So the big buzz for the past week is the anouncement on Perry Marshalls blog of a Google Slap to Affiliate review sites. So how did all this come about? Well Perry had received an email from Glenn Livingston which led to Perry publishing the following on his blog:
“I got word from several affiliate marketers that Google dropped the hammer today on affiliate review pages. Many pages went from quality scores of 10 —> 1 overnight.
And these were NOT skinny sites, rather well build out, consistently updated blogs with good navigation above the fold, xml site maps, high click through, hyper-relevant keyword mapping, low bounce rates, long average time on page … everything else Google loves.
When we analyzed which pages survived, and we take it in combination with other information, it seems pretty clear they’ve added code which screens for affiliate links on the landing pages.
At the moment it seems cloaking and PHP redirects are untouched, … but I can’t imagine these are far behind. (I’m guessing they’re just avoiding this in order to decrease their server burden … takes some CPU cycles to visit every link on the page and evaluate for affiliate code)
I’d say it’s safe to conclude Google’s on the war path against affiliate review sites, and we should be advising clients towards a different business model… at minimum it seems necessary to avoid placing affiliate links on landing pages, but ideally, I think people need to move towards a deeper list building/relationship building strategy and/or a strong e-commerce model.Time to stop “building on sand”.”
So what does all this mean?
Well first off this only effects your google ads account, it hasn’t become part of googles search algorithum yet and it doesnt mean it will in the future. Low Quality scores in adwords, increases the price you pay for your ads so it does have a major effect on your income. I’ve checked my campaigns and I haven’t been hit yet but I do cloak my affiliate links, this doesnt mean I wont be hit in the future. I would definitely recommend cloaking your affiliate links in the mean time.
There are others who suggest that it has nothing to do with naked affiliate links in your landing pages. Mark Ling from Affilorama suggests the slap is is more based on onpage optimisation:
The common theme that I’ve noticed has tended to be more to do with the on page optimization of the landing page. I’ve found that when I use Traffic Travis and run a page analysis on any keyword phrase that got slapped, I find that the page that it was directing traffic to received a B- or lower as the rating.
Below I’ve included an interview between Alex Goad and the man who brought this slap to everyones attention Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Audio Version of Post
Have you been affected by the slap? Let me know in the comments.
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