Google Affiliate Wipe-out (again)
Google is on the warpath again, with an Adwords update last night that has the intent on wiping out more affiliate marketers. Google did this last year and outraged many affiliate marketers and some packed there bags and left the building.
How does the change effect affiliate marketers?
If Google deems your landing page to be of poor quality, or not relevant to the keyword or key phrase, it simply increases the minimum bid to a level that is so ridiculous that only the insane will be willing to pay. It then marks your adverts as "inactive" until you increase it to the minimum bid. That minimum is sometimes over £5 per click. Most will not or cannot pay that, and therefore Google has achieved its goal of wiping you out.
Adwords changes such as this do affect merchants and other non-affiliate marketers. But they do seem to effect affiliate marketers more then any other and it is very likely that Google would like to see the back of many affiliate marketers.
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, Google sees itself as the worlds biggest affiliate marketing operation and does not want others on its turf. And secondly, it thinks that many affiliate marketers provide very limited unique content at best and have the single goal of funnelling users from their landing pages to merchant sites with no value added to the user experience.
Both of these reasons are true to an extent.
Avoiding the Google wipe-out
So how do you avoid being wiped out by Google? Well, the first lesson is to put yourself in the shoes of Google. Google wants its Adwords program to be a success because that is how it makes most of its money. It wants its users to find quality, unique websites that enhance their experience. If its users are happy with the websites they find through the sponsored links, they will continue to use them and advertisers will continue to pay. And that is good news for Google's profits.
So, the good old days of creating landing pages full of affiliate links and not much else are over. Instead, you need to make a compelling, quality website that is content rich and very relevant.
Master of the Adwords universe, Kieron Donoghue from UK Offer, has written an excellent post on building landing pages that are Google friendly. I suggest you check it out.
If you don't do anything else, remember these words: Unique, quality, compelling. And always apply those words to your content.