A few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a famous blogger in the Affiliate Marketing industry and he was wondering why his Alexa Rank was completely down the flush since a couple months. Having noticed the same phenomenon on several blogs in our industry I started wondering like: “WTF is going on in our industry?! Losing momentum?”.
Fellow bloggers in the Affiliate Marketing niche, search no more: Affbuzz is cannibalizing your Alexa rankings! (Ok, I know this part sounds kind or melodramatic).
I found the explanation yesterday when I remembered a mail exchange with another blogger who was telling me how being on Affbuzz helped him by sending a lot of traffic his way.
An article I posted a few months ago also came back to my mind: Why AffBuzz Bar is a Fail (Nice Try Though). At the end of this article that was written on May 9, 2011, I was warning my fellow bloggers how the Affbuzz Bar introduction in May was going to eat up their Alexa Rankings since their site was not getting “real” traffic anymore and they were presented in an Iframe. Well, I was 100% right. Just watch the following graphs to understand what is going on:
Affbuzz.com Alexa Graph
IanFernando.com Alexa Graph
Ppc.bz Alexa Graph
FinchSells.com Alexa Graph
DirectResponse.net Alexa Graph
Hmm, still wondering now? That’s quite ironic to see that Ian Fernando was probably the most hit (sorry about that, bro) while he has been posting support on Twitter by saying that he was liking the Affbuzz Bar.
However, don’t misunderstand this post. I do not mean that these blogs are being seen by less pair of eyes, they are just not being “rewarded” with the Alexa Rank they deserve because they are being viewed through an Iframe. And anyway this is traffic sent by Affbuzz in the first place so its owner can basically do whatever he want with it… (If you don’t mind the fact this Affbuzz wouldn’t exist if it was not fed by dedicated bloggers like us).
One will argue the importance and accuracy of Alexa Rankings. The main problem I see for bloggers in our industry is not vanity (even though this hurts not to be in Alexa top 100k anymore) but the fact that you don’t have a decent Alexa rank to present to potential advertisers for your blog. And like it or not but people go on a regular basis to Alexa to see the kind of traffic a blog is receiving compared to the rest of the niche.
Moreover, I suspect that the Affbuzz bar might have had another effect on the visitors we are receiving. Since people are not actually leaving the Affbuzz domain, there is a huge risk that they will visit less pages and spend less time on each blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to confirm that yet because I have not been featured long enough on Affbuzz to have relevant data (but I invite my fellow bloggers to check the average number of pageviews, and average time spent on their site by visitors coming from Affbuzz, from February 1st to May 1st and from May 15th to August 15th).
We preach all year long that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. I think these events perfectly demonstrates what is going on when one of your main traffic sources decides to jack your pageviews.