How Google destroy affiliate market! What you can do.

I've recently come to the realization

that Google officially
hates affiliate marketing.

And that it's just a matter of time

before it becomes impossible
for affiliate marketing

to be a viable business model
for folks like you and me.

Google has been bringing
the algorithmic heat

when it comes to penalizing
affiliate website.

And it's not just me that thinks that,

according to this recent poll I took,

63% of affiliates have
been negatively affected

by Google algorithm updates
in the last 12 months.

And just check out the chatter
in the Facebook groups.

This guy said that one of
his sites got murdered.

This guy said his keyword positions

just straight up disappeared.

And this poor guide
lost 90% of his traffic.

What does this type of
carnage actually look like?

It looks like this complete obliteration

of nearly all your traffic.

These traffic graphs fell off a cliff

into the bells of hell.

When it comes to why this is happening,

there's a lot to unpack.

In this video, I'm gonna
explain the reasons

for these massacres and
what I'm doing instead.

But before I do that would you please

massacre the like button.

A lot of time in research
goes into making these videos,

and if you appreciate that,
it helps my channel out

if you destroy the like button, thanks.

Now there's a few reasons
why affiliate marketing

on Google has entered hard mode.

First we have Google's
product reviews updates

that are specifically
targeting affiliate websites.

On April 8th, 2001,
Google released the first

of their product reviews update.

In the release notes, they list
off a slew of bullet points

at 10X of complexity of writing
affiliate product reviews,

such as being an expert
in the field of review.

Do owners of fitness sites
need to be personal trainers?

And showing what products
look like physically.

Do you need to buy each
product that you review?

The second product reviews update released

on December 1st, 2021,
where they doubled down

and explicitly said, you
should supply evidence

of your experience with the product.

And to me, evidence
implies physical evidence.

And then a third product review update

came out on March 23rd, 2022,
when those specifics mentioned

but you can be sure things
didn't get easier for affiliates.

Aside from affiliate focused
updates affiliates still have

Google's general core algorithm
updates to worry about.

It was the May core algorithm update that

"murdered this guy's site."

Core updates can target
any number of SEO factors,

content, quality, backlinks,
mobile experience, et cetera.

But I have indeed seen them
go straight after affiliates

in core updates.

Like in December, 2020,
when they smash sites

like GearHungry and Best of Machinery,

and these core updates are
getting more and more frequent.

Two to four times per year is the norm.

Another reason affiliate
marketing has gone

into hard mode is that many
of the lucrative search terms

are already covered by mega
sites with tons of back links.

And this is happening in all niches.

For the keyword best wireless router,

we have PCMag with a DR
of 91, Tom's Guide DR 81,

CNET Dr 92 have fun with that.

The fitness niche key
word best protein powder

has DR 92 Healthline
locked in at number one,

ever heard of them?

And how about finance best crypto exchange

with a DR 90 NerdWallet
dunking on everyone.

So there we have it, SEO is dead.

Affiliate marketing is
dead, but is that true?

Well, yes.

(upbeat music)

The old way of doing affiliate marketing

on Google is definitely dead.

I started affiliate marketing
in 2009 and the thing is

people have been saying SEO
is dead or affiliate marketing

is dead the whole time.

The fact is that affiliate
marketing on Google

is still very possible.

It just requires a different strategy

than what used to work before.

And don't worry, I'll get
into strategy very soon.

Now here's the thing.

If you know what you're doing,

affiliate marketing on Google

actually becomes easier over time.

Now, before you get
your panties in a bunch

let me explain every day your competition

is getting frustrated and quitting.

How many people do you think just watched

the first part of this video and nearly

through their laptops out the window.

On the contrary, this is
a rank tracker snapshot

of the six main affiliate
sites in my portfolio

after the last update.

These sites experience
between a 16 and 377% increase

in share of voice.

Successful affiliate
marketing is indeed possible.

So let's get into what I
think are the five essential

Google affiliate marketing strategies

that are working today.

The first is topical authority.

Topical authorities, when
you don't just dabble

in a topic on your website,

you completely cover every single article

that can possibly be
written about a topic.

It's a major ranking factor.

When the Google algorithm can see

that you didn't just write
two to three articles on VPNs

but instead you wrote on
every VPN topic possible.

