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I removed it now, along with all the other affiliate links on my site. I'll look more into this and monetizing the site once I have enough traffic.
maybe you leaked some page rank outside your site. did you rel=nofollow it?
There are good reasons for nofollowing an affiliate link... but the idea of not leaking PageRank outside your site, IMO, is not a good way to think about linking.
Not wanting to take this discussion off topic, but I couldn't let this one go. There's a new discussion about "leaking" PageRank here...
How do I protect the ranking of a page with 30 outbound links?
But how did you learn about this inspection mechanism and standalone algos?
i didnt. It is just something that seems to make sense and fit with my observations of pages coming and going consistently with even just minor changes. Other pages that have remained untouched for years never budge. Anyway these days you mustn't panic when a page goes awol, in the old days this was bad news but in modern times its very much part of the everyday running of google.
btw. No need to have that link on the page anyway. Just create a new page with the link and disallow it by robots and link to that page.
Some general truisms when it comes to Google:
- If a site provides compelling information, entertainment, or tools and is then sprinkled (reasonably) with affiliate links, then it's likely to do well over time.
- If a site *starts* with affiliate links as the foundation, the chances for success are more slim *unless* it provides compelling info, entertainment, tools, etc.
In other words, if you're building an Amazon.com store, are there any strong reasons why someone would visit -- or even bookmark -- your site instead of just going straight to Amazon.com? If not, why would our users want us to prominently list your site?
Getting "fat" means adding value... and, more specifically, a value that is distinct or greater than the value derived from the actual ecommerce site itself.
I have no reason to think that advice is not still valid. But I am concerned about the report that opened this thread. If the article was worth good ranking before, then the addition of the affiliate link should not have harmed it, according to the above quote.
So what is going on? As Adam also said in the linked thread, be careful about assumed causation. Just because one event is followed by another does not mean that it caused the second event. Other events may also be involved. For example, was the article scraped and published elsewhere?
At any rate, since msafi has now removed that link, it will be interesting to see if the traffic returns.
I once tried to add 2 adsense units forming a vertical column on the left hand side. The page almost immediately plummeted from #2 to #7. I took them off and it returned to #3. I have not been able to regain that #2 position which was very stable.
Instead of just looking at the one page, it might be wiser to look at the whole site, and see if anything is going on that is more likely to have caused the problem.
Do other pages on the site link to the same (or related) affiliate?
Is the affiliate a quality page?
Does the article where the link was placed have unique and original content?
How old is the page? And the site?
The strange thing is that I have the same affiliate link in the sidebar (template), and Google doesn't seem to have a problem with that...Does Google know the different between template content and individual page content? It seems so...
Also, this time I'm sending the affiliate link through a redirect script as advised. I'm also nofollowing the href.
I'll see what happens with it this time...
I placed the affiliate link once more, and the article disappeared. It was ranked #2 this time. I won't remove the affiliate link. I'll keep it and see what happens.
As Tedster said, be very careful about assuming causation, and also about how you view your test. Essentially, you're conducting a different test now, on a page that is adding and removing affiliate links, and make other minor changes frequently ;)
Also remember that the fact the rankings have been so unstable means this page is unlikely to be highly "trusted", and hence is more subject to ranking fluctuation - both because of changes you make, and changes Google make - as has been happening recently.
However, I had never read that quote by Adam Lasnik (I assume it is from a verified source otherwise one of the big guys in this thread would have picked up on it) and am intrigued enough to test the theory on one of my sites.
It has 450 or so pages, 120 or so of which had between 1-7 affiliate links on each page. Some of those pages ranked, some didn't but I could never find the apparent cause. I have now set the coding to only show 1 affiliate link on each of those 120 pages. As this problem has been going on for over 6 months and I have made no other drastic changes recently I will most likely attribute any dramatic change over the coming weeks to the dropping of affiliate links ... whether I'm correct in doing so is just as much of a guessing game as I'm already in! ;)