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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    December 30th, 2006
    Mansfield, Texas
    Penalty for Inbound Affiliate Links
    Do any of you have affiliate programs where your affiliates link directly to your site as opposed to going through a network?

    If so, have you ever been penalized by Google for what might appear to be spammy links? Do you no follow the links?

    We are working on an affiliate program and would love the direct links on the one hand but don't want to do anything against the Google guidelines since we get an enormous amount of organic traffic we don't want jeopardized.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager AdZaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 9th, 2009
    Hi Howard,

    I have worked with several programs using "own" hosted programs, you can defiantly get creative with how you set it up, i.e.:

    and so on...

    Depending on how you set up your site and the hosting environment most of the inbound link variations can be handled with a well written .htaccess file on LAMP setups (my preference).

    I can say I have seen *some* negative effect on keyword rankings when a large group of new affiliates come in and start promoting like mad, but I am really only talking about one or two places for a given keyword. And usually, given a little time, the site comes back up for the given keyword...

    Good luck with the new venture,


  3. #3
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    jacked by sylon
    At AvantLink you can add a javascript ALE tracking code to the bottom of each page (bottom include) and then put raw merchant links to anywhere on a merchant's site and the ALE tracks it and the affiliate gets credit for the sale.

    It works. I get paid for my sales using it.

    You could do the same thing.

    None of the merchants I use there have complained about using raw links to their sites.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  4. #4
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Ithaca & Park City
    I don't think it's necessarily the Affiliate tracking URLs that will raise suspicion, as much as 1000s of buy links all pointing out to the same network tracking URL...especially on a site that just mirrors the merchant's database, with no supporting content

    In other words a thin, datafeed-only site will likely get filtered to the bottom of the search engine index (or out of the index completely), regardless of what URL the buy links point to.


    As far as the ALE, BurgerBoy is right. That is a KILLER tool especially for bloggers and forum owners. You guys should also know that I've seen Affiliates recently negotiate higher payouts with merchants IF they agree to use the ALE for their links. There is value to merchants getting that direct link juice, so go for it and use that as a negotiating tool!

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