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What It Is + How to Succeed

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What It Is + How to Succeed

Imagine all you needed to make money online was a website. You don’t have to create your own products or offer a service. Sounds good? Welcome to affiliate marketing.

According to Statista, business spending on affiliate marketing hit $8.2 billion in the U.S in 2022 and Influencer Marketing Hub estimates that the industry willl continue to grow to $15.7 billion by 2024.

Start today, and you’ll be in a prime position to take advantage of that.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-nbsnXtSZI

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is where you promote another company’s product or service. When someone purchases through your affiliate link, you earn a commission. These commissions are usually a percentage of the sale price or a fixed amount.

Why should you do affiliate marketing?

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Here are two reasons why you should consider doing affiliate marketing:

1. Low-cost and low-risk

Starting a business can be risky and expensive because there are upfront costs for products, employees, equipment, rent, etc. With affiliate marketing, all you need is a website. If it doesn’t work out, you’ve only wasted time and a little bit of money.

2. Easy to scale

A typical salesperson only sells products from one company. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from many different companies and earn commissions from all of them.

Learn more: How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money (5 Steps) 

How does affiliate marketing work?

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Upon joining an affiliate program, you get a unique link that contains a tracking ID. This allows the merchant to track if you’ve referred customers to them.

Anatomy of an affiliate link

People who click on your link also get a tiny file called a cookie stored on their device. This (usually) holds an expiry date, so you get paid even if they delay buying for a while.

Here’s an example of how it works:

  1. Someone visits your post on the best winter jackets.
  2. They click the Amazon affiliate link for one of your recommendations.
  3. They close their browser to pick their kid up from school.
  4. They go back to Amazon the next day to check out the product again.
  5. They buy the recommended product, along with some ski gear.

Thanks to the affiliate cookie stored on this person’s device, you earn a commission on the recommended product and the ski gear.

How much money do affiliate marketers make?

Most affiliate marketers earn less than $10K per year. That’s according to a survey from Influencer Marketing Hub.

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Affiliate annual revenue derived from marketing efforts

Yet, roughly one in six (16.87%) make $50k per year or more.

Matt Giovanisci is a good example of a high-earning affiliate. His site, Swim University, made $149,991 affiliate commissions in 2021.

Keep in mind though that these people have done an excellent job building their brand. It’s taken them years of hard work to reach this level.

If you’re just starting out, your checks might look more like this for a while:

amazon check 2

You need to manage your expectations. You won’t earn the big bucks right off the bat, but don’t let this discourage you.

The success of others tells you that with hard work, time, and the right knowledge, you too can potentially reach those levels.

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Learn more: Here’s How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing

How to get started with affiliate marketing

Follow these seven simple steps:

Step 1: Choose your niche

Your niche is the category you want to talk about and promote.

To stand out amongst the countless other websites today, my advice is to be specific. Instead of tackling a broad niche like food, go for something a bit narrower, like grilling. This helps you build a more focused audience and may also help with SEO.

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Here are four questions to ask yourself to find a good niche:

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What do I like doing?
  3. What am I curious about?
  4. What do other people tell me I’m good at?

It’s hard to overstate the importance of choosing something you’re passionate about. You’ll need to create a lot of content to succeed with affiliate marketing. If you choose something you hate, you’ll find it hard to press on when the going gets tough.

That’s why, when I built my first site, I chose to talk about one of my hobbies—breakdancing. And despite knowing nothing about marketing, I grew it to an estimated 2K monthly visits.

Organic traffic going to a niche site

Learn more: How to Easily Find a Niche for Affiliate Marketing 

Step 2: Decide on a content platform

You can do affiliate marketing on any platform. This includes:

  • Website
  • YouTube
  • Social media (e.g., Instagram, TikTok)
  • Newsletter
  • Podcast

The method you choose will depend on your preference and occasionally, your niche’s preference. For example, people who are learning breakdance will prefer videos. So, even if you prefer writing, running a YouTube channel may be a better option.

That being said, we recommend building a website and using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank your content high on Google. This allows us to generate passive search traffic consistently, which means consistent clicks on affiliate links too.

