What Happened to Amazon Sales?

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  1. Glenn Stok profile image98
    Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks ago

    Amazon used to account for half my earnings on HubPages with sales happening every day. Now for the past five days (July 28 – Aug 1) I had zero sales.

    I’m still getting Google traffic to my articles that have Amazon capsules and Amazon text links. So I’m wondering what changed.

    Hopefully the HP team might have some clue. Anyone else notice this awful change with Amazon?

    1. sallybea profile image95
      sallybeaposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      I see the same happening.  I have had nothing since July 28th until today.

    2. chef-de-jour profile image96
      chef-de-jourposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      I don't get that many Amazon sales throughout the year - I rely on Google traffic - but did notice some earnings on a sale recently, dated July 22nd. A week later, July 29th, these were deducted. So I earned a little but then it was nullified. Not sure what that means?

      1. Glenn Stok profile image98
        Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        That means the buyer returned the item.

    3. Sherry Hewins profile image94
      Sherry Hewinsposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      I am not having that issue. I have Amazon earnings showing for every day for the past week. They amount to about half of what my HP earnings are for that time.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image98
        Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        Thanks Sherry. That shows it's not a problem with Amazon.

        It's strange that all of a sudden sales revenue has stopped for me even though Amazon shows sales. However, I just noticed that those sales were not shipped yet. That would explain why the revenue has not been posted yet.

    4. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Amazon is my saving grace right now. I am making sales.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image98
        Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        That's great, Kenna. smile

    5. alikhan3 profile image95
      alikhan3posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Hi Glenn,

      Since the beginning of July, I have experienced traffic drops on most of my top performers. Part of that traffic has returned, but it certainly was an abnormally low period.

      I do not earn from Amazon, but I see the trend bearing similarity.

    6. jiberish profile image87
      jiberishposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      HP snipes all my Amazon ads.

  2. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
    PaulGoodman67posted 7 weeks ago

    Yes, there's been a catastrophic fall in Amazon earnings.

    Much of this site's trouble with the Google algo over the years has been over Amazon. I'm guessing we got hit again and HP are working on it.

    One thing that makes Amazon hubs so sensitive, I've found, is that people are way more likely to click and buy when article is number 1 in the SERPS, or at least very high up. Clicks and conversions seem to drop off dramatically if the article falls in rankings, even just one or two spots.

    That's what I suspect has happened (I'll be honest and say I'll not analyzed the stats)

    In my case, I think that both clicks and conversion rates are lower. I mean they're always bad in late summer, but not this bad!

    I guess HP will either fix it through technical measures or there will be even more draconian rules introduced regarding articles with Amazon links... sad

    1. Glenn Stok profile image98
      Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Google Algorithms. I’m still getting Google traffic to those articles.

      Interestingly, my Amazon Detailed Report page shows I had two sales since July 28th, but no earnings. It's also unusual to have days with no sales.

      I'm thinking it seems to be an issue with Amazon not posting sales. I hope HubPages staff looks into that.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
        PaulGoodman67posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        My experience is that all my hub traffic dropped by well over 30% following the series of algo changes. That included the ones with Amazon links.

        Are you saying that your hubs with Amazon links didn't lose traffic?

        I am still getting lots of Amazon earnings, just dramatically down since the algo hit.

        1. Glenn Stok profile image98
          Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          All my hubs lost traffic, same as everyone else who posted about that issue. But what I'm saying is that my Amazon hubs didn't lose any more than the average loss experienced across all my hubs.

          To put it another way, it's clear that the Google Algorithm changes affected our traffic. But I don't see that it affected hubs with Amazon ads any more than those without Amazon.

          I'm still getting the same number of clicks on Amazon ads on average, just no sales.

        2. Glenn Stok profile image98
          Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          I may have missed your last sentence when I replied earlier. Now I have two questions in relation to your last sentence:

          1. Since July 28th have you had Amazon earnings?
          2. Since the Google Algorithm changes, are your Amazon hubs hit worse than non-Amazon? In my case everything is down about the same.

          1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
            PaulGoodman67posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

            I have two main sources of data:

            The first is that not all my Amazon links were shifted over to HP. I have a lot of them and a number remain my own and not replaced (more through accident than design, but useful in this situation). HP statistical Amazon data is almost non-existent, but the data from my own/independent links on here tells me that not only have clicks on here diminished dramatically, but conversion rates have been hit harder (there's many more people clicking but not buying now).

            The second source of data is my 11 accounts. Some of those accounts are hub-ad orientated, some are Amazon focused, and some are mixed. The ones focused most on Amazon incomes have done the worst proportionately.

