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Google is ranking an affiliate link over my domain... help!

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by shnikkidrum, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. shnikkidrum

    shnikkidrum Newbie

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    I am hoping I can get some advice as I am really unsure about what's happening right now with one of my domains and the way Google is seeing it.

    I sell a product on clickbank and I'm finding that for every keyword I've ever done SEO for, an extension of my domain with the hop extension (?hop=XXX) is ranking and ranking extremely high. But as I have spent several hundred dollars in SEO to rank this domain, when I do a rank check search in Market Samurai my actual domain (with no extension) isn't even appearing in the first 1000 results. What is ranking, and what is ranking really well is my domain with the hop extension at the end.

    XXX is of course an actual affiliate username, however the actual hoplink isn't even set up correctly, so what is happening is this URL extension is opening up my website, but no affiliate data is being tracked. So because this URL isn't even set up properly by a possible affiliate, I'm finding it highly unlikely that a real affiliate and has spent hundreds of dollars on SEO to get this URL ranking. In addition however, I contacted Clickbank and they informed me that an affiliate link should never outrank the domain.

    I really don't think people like clicking on a link that looks like an affiliate link, and this isn't even an affiliate link because no affiliate ID is being tracked and it's not set up properly. I have tried to set up a 301 redirect on this URL extension, as it seems that Google is thinking that this URL extension is the most important page on my website outside of my actual domain itself which is not even ranking in the top 1000 (for competitive and non-competitive keywords).

    I feel the reason the redirect did not work is because having the domain set up in Clickbank, anything that has the hop extension will direct to my domain. So I'm really after some advice and a solution for this, because I don't want to continue paying hundreds of dollars on SEO to rank a URL that isn't attractive to click on, plus, it remains in the address bar.

    Does anyone have any thoughts and suggestions on this? I need a way to tell Google that they are ranking the wrong page on my domain, as the only thing I can conclude is that Google has seen all of the SEO I have been doing on this domain and is ranking this other URL instead and seeing it as more important.

    Appreciate any replies!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  2. boomboomer

    boomboomer Executive VIP

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    Do you mean that the URL being ranked high is http://yourdomain?hop=affID ?

    or are you saying that some other domain name is outranking your domain name?
     
  3. shnikkidrum

    shnikkidrum Newbie

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    That's correct! it's: myproductdomain.com/?hop=affID

    And myproductdomain.com doesn't rank at all, it's always myproductdomain.com/?hop=affID

    With CB, anything after ?hop= will open the domain, this is why I feel the redirect wouldn't work.
     
  4. lexblast

    lexblast Junior Member

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    So in a nutshell you want yourdomain.com to rank and not yourdomain.com?hop=youraffillid?

    dont they both lead to your page?

    trying to follow you completely and your explanation is a bit convoluted.
     
  5. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    So is it a real affiliate's hoplink or not? If it is, be happy that they are making sales for you. You don't have an automatic right to rank #1 for your tour - all is fair in love, war and affiliate marketing, and if he's carrying substantial backlinks to his affiliate url then he'll rank #1. Especially if your main domain isn't ranking at all, you should be grateful that the other guy's hoplink is bringing in some sales.

    If it's not a working affiliate ID then presumably you're getting 100% of the sales.

    Just work on getting decent backlinks to your main domain. If you're not ranking and you outsourced the SEO, you may have hired someone who got you penalized.
     
  6. shnikkidrum

    shnikkidrum Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies, I apologise my explanation of what is occurring wasn't written the best.

    This is an affiliate hoplink - in the way it's set up - but it's not tracking any affiliate data (potentially an invalid ID was used - I did ask clickbank and they said it wasn't set up correctly).

    Because this isn't even an active affiliate link, I really want to know if there is someway of telling Google to rank myproductdomain.com and not this affiliate extension. I don't want to pay hundreds of dollars a month in SEO to rank a URL that looks like an affiliate link (which no-one really finds attractive - potentially I'm losing sales because people are seeing it as an affiliate link).

    My domain (with no extension) isn't ranking in Google, for anything, despite all my SEO, this random extension (none of the other few hundred hoplinks that have probably been created are ranking), is taking all the benefit and I can promise I have never once implemented SEO for this affiliate ID!

    I want my domain (and just domain) to rank. Does anyone know how I can tell Google to stop looking at this stupid hoplink?

    Also, I'm pretty certain I haven't been banned, I've been doing SEO on this website for a good year and the only thing ranking is this aff hoplink, I do no BH SEO for this domain, and I've only had this domain rank for low-comp keywords. I've defiantly done enough SEO to maintain these rankings, but now instead of my domain ranking it's this hoplink.

