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Much else to be discussed, like whether you have enough orginal and useful content within your site to keep your visitors engaged on your site.
Too much at the beginning and Google got mad and hasn't forgiven us yet.
This started August 11th, 2012 which was around 7 days after we switched from one affiliate provider to another. There was almost an immediate decline but it really hit around the 7th day. We were doing fine before that switch.
Nothing changed for the better or the worse since the first 7 days of our initial change.
Does it mean useful to the visitor simply as a means to answer a question? ...
...Does it mean "useful enough" to satisfy a need to populate a page with words in the hopes of gaining traffic for affiliate sales, advertising, etc...
I've just gotten back from PubCon, and I have miles to go before I sleep, and even longer before I catch up, so this excellent suggestion for a separate thread will have to wait, but here's my quick answer....
Essentially, I use the word "useful" as guides to both the writer and the site architect.
It is about anticipating the many possible reasons someone might have visited your site in response to a query, and providing content that will help/ satisfy/ educate/ entertain, etc that visitor (actually, those visitors)... providing enough content to motivate them to come back, to recommend the site to others, to link to it, etc.
I'm not sure no-following really solves anything though when it comes to this part of the algorithm. Certainly on our site, every link that's no trusted has been no-followed since the day that option was made available to us!
It's important to realize that not all sites that use affiliates are bad. Like us, we simply can't afford the products that we would need to stock in order to offer to our visitors.
If you think about it Google has come down hard on blog networks that pass pagerank so why would they not come down on your site when you are passing pagerank to an affiliate site that really doesn't deserve that link juice.
We handle the vast majority of affiliate stuff correctly because if it is a large enough affiliate network we know about it and we handle it on our side. Even though we handle I believe the vast majority of affiliate links appropriately if you are at all worried about it, I would go ahead and just add the nofollow because you might be earning money from that.
Not every site that participates in an affiliate program is a thin affiliate. Good affiliates add value, for example by offering original product reviews, ratings, and product comparisons. If you participate in an affiliate program, there are a number of steps you can take to help your site stand out and to help improve your rankings...