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Is a noindex tag enough protection?
Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 5:19 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

A site with several hundred pages suddenly has three pages get a confirmed -50 penalty for having an affiliate link but "not enough more". These three pages used to be top performers but have been nearly 100% ignored by Google only for the past month.

Is placing a googlebot noindex meta tag on these three pages enough to protect the site from any collateral damage? Since the pages do extremely well in the other engines they will not be deleted nor can they be improved much for various reasons. To noindex or not?

 

Str82u



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 8:15 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not offering any advice but how many times have you heard MC or someone else FROM G state that "they" recognize affiliate links pretty good. [youtube.com...]

EDIT: if you're going to use noanything, do a nofollow on the links, don't use a noindex on the page... that's advice.

Pjman



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 9:32 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would second the nofollow on the affiliate links. I found that noindex on pages are 100% effective. During some updates noindex gets thrown out the window.

According to MC, nofollow is what they want. But who knows if you can trust Spaceballs Darth Vadar these days either.

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 5:59 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

if you're going to use noanything, do a nofollow on the links, don't use a noindex on the page... that's advice.


In addition to noindex, if you do a robots nofollow, wouldn't that be treated the same as though the nofollow were on the links?

Str82u



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 7:00 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

if you do a robots nofollow, wouldn't that be treated the same as though the nofollow were on the links
It should be, that is correct. It also nofollows all the internal links though those few pages might not cause a "site-side" ranking drop by losing those links, if the pages have a little PR, I wouldn't nofollow them out of the "loop" as it were.

What @Sgt_Kickaxe didn't mention was, What percentage of the links on those pages are affiliate links rather than related outbound links and internal links.

What @Pjman mentions about "noindex gets thrown out the window" - I've seen that happen to pages before updates, like pages you add noindex/nofollow go from PR 2/10 to PR x/10 in two days time. Think that's funny? Same pages with the noindex/nofollow removed get their PR back after 2-3 days. Can't guarantee you'll have the same results or get the PR back if you try that experiment, it scared me.

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 8:44 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Str82u, if the page on which I have my affiliate links is THE money page of my site, I would want to protect it at all cost. I wouldn't need that page for adding one extra internal link to other pages, rather add many useful content pages. And I wouldn't trust Google to see the affiliate links with nofollow attribute and do nothing about them. If a link has nofollow attribute, Google acts on its own volition and primarily, it comes to know at least that this site is an affiliate site, and keep a closer watch.

I would go for a robots nofollow, noindex and may be reinforce it with a robots.txt command if need be :-)

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 8:53 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

robots nofollow, noindex and may be reinforce it with a robots.txt command


if you exclude from crawling the nofollow, noindex is invisible.

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 12:24 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

if you exclude from crawling the nofollow, noindex is invisible.

True, you got me there :-) If the purpose of noindex is not to allow Google from seeing the content of the page, robots.txt disallow alone is enough. Should someone update the robots.txt file and remove this disallow, then the second line of defense will come in handy.

Str82u



 
Msg#: 4573902 posted 3:10 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I understand your point @McMohan but for @Sgt_Kickaxe it's a bit late to try and hide that his site has affiliate content on it - and we're talking about his situation. I don't personally feel that noindex on those pages is going to benefit/protect the rest of his site. Besides that, He mentioned they do well in other SEs, what happens if they obey the noindex? No more other SEs... I'd at least TRY the nofollow on the links first and see what the results of that during the course of a month.

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