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  1. #41
    Alain's Avatar
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    What it is worth remembering is that google hates and detests what it calls "aggregator" sites. That is what we call affiliate sites. It also calls them "bridging sites," that get between the user and the operator and lessen the user's experience. We are all in the same business. However good your copy, if you have an affiliate site then google doesn't like you much. That is why this update, supposedly affecting 3%-5% of searches has affected 100% of searches for the business we are in. Affiliates in glass houses should not throw stones.
    You may be right about Google not advocating (in general) affiliate sites but the whole affiliate world is made of shades of grey, not just black and white. If my site gives good reviews and summarizes, lets say, top 10 casinos or bonuses and gives the user all pros and cons - is that spammy, is that not giving the user a good experience. He has now more knowledge of where to play rather than just open an account in 10 different casinos. Talking about user experience, the casinos themselves are no more than a big banner calling in players. Do they supply an honest review of their own operation. Why is a casino review site different than a books review site. Why should it be different than a site which reviews restaurants (and also makes table reservations for them). Its true that the gambling world enjoys a dubious rep but who made Google the online chief of vise.
    Unfortunately, online marketing in our niche is somehow restricted to fewer channels than the what other niches enjoy and we are well dependent on big G. I hope that will change one day.

    Good luck to all, sit tight and maybe this wind will blow over with less damages than we expect.

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  3. #42
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    Well, In my case 20 of my sites were hit but this was on non-gambling niche and I know that was going to happen because I had them on blog networks. On my gambling niche only one was hit and I had a 301 on the site. For the rest of my sites I have better rankings. I'm seeing some patterns with this update but is too early to come to conclusion. Although I was benefit with the update I think that there will be more updates and I know a few sites that didn't deserve to be hit.

  4. #43
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    Well, the money posts r still on their place, while some of the entertaining keywords are gone, and I have written tips in the same manner for 3 years, was writing them this way when I was in top 3 and am writing them this way when I am on page 3. Many of the top results r irrelevant but what can you do.

    One of our new sites, ranked 1st within 2 days on its domain keyword, without any links or content or even proper description... *Clap* Google we definitely deserve a spot that high, cause we decided to put a 3.5 years old domain live with a cool template.
    Gambipedia.com - casino & slot reviews accompanied by casino betting guides

  5. #44
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    Whilst running a rankings check I noticed something interesting - my AWR results are significantly different to those I see manually. This is most likely because they're using different data centers but the differences are huge - #2 vs #100+.

    I'm hoping this is a refresh to the update that's going to propagate over the next few days (pretty please!).

  6. #45
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    found a great example of thin spammy site getting a top result in google last night...one of my own lol, i built a 5 page microsite with a keyword rich (spammy) domain name around 6 months ago to link out from the homepage with the keyword in question to one of main sites, as a bit of an seo experiment, well the thin microsite is now ranking no2 in google uk for the keyword..crazy

  7. #46
    lots0 is offline Former Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldidiot View Post
    Whilst running a rankings check I noticed something interesting - my AWR results are significantly different to those I see manually. This is most likely because they're using different data centers but the differences are huge - #2 vs #100+.

    I'm hoping this is a refresh to the update that's going to propagate over the next few days (pretty please!).
    Still seeing the SERPs jumping around and seeing vastly different data sets on different servers.
    I don't think this is done yet...
    Last edited by lots0; 28 April 2012 at 8:24 am.

  8. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alain View Post
    You may be right about Google not advocating (in general) affiliate sites but the whole affiliate world is made of shades of grey, not just black and white. If my site gives good reviews and summarizes, lets say, top 10 casinos or bonuses and gives the user all pros and cons - is that spammy, is that not giving the user a good experience. He has now more knowledge of where to play rather than just open an account in 10 different casinos. Talking about user experience, the casinos themselves are no more than a big banner calling in players. Do they supply an honest review of their own operation.
    The big problem with these sort of review site is that by and large they don't offer honest reviews either. The top 10 ranking casinos are often in the top 10 not because they offer the player the best experience but because they offered the affiliate a higher rev share/up front fee. I'm not sure there's any way around this at the moment. Sites that do this honestly based on player experience rather than affiliate revenue are indistinguishable from sites that don't, so they get lumped in with a bad crowd and have to depend on other techniques to raise their rankings.

    As social media has more an more of an affect this is going to be less of a problem - site that are giving honest recommendations are always going to get more positive social signals due to customer satisfaction than sites recommending lower quality higher paying operations - but i do wonder whether this will make it more difficult for new affiliates to break through.
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  10. #48
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    The top 10 ranking casinos are often in the top 10 not because they offer the player the best experience but because they offered the affiliate a higher rev share/up front fee.
    Only partially correct. Almost all operators offer the same range of fees. Its a matter of which convert better and which manage to keep the players happy and depositing. Therefore, in an indirect way we do review and offer the best ones.