They have no choice but to consider

you a subject matter expert.

And the thing is the big websites

like the Washington Post, for example

will only write articles on
keywords, like best VPN service.

They won't get into router,
technology or troubleshooting.

To achieve topical authority
starts with mapping out

every single topic that
needs to be written.

This is called building a topical map,

and here's how to create one.

Go to the website answer the,

and type in your main
topic keyword would here.

You're gonna get a report
of essential questions

that pertain to your niche,

such as how VPN protects you ,

and can VPN change your location?

Next we're gonna use
Google itself to tell you

what it wants to see answered.

Google your keyword and click around

in the people also ask section.

These questions are great
for both standalone articles,

or subsections within existing articles.

I'll show you how to decide which later.

Use the free tool SEO Minion
to automatically download

hundreds of these questions
to an Excel file in one go.

Then go to the Google search bar

and use the auto complete feature

to get even more content ideas.

Type a seed keyword like VPN

and then put your cursor at the end

and see what Google gives you.

Then go down to the bottom
of the search results

and note down these related searches.

Spend time clicking
through to other keywords

to go down a rabbit hole of new topics.

And lastly, the big one
is to reverse engineer

competition to figure out all
the subtopics they covered

in order to get them to the top of Google.

A clever way to do that is
to open up their site map,

and then doing a fine
for your main keyword.

The problem at this point
is that you just generated

a bazillion keywords and
you need to figure out

which ones belong together
in the same article

or perhaps separate articles.

That's where a tool like Keyword Cupid

shows it's worth.

It organizes and maps all these keywords

in the proper articles.

I left a coupon code for Keyword
Cupid in the description.

If you want some help with
generating a topical map

my company Leads Spring
has it done for you service


Now that you got your
topical map sorted out

it's time to start producing content.

Which leads us into the second strategy

that needs to be followed,

and that's creating well written
quality standalone articles

on each of your topics.

Not only do you need to cover everything

but you need to cover everything well.

The writing strategy I'm about to share

is getting great results for me

but also my students at the Affiliate Lab.

Katrina here said she's become unaffected

by Google core updates by
writing content with my process.

And she has two clients at double traffic

and Keywords in the last update.

It's a simple three step formula.

Step one is a research phase.

Step two is determining
the target word count.

And step three is to write the content

in the research phase.

You're filling in the blanks
on what you need to address

in order to fully answer a search query.

This starts with determining
the search intent.

This part is crucial
because if you get it wrong

you will not get results on Google.

There's basically four
different types of searches.

Informational search queries represent

when people are just
looking for information

such as how to guides on
how to do this or that

like how to grill a steak.

Then we have navigational type queries

like Twitter logging,
or Matt Diggity contact.

Then transactional,
like buy ping pong table

or car insurance quotes.

And lastly, comparative such
as Affiliate Lab review,

or best electronic screwdriver.

Let's do a search for
best electric screwdriver,

a comparative keyword.

For this particular search,

if you were to open up
any of these articles

you'd see a listicle.

Here's the number one screwdriver,

the number two screwdriver and so forth.

So in order to match the search intent

your article format needs
to be the same a listicle.

Also part of the research phase

is determining your content outline.

Google expect to see a certain
structure in your content.

There should be one H one
for each of your articles.

This is the main topic
or title of the article.

Underneath the H1, the
content is broken up

into H2 subsections and underneath the H2s

we have the H3 subsection and so forth.

Using the example, informational keyword

how to grill a stake.

It's clear that this
should be part of an H1

but what H2 subsections
are you gonna write?

And how do you figure that out?

Google, how to grill a stake

and open up the top ranking pages.

Using the free detailed
plugin you can see right here

what their heading structure looks like.

Ignore this H4 junk,

that is actually an SEO full part,

and get down to the H1 where
that a real outline starts.

You should have a section
on reviews of your recipe

and obviously sections on ingredients

and directions as well.

And this one is super
interesting, my private notes.

The Google helpful content update

specifically ask content
creators to not regurgitate

what's already on the
web, specifically they say

does your content clearly
demonstrate firsthand experience

and a depth of knowledge, for
example, expertise that comes

from having actually used
the product or service

or visiting a place.

