Does Google Hate Affiliate Sites?

This week’s post, tackles a question many online marketers are asking these days. With the string of Google algorithm changes and “slaps,” many wonder whether affiliate websites are in jeopardy.  Carey Baird, founder of FreshStore, shares some valuable insights on this question. You can watch the 15 minute video or just read the accompanying text version. Either way you’ll be glad you did . . .

(For your convenience, the edited text version below includes the times [shown in brackets] where key points can be found in the video)

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Does Google hate affiliates websites? This is the question I am looking at today, and the answer is “No.” I’m going to show you proof and explain why this is not the case.
You’ll Learn . . .

. . . why FreshStore (FSB) stores rank so well in Google.

. . . the secrets behind FSB members that are doing really well … getting good results, and why that is the case.

. . . why you can’t blame your tools when it comes to Google search engine rankings. (Whether you are using WordPress plugins, WordPress scripts, FreshStore or your own scripts or websites.)

Okay, so let’s get into this. What you can see on the screen, is one of my demos test stores (, a case study type store that we’ve been playing around with. We don’t put too much effort into it but we have done things the right way, which I’ll talk to you a little bit more about later. But let’s have a look at a few keywords to see what this website is ranking for.

Keywords Rankings

[Video mark 1:12]  So first up, let’s have a look at the main keyword “vtech dinos.” I’ve already done the search here, I’ll just do it again. I’m in incognito mode in Firefox which means it doesn’t have any bias towards my Google account. This is as if I was a fresh user going into searching without any prior history. So we are actually in position for that just behind Toys R Us, Amazon and the official V-TECH website.
That’s the main keyword “vtech.” This keyword is very important as well searching “switch and go dinos.” This has the highest traffic in this niche so I believe we are still on page one for this. Yes to the bottom of that, there are a lot of video that seem to rank on this page. I guess haven’t gone too overboard with this. You can see that the rankings are solid and it has been like this for few months as well. So they are very stable.
“Vtech mega t rex.” I want to show you this keyword because it’s a long tail keyword. And long tail is a keyword that maybe doesn’t get as many searches as other keywords. It tends to be longer in terms of the number of words that are the key phrase. But the people that are searching for these keywords because they are more likely to be buyers.
In this case, “vtech mega t rex” is very specific, it’s licensed to a product, and the persons searching for that know the products, they know what they are looking for, and they are much more likely to be in buying mode.
As we scroll down a little bit, we are in position 3 under Amazon and Amazon UK. (It showed me Amazon.UK because I am actually searching from the UK.) So I think if I were searching from America, if it was in the States it would show higher. But just to show you, the long tail keyword is very important.
And also it’s linking down to the product page. If I click onto this it’s going straight to the actual product page that we have sent out. We put in just a little bit of basic unique content for this.  Well apart from that, this is the information from Amazon and yeah those are some keyword examples.
By all means go onto Google, type in “vtech dinos” . . . see that for yourself, and explore some other keywords if you like.

Search Volumes For Our Keywords

[Video mark 3:24]  Okay so I’ll just show you some search volumes for these keywords. Now first thing, I just put in a lot of keywords I know relate to this website.

  • vetch dinos
  • vetch dino
  • switch and go dinos
  • vetch dino cars
  • vetch dinosaurs
  • vetch dino launcher

