is looking closer at articles that are nothing more than regurgitated tracts carrying little value or merit.  In the past it was possible to create twenty articles around a product you were promoting and by spreading it around various article marketing sites obtain ranking on various long tailed keywords you were targeting.

Whilst everything seems to come back to keywords eventually Google is now clever enough to distinguish between keyword optimised articles and topic based articles.  An article which is loaded with three or four long tailed keywords will now be penalised whereas in the past this would have been perfectly acceptable.  So now you have to be more topic based in promoting your website.  The ‘how to cure your whatever’  type of  website is going to have a tough time.  Now it is necessary to have more than information on a subject which isn’t solely based on stuffing keywords on whatever your affiliate program is trying to sell and giving the user more of what they want which is good helpful authoritative advice.

Working out how to live with Panda is something that many affiliate marketers are already doing.  As Google only updates its Panda settings for a website every four weeks or so tinkering at the edges on a day by day basis to see if you can fool Google will no longer work.  Again as Panda looks at the whole website when giving the website a score it is important to make changes that will improve your rating in that respect to increase your traffic and profits.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Some benefits of location based software

Location based apps such as foursquare, gowalla, loopt and forkly let you find interesting places near to your current whereabouts.  You can find restaurants, cafes and other places of interest simply by using this type of app.  The benefits to vendors at the various places you could visit, whilst in a particular location, are immediately apparent.  Primarily because, with this location based technology, you can quickly locate somewhere to eat, stay or buy that next important must have item.  Importantly that decision to visit is often  based on others users experiences either via reviews or by liking a particular venue.  The vendors get a sale by being found by the app and the customer is happy because the app finds appropriate places to visit within easy reach of their current location.

From a marketing point of view you could see this kind of  location based solution as a win win situation.  However from the vendor's viewpoint the advantages are only  significant if they have a good reputation which can be shared amongst potential users of their facilities.   Again, if the cafe, restaurant is not so hot perhaps such an app is not such good news. 

As well as these apps enabling users to see potential places to visit local to their current location  they can also let friends know that you are in the vicinity.  This enables these friends and like minded personalities to gather together in places of mutual interest.  There have also been some concerns that without sufficient security publicly broadcasting that you are not at home could lead to less desirable individuals taking advantage of this knowledge.  This could result in you finding that you have had an unexpected visitor ransacking your home whilst you enjoyed a pleasant meal with your friends you have invited to meet via a public broadcast.  Setting privacy settings is therefore a wise precaution.

Regularly visiting a particular shop, restaurant or bar could result in you being elected mayor by an establishment.  This could lead to you receiving additional discounts on purchases.  However, vendors are recommended to have additional offers as well as the major facility which is only available to one individual at a time.  Also not everyone is attracted to the idea of being the singled out as one who is so often at a venue that this is acknowledged in this way.

Being able to view local facilities in this way has many other advantages as it is possible to ascertain whether a particular place has been receiving favourable reviews.  Likewise you can also comment on your own experiences so as to guide others to places locally which are worthy of a visit.  This  kind of app links to other social media such as Facebook and Twitter thus increasing  the power of such location based applications.  By liking places and letting your friends know about where you are at any given moment you start to spread the word about places you visit and your likes and dislikes.  This makes such location based apps a powerful marketing tool as when offers are available which are relevant you can receive this information directly through the app, via other forms of  social media, or email.

So such technology enables organisations to gather even more information about their customers' preferences and enables them to quickly communicate special offers and promotions and even tailor them to individual customers tastes and preferences.  The user of the location based app also benefits by being able to easily find relevant places to visit within a given location and to let their friends know the best places to visit.