tedster - 1:26 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)
There is a rumor the Oct 14th update hammered sites with redirects and/or affiliate links that redirect.
I've heard the same, and somewhere or other a Google engineer did make a comment recently about "too many redirects" being a problem. However, in the context as I remember it, it was more about people who change their URL structure and don't fix their internal links, just letting the 301s "take care of it."
From what I know, the best handling of affiliate links is to send them through a script that you disallow to crawlers.
80 links on my footer
As an end user, I would never scan through eight footer links looking for a place to click. And as a web developer, I try to keep total links on a page below 100, and I prefer below 50. The more links, the smaller the slice of ranking power that each one can circulate. With lots of links, the site stops sending signals about the relative importance of different areas in its structure.