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Can Affiliate Links Hurt Your Search Ranking

...probably a dumb question...

10:04 pm on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Our site is going to be using a 3rd party affiliate program (maybe CJ) and I was wondering if having affiliate links pointing to your site is something that factors negatively in Google or Yahoo search.

Any thoughts on this, or is this indeed a dumb question?

11:38 pm on Sept 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only way it can "hurt" is sometimes the affiliate URL can rank higher than your regular URL.

So let's say you are widgets-store.com.

You might rank #15 for "widgets."

However, if you have a really good affiliate, they might be able to boost your ranking to #8 for widgets, but your site URL might come up as their affiliate url, widgets-store.com/index.html?aid=666 or whatever.

Some people would call that a help. ;-)

Actually, if your affiliates engage in hardcore spam tactics, you could be penalized for it. That is possible.

9:57 am on Sept 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes it can hurt... sometimes.

If you simply add a few aff links to an already established website with content and such, you're probably safe.

However, if you build a website around aff links with no substantial content... expect a really low ranking.

Google especially doesn't like affiliate websites that offer little content. In general however I'd say that your ok as long as there is content there for visitors to see.

6:30 pm on Sept 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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z. -- I think jjj is talking about becoming a merchant with CJ or some other affiliate program, not a publisher.
9:38 pm on Sept 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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beagle, I think you are right... oops! :)

In that case, I have no advice, sorry.


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