  11. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alain View Post
    Only partially correct. Almost all operators offer the same range of fees. Its a matter of which convert better and which manage to keep the players happy and depositing. Therefore, in an indirect way we do review and offer the best ones.
    Couldn't disagree with you more on that - all you're doing when you review a program based on conversion and revenue is reviewing the initial experience, not the product actually on offer. There are plenty of casinos out there that will treat a player right and keep them depositing as long as they're losing, but if they hit a big win suddenly problems start. These sort of outfits would do very well in that style of review. Other outfits that offer quality service may not convert as well or offer as many bonuses, but they'll treat their customers' fairly regardless. A very good case in point would be Bet 365 - it may not be the best converting program simply due to the wide exposure they already have. They still offer one of the best products on the market and are unquestionably one of the safest places to play online and yet are left out time and time again from top 10 lists.

    And the 'almost all operators offer the same range of fees' is only partially true as well, in that the range of rev shares and up front payments is quite large between programs. Yeh they all fall in that range, but where in that range makes a huge difference to an affiliate's bottom line and far too often to where a casino has been placed. I've been offered up front fees to place casinos higher, i also know of affiliates that insist on an upfront fee for a top 10 position. Whose benefit is that for? Mine or my readers?

    I'm not saying your wrong, simply that i have a different opinion. I guess time will tell whether social media has the impact i suggested previously
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  12. #50
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    anyone searched for 'online casino' today, not an affiliate site to be seen, so in this case google have got it right in their eyes, wanting to cut down on the amount of 'bridging sites'

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  14. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsblitz View Post
    anyone searched for 'online casino' today, not an affiliate site to be seen, so in this case google have got it right in their eyes, wanting to cut down on the amount of 'bridging sites'
    I'm seeing at least one aff site in the top 10.

  15. #52
    lots0 is offline Former Public Member
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    the SERPs are still jumping around.

    I' ve seen some really strange things in the last couple of days popping in and out of the SERP.
    Last edited by lots0; 29 April 2012 at 9:08 am.

  16. #53
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    If google had started out with this algorithm they would have been just another failed start-up company.

  17. #54
    lots0 is offline Former Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justbookies View Post
    If google had started out with this algorithm they would have been just another failed start-up company.
    Your probably right about that...

    I am hoping that we will see the final settled google results by Monday morning (plex time).
    In the past google has used Sunday night to roll out big changes, across all the data servers.

  18. #55
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    Guys are you cloaking your affiliate links?

    Well this is what I do. And in my robots.txt the cloaked links are disallowed to be visited and cached from Google. I even had to remove pages from Google, because they actually wanted to look in places where I stated I don't want them to.

    This may be a reason I haven't been affected by the recent update.
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  19. #56
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    Many perfectly whitehat sites are getting hit in Google's latest algo changes which are among the most aggressive ever introduced.

    One of the unfortunate side-effects of these changes is the boost it has given to the dark underbelly of SEO - 'Negative SEO' - wherein SEOs target competitor sites and try to get their rankings down (or even sites deindexed) rather than promoting their own (clients) sites.

    Whether Google is deliberately attempting to have the SEO community fight itself (Negative SEO vs Positive SEO) is proving a hot discussion topic in SEO circles.

  20. #57
    lots0 is offline Former Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bboyspyder View Post
    Guys are you cloaking your affiliate links?

    Well this is what I do. And in my robots.txt the cloaked links are disallowed to be visited and cached from Google. I even had to remove pages from Google, because they actually wanted to look in places where I stated I don't want them to.

    This may be a reason I haven't been affected by the recent update.
    Every serious affiliate I know, re-directs (cloaks) links, as I do.... Don't think that is the problem, as my traffic went up... a lot.

    note: in my experience, Robots.txt by it's self is not enough to stop googlebot from accessing some pages, I use some hataccess code in place of a robots.txt file to block googlebot from files and I also add the no_follow to the actual affiliate urls.

  21. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by lots0 View Post
    Your probably right about that...

    I am hoping that we will see the final settled google results by Monday morning (plex time).
    In the past google has used Sunday night to roll out big changes, across all the data servers.
    I noticed my site links for my retail site dissappeared last week but today they're back, so maybe the update is over.

    What is interesting is I had Adsense link ads in the header area but replaced them a few months back with links to the most popular products.
    In this update Google picked up one of those product links whereas before Google was taking the same product link from main nav menu.

  22. #59
    lots0 is offline Former Public Member
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    I don't know if this update is over yet.
    I think google had some unexpected things happen when they rolled out this update.

    up until a couple of hours ago, we were seeing some very strange SERP's.

    many same site listings, we saw several times where queries would return several SERP pages with filled with listings from only one domain.

  23. #60
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    I can still see some up and down I saw an increase of 50% to 70% in my google traffic on the first day and then it came down next day and now it is again on the top.It will take a week before it settles down i reckon.

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