Yahoo! + MSN or Google?


Andy Hagans posted about the death of profitability for multi engine affiliate marketing:

You readers who have recently launched new affiliate sites -- are you doing 'tri-engine SEO'? Are you taking a Google-centric approach? Or is MSN/Yahoo! your bread and butter?

Do you have to pick one path or the other? Or can you get all of them with one site?


Short Term vs. Long Term

Do you have to pick one path or the other?

If it's short term gains you're looking for, you'll surely have to choose one path.

Or can you get all of them with one site?

If it's long term gains you're looking for, there are no paths. The entire process of marketing a website is changing quickly right before our very eyes. Older strategies may still work with the other two, but, at some point they will be making similar changes. They'll have to if they wish to keep up with the Jones'. ;)

Personally I'm in this for the long haul. I saw the writing on the wall years ago and decided that I was going to do the right thing. And in doing the right thing, it has allowed me to follow the industry closely and get intimately involved with the finer aspects of long term marketing.

Short Term = High maintenance, lot's of stress, good money in some cases.
Long Term = Low maintenance, less stress, good money in most cases.

All your eggs in one basket? Not I. But, I'm just one of thousands who really enjoy this stuff and I'm in it for the long term. Job security. :)

Double Attack

I think you clearly have to work those quick rank SERP's while you can 'cause they are going to last for ever. So milk every last penny you can out them, and start working on some 'legitimate' long term plans.

Milk Msn and Y for all their

Milk Msn and Y for all their worth till G comes to the party. Buy old domains that were authorities in the late ninties. I have a mid -> long term plan, but Y and MSN are ripe for the picking so I guess short term as well. btw, I don't always go for big terms initially, I'd rather recycle to the long tail and focus over time ; )

long run

will stale SERPS win the day with users?

ferget google, the web has never had a 1 year window, I don't expect the surfing public to stay stupid for too long. Of course, you can't forget the old "never over estimate joe surfer" saw.

Quite frankly my dear, I don't (much) give a damn.

I don't (much) care about links: a couple of highly relevant (short term leased) authority links to get found and crawled will do.

I don't (much) care about Search Engines: I have yet to be ignored (see above).

Indeed my new sites commonly place well with a fraction of the links of those around them. After a year or so these sites become 'authorities' (such is time on the web) in their own right and the natural inbound links manifold. I have no problem waiting a year for a site to be livable (earn average annual income). Coming from a B&M business background such seems rather speedy.

Inbounds and SEs are important - one does, afterall, need traffic to fleece. That so many people believe they are of primary importance is due IMO to FUD:
* the SEs want to be thought the only method of traversing the web.
* the link-reseller folks want links to be important and thus valuable and the number of links necessary to good SERP to be high, higher, highest. Should a SE denegrate link numbers how about a premium for 'relevant' to make up for lost volume?
* the webmaster/SEO fora want the traffic volume that thrives on the minutia of such FUD. Afterall, the subscriber pages hold extra special secret stuff...really.

Certainly you can simply do a most-expensive-keyword search and generate MFA or affiliate pre-sell pages that change or get added as conditions (keyword values) change. A very profitable business for some. A disaster for many. Like everything else, even crap needs to be done right to work. Not generally thought of as a viable long term business plan. Strictly slash and burn economics.

I am constantly reading that one must learn the incantations and their practice: code to text ratio, keyword cloud/density/position/ad nauseum, PageRank, etc. One must have magic numbers of keywords, of links per page. One must choose a SE: G-borg for ads, M-borg and/or Y-borg for affiliates. One must do a six month G-probationary unless you hold a get out of sandbox free card. One must stay within certain moving mystic boundaries or be supplementalised.

You all can play 'D&D: The FUD of SE, Links Edition' without me.

I play longterm and that means a site/network business plan including full site architecture prior to content generation, overall and individual page ad/affiliate potentials prior to generation, timelines and budgets, ongoing analysis and adjustments, etc. I simply do my transparent hat thing in my chosen niches (from 150-million+ to 1-billion+ results returned categories - not ppc) targeting several ad types/sources and multiple affiliate streams. So far (oldest site is now 8) so good. Read the SE best site practice guidelines - most is regurgitated webmaster common bloody sense (if you are playing longterm).

This is not to say that other methods are wrong. We each implement and market our site(s) as we see fit. Play with the SEO control knob(s) to your hearts content.

My pages and even entire sites go up and down as algorithm weightings or competitor sites change. Usually I do nothing and eventually float happily back on top. The 'trick' is to have multiple revenue sources - sites, content, ads, affiliates. As the carnies used to say (and still may) 'what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts'.

