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Chicago Affiliate Marketing Meetup April 14, 2010 SEO Presentation

Chicago Affiliate Marketing Meetup April 14, 2010 SEO Presentation

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  • 1. Affiliate Marketing SEO By Mert Sahinoglu Disclaimer: There are no white/black/gray hat colors in Affiliate SEO
  • 2. Three types of Affiliates
    • Creative genius– Creates great content & Link bait
    • OCD Organizer – Great outsourced link building organizer and accountant. Best paid ad marketing comes from this type.
    • Automaton Programmer – Automated content generation, website optimization and link building expert
    • IMO – If you are not two of the above 3, you will not have a sustainable future in this business.
  • 3. Finding a niche
    • Entirely based on your operating style, there are three types of affiliates
    • Nurturers: Creative/non techies types. They fall in love with a few niches they enjoy and create great content and link bait.
    • Bribers: These guys tend to be the programmer types. They create automated lead gen, ecommerce content and buy their way into rankings through long tail PPC and paid links
    • Destruction Derby: This is the organizer type. They do not care about web assets. They burn through domains. They care about SEO from a short term perspective.
  • 4. Hosting Considerations
    • Global affiliates should consider shared hosting in multiple continents
    • Destruction derby affiliates could use multiple shared hosting. Never interlink more than two sites at a time in same hosting server. Try not to interlink as much as you can.
    • Nurturers could use one click CMS backend provider hosting company.
  • 5. Use of domains
    • Domain names are the number 2 factor (after links) that affect the SERP factors
    • Keyword rich domain names are valuable. Using more than two dashes “-”, along with type of domain (.biz, .info, etc) is a filter factor for recognizing affiliate sites
    • Subdomains can be a cheap alternative.
    • Wordpress 3.0 (coming up) allows subdomains. Could be the secret weapon of affiliates.
  • 6. CMS
    • If you are a programmer or have access to cheap programmers, stay away (unless e-commerce). Dynamic content does not require CMS.
    • If you are not a programmer. Wordpress is the name of the game.
    • E-commerce is hard. There are open source solutions such as Magento but you still need access to a programmer.
  • 7. Footsteps Theory for an Affiliate site.
    • (long urls with .biz, .info)
    • Inbound link structure
    • 99% of links from “graybar” link sources
    • Young domains with no link authority suddenly pumping thousands of pages of content.
  • 8. Green Links is a must
    • The Toolbar is your greatest friend.
    • It still acts as one of the biggest factors in spam filtering. So how do you get the green links:
  • 9. Authority Link Sources
    • Buy links
    • Guest Blog Posts
    • Widgets/Button/API Syndication
    • Create resource/link bait content and do a digital PR campaign based on it
  • 10. Links 101
    • Anchor text: What words are used on the link itself and also in the paragraph that contains the link
    • Nofollow tags (rel=“nofollow” : It is a signal to search engines not to give link value authority to a link)
    • Links are about marketing….
  • 11. Why links matter to affiliates
    • More traffic
    • Better rankings
    • Get a web page indexed
    • Get an image/video ranked?
    • Reputation Management?
    • Event/Press Release Marketing?
    • Local Business Results?
    • Make you feel good ( I rank #1 for “keyword”)
    • Increased audience reach?
    • Other?
  • 12. Internal link Structure for Affiliates
    • Fact: Tribune has over 590K Topic “tag” pages indexed by Google.
    • .
    • Why did Tribune create Tag Pages? There are no other optimized content in news articles to rank for short tail keyword.
    • Here are their 3 steps to success
    • Step 1: MAIN CATEGORY PAGES/HOME PAGE link to news articles which are the source of long tail event focused keywords traffic.
  • 13. Case Study Chicago Tribune
    • Step 2: A database assigns keywords to tagged pages . Every time a phrase is mentioned in an article, it is converted to a link.
    • with the anchor text being the keyword targeted.
  • 14. Case Study:Chicago Tribune
    • End Result:
    • The “Wrigley Field” tag page ranks #8 for Wrigley Field in Google.
    • Lessons: Keep your website structure as flat as possible. Make sure you have an auto-link plug-in to link back to your product/info pages from blog posts/articles
  • 15. Simple Widget Case Study
    • by Aaron Wall
    • 150K/month traffic, link building mainly through widget syndication
  • 16. Where to buy links
    • Even Fortune 500 companies buy links from companies such as
  • 17. When buying links
    • Avoid public forums and brokers as much as you can.
    • Approach individual website owners who have not already sold a million links.
    • If you are in a highly competitive market feel free to use 301 redirect to hide bought links. (does not help with Bing, Yahoo traffic)
  • 18. Old School Link Building
    • Your own sites & Internal Link building strategies
    • Friends
    • Competing websites
    • Vendors (ex: Web Designer, Plumber)
    • News sites (PR agencies need to be trained to ask for links)
    • Blog & Forum Interaction (can be considered spam)
    • Related specialty sites (ex: Chamber of Commerce)
    • How-to sites
    • Social sites/groups/lists/profiles
    • Directories
    • Guest posting in other blogs and white paper opportunities
    • Reviews & Testimonials
    • Article syndication& Press Releases
    • Content syndication (Video, image, podcast, etc).
    • CSS Galleries (if you have a great design)
    • Charities & Universities
  • 19. Links can be embed codes
    • A link can be the embed/hotlink codes for your
    • images,
    • podcasts
    • videos
    • on other people’s websites.
    • Every embedded video/image helps your multi-media asset rank higher in Image/Video Searches.
  • 20. Personalized Search
    • Link to Twitter profile / Facebook group on email signature
    • Consider not linking to your company/website home page but to a Google Search Result that points to your site.
    • Ex: Google search result to show all my real estate site’s pages
    • Personalized search history is recorded for computer IPs and/or your Google Sign-in ID (If logged in) for six months so you will rank higher for that email contact’s future searches as a preferred website.
  • 21. A link can be a mention
    • A mention of your Business name / phone number / address / email on a webpage (even without a link) helps you rank higher in search engine local business results.
  • 22. Link Footprints
    • Reciprocal Link Exchange Schemes
    • Having the majority of your link portfolio as purchased links
    • Getting links from only low authority websites
    • Having the same “high traffic” anchor text link.
    • A majority of links from Comment spam (forums and blogs)
  • 23. Link Farms
    • Case Study: Foster Web Marketing
    • 150+ Website clients in a large link farm:
    • Large Arrow is the Hidden Link shown as a Paragraph Header with CSS
  • 24. Link Buying in an Ad format
    • Case Study: – A Re/Max lead generation site – 99% of the site is dynamically generated from MLS Database
    • Spent $50K+ (my estimation – 2009) on link buying in ad boxes or as text links.
    • Ranks First Page for every city + property type in Colorado
    • Below screenshot from
  • 25. Timeless content theory
    • Create timeless content pieces on your site.
    • Resource guides, white papers, research studies
    • Promote your content to reporters, bloggers and in forum threads.
    • Watch out for current events related to your timeless piece, write guest blog posts and pitch the content to related reporters.
  • 26. Questions
    • Mert Sahinoglu contact info:
    • msahinoglu at
    • Or just Google “Mert Chicago” 