Rufus_dog - 2:32 pm on Sep 2, 2007 (gmt 0)
Well, my target keyword phrases surpassed the merchant's site in ranking several months ago and I did not see any of their affiliates in the first page of search results either. But now, the merchant's site is almost always a few positions ahead of me. It is just my speculation that Google has given the merchant's site higher position on those keywords because the customers end up buying from their site (even though they might have come to my site first). If my speculation is true, it doesn't matter how unusual my target keywords are, if the customers find my site but click the affiliate link and end up buying from the merchant's site, Google may track this and give the merchant's site higher ranking for those keywords after a few months.