PlayIt4ward-Furman University

In 2003 it was generally understood by affiliate marketers that ugly sites that looked like they were “built by a 10 year old” tended to convert exceedingly well.

Major sites like Walmart and CVS use exceedingly plain websites. It may seem counterintuitive to purposely create an “ugly” site but the nearly forgotten affiliate marketing strategy of “ugly sites sell” might be useful to revisit.

The ugly site sells paradigm is not well known nowadays. But it was a well-tested marketing strategy used by affiliate marketers in the early days. In fact,  major websites today use a variation of the ideas discovered back in 2003, so it may pay to revisit this strategy to understand how it came to be and how it might be adapted today.

It was at Pubcon Boston 2003 that affiliate marketers gathered around beers and snacks discovered they had each independently come to the discovery that making their sites ugly (but usable) led to higher sales.

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Tags: backlinks, off-page, seo, techniques

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