mkassets - 10:04 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)
Amazon is getting aggressive at their SEO. Just recently, they introduced API calls limits for affiliates to 2500 per hour and up to 25K per hour based on your performance. However, the way it is structured, you have to be a large earning affiliate to hit that level. 99% of the affiliates will never see that level.
I am an Amazon affiliate and using the API. There are a lot complaints among the affiliates about the new limitations, but the truth is that with the proper implementation (caching, in accordance with the T&C of course) + relevant traffic, there is a zero chance of hitting the new limit. If you make 2500 API calls and haven't made the sales volume they request, you should either have a very inefficient API implementation or very irrelevant traffic.
I don't think this new limit has anything to do with SEO
The effect of this is there are many affiliate sites out there using the API to generate entire websites that would in turn out rank Amazon itself.
Do you really believe that it is possible to generate an entire website with the API full of duplicate content from Amazon and outrank Amazon? I have yet to see a website that is doing this.
I am using the API to list Amazon products and reviews on the content pages wherever appropriate. I do outrank Amazon normally (well, looks like not in the holiday season) but I do NOT outrank them because of anything I receive from them - so why would they obejct providing the API to me? I could easily replace them with any other merchant. But I am using them cause they convert so well. It's a win-win.