Use robots.txt to protect your affiliate links from Google.

by N4PGW
8 replies
I have been reading a great deal about Google slapping the affiliate sites. It appears that when Google sees a site with more outgoing affiliate links than non-affiliate links, it drastically drops the rank of the sites.

I am about to setup an affiliate site using WP as the engine. I will be using Power Link Generator to cloak the links, but anyone else can just create a forwarding php file to do the same. (details elsewhere).

For my example, I will sell model cars
Here are my thoughts:
MetalModelCars.com/Ford
MetalModelCars.com/Chevy
MetalModelCars.com/Nisson
MetalModelCars.com/Mitsubishi
MetalModelCars.com/Toyota

robots.txt:
User-Agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /Ford/
Disallow: /Chevy
Disallow: /Nisson
Disallow: /Mitsubishi
Disallow: /Toyota

I would then use a link that resembles:
http://metalmodelcars.com/Ford/Explorer
-or-
http://metalmodelcars.com/Ford/Explorer.php

My theory is that Google will not follow the link since it is forbidden in robots.txt.

Additional protection could be created by using .htaccess to deny access to any of Google's ip addresses.

For PLG, I will not setup all the folders as above, but I will not call it the default 'recommends' either.

Well, there you have it! Please comment.

Thanks
Buck
#affiliate #google #links #protect #robotstxt
  • Profile picture of the author Exfilius
    Originally Posted by N4PGW View Post

    ...Additional protection could be created by using .htaccess to deny access to any of Google's ip addresses...
    That's cloaking basically and could get you in trouble. Also, Google has new IPs popping out all the time.

    Google simply doesn't want affiliate links to flow any link-juice to the merchants site, so you should use the no-follow tag + make the link look like: yoursite.com/link.
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    You think Google actually pays attention to the robot text? Hmmm... I think that is more like telling a 2 year old not to press a button. (That you want him to press of course. )
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  • Profile picture of the author john43
    Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    Any affiliate links I have on my site I shorten through bit.ly in addition to using the nofollow attribute.
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    • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
      Thanks for all the information. I did not think of using the nofollow tag. I am only barely able to manage tweaking html and php so I depend on software to work.

      As for the untrusting of Google, I did address the additional security of denying access to google ips in referal folder.

      Since we are talking about affiliate links, then I guess the consensus is to tag the links as nofollow.

      I had also thought about scattering harmless links (not to distract from my pay links) and that mention of Wiki sounds ideal. Thanks

      Thank you all
      Buck
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Matt Cutts stated that Google doesn't pay much attention to the nofollow tag any more. So that isn't going to help much.
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    Tim Pears

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  • Profile picture of the author steveniam
    Personally my experience tell me otherwise or else my site will not ranked number two for a competitive niche with search volume of 50,000 a month.


    Originally Posted by N4PGW View Post

    I have been reading a great deal about Google slapping the affiliate sites. It appears that when Google sees a site with more outgoing affiliate links than non-affiliate links, it drastically drops the rank of the sites.

    Buck
    Signature
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