The Complete Guide to Advanced SEO strategies for Creating Search Engine Friendly Affiliate Links
Affiliate links come in two flavors:
- inbound links from affiliates that are promoting your products or services,
- outbound affiliate links where your site is promoting another company's products or services.
Of course you already know that it's important the search engines give you credit for your inbound links. And an affiliate program can be a great way to build links that improve your site's rankings, provided that you've set up your system correctly.
As for outbound affiliate links, we see many cases where they are poorly formatted in ways that discourage clicks. There's also evidence that search engines regard sites with abundant outbound affiliate links as being of lower quality—we find this especially true for PPC landing pages. This is why it is typical for companies to use such links sparingly and discreetly, and in ways that disguise them from users and search engines alike.
So if you consider yourself a real hard-core SEO (or even just a webmaster who's responsible for your company's bottom line), then it's essential you know...
How to create incoming affiliate links that build search rankings and how to create outbound links that don't make search engines think your site is just a bunch of thin-content pages pushing affiliate programs!
Read on, young grasshopper...
Building Link Popularity via Your Affiliate Program
Let's start with the inbound links. Most affiliate programs are set up so that you have inbound affiliate URLs where each affiliate links to the same landing page with their affiliate tracking code, such as:
and so on...
You'll also have your primary landing page that you use to promote your product yourself, such as: