It’s time to shift your focus beyond media

If you run affiliate programs, you know the positive impact of being featured in Good Housekeeping, CNN Underscored, Wirecutter and Rolling Stone lists.

They optimize incredibly well for high-intent shopping phrases. You see substantially higher conversion rates because of the trust they add to the referral. Mainstream media adds credibility to your brand. Adding media company logos to your brand’s PR bar helps increase buyer trust and conversions.

The benefits don’t stop there. As an affiliate manager, you can show your top and middle funnel traffic to your boss or clients.

You can be the hero of the PR team because their lives are easier if you keep an affiliate program alive.

You have the visibility and the keys to the income in your company, giving you a good name.

But Google’s introduction of AI-powered search could mean a change in media listings. Here’s what affiliate managers can do about it.

Yes from Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) takes off, there may not be as much traffic going to media listings anymore

Based on screenshots from SGE’s announcement and what industry advocates have shared, you’ll see that Google’s AI-powered search results are stored in the top results with affiliate listings under.

This takes the affiliate list out of the traffic picture you used to enjoy. But that doesn’t mean that media affiliate lists aren’t valuable.

The companies listed above, along with Forbes Advisor, USA Today, Healthline, US News, BuzzFeed and other publications, drive traffic to listings from ads on their own sites.

And their own sites are “destination sites,” meaning they have a regular audience as people use them as jumping off points for advice.

Niche mass media sites can probably get all three boxes highlighted. The most important thing is to have a loyal audience and traffic sources that can continue to generate income.

So don’t cut them off if your SEO traffic dries up. Change your strategy.

You’ll still get some revenue from them, but not like when they dominated the top of “Best Products for XYZ” and “Top Products for ABC” queries. So what can you do to replace it?

I would say go back to what made the affiliate channel a great value in the first place, partnering with authentic voices and high-funnel touchpoints.

These are partners that bring customers into the top of the funnel and drive traffic to your website without having to use your brand in SEO, PPC or other methods.

Some of the new places your high value partners can become in the top 10 include:

Short Film Makers Unreviewed Video Creators Unreviewed Content Editors Landing Sites

Producers of shorts

The new SGE has a feature called Perspectives.

If the searcher doesn’t trust the AI ​​answer results, they can flip to find real opinions. It can be about a product, your company or creating a solution.

Micro-influencers with niche authority (plumbers, school teachers, moms talking about local resources for kids, etc.) can be the big winners here.

Google is finding and showing “hidden gems” with the useful content update. And it looks like the outlook may give these niche content producers an edge.

If they regularly share real experiences, have authority on the subject and stick to their niche, they are likely to be the hidden gems and gain the characteristics of large media-dominated queries that rely on editorial authority and trust.

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Unreviewed video and content producers

Not reviewed means that the content creator is not reviewing your brand and does not include your brand in the title as keywords (specifically on YouTube). Instead, they focus on the solution.

As affiliate managers, we often encourage reviews, but this can work against us.

Adding your branding to the title tag and throughout the solution changes the meaning of the content. Here is an example:

The Best Flower Subscription Amazon’s Best Flower Subscription

Both will help an end user find a flower subscription. But a signal to a search engine or YouTube that they should only show content when the brand is present in the query, in this case, Amazon.

By removing the branding and instead of using affiliate links pointing to Amazon, the content now has a better chance of showing up for the big phrase “best flower subscription”.

Amazon still gets the sales and traffic and it’s a pure value add because it’s the traffic that the affiliate sends and the consumer may not have been considering Amazon as an option.

This is why you should encourage affiliates no to focus on your brand, especially with coupons and deals. Troubleshoot instead:

Find the best product. Fix something that’s broken. Enhance a recipe. Etc.

Making the content without requiring your branding in the title and throughout the description tells the search engine that the content applies to everyone.

When your brand is included, it should only be shown to someone searching for the solution and your brand in the same query.

It limits the amount of traffic your business can acquire and the amount the affiliate can get.

Video can help conversion because it shows that the product solves the problem.

But it doesn’t have as much value because the customer already knows your brand and is already in the sales funnel. But it adds value, so again, don’t just remove them.

You can apply this to:

How to Change the Oil in a (Insert Car Model) Ways to Bake a Sugar Free Almond Cake 7 Alternatives to the Flat Head Screw 9 Decorating Ideas for Studio Apartments

Do not add the mark to the title. Your affiliates can increase their chances of traffic and income substantially, while your business or client can gain new customers that they would not have had without the affiliate.

Places of destination

Find and recruit target websites to your programs. Since we’re referring to “destination sites,” I’ll use travel affiliate sites to illustrate.

Expedia, TripAdvisor, The Points Guy and others are destinations for consumers to research with a community or publishers they trust.

They have an active audience and community, and when they want to, they can fill your sales funnel with high-intent customers you might not have had without them.

Since these sites are trusted communities, it will probably be easier for them to enter the three boxes that the SGE interface recommends to read more.

They are the “authorities” of the EEAT in specific inquiries. It can be big (like saving money at Disney) or small (like finding the best hiking tours in Virginia wine country).

These websites have had years of user-generated content (UGC) and self-regulation by the community. These same people comment on the answers and check them.

Upvoting and downvoting, moderators, new comments from people who used the information, and verified customer reviews build more trust and should give sites the ability to rank in these spaces more easily .

If your affiliate program can be listed on these pages with a resource, then you are the one who will benefit from the new search results if they happen to be one of the linked resources.

Your company also has access to community members looking for ideas and solutions on these pages. It’s a huge win for traffic and sales, and there are communities for almost every niche. Parenting, beauty, marketing, developers, photography and artists, etc.

Collaborating with authentic voices

There are other types of partners that we should expect to rise from the new SGE. It could be:

Forums with active moderation. Wikis that are checked and obtained. Niche guides written by licensed and certified experts in the field.

By investing in these and continuing to work with the media, you can make up for lower buy list positions and potentially increase your overall business volume.

So don’t panic if you notice that media listings are a little lower in the search results.

Mass media adds a lot of value. The important thing is to keep those relationships strong and look at who is getting the traffic now.

It’s a little more work, but it’s also more protection for your channel because you’re diversifying your traffic and income streams.

The views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About the Author: Ted Simmons

I follow and report the current news trends on Google news.

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