1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Amazon: A deal with the devil?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by ThopHayt, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,351
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    I've watched a lot of you here work your asses off ranking Amazon pages, Amazon affiliates, and other various Amazon related schemes trying to make a dime. A few of you I've seen (very few) seem to be making ok money. Most who I've talked with are struggling, and some are just getting started. I have a word and a few questions for all of you, however.

    What I want you to realize is this. When an SEO works with Amazon they are essentially giving away free SEO to Amazon in the process. I hear a LOT of you complain about it always being "impossible" to outrank Amazon in the SERPS with websites. Well... do you know who to point the finger and blame for that insurmountable link lead Amazon has? Yourselves. Google is blind to it, but because of blackhatters Amazon has essentially found an unlimited source of idiots who are willing to give away free SEO for just the PROSPECT of making money on Amazon. Some of the SEOs fail, some make money... but Amazon always comes away smelling like roses. The SEO community has created their own monster.

    And I'm not even going to delve into the complaints I've read from people who've worked hard, done SEO, only to have their slot cannibalized. Do you really think they won't sell an item themselves if they see you selling it like crazy? Then you've done free SEO and product research for them.

    When you work with an affiliate, or any marketplace you are not only sacrificing SEO for a website you don't own, but you are building a larger bar to entry for yourself if you ever do build a competing site. Believe me, it might take a LITTLE bit longer and require a bit more brain power, but a niche site is far more secure in the long run than trusting somebody else's interests.

    -Thop
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  2. gb

    gb Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    150
    It's not free if you get a commission.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,351
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Its pretty near free when you consider the value of your SEO, the fact that you're ranking something you don't own and ultimately have no control over, and that you only get paid if and when you sell. At best its speculation. You're working for somebody else, not for yourself.

    You can either sell "red widgets" on Amazon, rank Amazon for that term, and get paid until Amazon notices that "red widgets" are worth selling themselves... leaving you eating dust. Or you could build out a niche site for "red widgets" rank it against low niche competition, and in time own that little slice of the market with your "red widget" authority ecommerce site.
     
  4. Shaunm

    Shaunm Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,770
    Likes Received:
    860
    Home Page:
    WTF are you on about? Did you recently purchase this BHW account from someone?

    If Amazon decide to sell it themself then it will be on a fresh product listing page with no backlinks, the product listing page I have ranked remains mine and in its current ranking position.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    305
    ThopHayt, I do get what you're saying in your first post. And I've quoted the above to respond to the bolded portion specifically. The reason I started using the Amazon affiliate program again is because they are known by literally everyone who has used the Internet. Not only are they known but they are trusted as well. So even though us SEOs work our asses off to promote Amazon URLs, the chance of people purchasing from our Amazon links is much greater than some sketchy diet pill landing page.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  6. VinceC

    VinceC Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    738
    OP, I believe many IMers knew that, but it not only applied to amazon. So what do you suggest to members here?
     
  7. soulcollector

    soulcollector Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    USA
    It is branding in its finest. Also the same with Google hyping up Adsense, you do all the work, they may promise a commission if they don't ultra quick ban you before you get paid. Just because a company has poured billions of dollars into creating a self righteous image of themselves doesn't mean you can trust them. All anyone would need to do is gather money as these companies have done through investors and stocks, pound out ads that basically say they are Jesus incarnate on customer support, and watch the money roll back in for eternity.
     
  8. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,351
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    I'm not talking about Google SEO there, I'm talking about how your page will show up to shoppers in Amazon. If you're looking to buy a "red widget" and you see the #1 result in Amazon is being sold by Amazon, and the #2 result is being sold by some other guy you're more likely to buy through the 'sold by Amazon' one.

    This happens. You sell something Amazon doesn't. You sell a lot. Amazon notices this product is valuable and decides to sell it themselves suddenly (sometimes for far less as well as being slotted ahead of you). Next thing you know you're competing within Amazon, against Amazon. The only way this isn't a problem is if you've chosen a niche where Amazon already sells itself and where you don't mind being way down the page.

