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  1. #1
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    Google kills sites with aff links ??
    msn, yahoo i have no issues with but google just kills my site , im thinking becuse its spidering aff links.

    whats the best way to hide aff links from google

    I was thinking of using java to rss to display the aff products.

    any thouhgts

    Thanks again
    Bill

  2. #2
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    "Google kills sites with aff links ??"

    To that part, no. I'm sure others can help with other part.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Have you tried blocking the links from the SE's with rel="nofollow"?

  4. #4
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    rel="nofollow"?
    Iv herd of this ; do you belive this helps?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    rel=nofollow may help. I tried recently on a single page, and it seems to have helped. (or i just got lucky), but I am in the process of adding it to all my external links now (affiliate links and non-affiliate links... no need to give anyone else rank ).

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    It definitely works. If you are having issues with outbound links simply tell the SE's to not follow them. I have a feeling that is not your problem though.

  7. #7
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    Heads Up Folks! rel="nofollow" does not BLOCK spiders from links, the nofollow tag simply negates any link juice for that particular link.

    Search Engines will still spider "nofollow" links and know exactly what they are. If you want to obfuscate or hide affiliate links you need to be looking at javascript, ajax, redirection, cloaking, or a combination thereof.
    [url=http://www.dWoz.com/][b]dWoz[/b][/url] - serious webmaster tools & resources.

  8. #8
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    So if i put the aff code in XML for RSS then use java to display the feed , that will hide the aff code.
    hrmmm might work

  9. #9
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    blocking through robots. txt... would that help? You could also block those using .htacess, but that's well, voodoo.

  10. #10
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    xml to java for aff links , working good.
    you can get source code here
    http://eduforge.org/frs/?group_id=119

  11. #11
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    If the robots.txt and meta tag instructions for a page conflict, Googlebot follows the most restrictive. More specifically:

    * If you block a page with robots.txt, Googlebot will never crawl the page and will never read any meta tags on the page.
    * If you allow a page with robots.txt but block it from being indexed using a meta tag, Googlebot will access the page, read the meta tag, and subsequently not index it.

  12. #12
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    Welcome to the forums, Paul. The idea is not to block the pages from being indexed, it's to stop the engines from indexing the affiliate tracking links instead of the pages they're on. As of now, all 3 engines have tracking links indexed from several networks.

    Shareasale is now blocking their redirect URLs from being crawled by all the engines, though it will take a while for the indexed urls from affiliates' pages to cycle out as the sites get re-crawled; but the other networks still haven't implemented blocking them.

    Personally, I won't be bothering changing regular product links (way too much work) but for category links the best bet is with a redirect script or Javascript links.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Julia_Shoeboxed's Avatar
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    Pretty much any speculation to do with the Google algorithm is unverified (and just that: Speculation), as is this idea that Google somehow penalizes sites that are affiliate sites or have heavy advertisement.


    It could have an element of truth to it, though. A consultant we hired for SEO did mention that this may be the case, especially (in his opinion/with his data) for Amazon affiliates. His theory said that Google is especially weary of sites with no original content, but with lots of affiliate links.


    I would imagine that if you have a valuable, content ridden site you dont have to worry about Google docking you in any way. Original, good content seems to be the cardinal rule of getting a good PR and SERP in Google.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    Yes, Google does penalize affiliate sites, but that is mostly due to duplicate content from datafeeds or cut-and-paste content. Here is the comment direct from Google's Webmaster Guidelines:

    "If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first."

    From my experience, G also penalizes sites with redirect links, which is what most affiliate links are. A lot of people deny this, but when I looks at their sites I see heavily penalized sites with no PageRank indication on most or all of the pages. Although PageRank doesn't mean very much any more, a grayed-out PageRank indicator for a page is a good sign that the page is either very new or penalized.

    The robots.txt file can work, but it is not reliable. I've seen both Google and Yahoo index pages that were properly blocked with the robots.txt. The problem is that Google does not read the file on every visit. They only read it periodically, which can mean once every several months. I find that it works best if you have all the necessary pages and directories blocked when a site is launched.

    JavaScript links can also work. Most spiders cannot execute JavaScript, but the links won't work if a visitor has JavaScript disabled in their browser or has Security set to high in IE. The trick with JavaScript links is to assemble the link using JavaScript. I've seen both Google and Yahoo follow fully formed URLs in JavaScript links.

