Can I be penalized for affiliate URL redirects to my site?
 by Casey Markee

Can I be penalized for affiliate URL redirects to my site?

  • I have a high-traffic shopping site dealing with golf supplies. I have an affiliate who is linking to my site via a re-direct within a frame, so my site shows up on the screen, but the URL stays at his site. Will this confuse Google? Am I in danger of getting penalized for his actions?

Answer: It's unlikely that Google would penalize your site. After all, you can't really control how people link to you and Google knows that. Regardless, if this annoys you as much as it annoys us, we suggest you add some frame breaker javascript to your page. This will ensure your site is seen as you intend it to be seen at all times.

Here is a sample script for that purpose (just place it in the <head> section of your chosen pages):

<head>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
<!--
function breakout_of_frame()
{
 // see http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/framebreak.shtml
 // for an explanation of this script and how to use it on your
 // own website
 if (top.location != location) {
  top.location.href = document.location.href ;
 }
}
-->
</script>
</head>

Also, if you haven't yet already done so, be sure to check out our report on affiliate links and affiliate programs in general: The Complete Guide to Advanced SEO Strategies for Creating SEO Friendly Affiliate Links

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