How Google Treats Affiliate Links For Search Engine Ranking 1

One of the primary concern of most of the Affiliate marketer is dealing with affiliate links from SEO perspective. One major way to make sure your affiliate site grows and doesn’t get penalized due to affiliate links is by making sure you are adding value to your layer of content. An affiliate site should also be promoted and maintained like any other high-quality site.

How Google Treats Affiliate Links For Search Engine Ranking

I have a Webhosting affiliate site and most of the time, I have 1-2 affiliate links within the blog post. Somehow, with recent panda update, traffic increased and now it’s ranking on top 10 for many of money keyword. Lucky me, but to make sure Google doesn’t penalize me for using affiliate links, I take care of few things, which I will discuss below after the video.

Matt Cutts statement on Affiliate links and SEO:

Now, those who keep an eye on SEO and Google search update, must be knowing Google’s engineer:  Matt Cutts. In recent, SEM Expo conference, Matt Cutts talked about how Google handle affiliate links and what should we do if we are worried about such aff. links.Though this video is short, but after the video read my technique to avoid any SEO penalty due to affiliate links.

As mentioned by Matt in this video, in most cases, Google handles affiliate links without any issue, as they know about majority of affiliate networks, but if you are still worried, you can add a nofollow link to such money links. Now, if you are new to nofollow term, you can refer to our earlier guide on How to add nofollow tag to a link.

How Google Treats Affiliate Links For Search Engine Ranking

How to deal with Affiliate links, SEO in WordPress:

I have played with only a few WordPress affiliate plugins, but luckily I stumbled upon one of the best one. There are many paid and free Affiliate plugins that are available, and one of them is Gocodes. You can get detailed information about this plugin in one of my earlier post:

  • Thirsty Affiliates Affiliate link cloaker for WordPress

Now, in this plugin settings, there is an option that let you add no-follow attribute to all links cloaked using this plugin, which will help you to stop passing link juice to affiliate links. Additionally I recommend you to add the affiliate URL trigger in your robots.txt as disallow.

For example, my URL trigger for my affiliate links are /recommended/ and in my WordPress robots.txt file, I have following lines:

  • User-agent: *
  • Disallow: /recommended/

This is to make sure Google doesn’t crawl such links, and your affiliate site is not penalized for any kind of affiliate links penalty. Though, this is a solution for those who use Gocodes plugin and for others you should start adding nofollow tag to such links. For old posts, where such links are added, you can use Outbound link manager plugin to quickly add nofollow attribute.

Anyhow, I suggest you to use any plugin like Thirsty Affiliates or any other to mask your affiliate links, as default links look ugly and might lower down CTR. If you are new to Aff. marketing, you should start reading:

  • Affiliate VS. Adsense: Which is better?
  • Commission Junction: Best place for Affiliate Marketer
  • How to make money with Amazon affiliate program

How do you handle your Affiliate site and which method are you using to take care of SEO of your such money links?

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