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This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 66 ( 1 2 [3]     
Google rankings and affiliate links post-Panda
danijelzi




msg:4375888
 11:32 am on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have started this thread after noticing that pages that rank well despite the site is Panadalized are those pages without affilite links. On the site I have a large percent of low-ranked news posts about new products found on online stores, with aff links, but I have also posts with links to other no-e-commerce sites and these are not affected by Panda. Regarding quality of the posts, its the same on both pages with and without aff links.

I've checked Google's guidelines and found paragraphs specially dedicated to aff links:

"Thin affiliate sites: These sites collect pay-per-click (PPC) revenue by sending visitors to the sites of affiliate programs, while providing little or no value-added content or service to the user..."

"If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value..."

Because they don't have paragraphs about "thin Adsense sites" and "if your site participates in Adsense program" or similar, I assume that affiliate links have a special place in the algorithm.

I'm thinking about ditching the use of affiliate links in order to regain rankings, so I would like to know:

What is your experience with rankings of pages with affiliate links versus similar pages without them?

 

sftriman




msg:4410495
 12:30 am on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey, that's a good idea, use a subdomain. Thanks for that.
Ironically, I just shut down my news. subdomain today to finally once and for all kill off a section of my site which may have been seen as duplicate content. In the /news directory (not the root dir) .htaccess file:

# Rewrite all news. pages to www.
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^news\..*
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com/ [L,R=301]

seems to do the trick. So now my news. sub is history... and I'll try what you suggest and use a new sub for redirection. Any other caveats or gotchas to keep in mind?

[edited by: tedster at 1:04 am (utc) on Jan 25, 2012]
[edit reason] use example.com to turn off automatic linking [/edit]

Rick_M




msg:4428276
 8:23 pm on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since Friday one of my sites has lost about 20% of its traffic. I'm trying to figure out if this is just normal flux or something I may have done.

One change I made approximately 2 weeks ago was to change a shareasale affiliate link to a cj affiliate link for the same company. It is the first cj link on this website, and it is a page that doesn't get a lot of traffic. The page was about a particular company that offers an affiliate program, so I figured I many as well use the affiliate link.

I'm now wondering what people think as far as it possibly affecting the entire site.

Some pages on the site had ranked very well for competitive terms, and those pages only dropped one or two spots. I attributed it initially to just normal flux, but like everyone else, when things slow down you look for possible causes.

I'm going to remove the affiliate link because I don't expect to get any significant income that way. If it was the link, I'm not expecting any immediate improvement as I've come to expect changes are generally slow with Google after changing something that hurt rankings.

On a related note, it also seems my adsense CPM is down about 40%. I'm wondering if smart pricing also kicked in on that site.

crobb305




msg:4428883
 2:14 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since Friday one of my sites has lost about 20% of its traffic. I'm trying to figure out if this is just normal flux or something I may have done...One change I made approximately 2 weeks ago was to change a shareasale affiliate link to a cj affiliate link for the same company. It is the first cj link on this website, and it is a page that doesn't get a lot of traffic... I'm now wondering what people think as far as it possibly affecting the entire site.


I recently took a look at Compete data for CJ, and I thought the trend last spring was remarkable (roughly -60% from April to June). I am not sure if the downward trend was due to Panda iterations devaluing websites that used CJ links, or if it was due to webmasters removing CJ links in response to Panda. My gut tells me it was the former, as a rush to remove links would have likely happened soon after the original Panda in February. It definitely makes me reluctant to add any CJ links to my site.

falsepositive




msg:4430890
 3:55 pm on Mar 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I did a search on "widgets" in my vertical. Now, I am seeing a "Compare Widgets" Google ad on top (above 3 adsense ads) that is labeled "Comparison Ad" by Google. It is the #1 result for the "widgets" search.

The link to it leads to google.com/advisor and is a comparison list of all sites/products that are of the category "widgets". And it has your ubiquitous "Apply Now" button on each product.

So Google hates thin affiliates but puts themselves as #1, basically doing the same thing? I have no problem with this per se but my biggest issue is the hypocrisy. They are using Panda to clear out competitors by labeling them as thin affiliates. For the "widgets" search, there is only one mom and pop site that is on the organic results list, at #7 (#11 if you include the fat Google ads on top).

MrBreakEven




msg:4430901
 4:12 pm on Mar 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think its been clear for a while.

Google wants to be the number 1 affiliate.

Why let 1000's of small time guys earn money when they could have it instead?

Rick_M




msg:4430903
 4:16 pm on Mar 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing the flux in my sector as well as hearing about the changes others are reporting, I think more and more my recent drop had nothing to do with changing one affiliate link. I think there are bigger changes going on in my sector and for whatever reason my site is ranking lower. I've lost about 20-30% of my traffic in the past 10 days.

It stinks but that is the nature of organic results. On one of my competitive phrases I dropped from 2 to 3 with the big name company still at #1 and the new #2 is a popular national magazine's article on the topic. I can't really complain and I guess I should be glad Google still sees my site as worthy of #3.

This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 66 ( 1 2 [3]
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