TIP

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Whether you’re creating a website, YouTube, or something else, note that you’ll need to disclose the fact that you’re including affiliate links. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires you to be transparent when receiving income from an endorsement.

If you’re building a website, create a standalone page or include it in the footer of your website:

Affiliate link disclosure on blog

If you’re doing it on YouTube, include it in your description:

Affiliate link declaration on YouTube

Step 3: Find affiliate programs to join

There are three main types of affiliate programs to choose from:

  1. High-paying, low-volume — Niche products with fewer buyers. For example, HubSpot sells only to businesses but their affiliate program pays well (100% of first month and 15% monthly recurring commission.)
  2. Low-paying, high-volume — Products with mass appeal, e.g. PS5 games. For example, Amazon only pays up to 10% commission. But the good thing is they offer commissions off the entire value of the purchase (and not just the product you recommended.)
  3. High-paying, high-volume — Expensive products with mass appeal, e.g. credit cards. An issue is that these programs tend to attract affiliate marketers with deep expertise and pockets and willingness to black-hat tactics.

Types of affiliate programs

Which affiliate program should you join? This depends on your niche and level of expertise.

If you’re targeting consumers, go with the second model: low-paying, high-volume. If you’re targeting businesses, go for the first one: high-paying, low-volume. Popular programs include software and web hosting-related products.

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Which type of affiliate programs should you join?

The best way to find these affiliate programs is with a Google search. Alternatively, enter a competing affiliate site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and go to the Linked domains report.

For example, I know that Pat Flynn promotes a number of software products on his website, Smart Passive Income. Eyeballing the report shows that Pat links to Aweber pretty often. And if we expand the caret, we’ll see that Pat is an affiliate.

Pat Flynn's affiliate link

It only takes a quick Google search to find an application form for this program.

If there is a product you’d like to promote but they don’t have a public affiliate program, reach out to the company and ask if they would be willing to build an affiliate relationship with you.

Learn more: 9 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners (Any Niche) 

Step 4: Create great content

If you want your affiliate site to succeed, you need to create high-quality content where your affiliate links fit naturally.Don’t just blindly curate products from Amazon’s best sellers. Go the extra mile and make sure your content solves your readers’ problems.

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For example, if you’re doing reviews, you should actually purchase the product and test it. Use it over a period of time and report your findings.

That’s what Wirecutter did for all their articles, which explains their success. For example, in order to find the best air purifiers, they tested more than 50 of them:

Wirecutter's content

If you can collaborate with experts to review your findings, that’s even better. Again, Wirecutter goes above and beyond in this aspect, solidifying their status as the gold standard of affiliate websites:

Wirecutter working with experts for their affiliate content

Step 5: Drive traffic to your affiliate site

You’ve created great content. The next step is to get more people to read it, so they will click on your affiliate links.

Here are three traffic strategies to consider:

A. Paid traffic

This is where you pay for traffic to your site. You can do this using pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

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The advantage of paid traffic is that the moment you start paying, you get traffic.

However, there are some downsides.

First, running ads will dig into your profits. It’s quite normal for advertisers to lose money before they make it… if they ever do.

People tend to lose money before making it in PPC

You need to be realistic about how long it takes to optimize a paid traffic campaign.

Secondly, once you stop paying for ads, your traffic will stop.

Generally speaking, ads are a great traffic strategy if you’re part of a high-paying affiliate program and can make the numbers work.

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But if you’re completely new to paid marketing and have no marketing budget (or are working with lower commission programs like Amazon Associates), then it might not be such a great idea.

Learn more: PPC Marketing: Beginner’s Guide to Pay-Per-Click Ads 

B. SEO

SEO is the practice of optimizing pages to rank high in search engines like Google.

For as long as you can rank high in the search engines for your target keywords, you’ll get consistent and passive traffic.

On the most basic level, SEO is about:

  1. Understanding what your target customers are searching for
  2. Creating content around those topics
  3. Making sure Google understands clearly what your page is about
  4. Acquiring or earning links to push your pages higher in the search engines
  5. Ensuring Google can find, crawl, and index your content

Learn the basics in this video or read our beginner’s guide to SEO:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvwS7cV9GmQ

C. Build an email list

Email lists allow you to communicate with your readers anytime.

