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Google hammering sites with excessive aff links?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by nikoman, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    I am wondering whether having many affiliate links in a single page could be an issue for Google in relation with the content of the page. One of my sites has this configuration in a single page

    ---REVIEW TEXT
    --Aff link

    --Another product rev text
    --Aff link

    etc.


    All aff links are not cloacked so just three days ago all rankings for that site completely died. I am thinking I should change those links to javascript links. As far I know, Google do not read .js files but I am not sure.
     
  2. internalsoul

    internalsoul Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Is it not so. It must be something else. Affiliate link is not the issue. If that would have been a issue then huge amount of site would have got hammered and almost all internet marketers would go insane about that.
     
  3. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    I think having affiliate links is the real issue here. Because I have a forgotten site with just one article but not affiliate links nor any ads and it is ranking well even without backlinks. I think the solution is cloaking those afflinks with JavaScript and denying JavaScript files in robots.txt
     
  4. Nerevar

    Nerevar Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Use URL shorteners so you can track links. I already suggested a few times here to use Yourls.org. It's free, open source link shortener where you can edit and delete links (what's not allowed by bitly for example).
     
  5. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    An URL shortener is still traceable by Google, the solution here is not using links but any other way such as sending POST methods without forms using javascript
     
  6. BigMACK

    BigMACK Junior Member

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    I am sure that there are a lot of people that will argue it has nothing to do with affiliate links.
     
  7. corbin2

    corbin2 Registered Member

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    It could be the thin affiliate penalty. Google it for more details.
     
  8. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Google should not have any issues with affiliate links if the content is of some degree of quality. Some sites, such as toptenreviews.com, are authority sites, with massive amounts of affiliate links. I believe that cloaking or deceiving google to the fact that you have affiliate links may hurt rather than help in the longrun. I would focus more on quality content, and backlinking to those pages. It may also be a google dance, and maybe your page will reappear even higher than it was.
     
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  9. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    Please define the so called Google Dance. As far I know, the Google Dance is no longer an issue these days. Furthermore, I can place affiliate links in any format (javascript, redirects etc) I want as long this helps the final user( the human visitor).
     
  10. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    The site does not have duplicated content. All reviews are small snippets grouped this way:

    REVIEW text

    affiliate

    Another product review text

    affiliate

    Yet another snippet text

    Affiliate

    Each single page has about 20 products and 20 affiliate links. Each review text is unique and straight to the point. If you are wondering why I did not assign a page per product is because there is not much to tell about each product and I think is easier for visitors surfing this way.
     
  11. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you recently distributed several backlinks to your page, your page may disappear for a short while until google decides where it is going to re-rank you. That is called a google dance. And yes, you may set up affiliate links in any way you want. I use a wp plugin called 'pretty link'. There is no way to make google think you don't have an affiliate link, and if you try to fool them, that may hurt more than leaving the affiliate links as is.

    I think ultimately what is happening is, your page has no specific keyword to rank for.. If I had an affiliate page, and it was titled "laundry soap", and I had in it small snippets about "Tide", and "Biz", and "All", and "Dreft", and so on and so on, what keyword am I targeting? I probably wont rank for "laundry soap", because it is too broad a term to rank for. What I would do is have each snippet link to it's own page, with that product using the entire page as it's topic, and title the page accordingly. Then you should try to rank for those individual pages. You most likely aren't going to rank for that category page, because that's what it is, with a bunch of outbound links, and google is deciding that is too low quality for their index.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  12. opticbit

    opticbit Registered Member

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    would be nice for the consumer and other surfers if google finaly got rid of all the really scammy sites.
     
  13. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    True. But the OP has the right idea, it just needs more of a structure for google to grasp. It sounds like the products on his page are all bunched together, which is fine, but google has no idea of what to rank the page for. It wont rank for one product/keyword or another, because there are a whole bunch on one page.. that's where I would have the snippets have some sort of intro sentence with "..... -> read more", and have that link to a separate page, with that product's description, keywords, and affiliate link within their own page, that will help google rank it appropriately.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  14. navimeister

    navimeister Regular Member

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    I personally use Redirection plugin for Wordpress e.g. /go/afflink, and deny the /go folder in robots.txt.
     
  15. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    That is a good idea.

    I posted a question in G Webmaster forum and every body is telling me that is a thin aff site. It is true all data was gathered from sites which offers the specs for all products. In addition, I added a summarized review gathered from many customer reviews. But at the end of the day, all is unique (in a written way) and worthy. So these guys from G webmaster forum, keep telling me that I just gathered all data, so what are they expecting there? To invent new reviews and data? That is ridiculous. Furthermore, I have more sites using that configuration and no one has dropped down. I hope this is not sort of a manual penalty.
     
  16. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The other sites you have may still be ranking because the other sites aren't as optimized, or have less backlinks than yours do, or many other various reasons. From what I understand, you are mixing up customer reviews into one long review. This sounds like a good tactic. Now, to make it 100% unique, I would take that long review, and rewrite it "in your own words". Then give each of your products their own page, and backlink to those pages. I have no doubt that you will see improvement.
     
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  17. blackma

    blackma Power Member

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    Google, as a company, are obsessive control freaks that hate affiliate marketing.

    They do not like AdWords being used for affiliate marketing; regardless of the site's relevancy to the related keywords that have been entered by the web surfer.

    I wouldn't put it past them to start penalizing affiliate marketing in the organic searches.
     
  18. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I wouldn't necessarily say that.. like I said, sites like toptenreviews.com are strong, powerful authority sites that outrank many other non-affiliate sites. What they are buckling down on is affiliate sites that are poorly done, or contain lots of duplicate content that will not bring value to it's users.

    What google does try to do is mix in a variety of types of sites in their search. For instance, typing in 'how to train your dog' might return one site about training your dog (no aff links), a book site (amazon) about training dogs, train your dog videos, and then an affiliate site mixed in. So, your affiliate site must be of high enough quality to make it in the search results.

    But that is for a broad search like "how to train your dog". This is why many affiliate marketers go for the exact product name + buy/review.. most of these are going to be affiliate sites, anyways, so it is much easier to rank for, as well as a more targeted audience that may click your aff link and buy the product.
     
  19. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    Well, I have changed aff links to javascript method using POST forms. It will be difficult to find those to the G bot unless it reads full javascript code and post variables to server. So let's see what happens. I am still thinking these sudden drop I suffered was because the site is only 8 months and started promoting it 2 months ago.
     
  20. nikoman

    nikoman Regular Member

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    The site is targeting a lot of keywords and some of them were close to top. However, I just started promoting this site two months ago. I am getting 6-10 backlinks per day distribuited among all pages. So, I think this a slow rate. All these links came from comluv d0follow blogs and pumping blogs. So I do not know whether getting around 250 backlinks from 250 different domains in two months made this drop possible. Perhaps you are right and this sudden drop is for re-ranking the site. I gotta admit all backlinks came from related and unrelated blogs and all do follow (most unrelated). I even put links in two of my high pr domains (completely unrelated but contextually suggesting my new site to my readers). For now, the site has been off the SERPs for 5 days even for its brand name(not competitive) is not shown (still indexed though). I do not know how much time will take to re-rank it if that is the issue.