We all want website content that will help us sell our products. We also want content that will be recognized by the major search engines. Of course we all want thousands of people finding our websites each day and as a result purchasing the nifty things we have to sell. More and more people are turning to data feeds in the hopes of providing content for their websites.
Let me start off by saying this, if you are using data feeds to inform people about the product you are selling this can be a good plan. The people who actually make the product and are paid to market it probably knows a great deal more than you as a simple affiliate do. However, if you are relying solely on their words to market your website and their products, you can’t count on the search engines to help people find your product. Google doesn’t like to reward those who aren’t providing original substantive content.
In fact, Google does quite the opposite. They tend to punish unimaginative website owners by putting them somewhere near the bottom of the page rankings or not picking them up at all. While there are no mathematical equations floating around that I’m aware of, I would be afraid to use data feeds for more than about 20% of the content on any given website. There are actually more reasons than poor Google rankings to consider that lead me to this round figure.
First of all, people want to be informed when they come to your website. They also want to be entertained. What they don’t want is to be pitched. We can’t even go to a drive thru these days without being pitched “wanna super size that?” We don’t want to visit a site that is full of ads without anything that is really substantial. This will result in clicking the big x at the top of the screen and never coming back.
By providing informative and entertaining content that is relative to the topic being searched, you are inviting the surfer to stay a while, by offering frequent updates you are asking them to come back. If you have your data feeds with product information scattered throughout your site you are giving them the option of clicking and buying without making an obvious sales pitch. People feel much better about deciding to buy than they do about being sold. Trust me, that’s just the way it works.
Using data feeds as content certainly isn’t a bad idea, as long as you exercise good judgment in not only the amount of data feeds you are using on your website but the data feed to content ratio. It is vitally important to have a good balance of data feed to unique content in order to achieve good page ranking with the search engines in addition to good will from your readers. You want the readers that keep coming back and then tell their friends. By offering frequent updates and good content in addition to data feeds that inform your readers about your product you are increasing your sales potential by vast margins.