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  1. #1
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    helpful links....a leak?
    ABW,

    In re-working our site I have come across a question...As part of the SEO work being done, incoming links are being sought out. The vast majority of potential incoming links, within my similar field of English language education, require a reciprocal link. I have passed on all sites requiring a link, however am thinking maybe a helpful links page would be of benefit to my visitors.

    My question is...as an affiliate, if you see a helpful links page, none of which are affiliate links, but they are links that potentially will take a visitor off my site and to another site where purchasable items of the same genre might be available, is this what is negatively referred to as a 'leak'?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    As well as your intentions might be, affiliates would consider that a leak.

  3. #3
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    I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority on this one but I don't have a problem with reciprocal links pages or things like that. I realize an affiliate program is one way to get traffic and sales but not the only way. But with the reciprocal links page or links page, I mean where you might have one link on the bottom of the page where your FAQ, copyright, Terms links are and you might have a link there to your links page. And I see it more with small merchants. They might have done some of that work before starting an affiliate program and links help with the SERPS. Not so much the recip tho, those have been devalued big time over the years.

    Stuff like this merchant, which used to be at Linkshare - http://www.youractivepet.com/ is what I consider leaks.

    And they changed up their site but still have those 3 125x125 affiliate encoded banners on the home, those are leaks. They used to have even more. So if I sent them traffic, there was a good chance they would click on those links. Or stuff like Adsense on pages where that merchant is going to get paid for every click and those people that are clicking could have come from me but I don't get a cut of that action. Intent and setup plays a part.

  4. #4
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    Strangely enough (as I'm usually quite easy-going!), I now have a zero-tolerance policy for leaky merchants.

    Considering how hard I work on my own SEO/traffic, not to mention the money I've spent (time, etc) - if I send a merchant free traffic, I want the visitor to stay put. I'm not paying for them to move on. I have to make a living too - the downturn in the economy impacts all of us, after all. I throw that in as I've heard a number of merchants make that comment; we're actually all in this together!

    If it was a merchant I was already promoting, and it was discreetly placed, I probably wouldn't leave the program. It would have to be handled properly... as beachcom said, affiliates would still consider it a leak.

  5. #5
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    I appreciate the input. I think I'll pass on the "links" page. I thought maybe it would only be considered a leak if it was an affiliate link(s) that I had signed up for and was promoting. It makes sense though, when affiliates direct traffic to my site none of us want the visitors leaving on account of seeing a promotion outside of my own products. That's what I had originally thought, and why I never opted for a links page. Thanks for the verification...my program will remain link free!

  6. #6
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    .. don't forget to promote your program as affiliate-friendly - that definitely gets noticed by publishers

    When you think about it.. the more publishers you attract (see above), the better the coverage, which means an improvement in SEO results!

  7. #7
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    Definitlely, I agree. How do I promote that I am affiliate friendly, and even more importantly...how do I ensure that my program is affiliate friendly?

  8. #8
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    I'll look into it more to make sure we are totally "affiliate-friendly" Yikes, affiliate-unfriendly, that doesn't sound good at all

    I appreciate the heads up and advice


    -Anthony

  9. #9
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I also think we need t think about how Google is weighing reciprocal links now and how they will weight them in the future. I see a downward trend for reciprocal linking in terms of SEO value.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust

    Stuff like this merchant, which used to be at Linkshare - http://www.youractivepet.com/ is what I consider leaks.

    .
    Trust, I don't see it. Which parts are leaks? I may not be looking correctly... I do find that website tres annoying with all the flash.

    One thing, I visited and belong to merchant Beaucoup Favors and they have a blog on the left hand column on their site. Withing their blog for "ideas" they have tons of leaks referring to various merchants. Although it may accessible from the left column way at the bottom, people nowadays go there for ideas, etc.

    What do you think of this?

  11. #11
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    "Which parts are leaks?"

    Near the bottom under - Selected Partner Products for You and Your Dog's Next Adventure: 3 125 banners. They're not at LS anymore but used to be for a long time. And this is a new design, the older one had even more links. They had Amazon banners on the home page and their own affiliate encoded text links, above the fold on the home page as well.

    As far as Beaucoup Favors, just checked it out and see the link to the blog and I see more and more merchants with that. It can be a leak, it could depend on how it's setup. If it's more setup just to get natural traffic from the search engines and has let's say links to other parts of their site, that shouldn't affect you. But if it's full of their own affiliate links or links out to other sites, then it could be a leak.

    With this kind of thing, it's more what you feel about it. With the example I gave above with a little link on the bottom of a page to some links page, that doesn't bother me but it might bother others.

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