Monday, May 21, 2007

Amazon left Zlio

I just received an email from Zlio that Amazon leaves Zlio. Too bad. May be that was the biggest Zlio merchant partner. I can't say this is something I didn't expect. I assume this is news that will push a lot of Zlio users away from it. I predict in next months Zlio will lose another partners and will gain new ones. This is normal because Zlio is a new service and still doesn't have established partnerships with the outer merchant world. What I hope is that it will survice. Expect more news on this topic in my next posts. I am attaching the mail body:

Dear user,

One week ago Amazon informed us that they no longer wished to have Zlio promote Amazon products in the United States. We were advised through a generic email with immediate effect. For the past week we have endeavored to understand and get to the heart of their concerns – Amazon has remained inflexible. As we have yet to resolve the matter, we feel compelled to inform you of this situation.

Of course Amazon is not the only merchant and we are working hard to have as many products and merchants available for you. Within the next 10 days we expect to announce several new agreements with major merchants in the United States. Strangely enough, we continue to work with Amazon outside the United States.

The unfortunate effect of Amazon’s decision is threefold:

1. Shopkeepers in the United States will no longer be able to add Amazon products to their shops.

2. In 20 days, Zlio will remove all Amazon products from your shop and replace automatically as many as possible with identical products from other merchants.

3. Amazon will no longer pay commission to Zlio for products promoted on you shops and this with effect one week ago. Please contact us if you feel that this has resulted in any significant loss to you.

While we regret Amazon’s decision, we are dedicated to provide our users with the most comprehensive list of products as well as the most competitive group of merchants. To that end, we expect to confirm that Barnes & Noble as well as several other large merchants have joined the Zlio network. Freedom of choice guides us in everything we do.

We apologize if this has caused you any inconvenience. Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have any thoughts or recommendations. I look forward to hearing from you.


Jeremie Berrebi


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Google supplemental results

I just noticed that I have lots of my pages of my zlio shops (more than 50% of all site pages) placed by google in its supplemental results index. Well, this is not a good thing. Here is a summary of what I found in Internet on the topic:
- google returns results from its supplemental index only if it can't find a page from its normal page that matches the query
- google doesn't completely ignore supplemental pages
- your supplemental pages will not be returned as a result of a query to generic search words, they will be listed only with search words such as 'red baseball cap with a little black on it with a gray NY logo'. Not very useful, isn't it?
- supplemental pages are far more rarely indexed by googlebot than the normal ones. I saw a supplemental page indexed by G a month and a half ago. In the same site the normal pages were indexed 3 days ago.
- you can check if you have supplemental pages by typing in google: "". If a page is from the supplemental index this is marked in the results.
- G punishes pages for duplicate content by moving them to sup

Now we see that this is not good and we need to avoid it in order to gain more traffic. The question here is how? Here is my findings:
- most SEO experts advise that the best way to escape from the so called supplemental results hell is get more quality backward links. They advise that just creating a website for the only purpose to link to another is of no use and webmasters should strive for quality backward links and the quantity is not important.
- my findings on the above show that this is not exactly correct. I saw zlio shops with backward links from their owners' blogs. Even if the site doesn't have other backward links besides this one, it still has all its pages in the normal G cache. Of course if you are linked from sites of higher quality, the better, but it still seems to me that every backward link works for this.
- try to avoid duplicate content. This is extremely difficult for affiliate programs like Zlio because every page that sells an item I sell looks almost exactly the same as mine. Try to put more quality and related text on every place on your pages you have access to.
- Do not use the copy/paste method. Especially avoid doing this from high ranked sites such as wikipedia, etc. Instead of copying the text try to modify it so your content be unique.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I am continuing my experience with the zlio affiliate program. During the last day I experienced a major problem with my shops. It seems that this was a problem concerning the whole zlio community as I noticed the problem in other zlio shops. The problem was that for some items the buy button just wasn't working. For over 50 percent of my items the buy buttons was a just an anchor link to the top of my page. I was troubled that this was happening because zlio was leaved by some number of its partner sites. The reason I was led to this conclusion was that for these items I wasn't seeing anything in the section "Get the best deal with our partners !". Well, it turned out that I wasn't right. All my buttons are working now as expected and I am being redirected to the proper partner site (, etc)
I am still having troubles with google indexing my sites as I wish. At least now I am sure that it didn't ban my sites entirely. But google isn't indexing even the half of my pages. Yesterday I had about 60 pages index of one of my sites and now I see that google returns results from only 20 of them. Too bad, as I have more than 700 pages in this site.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Zlio Affiliate Programs

I am almost a complete newbie to affiliate programs and I am currently making some effort to make use of them. Affiliate programs promise a relatively easy way to make money over internet. What you have to do is to persuade internet users to buy something that someone else is selling. Let's say you have a soccer site. If you link from your site to for example and drive traffic from your soccer site to amazon, who buy soccer balls there you get paid a percentage of the soccer ball price. Maybe sounds easy in the beginning... Well, it is not that easy.
To be successful in this your site needs a lot of traffic. And furthermore it needs targeted traffic. If you soccer site attracts Start Wars fans, you are not likely to sell many soccer balls, as Start Wars fans are most likely to buy laser swords.
When trying to attract visitors to your site it seems everything comes to one abbreviation: SEO. That is where things become difficult.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is relatively new branch of the computer science. Well, I guess it is not that new, but I say new, because it is not as old as programming for example. SEO means 'how to make search engines show your site up in their search results' or in more lamer style: "how to become n1 in google?"
So I knew this and that and I decided to give affiliate programs a try. I signed up in zlio. I chose zlio because it was recommended to me by a friend, but there is many, many thousands of affiliate programs you can start with. In zlio you create your own personal stores. Your stores are hosted by zlio and you receive a zlio subdomain, so starting a new store cost no money to me. The stores are 'out of the box'. You don't have to write any html or scripts. Actually you are not allowed to touch your html directly which is a big disadvantage in my opinion. You manage your store through a control panel, through which you can add products, add/delete categories, etc.
So I made about 5 stores, added their urls to Google and started waiting for the google bot to add them to its cache. It showed up in about week. In the beginning everything was developing just as I had expected. I didn't have a lot of visits to my sites, but they were steadily increasing every day. Until.. yesterday. I found that google have completely removed its cache of some of my pages, and left only a page or two of the others. I saw my visits dropping drastically today. I hope this is because my sites are still new and thing will get better in time. But this wait is just so unpleasant after I had put a lot of effort in this over last two weeks...

Here I am

Here I am on the Blog planet.
This is just to start up my blogging activities.
I wonder how many 'this is my first time blogging' posts like this were written,
but the 10 000 miles path begins with the first step.
OК, let' start.