These days, I think just about everyone agrees that Google is the top contender in the search engine world. There is something else that almost everyone who is involved in affiliate marketing on almost any level can agree with as well: Google is not a fan of affiliate marketing. Spammy, unwelcome and useless is how many people think Google treats affiliate marketers.
In spite of this current pervasive attitude, Google has not always been this way when it comes to affiliate marketing. In fact, when the search engine giant was still very young, it counted these same affiliate marketers among its earliest advertisers. Adwords, the world’s largest advertising portal online, was built on the affiliate premise of matching keywords with commercial offers and making search marketing an attractive option for merchants.
Google’s Goals Today
Today, Google has exhibited a steady path of investing in affiliates itself. Viglink, a program designed to generate traffic that is targeted to merchant’s websites, is one such affiliate.
Whaleshark Media, the leading marketplace for deals and coupons, according to their own proclamation, can count Google as an investor. BeatThatQuote.com, a financial comparison site based in the United Kingdom, was bought out by Google. A leaked document from early 2013 called the Google Remote Rater, pinpointed a few classifications that were deemed to be a legitimate use for affiliate marketing: coupons, editorial reviews featuring original and in-depth material and price comparisons.
The Draw of Marketing on the Internet
There is one huge advantage that many people see when it comes to affiliate marketing: the people who are interested in their products and services will seek them out. Rather than having to chase down leads, running to and fro to blanket an area with the relevant information about how a particular product or service can help the user, that information is conveniently right at their fingertips, based on what the user has been searching for. For example; website developers would be interested in Website Review sites, where reviews have been written by real human beings.
Google’s View on Affiliate Links
The way Google looks on affiliate links can be summed up in one way: junk. The search engine giant deems the vast majority of affiliate link as having no value whatsoever. They are viewed as spammy links that have no valuable content to offer consumers, merchants or anyone else on the Internet. In a recent interview with Google’s Matt Cutts, he was able to shed some light onto what Google thought about affiliate links, check it out here:
Google is Wrong
There. It has been said. Google is wrong about their stance on affiliate marketing. While their assertions that much of the affiliate marketing content these days is filler put on the web by people hoping to scam others out of their money, this is not the rule for every affiliate marketer. In fact, most affiliate marketers are simply trying to leverage the open vastness of the Internet to bring people what they want and need. This infographic offers an eye-opening look at how Google treats affiliates:
Benefits of Affiliate Marketers
Using affiliate marketing utilizes great benefits for the business. It’s a highly cost effective way to get the word out about themselves. Not only will local people be able to learn about a business, but prospects from around the globe will as well. In addition, those people who follow such affiliate links are already so-called warm links in that they seek you out, not the other way around.
Disadvantages of Using Affiliate Marketing
Unfortunately, affiliate marketing has gotten a bad name in recent years. An influx of virtually useless websites that offer almost no useful information flooded the Internet. Spammy marketers saw using affiliates as a quick way to get rich by suckering visitors into clicking on various links, leading them on a wild goose chase that ended only in frustration.
So the Take Away on Affiliates Is….
To be sure, affiliate marketing has a place on the Internet. For a truly consumer driven environment, you cannot beat affiliate marketing. It delivers exactly what the visitor is looking for based on their unique search terms. This saves hours upon hours of frustration and time. This article by Rod Tolentino does a great summing up of the Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing – check it out here.
How to Deliver What Visitors Want
It’s possible to play by Google’s rules and still offer consumers concise options via affiliate marketing. This blog post outlines a solid strategy that utilizes the powerful tools Google has in place to populate a website, or blog, with the content needed to draw the visitors who want to purchase your products or services.
Google wants to be Giant
With Google’s AdWords, a highly successful affiliate program, it makes sense that the search engine giant would want to stamp out competition. Much like Microsoft and the software industry, Google stands poised to take over almost every aspect of the online world. At the rate they are moving, they are funnelling internet techniques into a means of making money at the expense of those not on board with their chosen platform. You can beat Google at their own game by using their tools, such as Google Analytic, to generate keyword phrases, for example.
There is a reason why Google has been cracking down on affiliate marketing, and it’s not because they are looking out for the Internet users either. They feel that affiliate marketers threaten their bottom line, particularly if those visitors are not clicking through AdSense to reach those other websites. Since websites reached via AdSense are paying in order to use it, Google is making money from each click as well.