    Now that I think of it, I did buy this domain name from someone, about two years ago. Could they have had it blacklisted in Google's eyes or something? To be honest I never checked, it's not one of those domains you would really associate with being spammed or doing something wrong in Google's eyes.
     
  7. boomboomer

    boomboomer Executive VIP

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    You've got nothing to worry about. It is your own domain that is ranking highest and not anyone's affiliate link.

    Edit:
    You can tell google to not index certain URLs or ignore certain parameters in the URL from the Google Webmasters area at google.com/webmasters
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  8. navimeister

    navimeister Regular Member

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    301 redirect to your main page should work.
     
  9. tankr

    tankr Junior Member

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    Maybe you should hire him to do some SEO on your website.
     
  10. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I had the same exact problem, not sure what the cause was, but very frustrating! Here's what you need to do:

    open notepad
    paste the following into a new text document:

    User-Agent: *
    Disallow: /?hop=0
    Disallow: /?hop=ulds12
    Disallow: /?hop=moneys&moneys

    (the above are my examples.. use what hop's are showing in google for yours)

    save with the filename robots.txt
    upload to your root domain

    Yeah, lots of headaches, but this should make them disappear. You can set up your robots.txt file in google webmaster tools, too, with the 'crawler access' link.
     
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  11. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    Also go into Webmaster tools, choose Site Config > Settings from left menu, then chose Parameters from tab at top.

    Enter hop as the parameter value, then ignore from drop down and save
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. shnikkidrum

    shnikkidrum Newbie

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    I tried 301 redirect but it didn't work, I think the hop extension setup in CB overwrote it or something.
     
  13. shnikkidrum

    shnikkidrum Newbie

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    Great! I have added this to my robot.txt and added it in Google webmaster.

    How long did you find it took until your domain was ranking and not the hop extension?




    Thanks for the tip! I did this too.
     
  14. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think about a week, don't remember really.. I would guess it will happen the next time google crawls your site. Main thing for me was, it did work. Its funny how it seems people wouldn't be bothered by it, but it sure did me! Glad to be of help. ;)
     
  15. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    I would suggest trying again with the 301 redirect for this specific HOP id URL in question. Reason being is that for it to be outranking the root domain there is likely to be link juice pointing to the URL with the ?hop=AffID included.

    By disallowing GoogleBot in htaccess you will hopefully stop that URL being indexed, but you will probably loose any link weight associated with it.

    If you can get the 301 worlking then some of the benefit will be transfer to you root domain.

    Another option to try (if you remove the htaccess rules) is to add the rel="canonical" tag if that specific id is present - or even for all pages where a hop id is present.

    if you site is support php you could use something like the below in the head section:

    if(isset($_GET['hop']))
    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]{
    echo '<link rel="canonical" href="I can't post links! h t t p your domain here dot com"/>';[/FONT]
    }

    If your site has multiple pages where the issue is present, other than just the homepage, then you'd need to adapt the above to include the full URL without the hop rather than just the homepage.

    Again my concern with the htaccess method of disallowing is that whilst you stop Google indexing the page with hop= you also loose any benefit of links pointing to that version of the URL
     
  16. shnikkidrum

    shnikkidrum Newbie

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    That was definitely my concern actually, and why I was originally trying to get the 301 working. I will try and get an answer out of CB and if I do I will post it for sure, just in regards to why it isn't working in the first instance. I actually spent about 30min on chat with my hosting company and they didn't know how to get it working either, my thought is that CB just have more control over it - maybe to prevent dodgy vendors stealing affiliate profits.

    Datalore, when you used the htaccess, did you find your rankings updated from the hop to your domain, or did all rankings drop? If you can remember appreciate hearing your experience!
     
  17. Datalore

    Datalore Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I did not use any htaccess. I used the robots.txt. There should be no weight associated with those hops whatsoever.. no such link building of my own ever pointed to any hop, in fact, the pr of the hop was zero, whereas my site was pr4. Disallowing the hops should in no way affect your ranking (it didn't for mine, anyway)
     
  18. zverr

    zverr Regular Member

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    Why even bother redirecting ? You are getting all the money, aren't you ? Probably the affiliate spammend with xrumer or scrapebox the affiliate link "xxx.xxx.hop.clickbank.net" and because it redirects to yourdomain?hop=affID it ranks very high. But there is nothing to worry about, you are getting all the sales.
     
  19. SuperBlackHat

    SuperBlackHat Power Member

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    OP, are you making sales from this link outranking you or not? Thats the real question
     
  20. thinksmarty

    thinksmarty Junior Member

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    Welcome to the world of clickbank affiliates.

    prepare for the

    DONT BUY YOUR PRODUCT UNTIL YOU READ THIS sites outranking u like crazy.