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Resurrecting old domain

     
2:06 pm on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

For various personal reasons, around 12 months ago I needed to take down a website of mine. It was an Ecommerce site.

I now want to resurrect it again as an affiliate site and my questions are:

1. will it have received (in your opinions) any form of penalty?

2. How is G likely to react to it now being an affiliate site rather than Ecommerce? The content will be very similar.

Cheers
3:41 am on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Revive it and see.

G has a very conflicted past on how they even do ordinary business.

Unless your old site was penalized, there should be no problem.

If it was, it will take time, effort, and more TIME for that to be addressed as the se's never forget. Though some have successfully reclaimed a penalized domain name, those successes are not the often, or that complete.

Good luck!

NOTE: your site is content. Affiliate is advertising ... not quite the same thing.
9:52 am on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Tangor,

There was no penalty when I dropped the site and never did any blackhat on it so as you say, thereís only 1 way to find out
1:07 pm on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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1. will it have received (in your opinions) any form of penalty?

No.

2. How is G likely to react to it now being an affiliate site rather than Ecommerce?

What do you mean by "react"? Google will take your site for what it is, not what it was. In other words don't expect your site to rank the same way it used to. Beside algorithm changes, Google will consider it an affiliate site (meaning low quality).
7:07 pm on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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youíve answered what I mean by ďreactĒ. Itíll take it for what it is, i.e. wonít always remember it as an Ecommerce site and not trust it.

Out of interest why or what makes you say that it treats affiliate sites as low quality?

Mine will be more of a comparison site if anything with affiliate links (obviously)
10:20 pm on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Affiliate sites are generally short on content and large on copy and paste driven by an obvious plan to send users to "sales". Not usually the best experience/content for users (in g's eyes ... and many others as well!).

That said, if done right, there's nothing wrong with affiliate sites that actually have real value ... again, must be stated this is a perceived interpretation in the eye of the beholder. These days, g's eye is the one that most matters to site owners trying to grow organic traffic ... or repeat visitors!
7:03 am on Aug 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Mine will be more of a comparison site if anything with affiliate links (obviously)
I have seen comparison/ review sites do extremely well in Google, and I do mean extremely well, but they've got to be good sites.... and I do mean, extremely good. ;)

Google will consider it an affiliate site (meaning low quality).
Again, not necessarily. Google will consider it low quality if it is low quality. Unfortunately, most affiliate sites are low quality, either because they skimp on content, or they trade off user experience for intrusive efforts to monetize. Sometimes, content is good but UX is bad for other reasons. It's potentially a very long discussion, as there are usually more ways to do something wrong than there are to do them right.

Several affiliate review and comparison sites, though, are among my favorite sites on the web. They often outrank manufacturers' sites for information about the "widgets" they sell. That said, the reviews in these sites are among the best on the web, with active forum participation in addition to the reviews. I just checked one of the sites I'm fond of, and I saw no affiliate links or ads interrupting the flow of content. Product comparison setup is extraordinarily good.

Worth noting that when Google launched Panda, their hypothetical Q&A examples suggested that comparing different brands might produce a ranking advantage... and at least initally I saw results that made me feel that this was true.

If your approach to building a site is to see how little effort you can get away with, I'd say that the affiliate approach might be at a disadvantage. If your approach is to make the best site possible, I could argue that comparison sites might do better than sites selling one brand only.

The terms you might be able to get with existing affiliate programs, and whether they are a good way to go, are a whole other discussion... but in terms of Google, in my experience, I don't believe that there's an inherent ranking bias.

9:35 am on Aug 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the responses guys.

Iím going from selling and installing the equipment to giving my opinions on which equipment is best for each individual area of use, have 7 years worth of experience and dealt with almost every worthwhile brand.

Iíll be detailing the content with experienced reviews, specifications etc and am able to cover every angle on what a buyer will need to consider.

Above all, itíll only be an affiliate site (no Adsense or paid posts etc) with 1 affiliate link below each product Iím talking about.

Iím intending to have a short paragraph on each page saying something along the lines of ďAll xxxx are chosen by xxxx, an experienced xxxx retailer and installer of xxxx equipment since 2012Ē or words to that effect.

Is this a good idea in your opinion?
11:30 am on Aug 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sounds fine to me. Anything that gives the visitor confidence in the site is always a plus.
3:12 am on Aug 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Any affiliate site needs to stand out somehow. If it has the same titles and descriptions and content as 10,000 other affiliate sites it probably won't do well.

Also, it's all about traffic. If it gets none it won't be profitable, work on content the same as you would for any website. You'll probably get better results if you offer helpful content and mention the product than if you offer pages of products only, at least in terms of free search traffic.

Try it and see, good luck on the traffic front.
7:42 am on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Iím intending to have a short paragraph on each page saying something along the lines of ďAll xxxx are chosen by xxxx, an experienced xxxx retailer and installer of xxxx equipment since 2012Ē or words to that effect.

Is this a good idea in your opinion?

Better if it's not quite so mechanical, and not in the passive voice. If you do it on every page, you can either bury it, or you can feature it. It very much depends on the nature of the business.

If appropriate, it's better, I think, if you can personalize it and make it interesting... maybe 40-50 words at the top of your right sidebar, with a small picture, and then maybe FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn links, if you tend to be that social. Anything you can say to differentiate yourself from the pack is helpful.

Think E-A-T, not for Google reviewers, but for your audience. Several of the "widget" review and comparison sites I mentioned above are run by a experience professionals who write in the first person and talk about their personal reactions to, say, the ergomics or responsiveness of a piece of equipment, in addition to all the tech specs, which they lay out first in a list or table... They then get into how those specs work in real life use.

Another option might be a bio in the "About" page, linked from an authorship link... and make it interesting if you can, and not too long. Again, a small thumbnail photo next to your name or the site name might help.... Very much depends on how well you can personalize this, which is one way of maintaning the uniqueness of your content.

I'm not suggesting Uncle Jack's Widget Shack... but a personalized presence can be helpful. This definitely doesn't work for every product, and may or may not fit your personality.

8:03 am on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All sounds good to me, thanks!
3:25 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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rb77... regarding the idea of "personalization", I saw an online instructional video today that was different enough from the advice above that I thought it worth noting.

I found by search an excellent basic instructional video on YouTube, let's say on widget-making, and the on-camera instructor was an accomplished widget-maker, as was obvious from the widgets that were displayed. He introduced himself by name in the video, but I didn't recognize or remember it. The video was an intro, it turned out, to a series of videos that was course on widget-making.

When I looked at the credits for the video on YouTube, though, it was interesting to see that the widget-maker in this particular video was not named... What was featured was in fact a company name... WidgetPro, and it was WidgetPro's channel.

So, it may well come down to what brand are you building... the company name, or the reviewer name. If you are the only reviewer, you might want to include your name in the sidebar too. If there are several reviewers, or you're building towards that, you might want to feature the company name.

It's interesting to see online how various SEOs, eg, choose to do it, either a company name or themselves as the brand... or sometimes both together... and what kinds of presences they build online because of that.

Some movies, eg, are sold by the star's name, or the director's name, or by the name of a franchise (eg, think Marvel).

11:47 am on Aug 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just 1 more thing for clarity, guys.

Iím going to put up a holding page for this domain and attach search console.

Will it show a penalty if it has 1 or not?
 

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