Truest Choices in Affiliate Marketing Options for the Smart Deals

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As an online marketer with search engine campaigns you could not have missed it; Google gave a big makeover to its search results page on a desktop on Friday, February 19. If you work less directly with Google, for example as an affiliate marketer, you may have noticed that your campaign had a bad weekend. What happened and why does Google influence your affiliate campaign?

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What Google did

We will not go into this in detail here, but we will briefly explain what the update meant. Google removed the search results in the right column. This is in line with the Google search results on mobile. And mobile is central at Google! What remains are four – instead of three – premium positions and a maximum of 3 ads at the bottom of the page. What we still see on the side are shopping results (so-called PLAs; product listing ads).

So that looks like this (on keyword ‘sim only’):

Google Update February and the impact we expect within Google channels

The impact within direct Google marketing channels is noticeable, because:

  • Many search results no longer have organic search results above the fold. This results in decreases in CTR, traffic and organic conversions.
  • Within SEA, the battle for the four premium positions will become even fiercer. Impressions will fall and click prices will rise.

Perhaps it is not all that bad within the ‘Google channels’, the change is only for desktop and branded search makes up the lion’s share for most advertisers. But for affiliate, we expect a considerable impact in some sectors. How did that happen?

Traffic for an affiliate

First of all: as an advertiser, realize that the best affiliates in your sector are competitors in Google. An affiliate website, whether it publishes nice content or compares prices, also just needs traffic. That traffic is sometimes dubiously purchased on foreign networks, but most of your larger partners depend on Google for visitors as much as you do. They rank both organic and with SEA campaigns on relevant keywords for their own and therefore also your business. And that is where the impact lies.

The impact on affiliate SEO

The majority of the better affiliates are SEO king. Both in newer segments and in some traditional markets such as telecom, you compete as an advertiser in the organic search results with at least one affiliate partner. How smart and fast those guys are! But here is (we think) the impact, affiliates that are completely dependent on SEO rankings are the most victims of Google’s update.

Say goodbye to the result above the fold. And if you are just above it, you have no less than four advertising results above you from advertisers who have a lot of money to spend there. Because of that fierce battle above you, chances are that the SEA marketer will pull a little harder on the CTR of his ads. The many SEA extensions also make an organic search result less striking.