Affiliate links, in general, are links to other businesses. A person placing the affiliate link gets a commission when someone goes to that business using that link and buys a product or a service.
Google has no problem with affiliate links. Users can use these to help monetize their websites. Buying and selling links is a common component of the web economy when done for advertising purposes and not to manipulate search results. However, there are two crucial aspects that every affiliate marketer should keep in mind:
1. Unique and Valuable Content
Google Webmaster Guidelines advise building websites with unique and original content that adds value for the readers. For the websites that participate in affiliate programs, this is particularly essential. Typically, affiliate websites use the same product descriptions as mentioned on the affiliate network. Thus, the websites that only include material from affiliate networks may suffer in Google search rankings since they lack enough added value content that distinguishes them from other websites on the internet. Instead, the affiliate sites should provide additional significant information about the products, including pricing, ordering information, or product comparisons to add value for users.
2. Declare Affiliate/Paid Links for Search Engine
Cloaking means displaying different content or URLs to users and search engines. Link Cloaking is not a recommended practice. In fact, cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Quality Guidelines. It provides users with a different result that they were not expecting, which is not a good user experience.
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