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Thread: How avoid "thin affiliate" penalty?

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    Habaku's Avatar
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    How avoid "thin affiliate" penalty?

    Guys,

    A website of mine uses WP-Robot to pull articles from Amazon. However, this way I have lots of duplicate content on my website.

    So, unless I act upon I fear Seach Engines (staff) could mark my site as "thin affilate", and thus the site woud become worthless.

    I am adding a couple of unique articles about the product niche to add some more value for visitors, but the post aren't affected by this.

    What is a smart way to make product posts more unique (manual, partial rewrite takes too long) ?

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    TopDogger's Avatar
    TopDogger is offline Über Hund
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    If the site is using raw content pulled from Amazon, it will get flagged for duplicate content by the duplicate content filter. "Thin affiliate" is just G's description for sites using data feed descriptions that are used by thousands of other sites. It describes a site that does not do anything unique to add value for users. The site will probably never get looked at by a G employee, but the duplicate content filters will eventually flag it.

    Some people have had some success by creating an algorithm that scrambles the content order and replaces key words using the same techniques used by article spinners. That sometimes produces content that looks like gibberish. Another technique is to make sure that the HTML title tag that you generate is different from most of the other title tags generated by other Amazon affiliates.

    The bottom line is that you need to make the content and key areas that the spiders focus on appear different than what is found on most other Amazon affiliate sites.

    I have also found that getting lots of links to a site can overcome almost any common penalties, but that is very difficult to do when you have thousands of products with description that are identical to that of thousands of other affiliates.

    Even if the site does get hit by the duplicate content filters, you will still very likely get most of your traffic from Google because of new products that are continually added. The duplicate content filter tends to hit a page at a time, so it may take quite a while before the entire site is neutered.

    One method that I am currently experimenting with is to use aStores to generate the product pages and information, but add unique content above and below the aStore section. An aStore is generated using JavaScript, so if you do not add content, a spider only sees a page without any content. That is the major flaw with sites that only use aStore feeds.

    Is there a foolproof solution? Probably not, unless you are prepared to write absolutely unique content for each product.
    Last edited by TopDogger; 20 May, 2010 at 23:17 PM.
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    Habaku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    If the site is using raw content pulled from Amazon, it will get flagged for duplicate content by the duplicate content filter. "Thin affiliate" is just G's description for sites using data feed descriptions that are used by thousands of other sites. It describes a site that does not do anything unique to add value for users. The site will probably never get looked at by a G employee, but the duplicate content filters will eventually flag it.

    Some people have had some success by creating an algorithm that scrambles the content order and replaces key words using the same techniques used by article spinners. That sometimes produces content that looks like gibberish. Another technique is to make sure that the HTML title tag that you generate is different from most of the other title tags generated by other Amazon affiliates.

    The bottom line is that you need to make the content and key areas that the spiders focus on appear different than what is found on most other Amazon affiliate sites.

    I have also found that getting lots of links to a site can overcome almost any common penalties, but that is very difficult to do when you have thousands of products with description that are identical to that of thousands of other affiliates.

    Even if the site does get hit by the duplicate content filters, you will still very likely get most of your traffic from Google because of new products that are continually added. The duplicate content filter tends to hit a page at a time, so it may take quite a while before the entire site is neutered.

    One method that I am currently experimenting with is to use aStores to generate the product pages and information, but add unique content above and below the aStore section. An aStore is generated using JavaScript, so if you do not add content, a spider only sees a page without any content. That is the major flaw with sites that only use aStore feeds.

    Is there a foolproof solution? Probably not, unless you are prepared to write absolutely unique content for each product.
    Thanks a lot for your elaborate answer! Some pieces of unique content (6 x 500 words pages) will be added by 3 days time, and the I will see for implementing your other valuable tips.

    I have also integrated a big Call to Action "Buy with Amazon" button today, which definitively improves the look and feel so that conversion will be higher when visitors come.

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