    As I mentioned in my answer to Shaunm, the problem is you're limited. You can make good money until Amazon or another big player decides to sell and cut you down. But you also lose the chance for your business to explode. With any marketplace or affiliate you have a low ceiling for success. Your diet pills may be easier to sell on Amazon initially, but you're losing out of the chance of bigger growth, and the ability to build a brand of your own. If you have no site, and no brand then you have no leverage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  9. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,351
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    I suggest you consider branding your own websites and explore selling direct. Its not as easy as a marketplace, and not as quick to start... but if you ever want to hit that next level of success its going to have to happen like that. What is Newegg just decided to sell hardware on Amazon and never dared to start their website? Success begins with a dare.
     
  10. MafiaBoss

    MafiaBoss Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Occupation:
    Currently Un-Occupied
    Location:
    In granny's Basement
    Home Page:
    so what should people do if they are using amazon affiliates and making commissions?
     
  11. GoTRooT

    GoTRooT Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    242
    Occupation:
    Englland
    Location:
    Englland
    Your affiliate links will be nofollow, if you are an SEO guy and cloaking your traffic you will be bouncing / redirecting / cloaking / c****e s******* or any other technique to gain that conversion.

    none of which is SEO for amazon, mor to the point there is no reason or need for SEO on Amazon as people tend to go to amazon to shop if that is what they are looking for, SEO guys take the traffic from those searching for a product. You can send that click anywhere you like and so long as Amazon is paying out then why not send that click that way?

    I see your point and do not agree.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. hanssolo

    hanssolo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    61
    Very true. Running a business relying on any 3rd party platforms is BAD news. Same goes to youtube. The fact is that you can lose everything overnight if they decide to kick you out for whatever reasons.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    305
    I can agree with that. But on the flip side a lot of people don't want to deal with building the full infrastructure of a business that processes orders and maintains a brand and all that. So in that sense affiliate marketing offers something really attractive.
     
  14. dizz

    dizz Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,068
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Occupation:
    This... AND MORE!! :D
    Location:
    Texas
    WOW do you the OP have any idea what marketing is we all promote someones product or service I sell on many platforms and do amazon sales and affiliate also i sell products that are not "mine" also and in the month I have been back I have made about 3k in profit and some things are not even done yet to me the object is to have as many sites that make some money not all will but it does work for me its not for all because so many here forget it is work you get out of it what you put in and i do believe you might have had some bad experience with this method. I sure dont agree with you and if I can have sales online and then promote it and get a commission at the same time all the better but take that doom and gloom somewhere else.The people who do not make it doing this IMO is not working it like a real job just because we sit at home does not mean its a job. So I do believe you are wrong and i have seen many fail where they could have done better it take some time to get it right
    Dizz
     
  15. Shaunm

    Shaunm Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,770
    Likes Received:
    860
    Home Page:
    You need to be clearer with what you mean and specify between Google SEO and Amazon SEO. This community is largely black hat, even if amazon do start their own listing there are ways around it to keep you earning money. This thread still comes across like you dont have a clue what you are talking about and have bought the account from somewhere to start a BST involving Amazon or something.

    In my oppinion Amazon gives us much more than it gets in return.

    You mean like when people rely on google for traffic and they change there algorithm and the traffic dries up? Anychance you could clarify your main traffic source? Just for arguments sake.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  16. aranger

    aranger Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    15
    In your example of searching to buy "red widget" that is a buy keyword Google will push out search result of companies that sell those items. You can get around it by using keywords such as "The top 10 red widgets of 2015" or something similar.

    I have no big love for Amazon but they do make me money as a affiliate. Currently though I have been working harder to diversify income streams.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. randybishop

    randybishop Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    624
    Occupation:
    I was born a poor black child
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Affiliate programs are a good way for people to get their feet wet in IM and SEO without the
    downside of having your own product. It can be a stepping stone to bigger things.
     
  18. elfgirl

    elfgirl Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    90
    Occupation:
    Owner, SilentSEONinja
    Location:
    Dallas
    Agreed. you can start without a single investment and make money w/ amazon affiliates.

     
  19. lingerlr

    lingerlr Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you SEO an amazon page then you are pretty much unsure of how you will rank. Ranking your own website pages would do a better job for you as you have every control over it.
     
  20. givensia

    givensia Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    104
    The hard part is having your own product. There's a lot you need to know and you need to find a manufacturer to make it and brand it for you. Also the investment needed is much larger. A lot of people can't afford that and don't have the connections to have their own product yet. So having your own e-commerce site is not easy.