opinion

White Labels: What They Do Well and Why

Stewart Tongue

In recent months White Label marketing has come under fire consistently from Search Engines and affiliates who have been utilizing them improperly as traffic generation tools rather than as the brandable-landers they were intended to be from the start.

In December 2013 Matt Cutts made the bold statement that Google believes 25-30 percent of the entire internet is now duplicate content (http://tinyurl.com/ljq95ll). Cutts then went on to explain that duplicate content does not earn a penalty for site per se, instead what Google does is group all duplicate content sites with the same content and then ranks only the best one of those sites for that content. The other sites are not penalized or sand-boxed overall, but at least for that item they simply do not appear in search results.

It took a bit of technical skill to create your own site and to promote. Nowadays with the white labels it’s very easy and this has resulted in an explosion. White labels are flooding the Internet because anybody can create one. —Tristan, of WeCamGirls.com

While much of what Matt Cutts says has been disproven by SEO trial and error of the past, this claim has definitely been witnessed in the real world behaving exactly the way he originally claimed.

In regard to white labels, where nearly all of the content is 100 percent identical to other white labels of the same product, and to the sponsor created original site, this creates a playing field where your content will only rank if it happens to somehow be better than every other iteration of the same item on other sites. For most white labels that amounts to effectively being locked out of organic search results. Google later doubled-down on their newfound hatred of porn by changing AdWords policy to reject all adult related traffic buys from their platform. That means your white label cam site very is unlikely to get any organic or paid traffic from Google any time soon.

While part-time affiliates have gone to industry message boards howling at the moon over the ‘unfairness’ they feel is inherently holding them back, professional webmasters have been largely unaffected by these changes because their white labels were designed to process traffic from other sources primarily and any organic growth was mostly a free bonus on top of the revenue they generated by converting existing traffic from paysite members areas or other sources already. The real benefit of a white label remains the ability to maintain brand continuity, so that your paysite members are able to watch live shows at [YourSiteName]cams rather than on [SomeOtherSiteName]cams instead — earning you the full affiliate value of any upsells while mitigating the chance the customer will abandon your site for one you promote outside of your brand.

Some are now noticing that the quantity of low-grade competitors is also crowding out many of the worthwhile sites as well.

”In some ways making money using affiliate marketing has been a lot easier in the past, simply because there was less competition,” said Tristan of WeCamGirls.com. “It took a bit of technical skill to create your own site and to promote. Nowadays with the white labels it’s very easy and this has resulted in an explosion. White labels are flooding the Internet because anybody can create one.”

There are some things white label owners can do to make their sites stand out from the pack of duplicate content sites they compete with, but none of these will allow a white label to out rank truly original sites — which makes sense when a white label is a few hours of work that any hobbyist can do, while an original cam site can require years of intensive labor by a team of qualified professionals.

The simplest tweak comes in the form of the original text, meta data and design allowed by most white label templates. Many white label webcam or tube options allow you to enter unique titles, tags, descriptions, images, layouts, themes and more.

While the amount of customization allowed does vary considerably from one platform to another, it is worth mentioning that many affiliates fail to do even the most basic work beyond uploading a logo and favicon to their site profile.

The downside of doing many hours of original work to your white label site is that you ate essentially sharecropping, by providing massive amounts of original text content and other upgrades to a platform you do not own or unilaterally control.

At the extreme end of the spectrum, fully customizing some sites is a large percentage of the work that would have been required to create an entirely original site of your own and there are never any meaningful guarantees that you will be paid for your work, will be able to operate your white label as long as you like or that you’ll be able to market it as you see fit.

That leaves small time affiliates in limbo, choosing between duplicate content sites that cannot gain market share or original sites that have a much higher barrier to entry price point.

Some providers have started addressing these concerns by fortifying the white label paradigm in other ways.

For example, while Spencer of EZ Camsites freely admits, “The main benefit of having a white label site is that you can direct traffic to your site, without having to use any affiliate tracking codes, our white label program is unique in that it’s an end-to-end white label solution, encompassing both the affiliate side of the business and the studio side. Thus, our affiliates can refer both member and model traffic to their sites.

When members register, the affiliate receives a commission based on the member’s spending. When a model registers on the site, the model is automatically inserted into the affiliate’s studio account, so the affiliate will receive credit for all her shows, even when she performs on other sites in our network. Additionally, when we setup a white label for an affiliate, we replace all references to our brand with the affiliate’s brand. This is true not only on the main website, but also on the model signup area, the model admin area and in all emails sent to both members and models. Thus, neither members nor models will ever know that the site is a white label.”

By wrapping model referrals into the white label system, EZ Camsites does offer another significant revenue stream for affiliates capable of acquiring new cam models for the platform.

At a time when Google in particular appears poised to completely ignore porn, choosing the right tools for your traffic is an essential element of maximizing your ROI on every individual click. Throwing up a white label simply because it’s easy to do and looks fairly nice out of the box may not actually serve any legitimate goals for your business plan.

As a traffic acquisition tool there are few things less desirable than a white label in today’s online economy. However, for those who are seeking a monetization device at the end of a sales funnel that gathers visitors from other sources, white labels continue to be an excellent conversion tool that maintain your branding and upsell profitability network wide.

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