Amazon Affiliate Websites - Black Hat SEO or White Hat SEO?

Amazon Affiliate Websites

Should You Choose A Black Hat or White Hat SEO Growth Strategy?




Everybody wants to make big money with the Amazon affiliate program, that's why most people join it. It comes as no surprise the bigger the reach of your website is, the more money you will earn.

Big organic search engine traffic, big social followings and big email lists equal big earnings, just like any other business. So lets compare the white hat and black hat strategies to achieve these goals.


Big Organic Search Engine Traffic The White Hat Way

If you plan to slowly grow your website into a sustainable income and minimise all risks such as Google penalties then these are the best options for white hat SEO with Amazon affiliate websites.

White hat backlink building
Building any sort of links is actually against the Google webmaster guidelines. So techniques such as profile link creation and PBNs are off the table. However you can simply ask other people to link to you. Here are two methods for "earning" backlinks.

  • Broken link building - Broken link building is the process of finding websites that are linking out to other websites but the link is now broken. For example the domain being linked out to may now of expired due to the business going under or one of many other reasons a website may shutdown. Once you've found a website in your niche that is linking out to another website in your niche with a broken link you can then email the webmaster and inform him of the broken link and suggest he links to some of your content if its similar. You can even use a tool like ahrefs to find all websites linking to the website that has no expired/shutdown.

  • Content marketing - Another strategy is to build up an email list of similar websites in your niche as email them when you release new content. If your content truly is amazon and informative (not just a sales pitch) there is a chance they will link to it. It's a numbers game, email enought people who might be interested with a great personalised pitch and you'll get some links to your new content.

  • Resource page requests - Know a good website in your niche that has a links page or a resources page? If your website is good then reach out to them and ask them to include you on their links/resources page.

  • Testimonial requests - Many websites have testimonial pages. If you are a user of any of these website's products then offer to write a testimonial about their service or product, you'll typically get a do follow backlink in return. Whats also really great about these testimonial links is that they are often homepage links so they really pack a lot of punch and send a lot of link juice to your website.

While these link building strategies will push your website up Google and keep it safe from penalties they are slow compared to the black hat strategies that we'll cover later on in the post. Webmasters are constantly bombarded with requests to link to websites so you really have to make your pitch stand out.

White hat content creation
White hat content creation for Amazon affiliate websites is fairly simple. You either write it yourself or pay someone else to write it. For it to be white hat and Google safe is should be unique (not coped from another website), informative and grammatically correct. Again white hat content creation takes time but it will also stand the test of time. It also holds its value compared to spun black hat content so when you come to sell the website you'll get a much better price for it.


Big Organic Search Engine Traffic The Black Hat Way

If you want to start making money quickly quickly with an niche Amazon affiliate website and don't care about it getting a Google penalty or your Amazon account banned then a black hat strategy may be the best option for you. These websites are known as churn and burn websites.

Black hat backlink building
Building any sort of links is actually against the Google webmaster guidelines. So techniques such as profile link creation and PBNs are off the table. However you can simply ask other people to link to you. Here are two methods for "earning" backlinks.

  • Buying links - This is a pretty simple be effective method to increase your Amazon affiliate website's rankings. You simply send a message to fellow webmasters in your niche or a related niche and offer to pay them money to link from their website to your website and as well all know niche related backlinks boost your website up Google.

  • Automated link building tools - Automated link building tools such as GSA Search Engine Ranker and RankerX work by automatically registering and building links on forums, web 2.0s and websites where you can leave blog comments. These are fairly easy for Google to algorithmically detect as they leave whats known as a lrage footprint. Which basically means many of the same links on the same platforms.

  • Expired Web 2.0 - When you register a Tumblr subdomain for example funnycats.Tumblr.com and don't login for over 6 months they can expire. Once they are expired anyone can re-register them and add links from the Tumblr website to their own website with the aim of increasing its rankings on Google. While these are a very cost effective way to increase your rankings (as they are free) too many can leave a large SEO footprint and get your website penalised.

  • Public blog networks - Public blog networks are networks of websites that were once active but have now let their domains expire. This can happen due to a business going under or a blogger moving onto other projects. Once these domains expire PBN builders either buy them at expired domain auctions (such as GoDaddy) or re-register them normally as you would any other domain. Once they own them they add content and link out to other websites to boost their rankings.

  • Private blog networks - The difference between a private blog network and a public blog network is that in a public blog network the links are generally sold to link buyers (the public) and in a private blog network its typically the owner of the domain that links to just his own websites.

  • Hacked links - Using hacked backlinks to increase your websites rankings is about as black hat as you can get. These are sold on shady forums so be careful if you do decide to buy these. The chances of you getting scammed is quite high.

  • Scholarship links - While some may argue this is just grey hat and not black hat, is is still against the Google webmaster guidelines. Scholarship link building is when you offer a scholarship on your website to students who fit a certain criteria. You offer this scholarship worth a few thousand dollars because universities will link from their websites to your scholarship page on your own website. These links will pass huge amounts of link juice and really help increase your rankings but again its a risky strategy and Google recently very publicly penalised many websites using this backlink building method.

While these link building strategies will get you results quickly its worth reiterating that you risk the possibility of Google algorithmically penalising you or a competitors reporting you for unnatural link building to your website and Google manually reviewing your website and applying to manual penalty to it. In turn this will cause all your rankings to tank. So is not really a long term strategy.

Black hat content creation
Black hat content creation is a an art in itself. While its absolutely not a long term strategy and will probably get your website deindexed you'd be amazed at how creative black hat SEO's are when it comes to content creation. Lets look at a few methods they use.

  • Copying other website's content - This is a fairly basic black hat content strategy you simply search for content in your niche, copy it and add it to your website. The advantage of this method compared to writing your own content is that its very quick. The disadvantage is its obviously illegal and Google doesn't typically rank duplicate content very highly.

  • Cloning websites - This is a rather sophisticated method of black hat content generation. A webmaster will use a script then when loaded on their website will call another website (the target to be copied) and download its content and server it through the original website. As a result of this if you visit the black hat website it will look like a real time clone of the target about. The black hat webmaster will typically insert Amazon affiliate links randomly into the content hoping to get some conversions. Google deindexes these websites pretty quickly once they are reported.

  • Spun content - This method is still used widely across the web. Spun content is content that is normally copied from another website then put through a process called spinning where words are replaced with other words that have similar meanings with the aim of making the content unique in the eyes of Google. While spun content still ranks in Google, if you are reported by another webmaster you will probably get deindexed.

  • Content aggregation - This is not necessarily black hat. It all depends on its implementation. Content aggregation is where a website pulls in content from sources around the web and stitches it together with the aim of making something useful to the user. It is duplicate content but its mean to offer value so Google doesn't stop webmasters from doing using this method. However if you own a Amazon affiliate content aggregation website that offers no value to the users and it just pure spam then you risk the wrath of Google.


Conclusion

We hope you've enjoyed reading about how fellow webmasters use both black hat and white hat methods to make money from the Amazon affiliate program.

While black hat is a sure way to make a quick buck it doesn't really scale or last long.

It's also much harder to sell a black hat amazon affiliate website because there is much more risk to the buyer. The website might get deindexed the day after buying it!