            The above are what my thoughts are based on.

            While a coincidence can never be ruled out, the timing and data evidence suggest it's algo-related.

            I have an open mind, but am yet to see anything that undermines my interpretation.

            1. Glenn Stok profile image98
              Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

              The HubPages Amazon Program report does show clicks, sales, and shipments. So I just took another look, comparing back in time.

              10% of my clicks usually resulted in sales. But I see that clicks were suddenly reduced since July 28th.  I still had two sales, although that’s low, since I usually had a couple of sales every day in the past.

              The present problem is that those two sales were not shipped yet. So no revenue is posted. Amazon never had such a long delay with shipping before, but it could be a result of the specific items I have listed in my hubs.

              The one thing the HubPages Amazon report does not show is which hub resulted in the sales. That would be useful.

              1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
                PaulGoodman67posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                We could be stuck with low Amazon sales for some time. Even if HP can fix issue, we still may have to wait for another big Google algo update before much changes.

                This feels a bit like what happened in late 2019, but worse in some ways.

                1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
                  PaulGoodman67posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                  I did a bit more analysis. My clicks have halved. But conversion rate has als dropped from the 15 or 16% percent it was earlier this year to around 8% now. Consequently Amazon sales are only a quarter of what they were. sad

                  1. Glenn Stok profile image98
                    Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Thanks for that additional info, Paul. I went back to my May report to compare, and I noticed my clicks dropped to a third of what they were in May. So you did better than me, losing only half of the clicks. Nevertheless, I know that still hurts as well.

                    I’m beginning to wonder if browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) are beginning to block Amazon ads.  I mostly use capsules, and only a few hubs use text links. In the past I noticed that ad blockers did not block Amazon capsule ads. That may have changed. Any thoughts on that?

  3. Solaras profile image97
    Solarasposted 7 weeks ago

    Outside of a return on the 28th, I have had earnings everyday since then.  All told, enough to buy a Happy Meal and McDs.

    1. Glenn Stok profile image98
      Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Barbara, Are you saying you had Amazon sales showing earnings? I just want to be sure you're not referring to HP earnings. That's not the issue.

  4. Glenn Stok profile image98
    Glenn Stokposted 7 weeks ago

    Amazon just posted earnings for those two prior orders. And I see another sale pending shipment. Hopefully whatever happened has been resolved on their end.

  5. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
    PaulGoodman67posted 2 weeks ago

    As this 5 week old thread has suddenly done a Lazarus and sprung back to life, let me say that my Amazon income has also come back to life to a degree.

    6 weeks ago it was down by around 2/3. Now it's down by about 1/3.

    So, there's been an improvement of sorts. Part of it's no doubt due to seasonal factors, but it's still better than nothing.

  6. Glenn Stok profile image98
    Glenn Stokposted 2 weeks ago

    That’s great, Paul, that your Amazon sales are improving again. In my case, I found out why I was missing sales. I dug deeper into the stats and looked at the items on Amazon that I was listing. It turned out that they were out of stock with one of my biggest sellers. Once that was resolved, I'm earning from sales again.

    That goes to show how important it is to keep an eye on the availability of the items we write about.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 13 days agoin reply to this

      Glen, that's great news. Now, you have additional knowledge of the circumstance. It just goes to show us that hard work pays off.

    2. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
      PaulGoodman67posted 13 days agoin reply to this

      I'm not jumping for joy, but things were truly dire in summer, so it's good within that context. I don't think I'll ever have the Amazon earnings back that I had a few years ago.

      I check my Amazon links every few months and amend products/articles where necessary. It takes me a few full days, but it's worth it. A couple of years ago I got lazy and it cost me. Nowadays, I try to stay on top of things.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image98
        Glenn Stokposted 13 days agoin reply to this

        Yep. It cost me too. sad Amazon sales usually account for half my earnings on HubPages. When I ignored the issue and merely was wondering what was wrong, I was losing big time.

        If I would have simply looked at those items on Amazon sooner, I would have noticed the words, “Out of stock!” Then I could have made the adjustments sooner, as you do.

    3. eugbug profile image96
      eugbugposted 11 days agoin reply to this

      Deleted

      1. eugbug profile image96
        eugbugposted 11 days agoin reply to this

        That's happened to me too a couple of times. I haven't checked it out in detail, but this article mentions setting up UptimeRobot to monitor for a product being back in stock. Maybe it's possible to use this or similar utilities for monitoring Amazon links and checking for "out of stock"?
        https://www dot cnet dot com/tech/services-and-software/create-a-personal-robot-that-alerts-you-when-a-product-is-back-in-stock/

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
          PaulGoodman67posted 11 days agoin reply to this

          Initially, when HP introduced the broken link scanner, I thought hurray! because I thought it would be detecting "broken" Amazon product links too! Alas, this was not the case!

