Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing method where a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor, sale or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. The industry has several major players: the merchant is the business owner that creates offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments, the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate'), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC - Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. However, both are distinct forms of marketing and the main difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations to drive sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships to drive sales.
Affiliate marketing is frequently overlooked by advertisers and while search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.As Google increases their emphasis on quality, are you able to keep up?
It's for this exact reason that we've decided to help you out by putting these changes down on paper first, so you know how it will affect you and what you can do to keep up
The Google Change Machine!
Over the last 18 months Google has been releasing wave upon wave of updates which have been designed to increase the overall quality of the web index.
There are two types of updates they’ve rolled out, Google Panda & Penguin.
The first sighting of Panda was in early February 2011. This update seeks to define the quality of a websites content and deciphers if it provides value to searchers online. Since then we’ve seen over 25 updates, one almost every 4 weeks. This has changed the way results are shown for many websites.
Different to Panda, the Google Penguin update is a web spam update, meaning it seeks to understand the websites are linking to yours and that might enhance your keyword rankings.
This update can result in either an automatic penalty for bad keyword conduct, or manual action to reduce the ranking of selected terms in the google results page.
Since April 2012 there have been only 6 major updates. We’re expecting the next one to be large and within the next few weeks.
Don’t be alarmed by these updates; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is constantly evolving and it can be tough to keep up-to-date with what’s going on.
To stay in the loop, we recommend this video on the latest SEO and update news.
It seems very few have so far, and judging by a new Webmasters video from Matt Cutts at Google, it’s going to be a busy summer.