Upgrading Affiliate Sites To WordPress

I’ve been hard at work on a few things lately and one was updating a straight-up, 100% thin affiliate website to WordPress. Why?

  • I have the ability now to offer my affiliate pages on rss (too complicated for me to do otherwise).
  • Easy search feature (if I want to provide it).
  • Easier design capabilities (no more fussing with php or ssi includes and templates).
  • WordPress plugins rock and I can do a thing or two easier.

But…but…isn’t a 100% thin affiliate product wordpress blog … isn’t that kinda/sorta spammy and like a SPLOG!

Well I say the Splog Police need to remember something. WordPress isn’t exclusive to blogging. It’s a Publishing System that can used for:

anything from your cat’s home page to a Fortune 500 intranet site without paying anyone a license fee.

I am using WordPress for content management. Whether that be as a Blog. Or as a means to manage my affiliate page content. Just hand coded stuff, not datafeed generated.

I’d like to move all my affiliate sites to wordpress for the reasons I listed above. But I’m concerned a bit about page redirects (from .html to wordpress urls) and if that is going to affect search engine rankings. I don’t have big search engine traffic numbers, but what I do have is bringing in money that I don’t want to lose.

So my plan is try this on two ‘left behind and forgotten about’ affiliate sites. See how they do in the serps. Are they dropped cold by MSN or Yahoo! (remember I suck at manipulating google so that’s a non-concern). Or given a boost? Or just not affected at all?

I’ll wait a few weeks and see what happens. I do notice that MSN really doesn’t seem to respond well to WordPress. That could just be the themes I’ve been using on my blogs, but it’s pretty much straight across the board for me. Drupal is worse (for all three engines) in my experience so far.

I’ll keep you posted. The affiliate site that I just finished tweaking and moving over to WordPress is a big step up and it looks like it belongs in the Year 2006 now rather than 1999.

And btw — no — I don’t believe the ‘ugly is money’ idea floating around. Maybe for heavy adsense focused sites. Which I have no interest in. But my bookmark rates and merchant conversion rates are what I pay attention too, and no. Ugly isn’t the ticket, at all, IMO.

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I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

2 thoughts to “Upgrading Affiliate Sites To WordPress”

  1. I’ve been thinking about those thin affiliate sites – and how they might be seen as a “splog”. I think a splog is more like copied content – or content that makes no sense to an average “human” – and is for search engines only… and google adsense is “everywhere”.

    I think if you have good content and google and maybe another aff. link or two in there – I wouldn’t call it a splog.

    I’ve been working on a few one page sites – because, well, I’m just tired of trying to update and keep my other sites “current”. I’m looking to simplify – and thought of trying out the one page sites and see what happens.

    🙂

  2. Just happened across your site while link hopping.

    I must agree with Empress on this one. Splogs tend to be spam blogs with copied content or gibberish for the sole reason of gaming search engines or building backlinks to another site.

    Also, if you feel that some may view the affiliate WordPress site as a splog, you may want to consider customizing each of the product pages with your own unique content. Takes work, but could pay off in the end :).

    And, on a final note – you can append a .html extension to WordPress powered pages using .htaccess. However, the actual page link title may change though (still causing a URL problem).

    Good luck with the conversion if you do decide to make it!

    ~ Teli

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