The first thing you can see that the number of searches triples over the Christmas period; which is massive. I’m very excited for the Christmas season for this website, and the other ones we got set up because Christmas really is a massive time for Amazon affiliates. And you can see about 5000 searches; almost 15000 in December.
As I was showing you before, that “switch and go dinos” keyword has a decent amount of searches, high competition and we are ranked on page one for it.
“Vtech dyno” again high competition, not so high in terms of traffic but it will get better around Christmas ranking about 1300. These are rough figures of course and then we’ll find out for sure how to actually rank for a keyword. And V-tech dyno so on and so forth.
The one that we looked at “vtech mega t rex.”  Now here is an important point: it’s saying only ten monthly searches, no difference around Christmas. When it gets low numbers like this, Google is not necessarily so accurate. But even if there are only 10 searches a month, this is a long tail keyword which is relatively easy to rank for.
And if you have say, 30 to 50 product ranking for long tail keywords. That’s 300 to 500 potential visitors a month. And if your conversion rate is 10%, then you are talking 30 to 50 sales. And at times, the conversion for a long tail keyword is quite a low estimate. You can probably expect more of that, maybe 100 sales per month for 30 to 50 products.
So you can see 100 sales, $5 commission each is $500 total commissions.
That’s just from the long tail keywords. Just to give you an idea because people look at these keywords and instantly think, ah there is no traffic, but it doesn’t matter, sometimes you need to think in detail about that. So I’m going off course a little bit . . . I wanted to show you that Amazon affiliate website stores, FreshStore websites, rank in Google and there is no issue with that.
Google Search Engine

Why Amazon Affiliate Websites Do Rank in Google

[Video mark 5:38]  I want to move on to the why behind this. Let’s have a look at the WHY. The very first reason is very simple, let’s strip it back to basics, what is Google’s purpose?
Google is a search engine, the purpose is, they want to show the best websites. When you search for “vtech dinos” they want to show you the best website in the world for V-tech Dinos for that search phrase. So the whole business is geared around this. This is why they have algorithms, they constantly chop and change things. They want to give you the best results . . . that is their goal as a company.
So what can Google do to improve on that? They can look at whether their visitors like the website or not.

Let’s use an example, say you search for “vtech dino” and you click onto my website from Google and you see this page. But there is something on this page you don’t like, maybe it’s on the left hand side, maybe it just doesn’t make sense to you or maybe it looks like spam, whatever it is. Maybe you take 10 seconds to look at it and you go, ah, don’t like it. You click back and you go back to Google.

Now Google knows that you’ve done that. They detect it, they know when you click the link to go through to the website, and they know when you click back. They know that you only spend 8.5 seconds on the website. So it’s a fair estimate that they can say that you didn’t like that website because you didn’t stay on it very long. And you clicked back to have a look at the search engine rankings.
And if you go ahead and then click something else like this natural official website, and if you then stay on that website, Google knows that you prefer that website over the other. What I’m just getting into quickly is Google knows your behavior, it knows whether you like a website or not; it can figure that out.
If the visitors to your website are not staying on your website very long, if they are showing signs of not liking your website, Google will then start pushing you down the rankings.
So this is the basic idea about building a quality website. It isn’t about being an affiliate website . . . it’s about giving a good quality website. It doesn’t matter if you are an affiliate or not. (In the members’ area and trainings, we’ll go into more detail on this. This is just a quick overview.)

The Importance of Good Content

[Video mark 8:08]  Let’s lead onto the next point that a lot of people talk about:  good content on your website. And generally people take that to mean, “text” based content, but it’s not always that. And this idea of good content crosses over with good usability and a good website in general.
If you’ve heard before that you need maybe 300 unique words on a page, that’s a good suggestion and a good guideline.
But if that content is jumbled, if it doesn’t make sense, if it’s not in the context of the website, if it doesn’t help the user, then it’s still no good.
So think about your ultimate goal: to give your visitor what they want. And that means a really good experience.
This content must help them. Don’t just write content for the sake of it, write it to actually help the user to tell them about the shop, to give link on where they might want to go, to introduce them to the store, and whatever it might be.
Another point: content is not just about the written word . . . it crosses over into how you’ve organized your website.

  • Is it in a logical way?
  • How do you have categories set up in a good way?
  • Have you got good articles explaining the different things?
  • How do you put attributes into the products so people understand more about the product?

Again we go to this more in the members’ area but this is just a brief overview about content. And content is not just the words okay.

