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Affiliate URL's being indexed by Google/MSN



4:34 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We use MYAP for our program and we are now seeing our affiliate URL's being indexed by google and MSN, even for MAJOR keywords...

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to stop this? They are knocking out our normal listings and getting credit for those sales.

Maybe a disallow on the url in our robots.txt file?

Also, If these urls are being seen as unique then there is no help from the passing of PR to our site from affilates?

ex. of whats being indexed: www.example.com?kbid=222

[edited by: Drastic at 5:27 pm (utc) on Dec. 28, 2005]


6:32 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why do you have affiliates if you don't want them to generate sales?


6:48 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Talismon, please explain further.

Are you saying that *only* the affiliate tracking codes are being indexed, or that the tracking codes are being indexed as the URL's for pages on your affiliate(s) websites?


8:05 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

sure - let me clarify

Two things are happening

1) Our natural indexed pages are being knock out of the serps by custom landing pages we use for our affiliates. Where we once ranked #1 for our term with our page, an affiliate now ranks for the same page with his id code on it. Obviously google used the dup content filter to knock our page out as his was deemed more relevant.

2) On a major key term for us in MSN, we are listed #2 and the affiliate is being listed as #3 with his id. This is a little more difficult to visualize so If anyone wants me to sticky the specifics, I would love to hear some opinions..


3:42 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What's wrong with that?


9:06 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Obviously talismon's profit dropped drastically due to the problem he/she is facing.


3:18 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The problem is that we spent a lot of time and effort optimizing and building pages and achieving rankings for these pages, then an affiliate comes a long and our pages drop to be replaced with the same page that the affiliate links to with their affiliate ID attached to these pages.


3:43 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hire the affiliate to do SEO for you. ;)


4:28 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hah... thats funny.


9:50 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here's a simple solution. Have all affiliates link to a subdomain, and then exclude that subdomain from search engines with robots.txt. Then your brilliant SEO can do its magic on the main domain without being hindered by your affiliates mucking things up.


11:46 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why are you competing with your affiliates? You do the back end and make money, they do the sales and make money. Don't compete with them. Don't complain when one of them beats you in the serps, that is their f'ing job.

So make up your mind, do you want affiliates or not?

There's several retarded companies out there that don't allow bidding on their name brand because they want to bid on it themselves without any competition. Those retarded companies are losing and continue to lose WAY MORE sales then they could ever generate on their own. The reason being, whale affiliates won't touch them with a ten foot pole.

There has to be separation between affliate and merchant. Stop trying to be both.


7:48 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If I was your affiliate and I was ranking high and you somehow removed me or made a change to keep me out of the serps, I would leave your program faster than you could say search engine.

I have one particular affiliate who ranks high on MSN for some really good words, I sent him an email and was very clear on how THANKFUL I was.


1:22 pm on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

To those claiming he's competing with affiliates, maybe there's a misunderstanding here.

Let's say that I'm a vendor, selling widgets at http://example.com/widgets.html

A month ago, I ranked well for the term "widgets", such that people searching for "widgets" came to my site.

I have affiliates who link to my site with http://example.com/widgets.html?kbid=XXXX for affiliate tracking. Their site is over at http://example.affiliate/buy_fuzzy_widgets.html, and they link to me with the kbid link above.

Then, all of a sudden, searching for widgets starts returning links to http://example.com/widgets.html?kbid=XXXX

Any searches for "widgets" goes to the vendor's site, but the affiliate gets credit for having done no work.

It's one thing if http://example.affiliate ranks higher than http://example.com, but this is different. The canonical URL to the merchant's widgets site should not have the query string appended to it.


Edit: fixed tags


1:33 am on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

All of a sudden?

No Work?

Affiliates have to WORK to get to the top of the rankings!


8:51 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Probably rel="nofollow" can be used to prevent search engines indexing and following the links. Here is an article that might will be helpful:

1) blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050118-204728


9:22 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Probably rel="nofollow" can be used to prevent search engines indexing and following the links.

What incentive would the affiliate have to do that? He's basically getting free commission while this bug exists. In fact, this is great for the affiliate -- you don't have to rank at all for the terms, but you get commissions on the vendor's hard work.

The problem is with the search engines. Tanya Martin wrote an article about it ages ago but I can't seem to find it now.



3:02 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


You hit the nail on the head. This is exactly what it happening!


10:50 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Before taking away the affiliate's ability to market your product you should probably consider some things...

1. Do they rank high in SERPs for terms that you don't? If you take away their ability to SEO your offer then you could be losing out on a lot of sales generated from alternate KWs.

2. Do you want to risk them moving to a competitor? Since it sounds like your affiliate is doing a good job...If you hurt their commissions they may decide move to a competitor. Now you could very well see your competitor at the top of results. If this happens you are in an even worse situation.


12:28 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If the affiliate was wise (if they have content), they would try the no follow on their links. That should stop it from sending their traffic directly to the affiliate program.

It seems like they have some link building skills, and that should make their domain rank over the affiliate link (as long as they have a good domain/site that has good content).

Then too they can market similar products (if any). Or if the affiliate program does something that ticks them off (like b*tch about them being able to rank), they can switch their page to some competitor.

But then again, they could be ranking from the content the affiliate program has and their link building skills. This is rare, I see more affiliates losing out then I do the affiliate programs (because of how they link). And some affiliate programs are really strict about the linking code you get from them, so you can't add nofollow to it. I think affiliate programs should offer that as an option too, links with nofollows.


12:37 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


SEO Friendly Affiliate System Articles [overthemark.com] Not sure which one you were refering to, but these are the ones I wrote last year in my old blog.


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