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  1. #1
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    Something Weird with Search Result Listing
    I don't know if this is weird, legal, or just a big secret so I'm hoping someone here can explain it to me. Something just doesn't seem right to me.

    I clicked on a link in a "natural" search result. I was amazed as I had to allow two redirects to occur and ended up smack dab on a merchants website with an affiliate link staring me in the face.

    After a few tries to duplicate the redirects, I ended up on the url of the website listed in the search result. Any attempts to click on any other links on the page gave me a 403 forbidden error. Evidently, I'm not permitted to access those pages unless I came directly from the search result listing / or possibly search engine specific.

    I saw doubleclick in one of those redirects....but couldn't duplicate to see exactly what it was.

    I've been seeing this tld type more and more but when I do a Who Is search, the domains are not found. NONE of them.

    It's almost as though they are skirting around the issue of not directly linking to the merchant with PPC even though they are listed in the natural serps, OR those are actually PPC landing pages being snuck into the natural serps.

    I dunno, what do you think is going on?
    I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.

  2. #2
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    They are probably using a double redirect to hide the referrer from the aff program as they dont want them to know their techniques or they are not completely obeying the TOS of the aff program and have to hide what they are doing.

    They might be doing it to hide a PPC technique from SEMRUSH or some other watchdog program that may look one redirect deep. Not sure.

    Or maybe they just like doing confusing things to keep everyone guessing.

    How difficult was the term?

    Does the original domain have pagerank or links showing to it?

    Can you copy the source of that page and PM me it? Maybe I can figure it out. Or just tell me what term you were searching for and the doamin and what place you see it at.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Are you sure you don't have a parasite? If it's in the organic search results, it's pretty rare for affiliate links to get in there.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
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    After they got into the organic search listing, they have either set up a generic redirect, which will definitely cause them lose their organic listing soon.

    Or they have done some black hat tricks, like redirecting if the click is coming from a certain SE, and showing their actual content to the search bots. This will also have an effect on their listing sooner or later.

  5. #5
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    I'm sure it's not a virus. Plus the aff link is not in the results, but two redirects later, after I click on the link. I'm guessing I get a different redirect as a visitor since apparently they are also checking and keeping track of my IP.

    I first noticed this when clicked thru a G Alert and I recevied a 403 forbidden thru the link in the email a few days ago. Yesterday, I ran across one doing a search and noticed that the TDL was the same. I've since found out that the TLD is a free domain service. But why they don't show up in the WhOIS, kinda of baffles me.

    I was able to look at it again today and the first redirect is what made me think something was weird:

    (This is an example)
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url=awordppclandingitem.php?c=us">

    The ppc landing in the url makes me think that this site wasn't really meant to be indexed or somehow G is intentionally placing pay per click ads in the natural serps.

    The second redirect has the affliate link in it.
    I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Are you sure you don't have a parasite? If it's in the organic search results, it's pretty rare for affiliate links to get in there.
    I believe there are some redirects before it hits that affiliate link. Regular pages or other pages made to rank, someone lands on that page, then redirects happen, one of them on an affiliate link.

  7. #7
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    Yes, I just looked again:

    URL in search results
    redirect from www. website .com
    then redirect to aff link

    I was thinking there was a 301 from www .website. com but usually when those get indexed, they show the snippet from the redirected url but will still show the URL from the original site.
    I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    Affiliates (and non affiliates) use domains to redirect links all the time. It doesn't always mean something "bad" is happening, although it certainly can. Just this morning I recommended to someone who's site had been hacked, that they redirect the domain to "someplace else" for a few weeks while they relocate the site.

    There are also many affiliates that buy keyword domains for not just ppc, but so they can have a "real" link to submit to places or to use in AdWords campaigns to track where the clicks are coming from. If merchants don't allow DTM then that's a problem.

    One other thing is that once a domain is "aged" while someone is redoing a site or just doesn't want to keep the site up, they may redirect direct to a merchant with an affiliate link. I know I have done this myself many times in the past (the merchants were ok with it). And yes, eventually those domains "fall out" of the SERPs but they are still linked from real sites and get clicks anyways.

    Point being, yes it could very well be a bad guy, and yes it could very well be legitimate.

    I'd forward the info to the merchant to check out. While they can't get the links removed right away from the search engines, they can require the links not go direct to them without a real page inbetween.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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