A private note section
checks off this requirement.

Now, while you're at it,

you can also use the detail plugin

to check the word count of the articles

in the top positions.

This particular article
is roughly 1,300 words.

So Google thinks this is about
the right length of content

to answer the query.

Many people think that the
more you write the better.

But wouldn't you hit back on your browser

if you ran into a 10,000 word steak recipe

- Wow.

- Other people incorrectly think
that there's a magic length

of content that Google
just love like 3000 words.

But Google's helpful
content update guidelines

specifically say this isn't a thing.

The last step in writing
quality standalone articles

is to actually sit down and start writing.

For this I recommend a tool
like Surfer's Content Editor.

Just like you've looked at the competition

for your research inspiration,

Surfer is gonna do the same thing

and determine what key entities, words,

and phrases need to be in your content,

and at what frequencies.

Google's algorithm is smart
enough to know that an article

on grilling steak should have words

like temperature, season, and cook.

Now, if you want a deeper dive

into producing content
for today's algorithm

check out my video, how to write content

that ranks number one on Google.

The third strategy that
affiliates need to follow

is to get your ratios of commercial

to informational content correct.

In the December, 2020 update,

Google snuck in a massive
attack on affiliate sites.

This was a final nail in the coffin

for many affiliate sites,
including beasts like GearHungry.

Now this got me curious
as to what the algorithm

found wrong with affiliate sites.

Did these sites have
too many affiliate links

above the fold, a high
proportion of affiliate links

compared to non monetized
resourceful links

that are supposed to help the reader.

Or maybe there were too
many ads above the fold,

a random correlation study
analyzing thousands of websites,

and none of the above
factors seemed to correlate

with the higher drop in traffic.

But this fourth item did, if
you have a high proportion

of monetized commercial content

in comparison to your helpful
informational content,

this is what the graph looks like.

Of the thousands of sites
analyzed the higher, the imbalance

the more traffic these sites stood to lose

after this update.

Now, what is the threshold?

How much commercial content is
safe to have on your website?

Well, it's niche specific.

But if you check out my video titled,

all affiliate websites need to do this,

you'll get that magic number.

Once I made this adjustment,
this is what the sites

in my portfolio have looked like.

You can see, I got hit here

in December that made the adjustment

and it's been all uphill since then.

And it's not just me that's
turned things around.

For example, Martin here saw
the same type of recovery.

When someone makes their affiliate
ratios more conservative,

in my experience, they
always make a turnaround

during the product reviews updates.

If I'm being dead honest here,
this might be the main thing

that these product
reviews updates even do.

I mean, how can they truly know

if you're qualified to review a product,

or if you've really bought
a product like a VPN.

This is what I mean by being in the know.

Genius alert, look how smart you are.

And that succeeding today on Google

is really just a strategy show.

Next we have backlink authority.

Google has shown its colors
that they still value links

more than ever in their algorithm.

In fact, Marie Haynes
reported that Gary Illyes

said that the whole E-A-T thing
is largely based on links.

When it comes to links, they
provide two different types

of signals to the
algorithm, power and trust.

Power falls back to
Google's bread and butter

page rank algorithm.

If you get links from
websites and webpages

that have a lot of links

that provides you more ranking power

than if you got a link from
a website with few links.

For power links I recommend
getting link insertions,

that is links placed in existing articles

that already have links going to them.

To source these links, I
have two recommendations,

run outreach campaigns
yourself with link insertions

as the ultimate goal,

or you can outsource
the work by getting them

from Authority Builders,
which is great at the service.

Alternatively, you can get
guest posts from websites

with high amounts of
backlinks going to them.

The internal linking of those websites

will feed that power to
each individual post.

And again, Manual Outreach

or Authority Builders
would be my suggestion.

Trust is what Gary and Marie
were referring to earlier.

If you get a link from
the Washington Post,

that's gonna say a lot about
the trust of your website.

The Washington Post doesn't
just hand out links.

So the name of the game
here is to get links

from trusted websites,
also known as seed sites.

You wanna get links from these seed sites

or the very least a few
backlink hops away from them.

The most common option
here is to get links

via help a reporter out or HARO. 

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