Use them to tell fans about new content and keep them coming back to your site for more. This leads to more affiliate clicks and sales.

You can even add affiliate links in the emails to your audience:

Affiliate links in email newsletter

To build an email list, you need to persuade the readers on your site to sign up. That means offering something valuable, like a free eBook, an email course, and more.

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Step 6: Get clicks on your affiliate links

Just because you have an amazing piece of content doesn’t mean people will click on your affiliate links.

There are a few things you need to consider.

A. Link placement

If all your affiliate links are at the bottom of the page where people rarely scroll, clicks will be few and far between.

On the other hand, make every other word a link in your introduction, and your content will look spammy.

You need to balance link placement with the other factors below.

B. Context

Let’s say you were writing an article on the best kitchen knives for under $50.

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Your introduction probably shouldn’t look like this:

Today, I’m reviewing the best chef knives.

The links look out of context and spammy.

This would make more sense:

Today, I’m reviewing three different chef knives you can buy on Amazon for under $50. These are, product name 1, product name 2, and product name 3

C. Callouts

Using callouts like buttons, tables, and boxes can help attract your readers attention and make the post more skimmable.

For example, the Wirecutter uses eye-catching boxes with product links anytime they share a top pick.

Wirecutter product call-out

Good Housekeeping takes a different approach and creates a table with buttons:

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Good Housekeeping product table

Step 7: Convert clicks to sales

In affiliate marketing, two conversions need to take place for you to make money.

The first conversion is the click to the product page.

You’re 100% in control of this action. Use the tactics above to improve your chances of getting that click.

The second conversion is the visitor purchasing the product. In the case of affiliate marketing, the merchant controls the checkout, and their conversion rates are out of your control.

The trick is to play the game to your advantage and look for merchants with programs that convert well.

Here are a few ways to find them:

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A. Public income reports

If people are making decent money from an affiliate program, then it’s likely that the product converts well.

How do you know if people are making money?

Look at public income reports where bloggers publicly reveal how much money they’re making from their affiliate deals.

You can find these reports on Google.

For example, if you search for “income report amazon affiliate”, you’ll see a few blog posts showing how bloggers have made money from Amazon Affiliates.

Search results for affiliate income reports

Looks like one blogger made over $47,000 from Amazon Associates:

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Amazon affiliate lifetime earnings

If you’re in the same space, you can also take a look at where her other affiliate income comes from, and potentially promote the same products.

B. Ask questions

If there isn’t much information available about an affiliate program you want to join, sign up and ask questions.

For example, you might want to find out what their average conversion rates are, or a ballpark figure of their top earners’ monthly commissions.

This can help you figure out if the affiliate program is worth promoting.

C. Use your intuition

Sometimes, it’s best to go with your gut feeling.

If the program or product you’re checking out feels “off, or if you would personally never recommend the product to a friend or family member, then don’t promote it.

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Affiliate marketing tools

Tools are your friends in affiliate marketing. They help you do your job faster and easier.

Here are some of our recommended affiliate marketing tools:

  • Ahrefs — All-in-one SEO tool that’ll help you research keywords to target, audit your website, research your competitors, find content ideas, and more.
  • Rank Math — WordPress plugin that ensures your pages have optimal on-page SEO.
  • Google Search Console — Find and fix technical errors on your website, submit sitemaps, see structured data issues, check your Core Web Vitals, and more.
  • Google Analytics — Provides crucial data and analytics for your affiliate website.
  • Thirsty Affiliates — Keep track of your affiliate links, see statistics to know which links are getting the most clicks, and prevent others from easily copying your website and swapping the links with their own affiliate IDs.

Learn more: 15 Best Affiliate Marketing Tools & How to Use Them

Final thoughts

No affiliate marketing wheels were reinvented here. These are the fundamentals, and applying them will get you off on the right foot.

Just don’t expect life-changing income or the freedom to quit your 9-5 overnight. Affiliate marketing takes time.

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Focus first on making your first affiliate sale. As your site grows, set new goals, and continue experimenting.

