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Thread: Can affiliate links hurt G serps?

  1. #1
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    Can affiliate links hurt G serps?

    I'm wondering if having various affiliate ads (like weight loss or dating etc) can hurt g serps...... in other words, when gbot is scanning, does it frown at all at those type of affiliate links and thus hurt your ranking a bit?

    thanks,
    kf
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  2. #2
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    Not as far as I can tell. I have a lot of sites with affiliate links. Some of them even have a bunch of aff links. In fact, one of them (which I no longer own, but still keep track of), has consistently ranked top 3 for its main kw for several years, and the home page itself has over 40 aff links on it. Basically, the entire home page is nothing but aff links.
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  3. #3
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    i think a lot of it has to do with the 'value-added' that your site provides to the user.....(it's important not to be a 'thin affiliate')

    for example, a few years ago i had a travel site (100% thin affiliate) that ranked well in the SERPs. i changed nothing on the site, and then one day it was gone for all keywords.

    last june a guy named Hank van Ess discovered a secret document (and backend to google called eval.google.com) that is rumoured to be the quality control 'guidelines' for spam recognition.... there are even some screenshots of the eval backend where users evaulated SERPs for spam.

    anyway, affiliate links are definitely mentioned in that guide, including the definition of a 'thin affiliate'... pretty interesting read.
    Last edited by toddieg; 03-25-2006 at 07:06 AM.

  4. #4
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    Very good point, toddieg. Let me give you the url to the site I was talking about above, that I no longer own, but it still ranks in G (currently at #2) for the keyword phrase "coldfusion hosting".

    www.coldfusion-hosting-plans.com

    Notice that although the home page is filled with aff links, the page definitely has value added information. I really think this is the key to doing well with aff sites, unless of course you are just throwing the occasional aff link into a content-rich site. In that case, the aff links probably don't matter at all. But if the focus is getting people to go to the affiliate sites, you really need to have some sort of value-added information on it.
    You'll never shine if you don't glow

    Donna Fontenot - eBusiness Coach / Consultant.

  5. #5
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    yep donna. your site has *MUCH* more 'value added' than my old travel site

    another example of 'lessons learned the hard way' could be seen in a jewelry store website i made in 2004.... all i did was copy pictures & product descriptions from CJ and slap them up on a series of pages. ultimately, the product pages were loaded with outgoing qksrv.com affiliate links to the merchant....(qksrv links are specifically noted in that document)

    needless to say, that didn't last long.
    (although i'm not sure what ultimately did it in... could've been the duplicate content, could've been the affiliate links - probably both)
    Last edited by toddieg; 03-25-2006 at 07:54 AM.

  6. #6
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    If your site is based around an affiliate program, where (just about) every page has an affiliate link(s) to another site, either obviously (www.othersite.com) or more blended (mysite.othersite.com), then you will more than likely be penalized.

    I have a site that is totally based on affiliate links. It is 1 Years, 8 Months, 17 days old, and up until a few months ago, I didn't get a bit of traffic from google search. (unless it was for some exact crazy phrase, in quotes - very rare)

    I changed the site from about 600 pages to about 5,000 (went to mysql driven) pages . The thinking there was just more pages = more chances to get into the serps . This was based on some good advice I got from Donna. I may have taken it to the extreme, but I had nothing to loose with this site.

    I also tried to add some more useful information, other than just links to book a hotel.

    Now I get an average of 92 visitors per day, mostly from Google. Nothing to get too excited about, but it is a big change.

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