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Google and affiliate links revisited

safe links styles

     
1:07 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've read quite a few threads here about how Google handles affiliate links and that there were known problems with some link styles.

With all of the link options out there, I'm thinking about providing our affiliates with one of the most basic:

http://www.example.com/?a=8382

I was just going to go with that link by itself... but then read quite a few concerns with google seeing dozens/hundreds of copies of the same page. In which case I'm thinking of doing a 301 redirect like so:

http://www.example.com/?a=8382
REDIRECTS TO
http://www.example.com/

Product pages would be the same:
http://www.example.com/product_name.html?a=8382
REDIRECTS TO
http://www.example.com/product_name.html

Does this seem to be a safe way to handle affiliate links with Google these days? Also, any known Google-issues with affiliates linking to main page (like above)? - I don't want the main page to be de-valued in anyway.

[edited by: ciml at 10:54 am (utc) on Sep. 2, 2004]
[edit reason] Examplified. [/edit]

6:10 pm on Sept 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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<bump>
8:50 pm on Sept 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One possible solution is to provide code to your affiliates to let them set the tracking cookie that you will use. That way, you can encourage them to link to your site without passing their id on the URL.

This has the added advantage of giving credit to your affiliates when their visitors decide to type in your domain name rather than clicking on their URLs with the obvious affiliate id.