Since I wrote my first post about datafeedr years back, a lot of things have changed. A lot of datafeed affiliate store products have comme and gone too, but datafeedr is still chugging along. The member’s area has been drastically overhauled, as well as the way you use the WordPress plugin to build affiliate stores. The number of programs you can use has been exponentially increased, and the product has matured more (then even I had realized) since it first came out. It’s a great way to make money with affiliate marketing.
If you visit the website homepage, you’ll find quick links to get your started, documentation, even video tutorials. The support forums have always been great, you can download the latest version of the plugin, and “the factory” is where you actually build your store.
Most of us that have been doing affiliate marketing for years belong to just about every affiliate program or affiliate house online. That’s because they all seem to have just one merchant you want to promote. Others are specific to a type of product, market, or even country or regional market. With datafeedr you get all the normal affiliate houses, like LinkShare, Clickbank, ShareASale, Buy.at, and Google Affiliate Network (doubleclick). But you also get ones like Affilliate Window, Avantgate, Affilinet, TradeDoubler, Digital River, and LinkConnector.
What is a Datafeed?
If you’re reading this you probably already know, but when a merchant (like Wal-Mart, Target, Newegg) signs up with an affiliate house (like say Commission Junction or Linkshare) they add all their products and links into the system. You in turn can (manually) find banner ads and links to products you can promote on your website. If somebody clicks and buys – you make a commission! The more you sell, the more you get.
Most merchants make their “datafeed” available, which is a text file listing of all their products and links. Sometimes in also includes images (sometimes not), sometimes descriptions – and you can often get it what we call a CSV “flat file” (spreadsheet format). You could use this to import into Excel, or hire a programmer to suck the results into your website, and use it how you want.
The problem all along has been that every retailer seems to use their own “format” for the datafeed file – there is NO standard format. The images (and sizes) are different, the names and placement of the columns are different, some have both long and short descriptions, some have none. Datafeeds are hard to deal with, messy – and to use them in your web site (if you’re not a programmer) is next to impossible.
What does datafeedr do?
Well, datafeedr.com is a service that gets all the (popular) datafeeds from 18 different affiliate houses, thousands of different datafeeds in fact. As of this write more than 6,000 merchants are supported, and more than 100 MILLION products are available through the service. You signup for the datafeedr service by purchasing a membership (which is monthly) for the number of websites you want to build with it.
They download the datafeed files from all (their supported merchants) and then normalize the data (they standardize them). Then in your members account you select the products and merchants you want in your store. Let’s say you have a store where you want to list electronics from Best Buy, Newegg, Tiger Direct, Wal-Mart, Target, and stores like that. Select all the products you want, and put them in the categories you want. Create a whole online store, format and set it up the way you want, you can take as little as an hour (or less), or a few days or more if you want more detail.
Then once you’re ready – you download and install the datafeedr WordPress plugin in your WordPress powered website. Once activated, you connect it to your datafeedr store with the connection key (supplied in the mebers section), and it imports your entire “store” into the designated section of your website. That’s it – instant affiliate website!
Does Datafeedr Really Make Money?
We have been reviewing, working with, and creating affiliate website products for a LONG time (going on 10 years now). Times have definitely changed, even in the last 6 months with Google and it’s now infamous “Panda” (or Farmer) update. What Google doesn’t like are affiliate product sites that have nothing more than regurgitated titles, images, and descriptions. But they certainly don’t mind quality affiliate sites, especially the ones that have good original content.
What does this mean for you? Datafeedr is a great product, and if you’re going to create an affiliate product “store” within your site to make money, and the have hundreds (or thousands) of products inside it, you DO NOT want these indexed by Google, unless you take the time to rename all the titles and redo all the descriptions (to make them original). Why? Because the same title and description already exists at the original merchant, and the last thing Google wants is for you to duplicate the page (duplicate content).
Our recommendation is to setup a robots.txt file blocking the store like this (google robots.txt):
where “/store/*” is the location of your datafeedr store. Then turn on the datafeedr “drip” feature, where the plugin actually creates a post set to your schedule (daily, weekly) – and you can choose to “publish” the post or make it a “draft”. We have been very successful over the years by dripping “drafts” out of the store, and then rewriting the titles and descriptions, and bringing traffic into the store that way. Google absolutely does not mind affiliate sites that are “thin affiliates” (little or no original content). Personally – we use this method with datafeedr on our sites, and it’s a great way to get free organic traffic and make passive streams of income. Of course, you could always either pay for traffic, or use Adwords to bid on clicks – and not have to worry about organic rankings at all – but you do have to have a budget for that.
Conclusion of our Datafeedr Review for 2011
If you’re going to built an affiliate store or affiliate website in WordPress, we recommend datafeedr. Click here for datafeedr pricing and membership details. It’s a product we’ve personally used for years. It works with any WordPress theme, every plugin we’ve ever installed, support is great – and if you drip a bunch of products and later discontinue the service, you can keep all your dripped posts (and the store) – you just won’t get updated products links. If you’re unsure, try it for a few months – we think you’ll be surprised at how good it actually is.