This is how to build up a site that eventually generates a decent income.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.



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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Whether you are new to paid media or reevaluating your efforts, it’s critical to review your performance and best practices for your overall PPC marketing program, accounts, and campaigns.

Revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with your current goals.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is also a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance with newly released ad technologies.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

Here are 10 PPC best practices to help you adjust and plan for the months ahead.

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1. Goals

When planning, it is best practice to define goals for the overall marketing program, ad platforms, and at the campaign level.

Defining primary and secondary goals guides the entire PPC program. For example, your primary conversion may be to generate leads from your ads.

You’ll also want to look at secondary goals, such as brand awareness that is higher in the sales funnel and can drive interest to ultimately get the sales lead-in.

2. Budget Review & Optimization

Some advertisers get stuck in a rut and forget to review and reevaluate the distribution of their paid media budgets.

To best utilize budgets, consider the following:

  • Reconcile your planned vs. spend for each account or campaign on a regular basis. Depending on the budget size, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually will work as long as you can hit budget numbers.
  • Determine if there are any campaigns that should be eliminated at this time to free up the budget for other campaigns.
  • Is there additional traffic available to capture and grow results for successful campaigns? The ad platforms often include a tool that will provide an estimated daily budget with clicks and costs. This is just an estimate to show more click potential if you are interested.
  • If other paid media channels perform mediocrely, does it make sense to shift those budgets to another?
  • For the overall paid search and paid social budget, can your company invest more in the positive campaign results?

3. Consider New Ad Platforms

If you can shift or increase your budgets, why not test out a new ad platform? Knowing your audience and where they spend time online will help inform your decision when choosing ad platforms.

Go beyond your comfort zone in Google, Microsoft, and Meta Ads.

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Here are a few other advertising platforms to consider testing:

  • LinkedIn: Most appropriate for professional and business targeting. LinkedIn audiences can also be reached through Microsoft Ads.
  • TikTok: Younger Gen Z audience (16 to 24), video.
  • Pinterest: Products, services, and consumer goods with a female-focused target.
  • Snapchat: Younger demographic (13 to 35), video ads, app installs, filters, lenses.

Need more detailed information and even more ideas? Read more about the 5 Best Google Ads Alternatives.

4. Top Topics in Google Ads & Microsoft Ads

Recently, trends in search and social ad platforms have presented opportunities to connect with prospects more precisely, creatively, and effectively.

Don’t overlook newer targeting and campaign types you may not have tried yet.

  • Video: Incorporating video into your PPC accounts takes some planning for the goals, ad creative, targeting, and ad types. There is a lot of opportunity here as you can simply include video in responsive display ads or get in-depth in YouTube targeting.
  • Performance Max: This automated campaign type serves across all of Google’s ad inventory. Microsoft Ads recently released PMAX so you can plan for consistency in campaign types across platforms. Do you want to allocate budget to PMax campaigns? Learn more about how PMax compares to search.
  • Automation: While AI can’t replace human strategy and creativity, it can help manage your campaigns more easily. During planning, identify which elements you want to automate, such as automatically created assets and/or how to successfully guide the AI in the Performance Max campaigns.

While exploring new features, check out some hidden PPC features you probably don’t know about.

5. Revisit Keywords

The role of keywords has evolved over the past several years with match types being less precise and loosening up to consider searcher intent.

For example, [exact match] keywords previously would literally match with the exact keyword search query. Now, ads can be triggered by search queries with the same meaning or intent.

A great planning exercise is to lay out keyword groups and evaluate if they are still accurately representing your brand and product/service.

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Review search term queries triggering ads to discover trends and behavior you may not have considered. It’s possible this has impacted performance and conversions over time.

Critical to your strategy:

  • Review the current keyword rules and determine if this may impact your account in terms of close variants or shifts in traffic volume.
  • Brush up on how keywords work in each platform because the differences really matter!
  • Review search term reports more frequently for irrelevant keywords that may pop up from match type changes. Incorporate these into match type changes or negative keywords lists as appropriate.

6. Revisit Your Audiences

Review the audiences you selected in the past, especially given so many campaign types that are intent-driven.

