Would you mind if I jumped in and asked a newbie question?
Firstly, some background: I have a site that gets good traffic (approx 2k uniques a day) and is targetted towards a niche that has several affiliate programs. Of those programs, 3 have product feeds and about 4-5 don't.
Now, my question is this- should I use those product feeds to create a pseudo-shopfront on my site, with 'Buy Now' links through to the relevant merchant's page? Or, should I simply use banners to advertise the merchants (with my affiliate ID attached obviously)?
The benefits of adding the products in the feed are that it generates more content and pages for my site. However, that may or may not improve the user experience and may or may not add value in the search engines' eyes. What are your thoughts?
[edited by: tedster at 3:49 am (utc) on June 17, 2009] [edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
To expand on eljefe3's advice, try making a few carefully crafted UNIQUE pages to feature select products that you like. Link to them generously from within your site, and see how they perform. Or consider creating a "featured product" panel that could circulate on existing pages.
Be aware that pages generated en masse by means of a merchant feed are a lot harder to get ranked in the search engines than they used to be. Don't be too quick to assume that feed-generated, non-unique pages would convey a lot of benefit to your site. They might, especially if your traffic doesn't depend on the search engines, but keep your expectations modest.
What I will probably do is carefully craft category pages with the intention of having them rank well in the search engines, as the content will be fairly evergreen. I'll then integrate specific product information/offers into each category page.