          We get notified about duplicate content, etc. but the thing that I'd really like HP to give me for Christmas is notification of Amazon product links that don't work for whatever reason...

          It's a little crazy really, I will have a look at those products you mention, Eugene, it's tiresome doing it all manually, when the internet is almost completely automated.

          I'm also convinced that there are plenty of negligent hubbers who have links that they never check, which can't help the site overall.

          1. Glenn Stok profile image98
            Glenn Stokposted 11 days agoin reply to this

            That’s a reasonable assumption, Paul. But the fact is that when an item is temporarily not available, the Amazon product listing does not become a broken link with 404 error.

            Instead, it remains as an active page and simply includes a message somewhere on the page saying the item is no longer available, temporarily unavailable, or out of stock.

            I think Eugene's suggestion might work, using the Uptime Robot Monitor, but we would need to monitor for all possibilities.

            1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
              PaulGoodman67posted 11 days agoin reply to this

              Yes, that's why I put "broken link" in quotations for Amazon, Glenn. I'm familiar with what the Amazon pages look like. The truth is that there are a lot of things that can happen with a product.

              It can go out of stock. The name changes sometimes, though it's the same product. Sometimes it becomes archaic. I've seen all sorts of things happen over the years with the products.

              That's why there's never been an HP "broken link" detector for Amazon, I believe.

              I always try to update ad-orientated hubs at least once/year. Amazon hubs I try to check/update at least 4 times/year. It's a major job, I have a lot of them.

              1. Glenn Stok profile image98
                Glenn Stokposted 10 days agoin reply to this

                Absolutely correct, Paul. The points you mentioned could be a reason why we see so many Hubbers complaining about not making money from Amazon.

                You’re right that we need to keep an eye on all our hubs that have Amazon capsules or in-text links.

                The filter in the stats report to show Amazon hubs only shows those with capsules, not text links. I keep a list of my articles that have Amazon items, so I can go through that list to check once in a while, as you recommended.

        2. Glenn Stok profile image98
          Glenn Stokposted 11 days agoin reply to this

          I took a quick look at the description of the uptime monitor. Thanks Eugene. That looks Iike it might be useful for monitoring Amazon products for out of stock.

          It’s not meant for that, so it has to be used backward from its intended purpose. For example, It will notify “up” when “out of stock” suddenly appears. When we get that alert we would know we need to replace the item in our article with a similar alternative that is available.

          The problem is that we don’t know if Amazon uses the same term each time when an item is out of stock. And it’s case sensitive too. So this idea is still experimental. But thanks for bringing this tool to our attention.

    4. ziyena profile image94
      ziyenaposted 13 days ago

      Not having an issue.  Had three Amazon hits in the last four days.  Seems to be on Owlcation articles ... traffic there seems to be up as well.  Plus Ive got a 09/11 article ... that always helps this time each year.

    5. bravewarrior profile image93
      bravewarriorposted 10 days ago

      I recently updated an article of mine, originally posted in 2013,  that is a review of a mattress topper. It's one of my top viewed. However, when I attempted to embed a link to the product, I was unable. I know HP frowns upon the out-and-out Amazon capsule, so why am I unable to embed a link, as they prefer?

      To further explain, I'd originally bought the topper at Big Lots. HP editors deleted many paragraphs of my review, including where I bought it and those where my personality explained what led up to the purchase in the first place. I wasn't pleased that, after all these years, they eliminated half of the copy (and my personality), but thought I'd watch the stats to see whether or not their edit made sense. So far, I don't see a difference. I'm willing to remove the references to Big Lots, but why am I unable to include an Amazon link? I've checked Amazon to see it they sell this topper and the answer is yes, they do.

      So, why can't I embed a link and earn off this highly-read review?

      1. Glenn Stok profile image98
        Glenn Stokposted 10 days agoin reply to this

        You might not be doing it correctly. First, look up the ASIN number in Amazon’s listing of the item. Then go ahead and highlight the text in the hubedit tool and click the link icon. Enter Amazon's ASIN number of the item in the search field and select the item that appears below that. The highlighted text should now become an Amazon link.

    6. Rochelle Frank profile image93
      Rochelle Frankposted 10 days ago

      Amazon used to account for about 3/4 of my total earnings... real nice when the percentage was around 8% on  a couple of items selling on a regular basis that were in the 30-40 dollar retail price range. Yes it has dropped a lot, but still some revenue. The percentages went down suddenly and steeply.

     
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