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Google Warns It May Take Action Over Affiliate Sites With Thin or Scraped Content

     

engine

4:12 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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That looks like the clearest indication there's a new clampdown on the way.

Our quality guidelines warn against running a site with thin or scraped content without adding substantial added value to the user. Recently, we’ve seen this behavior on many video sites, particularly in the adult industry, but also elsewhere. These sites display content provided by an affiliate program—the same content that is available across hundreds or even thousands of other sites.

If your site syndicates content that’s available elsewhere, a good question to ask is: “Does this site provide significant added benefits that would make a user want to visit this site in search results instead of the original source of the content?” If the answer is “No,” the site may frustrate searchers and violate our quality guidelines. As with any violation of our quality guidelines, we may take action, including removal from our index, in order to maintain the quality of our users’ search results.Google Warns It May Take Action Over Affiliate Sites With Thin or Scraped Content [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]

RedBar

4:28 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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particularly in the adult industry


Come on, do people really use a search engine to find p-o-r-n, really?

There's so much out there it's almost impossible not to find it.

Rasputin

4:30 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm quite surprised they need or bother to announce this - I thought thin content had already been penalised by the Panda update.

So the real question is, if Panda didn't catch sites with 'thin content that appears on thousands of other sites', how successful was it at achieving its goals.

edit: redbar, I almost never accidentally come across #*$!

netmeg

4:50 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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And I for one don't even wanna KNOW what "value added p*rn" might be.

It does sound like it's mostly targeted to the adult industry, but it's nothing new really - Google's been saying this about affiliate sites of any type for years now.

jcoronella

6:35 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hello, 2003.

FranticFish

8:31 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Many here have long been complaining that Google seems to have a penchant for certain amounts of 'repeated' content, dressed up with a thin amount of 'unique' content - and by that I mean that the extra content passes a word for word check for uniqueness, rather than being unique in any 'value add' sense.

This seems to be what Google is on about...

running a site with thin or scraped content without adding substantial added value

Could this mean new techniques to identify contexts/themes that are too similar?

netmeg

9:32 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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(It must be 2003 if jcoronella is posting again)

I suspect that by specifically calling out the adult industry that there's going to be some kind of crackdown (no pun intended) there. Most of the seasoned affiliates I know already know about thin affiliate sites and Google, but maybe there's been a recent influx of people who hadn't got the message.

Personally, I'd rather they concentrated on hacked sites (recently discovered a simple two word phrase that shows pages and pages and pages of them) but they don't ask my opinion.

austtr

10:05 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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As asked earlier, Panda and Penguin didn't work?

I wonder if this proposed action will be applied to Google Hotels, Google Shopping, other Google affiliate sites both current and planned, their authority affiliate partners such as Expedia, TripAdvisor, Wotif, Trivago, Amazon shops etc etc

To be honest I thought Panda and Penguin had already put the cleaners through non-authority affiliate sites. I know in my travel and tourism niche there was not one single independent affiliate left standing after the first Penguin... and not one has ever reappeared with a ranking likely to generate revenue.

Further punitive action almost seems like an obsessive need to show just how much the big G really, really, really hates affiliates.... unless they are authority sites.

superclown2

10:38 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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All of the 'authority' sites in my vertical are really just thin affiliates with single page boilerplate junk. The companies they send the business to used to be top of the SERPs for the relevant terms - and deservedly so - but now they are nowhere whilst the big boys take their business and sell it back to them. I wonder when Google will tackle this abuse?
I'm not holding my breath .......

---- in order to maintain the quality of our users’ search results

Pardon? Maintain what?

incrediBILL

12:19 am on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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When it comes to affiliate sites, other than curating the content, doing ratings, comparisons, and maybe UGC (comments), there's not a lot more anyone can do and if they all do it to add value then who gets chopped when the hammer drops?

If it's video, one current trick is to get use a transcription service to generate a transcript for SEO purposes and get some substantial text to augment a measly embedded video. However, there's not much value is a page full of "oooh, ahhh, oooh, yeah baby".

sbook

10:22 am on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)



There is a huge volume of search for long tail keywords like 'amateur teen' 'amateur teen at home'. And these pages can show different content with embed or unique videos. So some of them has good value with results you want, some of them no value. Adult on-page SEO is the same like mainstream.

anallawalla

11:01 am on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if any affiliate who has thin content is going to lose sleep over this, as this has been the threat since early 2004 and affected my sites that year.

I am more concerned about ecommerce sites who have large product catalogues as their main content. Most have no appetite for spending money to make those pages unique or to get reviews on every page. Most have not heard about affiliate marketing, but their pages are just as thin.

netmeg

1:38 pm on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It can go both ways too. I'm dealing now with a company who has a lot of worldwide distribution but doesn't actually sell the products themselves. They've ignored SEO for ten years and now suddenly feel they should have more of a presence for their brand, but they're outranked by some of their resellers because at the end of the day, it's the same info, and the resellers can actually provide the product. Add value or die.

incrediBILL

7:10 pm on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Most have no appetite for spending money to make those pages unique


Maybe they'll take a cue from the scrapers and start using 'spun' content.

Spinning content might buy them a little time.

heisje

10:16 pm on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Our quality guidelines warn against

Yeah, right -- truth is:
Our bottom line warns against

All else is poppycock, we know by now . . . .

.

LifeinAsia

11:18 pm on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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However, there's not much value is a page full of "oooh, ahhh, oooh, yeah baby".

If they added some play by play commentary, that might help. It would also make adult videos more accessible to the visually challenged.

MikeMike

5:56 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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How will google handle multiple dropshippers of the same range of products? The value for the visitor has not necessarily anything to do with additional content added to the websites. That's a very narrow way to judge a site. At least when it comes to ecommerce. The main value to me as a visitor would be prices, level of customer service, shipping cost, and order processing time.

EditorialGuy

2:18 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The value for the visitor has not necessarily anything to do with additional content added to the websites. That's a very narrow way to judge a site. At least when it comes to ecommerce. The main value to me as a visitor would be prices, level of customer service, shipping cost, and order processing time.


Google Search isn't Yelp or Angie's List. IMHO, the algorithm has enough trouble ranking pages appropriately based on content, never mind trying to figure out who's got the best combination of product selection, prices, shipping fees, return policies, customer service, etc.