Google Affiliate Network: A new beginning

After seeing the success of CJ.com, Linkshare.com, ShareASale.com people were expecting that Google would be launching itself in this domain in the near future. Google took its first step by acquiring DoubleClick Performics Affiliate operations in March 2008. Performics now acts as part of the Google Affiliate Network.

If you would like to apply for the Google Affiliate Network then please make sure of the following main points:

1. Your website should have considerable traffic.
2. You should know how to convert visitor traffic.

For more details you can head off to their page and read the FAQ.

How should I know if my website has good traffic?
Easy! You can check the amount of traffic on your website using Google Analytics. It gives you complete details on the pageview, hits, unique visitors etc.

Google may just be entering this field but seeing the success of Adwords, Adsense and other products I feel that they will give a good run for their money to the giants.

Let’s see what happens.

Importance of optimizing your website for region based results

In this day and age where there are over 8 billion websites operating all around the world the competition has gone up tremendously. Today if you search for a product or service you will have a search count going over a million at the very least. This is a big number and with new websites coming up each day the chances of everyone gaining a good profit remains dim except for those listed in the first 3 organic result pages of leading search engines.

So, intelligent website owners have now started to optimize their websites for location based results or in other words focusing on local results.

Suppose you are based in New York and want to install a T1 connection at your home. Now go to Google.com and do a search for T1 costs. The following results are for March 5 2010.

You will get over 4.43 million results for T1 costs.

Now do a search for T1 costs New York you will get over 3.3 million results for T1 costs.

If you take a look at the results of the two results on Google you would find 2 things

1. The search results are quite different for both phrases. (Obvious but not always true)
2. The search results for the second phrase are offering the same service but their pages are optimized for a particular region.

Those who have optimized their websites for specific locations have an advantage over those who have optimized their website for the base phrase. They have

1. Lesser competition.
2. More visibility on search engine listings.
3. Increased traffic.

Moreover, if you think logically for just a second, a person sitting in New York is more likely to order the service from websites which are coming on top with T1 costs New York as he may think that they are offering the service from his city even though in all actuality the company he selects may well be on the East Coast.

So keep that in mind the next time you are optimizing your website.

How to specify canonical page for Google

If your website has some pages which have highly similar content then that may prove detrimental to your SEO efforts. How you may ask?

Take for example the following 3 URLs

http://www.example.com/some_page.php?arg1=val1
http://www.example.com/some_page.php?arg1=val1&arg2=val2
http://www.example.com/some_page.php?arg1=val1&arg2=val2&arg3=val3

As you may notice the page is the same in all 3 examples. Assume that the main function of the page is to display listing of products and the querystring parametres just change the order of listing of those products and Google indexes all 3 variations in its search engine.

With 3 variations of the same page indexed i.e. the main content of the pages being the same the said page will not rank high on Google as it may see that the page has nothing new to offer to the visitor. Even when things have changed now and Google says that its algorithm will display the correct page with respect to the search terms its better to play safe.

Google gives you the option of defining your canonical page. A canonical page is the preferred version of a set of pages with highly similar content.

If you take the above example of http://www.example.com you can define the first page as the canonical page. To define it as such, open the page and go to the <head> section. Please the following line in the <head>

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/some_page.php?arg1=val1"/>

Now, Google will know which page to treat as the canonical page i.e. the page to consider in its search results.

To read more you can view the following page on Google regarding canonical

Hope the above helped.

Google presents Google Sitemap Generator

Since Google came out with the Google Sitemap tool many website owners who were having problems of getting their websites indexed on Google started using it. However, Google Sitemap required website owners to submit their website sitemap in XML format. As most of them were not technical they turned to their technical support team or used some commercial service on the web which cost money.

Now Google have presented their own Google Sitemap Generator tool which would make life easier for all concerned.