SEO affiliation: update on search results on 10,000 keywords – SEO and engine news | The USA Print

From January 13 to January 15, 2023, Glen Allsopp of Detailed SEO analyzed 10,000 search results to see who ranked best among sites promoting products as affiliates.

Focusing on queries in English, the list of queries compiled by the author of the analysis includes phrases such as ” best electric toothbrush », « gifts for best friends », « best pregnancy pillow », « Fastest SSD ” or ” best portable air conditioner “. Each phrase is searched for at least 400 times a month in the United States. Here is, in broad outline, what emerges from this very detailed study.

Later in the article, Glen Allsopp also clarifies the categorization used in the study. Based on a fifteen different categoriesit includes general review sites, specialized affiliate sites, forums, social media, encyclopedias, general e-commerce sites, YouTube, App Store and even SEO agencies.

What you must remember :

  • A small number of large groups dominate the SERPs
  • Independent sites have been losing ground since 2021
  • Specialized domains perform better than generalist domains
  • A good Domain Rating does not necessarily guarantee good positioning
  • EMDs are struggling to find a place in the results pages
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A predominance of sites belonging to large groups

Of the top 100 most represented domains, 95 belong to a news organization, public company, or large network of sites; which leads to only 5 the number of truly independent sites. Another interesting tidbit: out of the top 100 domains, 40 are owned by 3 organizations: Hearst, Dotdash meredith And future.

As for the 10 domains that appear most often in the 10,000 search results, they are: Amazon, NYTimes, YouTube, Forbes, Cnet, Good Housekeeping, Tom’s Guide, TechRadar, The Spruce and NYMag.

1.1% of sites dominate the results pages

In this top 10, the Forbes site is the one that performs the most in the field of promoting affiliate products, appearing 2,047 times on the first page of the 10,000 requests, and 259 times in first place.

The 100 sites that appear most often in search results represent 7,079 first places. In other words, 1.1% of sites share 70% of the first placeswhich leaves little room for the next 900 which represent about 20% of the first places.

100,000 visits on average for independent sites

Of the top 500 domains, 190 are independent brands. Of these, 157 are clearly based on affiliate content. And of those 157 independent affiliate sites, 141 receive 100,000 visits per month from Google’s organic results, according to Ahrefs’ estimates. But above all, 47 sites receive more than one million visitors per month. And only 2 sites benefit from more than 10 million visitors per month: Gear Patrol and MondBodyGreen.

Of all the queries performed, Detailed notices the presence of 8,833 different domains, which represents a 19.3% drop in the number of different sites in the top 10 search results since 2021.

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Specialized sites are better positioned

According to the analyzes carried out on the results pages, ce are the specialized sites that are doing well, closely followed by specialized news sites and “hyper-specialized” sites (hyperniche), whether it is their presence in the SERPs, their positioning in first place or in Featured Snippets. The author also notes that sites that used to monetize mainly through product reviews now tend to densify their content with informative guides or regular updates.

Finally, based on the analyzes carried out, Glen Allsopp hypothesizes that it would be easier to position yourself well with an affiliate site by focusing on a specialized or hyper-specialized theme, rather than on a generalist.

Types of sites present in search results – Source: Detailed

What about the youngest sites?

Regarding the age of the domains present in the search results, the analysis shows that 5% of domains are less than two years old, 100 were recorded in 2022 and the youngest is only 31 days old. Among these shorts sites, which receive 26,428 visitors per month on average, the most popular receives 842,000 monthly visitors. Unsurprisingly, most of these recent domains that manage to rank owe their monthly traffic to redirects or repurposed old content.

A ubiquitous Amazon store, but…

Unsurprisingly, Amazon is very present on the front page, since the famous online store appears in more than 31% of requests. However, the American behemoth lands the first position in only 3% of cases, when it appears in the SERP. This attendance rate climbs to 5.6% in second place, and 7.7% in third place.

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Good positioning = high Domain Rating?

The study also looked at the authority of the domains, comparing it with their respective positioning. Paradoxically, it appears that certain domains deemed to be of low quality by Ahrefs generate a lot of traffic and are positioned well. For example, of the 42 sites with a Domain Rating equal to or less than 50, the one that generates the most traffic, specializing in fitness, still reaches 1.9 million visitors each month. The most represented domains have a score between 81 and 90, with well-rated backlinks.

Extensions that dominate

If the .com remains without surprise the most represented extension in the sites which stand out in the 10,000 requests made, it is interesting to note the presence of dozens of other extensions whose author does not list them complete. Beyond the expected .org, .net, and .co, we find much more exotic extensionssuch as .ai, .cc, .guide, .ninja, .studio…

Types of Extensions Represented in SERPs – Source: Detailed

Virtually no EMDs

The question of the presence of EMDs (Exact Match Domain) is also raised. Glen Allsopp notes that 24 keyword-rich domain names appear in the 10,000 queries made at the start of the year, for only 12 first places. While he draws no conclusion on the potential of such domains, given their limited number, the author nevertheless specifies that the vast majority of EMDs are above all similar to low-quality sites primarily designed to obtain easy backlinks.

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