Heres the question:
Can affiliates sites have search engine optimization applied to them?
My simple answer is; not with ease, but yes to an extent.
Its important to understand that there are a couple main different types of affiliate type sites. You have the canned in the box ones where everyone has the same content with an affiliate ID number at the end of it. You also have the sites that promote certain products through affiliate relationships. Let me show you examples of the two different ones:
- www.alreadywealthy.com (now there is not a number at the end of it, but its about as canned as it gets, minus the one picture and paragraph you are allowed to change) Notice the title of the website? You can’t even change something as simple as that. Do a search on MSN for “Ultralister” and you will see a ton more sites just like this one and you will get a good idea of what I am talking about on this example. I am not bagging on this site as its a friends of mine who asked me to do some SEO for him. (I should have said no to this site, and said lets start a new one from scratch). You have a problem sometimes with sites like this, and the rules the owners implement. Its like they don’t want you to be able to do anything that would actually help you improve rankings, or make the site more functional.
- www.joomlastyle.com Here is a site that is full of sponsored type ads from Google. They offer free downloads of CMS templates for Joomla, and the only way the site makes money is from people clicking on the ads. This is a custom site that has original content and is much easier to apply SEO.
In the above two examples the second will be a much easier site to optimize cause you can apply both onsite and offsite optimization. The first example you will not even be able to change the title tag! I would recommed if you have a “canned” affiliate type site to start a new site that you are in control of. You want to be able to fully control whats on the content and the back end.
I would normally never accept an SEO job with a site like the first example, but with it being a friend I felt a need to try. The fact that I have got several hundreds of links on Yahoo! and a few on MSN and Google with a page rank of 1 is actually pretty impressive for a site like this.
In conclusion, remember both onsite and offsite optimization are equally important and you should always try to work with a website builder or software (or comapany) that will allow you to do both!