Search Engine Ranking: One of the primary concerns of most affiliate marketers is dealing with affiliate links from an SEO perspective.
One major way to make sure your affiliate site grows and doesn’t get penalized due to affiliate links is by making sure you are adding value through your content.
An affiliate site should also be properly promoted and maintained like any other high-quality site.
To make sure Google doesn’t penalize me for using affiliate links, I need take care of a few things.
As mentioned by Matt Cutts, Ex-head of Goggle’s spam division, in most cases, Google handles affiliate links without any issue, as they know about the majority of affiliate networks. But if you are still worried, you can add a no-follow link to your affiliate links.
Now, if you are new to the “no-follow” term, you can learn more about it here:
How to Deal with Affiliate Links, SEO in WordPress:
There are many free and paid affiliate plugins available. I have only played with a few of these WordPress affiliate plugins, but luckily I stumbled onto one of the best ones – ThirstyAffiliate.
In ThirstyAffiliate’s settings, there is an option that lets you add a no-follow attribute to all links cloaked using this plugin. This will help you to stop passing “link juice” to affiliate links.
Also, I suggest you add the ThirstyAffiliates URL trigger in your robots.txt file as “disallow”.
For example, my URL trigger for affiliate links are /recommended/ and in my
WordPress robots.txt file, I have following lines:
This is to make sure Google doesn’t crawl such links, and your website is not penalized for any kind of affiliate linking penalty.
This is only a solution for those who use the ThirstyAffiliates WordPress plugin. For others, you should start adding the no-follow tag to such links.
For old posts, where you have used direct affiliate links, you can use the Link Status Pro Plugin to quickly add the “no-follow” attribute.
I suggest you use some kind of plugin like ThirstyAffiliates or another similar plugin to mask your affiliate links because default links look ugly and might lower your CTR.
(I have already explained to you the benefits of link cloaking in an earlier section, but it’s an important thing to remember.)