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Amazon’s Recommender Widget – Why?

Amazon Recommender Widget

Okay, full disclosure time. I’m an “Amazon Associate,” if you haven’t figured that out already. I get affiliate commission from Amazon for the stuff that people buy through the site here. I try to keep from hammering people over the head with ads and such, but I try to balance that with the fact that I want to kill my day job so I can do more of this kind of stuff full-time. Hence, Amazon stuff.

As an aside, I have limits. I don’t do pop-overs or unders because they really, really piss me off. And I don’t put ads over the videos I post on the site, because that bugs the crap out of me. If something bothers me on other people’s sites, I’m sure as hell not going to do it on mine.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to change out the text links to Amazon products with Amazon’s widgets. Primarily I’ve been using the Carousel Widget, the MP3 Widget, and the Slideshow Widget. I do not use the Video Widgets because I don’t like the stuff I’ve heard about Amazon Unbox, and I try not to promote some sort of service on this site that I wouldn’t do myself. So I’ve been going with the widgets because I’m thinking do a visual thing instead of just a text thing.

But tonight I go to create a new widget and what do I see? The Recommender Widget. Basically the concept is: you put this on every page of your site (assuming that you would want every page to get ‘recommended’ at some point, and ninety-nine times out of ten, why wouldn’t you?) and Amazon studies your traffic patterns and will start recommending other pages on your site to people who are already on a page of your site. Oh, and there will be products for sale–as you can see in the image there.

[ad#longpost]Now, let me make myself clear: I dig these Amazon widgets. I’ve sent in a handful of recommendations for how they can improve their widgets–and I wish they would be faster in implementing improved widgets rather than brand, spanking new widgets, but regardless. I don’t meant to slight Amazon when I ask this question: Why?

Why would I do this? I’m seriously struggling with an answer on that. I already use the Similar Posts WordPress plugin. Basically if somebody went to a page on something from Pixar, I’ve talked about Pixar in the post, it will, based on the content of the article, put more relevant Pixar things in the Similar Posts listing at the bottom of the post. Is this new widget giving me something I don’t already have?

I’m not going to play around with it at the moment–but if somebody does, I’d love to hear your take on it.