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Are eBay affiliates caught in a catch 22 with Google?

   
10:09 pm on Mar 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



eBay is a popular shopping portal with affiliate program, not unlike many other popular sites, but there seems to be set of circumstances that Post Panda play havoc on the publishers sites. I'll try and explain as best I can.

Publishers linking to ebay often do so using popular wordpress based scripts that make it easy. A staple of these scripts is a redirect page along with nofollow on links to ebay.

I've heard it discussed that there is no reason to nofollow a link to a trusted site anymore and that redirecting just ads an extra step which is often just a way to avoid telling search engines you're linking to a site. Yes, there are other reasons a redirect can be useful such as geo-targeting and bot filtering, but to be honest that's not the reason many spammers do so.

eBay however is a different story because of their payout system. They have their own internal algorithm that, mysteriously, decides what a click is worth and eBay has said that bot clicks or clicks from the wrong countries can indeed lower your earnings. eBay affiliates are therefore smart to control access, and even to use the redirect page to swap out a NON affiliate link version to the same page, via use of a redirect page.

Now, if Google is looking down on affiliate redirecting and nofollow etc while eBay requires some link control, what's an affiliate to do? Darned if you link to what you're talking about and darned if you don't.

I know opinions vary but this is a case where a clear explanation that yes(or no) there are ramifications in place for using a redirect page and/or nofollow. The ebay payout system is unique, no other affiliate program decides what to pay per click like ebay does. In fact most affiliate programs simply filter bot clicks and such without penalizing their affiliates.
12:22 am on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



if Google is looking down on affiliate redirecting and nofollow

Where did this get communicated? Do you have a source for that information... a Google source, that is?
12:35 am on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Being an eBay affiliate, I can tell you that their program has way more issues to worry about than Google at this point.

I've got sites that do just fine using that 3rd party software you talk about. Google loves those sites.

eBay made a play for long tail searches a while back when they required all affliates to 301 their redirects instead of the 302 that was being used. As a result, a lot of their inner pages got juice and started showing up for searches over the affliates promoting them.

Wasn't Google's fault. It was their head SEO guys faults for figuring out they could do it and affiliates could not say a thing about it or risk termination.
3:31 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Where did this get communicated? Do you have a source for that information... a Google source, that is?


I prefaced the comment with an 'if'.
3:58 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I do some aff, and I hang with some affiliates (and even some super affiliate types), and to my knowledge, Google does not look askance at redirecting and nofollow. We all cloak our links and we all nofollow them (that, in fact, is the only instance where I do use nofollow) and as far as I know, nobody's suffering from it.