Datafeedr is a WordPress plugin that manages data feeds, or lists of affiliate products, to build a store within a blog. I asked myself the other day – does Google Hate Datafeedr? Seems like kind of a weird question, doesn’t it? Not really, because I saw a flurry of posts about Datafeedr coupled with the words “penalty” and “de-indexing”. Those are the types of forum and blog posts you see when Google starts to target something in it’s index.
It happened with MFA (Made for AdSense) web site, and it happened with BANS (Build a Niche Store). Google saw people actively building lots of web sites it thought were “thin affiliate sites”, or sites that mostly affiliate links and no real original content (or value). When this happens, Google looks for a definable footprint, like a “powered by” link or something in the code. Then Google adds it to the algorithm, and the following days all kinds of people that had sights that were in Google’s latest target group found themselves with little or no traffic quite suddenly.
So, my answer is – Google doesn’t hate Datafeedr as a tool or a WordPress plugin, or even people that use it. What Google hates is people that abuse it, that create thin affiliate sites, and that don’t have any real value or content.
What is a Google Penalty?
If you have a web site, it’s ranked in Google on a ‘pagerank’ scale of 1-10. The higher your number, the greater your authority, the more searches you come up for, the more traffic you get, the more money you make. Google likes web sites and blogs with original content. Google likes stores with original content that sell their own products. Google hates affiliates that get a datafeed or some links and build an online store with no content and scraped or copied content just for the purpose of making affiliate commissions. To Google, you’re no better than a scraper or spammer. Google doesn’t mind if you have a site with original content where you link to, review, or suggest products – as long as your products don’t overwhelm your content. If it does, Google calls you a “thin affiliate” site – heavy on affiliate links, and light on content.
IF Google finds you (and some sites go years without getting caught for some reason) to be a ‘thin affiliate’, any number of things could happen:
1. You could get banned from AdSense (if you use it on that site), or at least get your ads pulled from displaying on that site
2. You could lose pagerank
3. You could become “unranked” or pagerank zero
4. You could remain ranked, but not show up in search results
5. You could be unranked, appear in search results, but get no traffic
6. You could be temporarily (or permanently) removed from Google search results altogether (deindexed)
7. You could receive any of the above for 30, 60, 90, or 120 days – or even up to one year
I have received ever single one of the above penalties over the last 2 years on one of my websites, and all of them are now back on the Google index and in good standing.
How do I keep My Datafeedr affiliate store (or any site) from getting a Google penalty?
If you have a Datafeedr affiliate store on WordPress, my advice to you is this. In your robots.txt file, set your store URL to disallow indexing. No follow all links to your store. In your Google XML Sitemap plugin setup, enter your store URL to NOT be included in your sitemap. If you have been deindexed in Google – request reinclusion and state that you have an affiliate store and set it up not to be indexed – only your original content (and you should get back in).
Don’t try and cheat Google – and you won’t get the shaft, plain and simple. DO NOT RELY on a piss poor product store to get organic results and traffic in Google to make you money. Rather – create a great site with awesome original content and let IT DRAW the traffic, which will naturally visit your store (and make you money).
Why do Datafeedr stores fail to rank well?
I get this every now and again. 99% of the time, a Datafeedr store fails because a site or blog is centred around it. I have had people in the past ask me to set up a Datafeedr store, and then they do nothing with it, and wonder why they made no money. This is only OK when you’re going to send paid traffic or do AdWords PPC to the Datafeedr store. If you want to be indexed in Google – you have to do all the normal things you would have to do for any site to be promoted online. Write content. Gain subscribers. Build links. Get Authority. Get traffic. Make Money.
If you’re just looking to throw up a store and wait for the buckets of money to roll in…sorry. That doesn’t work in the real world – why would it work online?