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Free Stats Counter - Affiliate Penalty?
kidder




msg:3256536
 3:38 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a client using a free stats counter on a site wide basis, it occured to me that google may look at the unique tracking code linked from the small banner and determine this to be a site wide affiliate link. As a result the site may potentially suffer a penalty, does anyone think this is worth consideration?

 

Jane_Doe




msg:3256546
 4:20 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

nly Google staff would know the answer for sure but I've used free stats counters on smaller sites with no obvious ranking issues in Google.

The thing to look out for is that sometimes the "free" stats counters imbed hidden links within the counter code, so you end up giving a link from every page of your site to some spammy diet pill or Viagra site.

[edited by: Jane_Doe at 4:21 am (utc) on Feb. 19, 2007]

vincevincevince




msg:3256628
 7:36 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'd say that whilst the case against the counter is weak, it is a time to think 'better safe than sorry' and set up your own page counting system. Preferably using your server logs so that you don't interfere with Google at all.

MHes




msg:3256648
 8:36 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not an issue that we have seen but I agree, better safe than sorry. A free counter could be a sign of 'low quality' but I doubt google looks at this. What they would be interested in is hidden links or the fact you have a link on every page to another site. This could have a negative effect on pr flow through your site and/or the fact you have links to a site on an unrelated theme. Overall it just does you no favours and could trigger a problem somewhere,,,better to be safe than sorry, as other members have said.

As an aside, some stat counters use a cookie. This can cause problems where someone visits your site using their company server which sees a third party cookie. I don't know the details but I think a few company servers are set up to prevent their employees visiting sites that have third party cookies for some sort of security reason. Not common but another potential problem.

.... and another problem is stats that use an image to count the visits. The counter won't work until the image has been loaded by the user. This makes it very unreliable and can cause page loading problems for the user.

vincevincevince




msg:3256765
 12:45 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good points MHes - the use of a cookie, however, is not normally a problem if the cookie originates from a third-party domain - the problems with cookies are normally only with those from your own site (unless you count the privacy icon as a problem).

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