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Hiding Affiliate Links

How do i not let the Search Engines follow the links?



3:56 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello all.

I am in the process of building my second affiliate site right now. I want to hide my affiliate links so that the search engines do not follow them.

The reason i want to hide my links from search engines is because yahoo is dropping affiliate sites like flies.

What would be a good foolproof way of not allowing these spiders to follow my affiliate links?


7:22 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

First build a redirect script - redirect.php or whatever. Tell it to take in a simple get variable called go, and make it bounce the user to whatever url is supplied in go.


When somebody loads the above, they get redirected to example.com.

Then replace all your links that point to affiliate sites with that code and use the nofollow tag in the link code:

a href="redirect.php?go=example.com" rel=nofollow


7:33 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Chris is right. That's what I do. I link to something like "buy.php?id=1324", which sends them to my affiliate link. My file "buy.php" also records the click in a database so you can compare your records to the merchant. If you plan to do this, you'll want to block spiders from visiting "buy.php."


9:28 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the valuable information. I will create the redirect script and see how that goes. I'm guessing that the res=nofollow tag tells the search engine not to follow the link. what if I just added that tag in the affliate link alone..would the spiders still recognize that it is an affliate link?

Another thing, I work with cj.com. As many of u know, their affiliate links tend to be very long. if I was to use the php redirect script, would I simply have to redirect to the first part of the cj affiliate link? the part after <a href="...>, where the url is located.

if I do that, will it disrupt the tracking code? is it safe to just link the first URL in a cj affliliate link?


9:46 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I used to put affiliate links in a javascript code and in that way i was sure that spiders didn't follow . Is that true or am i wrong?


10:57 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Knoir - if the click through links are very long, then make a database table that has 2 columns: code, link.

Fill it with data like:

1 www.example.com
2 www.example2.com
3 www.example3.com

Then modify the click-through script to take in the code, query the table for the link, and then redirect to that.

So if somebody clicked on click.php?go=2, they would be redirected to www.example2.com if the table had the information above.

The rel=nofollow is a new addition, supposedly the search engines will not follow a link that has that code. But bear in mind this was only released a few months back and is not fully reliable yet. So the other alternative is to put the script in your robots.txt file:

User-Agent: *
Disallow: /path/to/script/go.php


8:09 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does anyone know how use of these redirect scripts, which help your search engine rankings, affects your being hit harder by parasiteware?

I heard that if you are using a redirect script, then in order for parasites that actually <*cough cough*> are compliant with the COC for CJ, Linkshare, etc to know that they shouldn't just go ahead and steal your commission that you explicitly need to identify yourself as an affiliate site by appending &afsrc=1 to your redirect link.

Is this true, or am I misunderstanding how afsrc=1 is supposed to be used? (For instance, is it supposed to go in your actual affiliate link that your redirect script THEN sends the user to, instead?)

And if it is true, then by blocking the parasites who 'behave' from popping stuff up on your sites and stealing your commissions, you're still clearly identifying your site as an affiliate site, thus being devalued (or worse, dropped) from the SERPs.

Is this a catch-22? Get listed in the serps and raped by the parasites, or protect yourself from a handful of the parasites and be buried in the serps?


11:39 pm on Jun 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Bump for answer . . .curious as to how to maximize serach engine hits.

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