Will Google Product Search Kill Internet Affiliate Marketing?

google16 Will Google Product Search Kill Internet Affiliate Marketing?
Titus Hoskins asked:


Not really, but it could make the job of an online affiliate marketer a total nightmare in the coming months… selling affiliate products on the web has just gotten much, much tougher.
Why?

Mainly because Google has taken Froogle, which it created in 2002 and re-named/re-branded it into Google Product Search. Now when anyone searches for a product on the web – Google Product Search will list the products and the stores selling them on the web.

Now it should be noted, Google doesn’t charge any fees for these listings and accepts no payment for products that show up first; nor does Google make any commissions on sales. Google makes its revenue by selling advertising via Adwords on the Product Search results pages. Any company can submit products thru Google Base to be included in Google Product Search.

What’s the problem?

Actually, there is no problem for the consumer who wants to find the cheapest price for a product. Google offers this great service which will help you find your product. It just cuts out the affiliate marketer who makes a living by promoting products on the web and receiving a small commission in return for their work.

But there are some very fundamental issues here that also cuts at the very heart of the Internet as we know it. Is Google changing the rules of how it does business by more aggressively targeting not only specific product keywords but much more broader keyword phrases in their organic search results with programs like Google Product Search? And they’re listing their links first in the organic search results or what everyone has come to believe are organic results. This argument is not new, Google has been taking those top spots for years albeit directing buyers to other companies with the best prices and offers.

However, is Google now not just targeting a product name or product – but targeting and listing in the #1 spot all the broader keyword phrases which have until recently been dominated by the ordinary website owner? And even in your own iGoogle personal search, you can NOT place your choice ABOVE this Google Product Link.

The real tricky question here: isn’t Google going from a search engine to a website creator and operator in this process? Is Google now not only providing the results; but is it now creating web pages to match those results? There’s nothing wrong with that, Google can do what it wants, but for the small affiliate marketer it means competition. Big competition. In other words, every website on the net now has Google as a potential competitor in organic search.

Of course, how far Google goes with this broader keyword targeting has yet to be seen. Only time will tell if Google does indeed have affiliate links and affiliate sites in its cross-hairs. Many affiliate marketers on the web will be waiting nervously for the answer to that question.

Again, most people would agree with what Google is doing, since most affiliate marketers only hype the products they’re selling and getting those affiliate based sites out of their search results and off the web may not be a bad move on Google’s part and for the web as a whole.

However, are consumers now getting the real information on products they’re buying? One of the great things about the Internet is that it has always offered various types of information and viewpoints on any subject matter – including the products that we buy on the web. By placing itself first in organic search results, Google is saying its information and listed products are the ones you should be getting.

Many affiliate marketers have spent years researching and studying a particular product niche and they offer valuable in-depth information on their sites about a particular product or service. They also offer comprehensive general knowledge about products, services and subjects that many searchers genuinely want to find when they search the web for information. It doesn’t always mean going directly to the merchant to buy a product, many shoppers want information first, then make their decision.

While others will argue what’s the big deal, isn’t Google also giving other search results besides the top spot? Yes, but as any marketer who has had a # 1 ranking in Google or any search engine for that matter, will know the top spot gets the majority of the traffic. So Google, by reserving the top spot for itself, will now receive the majority of the traffic, which it can exploit with its advertising.

Google is smart. Google has smart people. And smart people know the longer you have a web surfer on your site and not on someone else’s site, the more money you will make on advertising. By taking the top spot in organic search for every profitable keyword that’s searched, and keeping those searchers on web pages derived from those results, Google can create more business for itself. The poor affiliate marketer and every other website owner will just have to settle for second place.



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