Once upon a time I did site development and SEO for large companies. Usually good site design negated the need for much SEO. SEO was often proposed as a 'cheap' alternative to site renewal. Sort of a 'best viewed in' revisited.

Frankly my dear, I don't do band-aids.
Frankly my dear, I don't need the stress.

There are exceptions. There are always exceptions. Where pure SEO is the best or even the only option. However, the universal 'SEO who must be obeyed' doctrines come with so much associated FUD, trolling, link-baiting, and rampant hat colour accusation baggage it is difficult to separate the serious from the hysterical. Except for SEO Book (great 'work in progress', Aaron) which is serious but not hysterical. And GHN which is hysterical but not serious (thanks Gurtie and that-other-person).

I learned a long time ago

I learned a long time ago that I can survive without Google when traffic from Y! and M$ supported me for the better part of two years. It isn't that I ignore Google - I do all the blah, blah things you're supposed to - I just don't worry about G.

In this business knowledge does equal money, so I confess that I do read through all of the tediously long Big Daddy and other update threads to see if I can find a nugget that gives me an advantage. If a site does get picked up by G, great, it's gravy to go along with the meat and potatoes.

I think you're doing something wrong

if you're getting a lot more traffic from Yahoo and MSN than you are from Google.

If you look at the various industry stats, you see that Google has the greater share of search, and Yahoo/MSN have lesser. So, with few exceptions, I believe that one's SEO approach is basically wrong if one is getting significantly more traffic from Yahoo/MSN than Google. Ideally, you should be getting a ratio of referrals from each of the SEs that is roughly equivalent to their percentage marketshare.

If you're not getting that, with few exceptions, it means that you've done individualized SEO development that isn't relating well for Google. The previous comments seem to hint at various link spamming tactics as the main strategy that could be resulting in this scenario.

The SEs are discussing a lot of quality-improvement tactics among themselves, so spamming SERPs with low-quality result links is likely not a longterm strategy.

I have to say that if you're insistent upon the low-quality tactics that are not performing as well in Google, you're shooting yourself in the foot, and you're leaving a lot of money on the table in the process. You could be getting as much traffic or more in Google than in Yahoo+MSN, combined.

Also, think about it from the enduser's viewpoint: don't you want to find what you're specifically looking for in the SERPs when you conduct a search? What's likely to achieve longterm user loyalty, and good conversions upon clickthrough?

With few exceptions, best practices = best results (i.e. More Money).

You could be getting as much

You could be getting as much traffic or more in Google than in Yahoo+MSN, combined.

But if that requires a 1 year wait and 10 times the content production costs and link development costs is it more profitable?

traffic, shmaffic

G consistently puts a bigger chunk of visits into the stats but on a conversion basis, you can out earn on the others.


Any competitive area is particularly skewed by google due to numerous SEO tools, competitor curiosity, research, etc., you have to throw away 20% to 30% of g traffic and chalk it up to "other", not genuine users.

spamming SERPs with

spamming SERPs with low-quality result links is likely not a longterm strategy.

obviously :-)

Short term strategies that are profitable though are still valid strategies. It's not 'wrong' its 'different'


A 10-yr old non-tech site I'm currently watching right now (frame-off rebuild and expansion this year and pure white --a scary time) is hitting the sweet spot on all 3; G, Y, M. The referral terms are fairly equal for the 3 but I'd say the money phrase rankings are slightly poorer in Y. M has the longest and best tail, G has the best of the killer phrases. Traffic results: G=50%, M=24%, Y=24%. But, M is picking up the new deep pages (doorway pages, really, but good info for humans, too.) and getting the target phrases extremely well, so well that I see that as the route for more growth and better targeting for a mature site that already dominates in its niche.

for a mature site that

for a mature site that already dominates in its niche.

That rules out 97 of my 100 sites! ;-)

do all three at once

But if that requires a 1 year wait and 10 times the content production costs and link development costs is it more profitable?

I mainly meant that it's best to use practices that should work in all the top SEs, and not use something that would nix you from the top one. (I think Aaron *had* to've posed the above quote hypothetically!)

A little quick cash now is not at all worth the amount of cash thrown away later, IMHO.

Though it may be subject for another thread, best practices don't have to cost more. (Ideally, shouldn't cost more.) There's still a lot of industries which don't have good traction in the SERPs, where one could likely hit some sweet spots pretty easily. Cost seems to be more associated with the highly-contended terms. If one has the luxury of choosing one's business vertical, it can be advantageous to go after the tail. Attempting to aim directly at "hotels" or "restaurants", for instance, could be a costly, uphill battle.

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