Automated features that expand your audience could be helpful, but keep an eye out for performance metrics and behavior on-site post-click.

Remember, an audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online.

Therefore, there are unlimited ways to mix and match those audiences and target per the sales funnel.

Here are a few opportunities to explore and test:

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  • LinkedIn user targeting: Besides LinkedIn, this can be found exclusively in Microsoft Ads.
  • Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home ownership, education, household income.
  • In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues.
  • Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors, interactions with ads, and video/ YouTube.

Note: This varies per the campaign type and seems to be updated frequently, so make this a regular check-point in your campaign management for all platforms.

7. Organize Data Sources

You will likely be running campaigns on different platforms with combinations of search, display, video, etc.

Looking back at your goals, what is the important data, and which platforms will you use to review and report? Can you get the majority of data in one analytics platform to compare and share?

Millions of companies use Google Analytics, which is a good option for centralized viewing of advertising performance, website behavior, and conversions.

8. Reevaluate How You Report

Have you been using the same performance report for years?

It’s time to reevaluate your essential PPC key metrics and replace or add that data to your reports.

There are two great resources to kick off this exercise:

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Your objectives in reevaluating the reporting are:

  • Are we still using this data? Is it still relevant?
  • Is the data we are viewing actionable?
  • What new metrics should we consider adding we haven’t thought about?
  • How often do we need to see this data?
  • Do the stakeholders receiving the report understand what they are looking at (aka data visualization)?

Adding new data should be purposeful, actionable, and helpful in making decisions for the marketing plan. It’s also helpful to decide what type of data is good to see as “deep dives” as needed.

9. Consider Using Scripts

The current ad platforms have plenty of AI recommendations and automated rules, and there is no shortage of third-party tools that can help with optimizations.

Scripts is another method for advertisers with large accounts or some scripting skills to automate report generation and repetitive tasks in their Google Ads accounts.

Navigating the world of scripts can seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is a post here on Search Engine Journal that provides use cases and resources to get started with scripts.

Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science — there are plenty of resources online with free or templated scripts.

10. Seek Collaboration

Another effective planning tactic is to seek out friendly resources and second opinions.

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Much of the skill and science of PPC management is unique to the individual or agency, so there is no shortage of ideas to share between you.

You can visit the Paid Search Association, a resource for paid ad managers worldwide, to make new connections and find industry events.

Preparing For Paid Media Success

Strategies should be based on clear and measurable business goals. Then, you can evaluate the current status of your campaigns based on those new targets.

Your paid media strategy should also be built with an eye for both past performance and future opportunities. Look backward and reevaluate your existing assumptions and systems while investigating new platforms, topics, audiences, and technologies.

Also, stay current with trends and keep learning. Check out ebooks, social media experts, and industry publications for resources and motivational tips.

More resources: 

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Google Limits News Links In California Over Proposed ‘Link Tax’ Law

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A brown cardboard price tag with a twine string and a black dollar sign symbol, influenced by the Link Tax Law, set against a dark gray background.

Google announced that it plans to reduce access to California news websites for a portion of users in the state.

The decision comes as Google prepares for the potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), a bill requiring online platforms like Google to pay news publishers for linking to their content.

What Is The California Journalism Preservation Act?

The CJPA, introduced in the California State Legislature, aims to support local journalism by creating what Google refers to as a “link tax.”

If passed, the Act would force companies like Google to pay media outlets when sending readers to news articles.

However, Google believes this approach needs to be revised and could harm rather than help the news industry.

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Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s VP of Global News Partnerships, stated in a blog post:

“It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Google’s Response

To assess the potential impact of the CJPA on its services, Google is running a test with a percentage of California users.

During this test, Google will remove links to California news websites that the proposed legislation could cover.

Zaidi states:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users. The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

Google Claims Only 2% of Search Queries Are News-Related

Zaidi highlighted peoples’ changing news consumption habits and its effect on Google search queries (emphasis mine):

“It’s well known that people are getting news from sources like short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, and many are avoiding the news entirely. In line with those trends, just 2% of queries on Google Search are news-related.”

Despite the low percentage of news queries, Google wants to continue helping news publishers gain visibility on its platforms.