    I can't find the link to the web page, but I believe I recently saw a comment from Matt Cutts, a Google engineer, who recommended running questionable links through an interim page that is blocked using the robots.txt. A lot of affiliates use click.php scripts that do just that.

    All of my affiliate sites use form buttons for the on-page affiliate links. Spiders are not supposed to be able to follow form actions (never say never). The form links lead to a click.php script that redirects the user using the affiliate link. The click.php is blocked in the robots.txt file. This method currently works best for me, but I am always looking for better ways to prevent problems.
    Last edited by Tech Evangelist; February 5th, 2008 at 03:21 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Thanks for your post Tech, I was very interested in what you said. I have been researching new ways to do my websites and this was helpful. A quick question, is the click.php different from jump.php? I hope that makes sense, all this redirect stuff really confuses me and the more I read the more I seem to be unclear on it. Thanks again for your post.

  16. #16
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    A jump.php and click.php script are the same thing. The whole idea is to use a simple link that includes a querystring attribute that identifies the affiliate link. The affiliate link is looked up in the click.php script and used in the redirect.

    A lot of variations of this can be found on the web.
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
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  17. #17
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    I have been looking at the scripts and wanted to be sure I was looking for the right thing. They are referred to differently depending on who is posting and I think that is where my confusion started. I've seen click.php, jump.php, go.php, etc. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question.

  18. #18
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    I actually use Java redirection for cloaking and have not yet seen any problems related to the redirects. The idea of redirects is really not to deceive the search engine but to hide your unique affiliate URL to prevent commission stealing, or avoid looking like a suspicious link to visitors. The way I read the webmasters guide lines Java redirects should be fine as long as they are not meant to deceive visitors or search engines. If you are going to cloak links just do it in an honest way as to not redirect your visitors to completely non relevant content. I see no reason that affiliate links would affect your pr unless your site contains little or no original content.

  19. #19
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    "If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first."

    Yeah. What annoys me about this is it's not just unique and relevant content that adds value. If the merchant's site search feature sucks, or their site is a bugger to navigate, or pages load slowly, then an affiliate can add value just by providing a better user experience for the surfer prior to the purchase decision being made.

    Google doesn't seem to realise that. I'd love to corner a Google rep at a conference and beat them over the head with THAT stick.

  20. #20
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Google remains my highest source of traffic despite a site sprinkled with pages and pages of articles containing affiliate links, some cloaked some not.

  21. #21
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eprofittoday
    I actually use Java redirection for cloaking and have not yet seen any problems related to the redirects.
    I assume you mean JavaScript redirects. Java and JavaScript are two different languages.

    Theoretically, spiders do not see JavaScript links because they cannot execute JavaScript. However, some spiders are getting smarter. Like I said previously, I've seen Yahoo follow JavaScript links and sometimes Google's spider will follow them, as well. It depends upon how they are constructed. Spiders can follow the link if it uses a fully-formed URL that appears in the client-side code in the script for a page.

    Be very careful using JavaScript redirects. It could get you banned by Google if it looks like you are using JavaScript redirects to cloak content. In the summer of 2004, Google banned thousands of sites that were using JavaScript redirects set up by a Las Vegas SEO company called Traffic Power. Since then, the use of JavaScript redirects has been considered to be risky.

    It all depends upon how you construct the links. Part of the reason for CJ's addition of JavaScript links a while ago was to prevent spiders from following the links.
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  22. #22
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Yeah, Google really hates the duplicate content. The aff link has little to do with it. If you ran articles from a service that many others use, you would get tanked just as bad.

    I have content sites that rank well, with 1 to 4 aff links on most every page. But the links are text and are unique.

    Take a look at the bullet-proof datafeed thread. Search for "bullet proof" and you should find it. I am ready to try some of this on my data feed based sites - they are really getting garbage rankings.
    This World is Not My Home
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  23. #23
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I might add that Google excludes pages based on duplicate "structure" with other pages of your own site. I have found they exclude most all of the pages I created with WebMerge since the pages follow a template with too much identical content.

    Also, I have had pages excluded on a site that has NO ADVERTISING because of very similar structure. Not all the pages were excluded, just the ones very similar to each other.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

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  25. #25
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