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Google getting rid of affiliates?

     
7:16 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I just thought you might be interested in a post my biz partner made in another forum. We have been calling google for the past week trying to figure out what is going on and asking them what is wrong with the quality of our site. Here is the post from my biz partner:


<snip>

So if the algorithm determines that you are an affiliate, then all your keywords get whacked. I'm sure a lot of you suspected this, but now someone from Google finally admitted it to us.

[edited by: engine at 12:02 pm (utc) on July 19, 2006]
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[1][edit reason] See TOS [webmasterworld.com] 9 & 10 [/edit]
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12:32 am on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ive already seen affiliate sites that dont fit common affiliate profiles. No aff links, product links directly to a shopping cart.
Then G can adjust to that. Then there will a affiliate response to that. on and on
1:01 am on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Reminds me of the AI that was trained to identify tanks in photos

I'm pretty disillusioned with the state of AI. Dunno if Google uses it or not. It's been the "next big thing" for - what - the last 30 years?

I worked for a company that has one of the biggest consumer presences for AI. If you own a home, they probably produced your credit score. (The company that does this bought the company that I worked for - before that, they were primarily in consumer credit fraud detection.)

The project I worked on was an automatic form-filling application for the web. It was supposed to help consumers by making it easier for them to fill-out website forms.

Seems simple enough - figure out which fields require name, address, zipcode, etc. Never mind that the REAL solution is for the industry to work-out a standard for tagging form fields.

Never did work well enough to be anything but damned annoying. It took users longer to double-check the entries - after enough screw-ups to make users extremally skeptical - than to just type everything in in the first place.

Exact same technology - the same AI engine - that's used to detect credit card fraud and rate mortage applicants. Scary.

I guess this is why I get a phone call from my credit-union's "security department" (actually, the same company I worked for) EVERY time I make an Internet purchase. (Which is why I use my other credit card for Internet purchases - apparently, they don't subscribe to this particular service.)

1:11 am on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ive already seen affiliate sites that dont fit common affiliate profiles. No aff links, product links directly to a shopping cart.
Then G can adjust to that. Then there will a affiliate response to that. on and on

Except they aren't targeting affiliate sites per se. I don't think you got what I wrote. They are targeting sites that fit a profile they developed based on sites they deem desirable and not desireable.

Some affiliate sites fit that profile. Some MFA sites do. Some of a lot of sites do.

And, you probably don't understand that google can include variables in their profile/algo that can't be controlled by others -- off page factors. And particularly advertiser behavior and patterns within adwords.

1:26 am on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I don't think you got what I wrote. They are targeting sites that fit a profile they developed based on sites they deem desirable and not desireable."

Well, thats why I wrote what I did.

All I meant is if G decides to 'profile' affiliate sites, then affiliates can alter their profile.
Algos get gamed all the time.

1:38 am on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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All I meant is if G decides to 'profile' affiliate sites, then affiliates can alter their profile.
Algos get gamed all the time.

Kinda. First, one keyword is IF.

As for gaming, the percentage of people actually successful in gaming google algos AND succeeding for any length of time nowadays is SO miniscule. Which is why there's this almost constant uproar about search results, smartpricing, etc almost every single day on this site.

Why? Because you can't game very well any more.

6:56 pm on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Some industry the market is changing, that some affiliate site must be out from the market due to the cost of CPC and competitive market like hotel reservations website. I have found that four years ago, almost website is affiliate site not master site but now everything change, most of them is master site.
4:54 pm on July 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In order to create an algo like this, you have to start with a human manual review of a sample of sites. You classify (using subjective human judgment) which sites are desirable and which sites aren't. Then you identify the characteristics of the sites you don't want by isolating variables that distinguish between the two groups. It's a form of discriminant analysis, statistically speaking. Those distinguishing characteristics may or may not have any logical connection to what's good or not -- they just have to separate the two.

Then you use those variables for your algo.

that is what trustrank is about. if it works that way, i hope they would implement it in their content network control to get rid of all MFAs. and i won't care about poor publishers shouting in the forum next door. they must go and that is it.

anyway, try to make a search for any european city hotels. there is one company recently bought by priceline that rules the ads. they have their name with all national .tlds so they have up to 4-5 spots on page one. click the ad and see they are all affiliates.

5:02 pm on July 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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anyway, try to make a search for any european city hotels. there is one company recently bought by priceline that rules the ads. they have their name with all national .tlds so they have up to 4-5 spots on page one. click the ad and see they are all affiliates.

This was first reported here on WebmasterWorld several months ago. And yet it persists.

This example is the poster-child for the failure to implement even the most basic measures to enforce their PUBLISHED rules. In the mean time, Google has alienated a large part of their customer base with changes to their unpublished rules.

How can this go on for months without being caught by either automated or manual checks?

I know it's been reported - I reported it myself, as I know have several others here.

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