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However, the “CJPA as currently constructed would end these investments,” Zaidi says.

A Call For A Different Approach

In its current form, Google maintains that the CJPA undermines news in California and could leave all parties worse off.

The company urges lawmakers to consider alternative approaches supporting the news industry without harming smaller local outlets.

Google argues that, over the past two decades, it’s done plenty to help news publishers innovate:

“We’ve rolled out Google News Showcase, which operates in 26 countries, including the U.S., and has more than 2,500 participating publications. Through the Google News Initiative we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone.”

Zaidi suggested that a healthy news industry in California requires support from the state government and a broad base of private companies.

As the legislative process continues, Google is willing to cooperate with California publishers and lawmakers to explore alternative paths that would allow it to continue linking to news.

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Featured Image:Ismael Juan/Shutterstock

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Every week, we share hot SEO news, interesting reads, and new posts in our newsletter, Ahrefs’ Digest.

If you’re not one of our 280,000 subscribers, you’ve missed out on some great reads!

Here’s a quick summary of my personal favorites from the last month:

Best of March 2024

How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

tl;dr

Glen’s research reveals that just 16 companies representing 588 brands get 3.5 billion (yes, billion!) monthly clicks from Google.

My takeaway

Glen pointed out some really actionable ideas in this report, such as the fact that many of the brands dominating search are adding mini-author bios.

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Example of mini-author bios on The VergeExample of mini-author bios on The Verge

This idea makes so much sense in terms of both UX and E-E-A-T. I’ve already pitched it to the team and we’re going to implement it on our blog.

How Google is Killing Independent Sites Like Ours

Authors: Gisele Navarro, Danny Ashton

tl;dr

Big publications have gotten into the affiliate game, publishing “best of” lists about everything under the sun. And despite often not testing products thoroughly, they’re dominating Google rankings. The result, Gisele and Danny argue, is that genuine review sites suffer and Google is fast losing content diversity.

My takeaway

I have a lot of sympathy for independent sites. Some of them are trying their best, but unfortunately, they’re lumped in with thousands of others who are more than happy to spam.

Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updatesEstimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updates
Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele’s site fell off a cliff after Google’s March updates 🙁 

I know it’s hard to hear, but the truth is Google benefits more from having big sites in the SERPs than from having diversity. That’s because results from big brands are likely what users actually want. By and large, people would rather shop at Walmart or ALDI than at a local store or farmer’s market.

That said, I agree with most people that Forbes (with its dubious contributor model contributing to scams and poor journalism) should not be rewarded so handsomely.

The Discussion Forums Dominating 10,000 Product Review Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

Tl;dr

Glen analyzed 10,000 “product review” keywords and found that:

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My takeaway

After Google’s heavy promotion of Reddit from last year’s Core Update, to no one’s surprise, unscrupulous SEOs and marketers have already started spamming Reddit. And as you may know, Reddit’s moderation is done by volunteers, and obviously, they can’t keep up.

I’m not sure how this second-order effect completely escaped the smart minds at Google, but from the outside, it feels like Google has capitulated to some extent.

John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...

I’m not one to make predictions and I have no idea what will happen next, but I agree with Glen: Google’s results are the worst I’ve seen them. We can only hope Google sorts itself out.

Who Sends Traffic on the Web and How Much? New Research from Datos & SparkToro

Author: Rand Fishkin

tl;dr

63.41% of all U.S. web traffic referrals from the top 170 sites are initiated on Google.com.

Data from SparktoroData from Sparktoro

My takeaway

Despite all of our complaints, Google is still the main platform to acquire traffic from. That’s why we all want Google to sort itself out and do well.

But it would also be a mistake to look at this post and think Google is the only channel you should drive traffic from. As Rand’s later blog post clarifies, “be careful not to ascribe attribution or credit to Google when other investments drove the real value.”

I think many affiliate marketers learned this lesson well from the past few Core Updates: Relying on one single channel to drive all of your traffic is not a good idea. You should be using other platforms to build brand awareness, interest, and demand.

Want more?

Each week, our team handpicks the best SEO and marketing content from around the web for our newsletter. Sign up to get them directly in your inbox.

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