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Seo and Affiliate links

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Thatchman, May 13, 2011.

  1. Thatchman

    Thatchman Junior Member

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    Just bought a 5 year old domain, parked for most of that time (I think), that I have performed lot's of on-site seo on and thrown some backlinks at. It will be used as a Clickbank Affiliate site. Is there any advice from members regarding how best to use affiliate links or cloak them so that G does not get offended, if that is possible?

    Tx in advance
     
  2. blackhit

    blackhit Super Moderator Staff Member Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    There are a couple of premium plugins for Wordpress that cloak your outgoing aff. links.

    Here's a simple free method for one affiliate link:

    1.) Make a folder. Name it "recommends", "review", "go", or whatever you want.

    2.) Create a text file inside the folder. Give it the name of the product you're promoting

    3.) Open text file and enter:

    <?php

    header('Location: youraffiliatelink');

    ?>

    Save.

    4.) Change the extension of your text file to php. (textfile.php)

    5.) Upload the folder to the root of your domain.
    (NOT the root of your server)

    6.) Test it. Easiest way to test it is by using a Clickbank aff.link. Click through to the order page and check if your affiliate name is at the bottom of the page.

    7.) Inside your content: when you make a link, you link to the file you created.
    I.e.
    Code:
    http://yourdomain.com/recommends/product.php
    (hope I didn't make a typo in the code. Been a long time since I did it this way...:D)

    Use this in the searchbox here on BHW to get some more ideas:

    affiliate link cloak
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. lablinks

    lablinks Senior Member

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    What if you make a link on another page & iframe it? Wouldn't that work?
     
  4. blackhit

    blackhit Super Moderator Staff Member Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    It would still be an outgoing link on your site.

    The reason for cloaking is threefold:

    Avoid outgoing links to merchants and shopping sites.
    For SEO purposes it's better to have outgoing links to authority and relevant sites

    Avoid stealing your commission (but that's a different story)

    Avoid looking like an affiliate site. Depends on the type of site you have and not all visitors will look in the statusbar to check where a link goes. But if you can make your links look more "unbiased", do it.
     
  5. lablinks

    lablinks Senior Member

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    Actually, I meant on a different site & iframe, but ^^^that makes sense.
     
  6. blackhit

    blackhit Super Moderator Staff Member Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I guess for the SEO part it would work. But you will need another domain for it and preferably the layout should mimic the one of the original site.

    To add to the free method with the folder and the txt/php file.
    You can have multiple php files with different product names in that folder if you promote more than 1 product on your site.
    If you promote tens of products, a premium linkcloaker is the better option to keep things organized.
     
  7. Thatchman

    Thatchman Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the feedback, makes sense. Just so we are clear, I don't mind the potential buyer knowing that he is being redirected from my site to the merchants site, the websites look very similar anyway and most visitors won't even notice, I just don't want to be penalised from an seo point of view, especially until I am #1. Is it worth dropping the aff links until I am #1?
     
  8. blackhit

    blackhit Super Moderator Staff Member Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I wouldn't do it.
    Getting to #1 isn't guaranteed and you'll miss sales from the traffic you get for just being on page one.
    You will also rank for keywords you weren't targeting. Again, traffic you let go without giving them an option to make you a sale.
     
  9. lablinks

    lablinks Senior Member

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    If it were to affect your rankings that much, it will still happen when you add it when you are number one, so what's the point?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  10. don chino

    don chino Regular Member

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    Thanks blackhit for the method. If I make the aff link with /recommends/product.php file, should it be a nofollow link or it doesn't matter?

    Can you name any Wordpress plugins to use? Or you prefer this manual method? (I have one product that I promote on site)

    I have a long-tail keyword and the site comes out quite well (on 2nd page), though it is only 1 month old and yet no links. Should I wait or is it ok to put the aff link with redirect at once for not losing sales?
     
  11. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

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    use robots.txt and tell them not to follow

    Code:
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /recommends/
    
    You can also apply rel="nofollow" to the links.

    you can also encrypt your aff links w/ javascript if you want.
     
  12. blackhit

    blackhit Super Moderator Staff Member Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The link should be no-follow. In the eyes of Google it's an internal link and it should stay that way...:D

    For only one product a plugin is overkill.
    The manual method works just fine.

    Just test the setup. You can use a Clickbank link and check if your aff.name is at the bottom of the order page.
    Or you can use a Amazon link and check if your tracking id is somewhere in the URL when you land at Amazon.

    You can put the link in right away. I believe I read somewhere that you'll have to wait till you're indexed before you put any aff.links in your content.
    I also believe that advice was aimed at Whitehat webmasters with uncloaked links...:D
     
  13. darrensss

    darrensss Power Member

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    wow ... i was just trying to get my head around this problem today!
    My situation is a little different.

    I have a bunch of sites all selling the same type of products but with a little difference (blue cars on one site, green cars on another and pink cars on another)

    All sites drive my sales to the telephone.

    I decided that i wanted to install a shopping cart and online payment facility to try and reduce down my manual work load.

    My problem is that as i have multiple sites the cost to install and support a shopping cart on all of the sites is massive .... lots of work and money! I would then need to have a ssl certificate on each site (more money).
    So i decided that i would install the shopping cart and online payment facility on one site and then make the other redirect to it when my user did a search or was ready to buy.
    So im not using any affiliate networks (its all mine) but im worried google will think i am and will ban me for this?

    Any advice? i thought about possibily using iframes? good or bad idea?

    Help ....
     
  14. don chino

    don chino Regular Member

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    I am using Wordpress and though seo analysis shows i have robots.txt, in fact in ftp there isn't one. It seems to me that wp has its subfolders like wp-admin etc disallowed in default. And i have heard that making a manual robots.txt additionally might not be so good.. so i thought.. would it be better to just add
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW">
    to the product.php I am creating for aff link? It should work the same as robots.txt DISALLOW ?
    [/FONT]