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Affiliates Should Be Worried About Google

Affiliates Should Be Worried About Google

Dave Naylor Podcast.


a4uexpo London

Affiliates4u Training

Apple Ping


Commission Junction

Transcription of our Podcast with Dave Naylor.

Chris: We are joined today by SEO guru Dave Naylor, a resident speaker at many SEO conferences and the industry a4uexpo. We’ll be talking in more detail about Dave’s sessions at the a4uexpo plus more information regarding our Affiliates4u training day, which is scheduled for Monday 11th September. So Dave, the last time we spoke I think it was at the a4uexpo in Munich, what have you been up to since then?

Dave: Ooh – Vacation really! Do you remember someone asked a question at the very end of mine and Bob Rains’ session ‘what are you going to do in the next 6 weeks’ and we both said ‘vacation’ so I’ve been to Paris, long weekends with Becky and the kids, took on a couple of new clients as well who are settling in nicely now, but yeah just taking it easy really.

Chris: I’ve been reading a few industry SEO blogs the recently and there seems to be some growing concern as ever around our good friend Google, who seems to be acquiring everything at the moment – do you think we should be worried?

Dave: I think you’ve always got to be worried when a dominant player starts buying out platforms and services, I mean is twitter and facebook worried that Apple today launched Apple Ping with 160 million users, I mean how can 160 million users look to failing as a startup? That’s the problem, you’re always going to get a situation, when you’ve got someone the size of Google who comes into a marketplace and says “you know what, we’re going to start doing a Commission Junction style website” and that’s a problem straight away right there. Can you imagine the ramifications of that? If you’re Orange you can come to us and we’ll do all the banner advertising and stuff like that, run a bit of adsense and the same affiliate system that you’ve always known and we’re going to brace affiliates. How many people like TradeDoubler and CJ would wobble a little bit?

So yeah, it is destructive and I don’t think many things that they buy actually ever sees the light of day – they shelve a lot of stuff, and a lot of the stuff they do launch basically fails!

We’re using Skype, how long has that been out for? I do believe Google’s got a product that will match it but most of my conference calls are doing via Skype and most of my messaging is done by MSN Messenger. So, they’ve not dominated anything they keep buying stuff and mashing it into their product and hoping it will work, but it scares me a little bit.

Chris: Yeah, I think it scares many Affiliates at times now! I think with the other blogs that we’ve been reading there seems to be quite a few bloggers awaiting some massive changes from Google which they seem to think is going to happen over the next year. Do you agree that there’s something big on the horizon compared to the usual May Day time updates?

Dave: There has to be doesn’t there – at the moment the way that I see it is that... I wanna go back to my old programming days. You write a piece of code that is really solid that does three or four different functions and someone comes along and says ‘I want this function or that function added’ and you don’t re-write all the code, you bolt it on, and another and another. The small code base just doesn’t work anymore because there’s too much getting bolted on there, and I kind of feel that’s what’s happening with blended search and live search and all these other things they keep adding onto their 10 blue links on a page.

To me, Google still looks like that and they’re going to have to bring out something that is creative, people are moving away from the organic search results. People are looking at twitter, looking at facebook, looking at different things. Google won’t like that. I was reading somewhere recently that people are starting to turn back to TV advertisements. I thought that was dead and buried but apparently not – it still works and you can still get ROI out of it.

So, they’re going to do something, what it is – I don’t know. Whether it’s going to be a total GUI change I don’t know but that would be kind of awesome if they did. But yeah – something big is coming.

From an Affiliate point of view i’d be very worried, from my point of view Google just doesn’t know what to do with Affiliates. In Munich I was very aggressive towards one of the Googlers there about why they call their people ‘Publishers’ but if it’s a Commission Junction Publisher – they’re affiliates. Hang on a minute – let’s get the table straight here. If you’re running adsense, you’re a publisher. If you’re running TradeDoubler or ads on your website you’re an affiliate. It’s a bit naughty.

Chris: Our Affiliates4u training days in association with a4uexpo we’ll be running two training streams. One of which we’re happy to say you’ll be conducting the classroom style SEO day. Which industry demographics can benefit from attending your training day?

Dave: I think any demographic can benefit. I’m a little bit scared of the training day to be honest! I don’t know why – it was a bit like when I went on Sky News, I was terrified then but on the day it’s ok.

We’ve got a lot of documentation and stuff but I think people will get the most out of it if you come in and say ‘I want to know about this’ – Interact with me, don’t let me be the guy just talking away at the front of the classroom. I want it to be an interactive learning session. So, whoever comes i’m pretty sure i’ve had enough experience in pretty much every industry and sector firm, working with Merchants to being an affiliate to building websites, ecommerce to affiliates – everthing. I’m sure everyone will benefit.

Chris: I’m sure they will. We’ve had quite a few affiliate enquiries since announcing the training days, interested but unsure about the benefit. As an affiliate, what are the major benefits you can get?

Dave: How to make your affiliate website not look like an affiliate website is the big thing.

At the end of the day, if you’re playing in an industry that is well crowded with Affiliates, you’re pretty much ok, but if you’re playing in an industry that’s got Publishers... Say you wanted to go down the gadget type review website.

What is going to make you stand out over the rest of them – I’ll tailor these things to the audience that’s there, i’ve got millions of case studies. Realistically, how not to look like an affiliate website, how to stay ahead of the competition, and how to do it better than anyone else.

Chris: If anyone is interested in booking a place at Dave’s training day, take a look at and all the details are available on there.

Let’s move on finally to this year’s a4uexpo, it’s only 5 weeks away! Once again Dave, you’re the very first session of the day on day one, entitled ‘The Three Pillars of SEO: An Advanced Review’. What are these 3 pillars and what can we learn from this session?

Dave: The three pillars are technical, on-page, off-page. If you don’t get these three pieces altogether, then something’s going to fall down somewhere. From the technical side of it – depending on how the audience want me to play this I can go really deep into this if they want me to. From making sure you get your server side right, htaccess, tools, data, there’s stuff that’s way behind what the customer sees on the website and the on-page side of it is what’s important at the moment.

We’ve seen slight changes in the way Google views on-page at the moment, percentage backlinks and internal page structures. The big one obviously is different strategies in getting the big links from the off-site to the on-site, so hopefully everyone will learn something!

Chris: I’m sure they will, they’ve been well received in the past! You’re on another two panels as well. Finally if you had to pick another session at a4uexpo to visit, which one would it be and why?

Dave: If I was going to go to any session it would be the Conversion Rate guys. I think it’s Conversion Killing Mistakes and that’s on Day 2. We don’t do it as a company. We work with clients that have worked with both Ben and Karl and clients who’ve worked with Steve as well and you do see improvements. It’s like leaving money on the table, people are so concerned with people who want to buy links – what can of links – any links – what kind of company are you!? Are you crazy!? That’s just buying for the sake of buying links. What are you going to do with the traffic – i’m going to convert it!

The missing piece of the jigsaw for Affiliates, and for me, as I can make websites rank, I can deliver obscene amounts of traffic, I was just terrible at converting that traffic into hard earned cash! That’s the big one for me. Making sure you get the most out of every user that hits your website.

Chris: Ok – well we’ll leave it there, thanks for talking to us Dave, we’ll see you in October.

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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