Top 3 Points to Consider while Placing Affiliate Links on Your Website

One of the major concerns of Affiliate marketers is how to place affiliate links on their website.And if these links can lead to a penalty from search engine majors like Google.So when you are promoting affiliate links at your website, you have to make sure that you are doing it in a manner that it doesn’t  look like a mere promotion of a product or service.Rather, it should pass enough information to the reader so that they can decide its true value.

In this article, I will explain how Google considers a particular affiliate link and what are top 3 points that you should consider while placing an affiliate link on your blog.

What does Google Think about Affiliate Links

The truth is Google does not affiliate links.In fact, there was a time When Google had their own Affiliate Program.But things become difficult for Google when people start misusing the affiliate links and start spamming the internet.

How Google Takes care of Affilaite Links for Search Engine Ranking

Often it is observed, some web marketers rake unfair means to promote affiliate links.Not only these affect search rankings, it also works as a negative factor for Google’s brand image.People often take these kinds of measures in promoting affiliate links:

  • Using Link Shortening Techniques to hide the promote website without giving any details about them.
  • Promote Affiliate links in Social Networking websites like Facebook, Twitter etc
  • Spamming a particular web page to many times.

Let’s take an example to explain this further.

Say, you are interested  in Video Games and interested in buying a Gaming Console.So you search Google and bump into some websites where you see a good collection of gadgets with attractive offers.You bought one for yourself and after few days, you discover that it is a duplicate product.As a result, not only you will lose money, you will be very happy with that website as well as Google for redirecting you to that website.If thousands of people had the same experience, they will lose their faith on Google and eventually  switch to some other websites.This is what makes Google very careful and they take extra care of even the tiniest factor while ranking affiliate links.

Google is interested in delivering quality results to the users.To ensure such quality, they often update their search engine algorithms, do tweaks, to deliver more relevant search results.

In most of the cases, Google has no issues with affiliate links.In fact, they are very well aware of the popular affiliate programs.

Let’s hear what Matt Cutts from Google has to say about this:

Still, you need to consider a few points while placing an affiliate link on your website.

Top 3 Points to Consider while Placing Affiliate Links on Your Website

  • Use of Affiliate Link Cloaker– Link Cloaker plugins are one of the best ways to hide your affiliate link.Instead of using long and odd looking affiliate links on your website you can customise your affiliate links using Affiliate Link Cloaker.There are many affiliate link cloaking plugins available in WordPress such as Affiliate Link CloakingPretty Link and others.You can use any one of them to cloak your affiliate links.I am using Pretty Link Plugin to cloak my affiliate links in this website.
  • Editing Robots.Txt File – You could also make certain changes in your robots.txt file to make sure that affiliate links are not crawled by search engines.For example, when you are using affiliate link cloaker you could make your links look like this.

                                 www.example.com/recommended/abcd 

          With this you should also add the following lines in your robots.txt to make sure that search engines don’t       follow these links and your site doesn’t get penalised for using affiliate links.

                                     Disallow: /recommended/

                                     Disallow:/ User Agent*

By disallowing recommended you sure no such links where you have used “recommended” will be followed by Google and other search engine bots.

        If you want to know more about Robots.Txt file you could refer to our article  How To Optimize WordPress   Robots.txt File For Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) and learn more about it.

  • Use of No Follow attributes  in your Affiliate Links- You should also start using No Follow attributes to make sure that affiliate links are not followed by Google and no link juice is passed through this.Why, because all these links are sales and promotion links.So there is no point of passing a link juice through theses and help them achieving in search engine ranks where they are not adding any value to the quality search engine results.

You can learn more about more about No Follow and Do Follow from  Do Follow and NO Follow Links in SEO article.At this point, if you are more confused about No Follow and Robot.txt file here is another useful article which helps you to understand the difference between them.

Read Robots.txt vs Rel=Nofollow vs Meta Robots Nofollow

By following these simple steps, you can make sure that your affiliate links are safe and don’t get penalised by Google.

Let me know what do you think about this. Hit the Comment Box below and share your views.If you are following any other method for your affiliate links promotion do share with me.I will love to know about them.

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