Brian Schwartz

Senior Staff Writer at Venerate Media Group

The key to being a successful affiliate marketer is having the ability to keep up with marketing trends. With each trend change, the world of affiliate marketing can become a completely different game, which is why the power affiliates tend to have little competition.

Here are just a few things that are different with affiliate marketing:

Google Updates

Since February 2011, Google has been releasing various updates of their new algorithm, each coined as Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon. These new algorithms disregard sites that focus on SEO features that are easy to manipulate, such as keywords and backlinks. Instead, Panda regards sites that users would genuinely think of as high quality. These features may be a simple website layout, informative and unique content, limited ads, and a privacy policy.

Many website owners complained about the new algorithm change, saying that it is unfair and does not target the right sites. However, the developers behind the algorithm change still stand behind their conviction that it’s very accurate in determining low quality sites.

Many SEO experts have tried to understand what is truly considered when determining a site’s quality level and page rank; however, the results are usually inconsistent. Google tells site owners to focus on quality instead of SEO. You can keep tabs on Google’s latest Algorithm Changes here.

As a site owner and affiliate marketer, you need to focus on your site’s quality. Don’t use pre-made landing pages or pre-made sales copy that others are using. Think creatively! Some affiliate programs offer Domain Tracking to their affiliates so an ad is not flagged as an affiliate site by Google. Some programs can also assign custom toll free numbers per affiliate which track just like an affiliate link. Experienced webmasters have a deeper integration with the merchant to keep the user experience on their site.

Social media strategies

With the release of Google’s Google+ site, many people are wondering if it will change how Google determines page rank. For example, the plus one button is Google’s version of Facebook’s like button and Youtube’s thumbs up button. However, unlike other sites, this button extends beyond social media into a more global setting. The plus one button operates within the Google search engine and even shows up in the Google+ website.

When a user clicks the plus one button for a certain site, that site may show up as a recommendation to his friends – both on the search engine and the Google+ social media site.

It should be easy to understand that you need to accumulate plus one clicks on your website for a couple of reasons. First, the more plus ones you have, the more likely it is that Google will regard your site as high quality, thus improving your search engine results. Second, your site will show up more often as recommendations to users in Google+. This button could very well change the SEO game to focus more on user reviews and interests.

Product demand shift

If you are still trying to sell products that were popular a couple of months ago, you are likely outdated. There is a constant shift in product demand, so what was popular yesterday may not be popular today. This also applies to product types, such as eBooks and member subscription services.

Determine what people consider popular today for short term income, but also think about what will be popular in the future. If you promote a product you foresee becoming popular you can gain authority status for that product and maximize your revenue potential. To help you gain insight, you can usually do this by observing the current search trends and theorize what the extended feature of that trend will be. To get started analyzing trends, you can explore the latest on Google Trends here.

Let’s take for example, social media and geo-location apps which are very popular via smartphones. Additionally, smartphones are the hottest gadget as of now. Therefore, try to determine what type of apps or other products will sell in the near future which incorporate social media and geo-location. The product may be exclusive to a smartphone, or it may be offered on other platforms. Regardless, you can make an educated guess and sell affiliate products that are related to that niche.

Hopefully these tips help you to become a better affiliate marketer. By understanding new trend shifts, you can be one step ahead of your competition.

Brian Schwartz
Online marketing veteran with a focus on consumer acquisition in multiple verticals. Detailed and creative with experience operating within cross-functional teams. Specialized in partner recruitment, negotiations, campaign execution and optimizing existing relationships. A stickler for good design and user experience, proficiencies in Photoshop and HTML with an Optimizely Platform Certification. Startup entrepreneur mindset with corporate experience.