mslina2002 - 3:04 am on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
This is their official definition of a thin affiliate from the 2012 Guidelines:
"A thin affiliate is a website that earns money from affiliate commissions. It exists primarily to make money. The spammer shows content from other “real” merchant sites, such as Amazon or eBay, or a good hotel or travel website. When users click on links to buy products or make reservations, they are redirected to the “real” merchant page.
The thin affiliate offers little additional information and does not offer substantial value to users. This is a moneymaking spam technique."
Being an affiliate myself I have seen many affiliate sites take a hit in traffic. Many of which started out as the traditional datafeed type site or coupon site with no original content. They did really well for a while back in the day and now ever since Panda, things have been on the decline. But then it is interesting to see other affiliates with the same type of business model do well. You take a closer look and lotta time the difference is due to their content (either an original idea or useful way of displaying content), social media and their interaction with the visitors.
tedster, some good points and insight about the affiliate businesses, ecommerce sites, and drop ship businesses. The internet space has gotten pretty overcrowded so one better bring something of value to the table otherwise it's best to close shop. Being a mom and pop shop on the internet is much harder now unless you target local. If not, you will be pushed out by the bigger businesses, bigger budgets and most likely Google itself.