Published: July 15, 2012
Edited: December 25, 2013
Few other industries have been so hard hit by the algorithmic changes, as the affiliate industry.
A vast number of affiliate marketing-based web businesses went bankrupt. The affiliate programs themselves have registered tremendous losses.
The reason for this is that a myriad of affiliate marketing sites have been conducting intense SEO-ing, have been farming content or producing shallow content for so many years and very few of these sites actually had their own services.
Affiliate sites acted as mere platforms for feeding the sales channels of the merchants. Much of Google's results were filled with poorly-designed, shallow content-containg affiliate sites that had almost nothing unique about them.
The glory days of affiliate marketing, as we've known it for so many years, are over!
Google has downgraded even a large number of quality sites that had made the mistake to list a high amount of affiliate ads on their pages.
Both the affiliates and the merchants, as well as large affiliate networks have been tremendously affected by the new algorithms and updates.
Traditional SEO is not working anymore, but this was the main thing affiliates have relied on for so many years.
The outlook for small affiliates is quite gloomy. But this can change if these entrepreneurs change their business model and effectively adapt to new trends.
If sites publishing affiliate ads, search forms want to suceed in 2012, they'll have to come up with brand new techniques.
Affiliate sites are feeding the affiliate indsutry with revenue. Larger sites may bring more income to the networks and their member merchants, but the myriad of small affiliate sites are also contributing substantially.
Small and large affiliate ad-publishing sites alike, will be forced by the new conditions on the market to change their entire business model.
The new trends and algorithms are encouraging brand building. Affiliates will have to create their own brand and build awareness, loyalty even. The promotion of other parties' brands will have to become a secondary activity.
Perhaps we will see more co-branded sites and affiliate sites turning away from the typical affiliate patterns that we got used to in the past.
Brand building, creating communities, retaining clients and more preoccupation with social media activities will be indispensable in succeeding with affiliate marketing campaigns.
Perhaps affiliate marketing will be included under the cupola of home-grown brands. Small businesses too can build quality brands and then they will have to develop their own services in order not to depend on the income from the affiliate networks and merchants.