The Size of Your Affiliate Store

[Video mark 9:38]  I’m moving on to the final point about the size of your website, or the size of your store in this case.
If you build a website store with 1000 products or 1000 articles on your blog, people generally think that, that is going to give them more chance in getting ranked in Google. It makes sense right, the more pages you have, and the more chance that you are going to be ranked for those pages. So let’s just build as many pages as we can.
However that is not the case, if you have 1000 pages on your website, it’s very unlikely that you are going to put unique content on all 1000 pages. And that means your unique content ratio is low for the site overall. Instead if you create 50 products and do a very good job of 30 to 50 products then you are much more likely to rank in Google for those products. And then you can start to add more products later on.

The Organization of Your Affiliate Store

[Video mark 10:31]  Also if you think of it from a business point of view, if you have a thousand products and they are badly organized. Or maybe if you use some kind of auto posting, auto populating and the products aren’t relevant to your website. Maybe it picked up all other kinds of V-tech products, not dinos but some kind of laptop which isn’t relevant to this website, then your visitors will get confused.
There are too many products in the categories, they don’t want to go through them all, or they see the wrong type of products. Either way they are going to click back to Google, they are going to give Google that signal that your website wasn’t good enough.

What’s the Big Secret Behind FreshStore?

[Video mark 11:05]  So why does FreshStore rank so well in the search engines? Why do so many FSB members make a success of this? Why does it do so well, what’s the big secret?
Really there is no massive secret to FreshStore other than it is built in the right way that allows you to build stores to these principles.
It is focused on your visitors. The way we’ve set it up means that you can

  • customize all the content on your store,
  • customize all your design,
  • choose exactly which products you want to put in your store,
  • choose the exact category you want … and content pages

Everything is customizable so you can make it the best store possible.
And whereas other solutions might be about getting as many auto-feed products into your blog or whatever as quickly as possible. FreshStore is about building a solid foundation for a store that is going to rank for years to come.

FreshStore Features

[Video mark 12:06]  What does that mean exactly in terms of features? These are things that allow you to:

  • change the concept of your products
  • pick and choose what products you want
  • organize categories
  • add product attributes
  • change the images
  • change the designs

And on top of that of course, are all the features like:

  • internal link building,
  • content spinning
  • Facebook store integration
  • Facebook auto-posting
  • country redirect

And loads of other features that help you monetize that.
But the basic foundation of FreshStore, the software itself just guides you through building the store in the right way. And that is followed through with the training, the guides, the videos that we give in the members area. So make sure you do follow through with those as well.

FreshStore and SEO Optimization

[Video mark mark 12:51]  In terms of on-page SEO optimization, everything is done automatically for you, so the meta titles things like that, meta description auto-generated from the products when they are added . . . auto-generated from the content you add.
Page names which you might know is in WordPress, it auto-generates it. But all these things are editable if you want to go and edit them. And it’s a good idea if you do so. If you just have a look at some of these products here, I could probably tidy up these product names. If you need to say “for sale,” things like that.
Just everywhere you look at the store, everything is customizable, all the content and that is very, very important. Also the source code, rich snippets, the right mark-up for these products, all that kind of stuff is all done for you.

Why You Can’t Blame Your Tools

[Video mark 13:40]  Okay let me close this video by saying, why you can’t blame your tools. You have to take some responsibility.
You should have figured this out from the video already, but whether you are using WordPress, FreshStore . . . whatever plugins or script, whatever you have used to build your website, ultimately it’s not that tool’s fault if you don’t rank in Google. It is how you use that tool. And if you haven’t followed the principles that I have spoken about today; about focusing on your visitor, about good content, etc., you can expect bad Google results.
And you can’t blame WordPress for that. You are the one that has to control that, you are the one that is using the tool. We have the saying “a bad workman blames his tools” and that is definitely the case here. So make sure you do things the right way.
The good news is, everything is in your members’ area (videos, training, guides). I’m doing regular videos like this and constant updates. Ask questions in the forum or the mastermind group. You’ve got all that you need to guide you in the right way so just follow that. Make use of it, take advantage of that.
We focus on YOU getting the results. All you need to do is follow what we teach you.  Okay, thanks for watching, talk to you soon.   ~ Carey Baird

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