Russ wrote me and asked the following:
All good information for sure… but I have a good question…
The websites I have are all based on sending users to a merchant page with affiliate links. That is my whole goal with these sites. However, the more content I add, the more affiliate links I have.
I am not really sure how to circumvent this issue. Please advise. All comments welcome.
I really don't think that Google wants to end affiliate marketing as we know it. Google absolutely must recognize that affiliate marketing is responsible for a huge percentage of the revenue generated on the web, but also a huge percentage of the revenue they earn on Adwords.
I don't know the actual figures. . . does anyone else have real numbers or percentages for this?
There are two things I do know, though. One is that there is some balance between links coming into your site and links going out. The whole premise behind Google's original algorithm came from the Academic fields. In the masters or PhD world, a dissertation or thesis is considered more important the more times it is cited by other papers.
Larry and Sergey (founders of Google) figured that Websites should be rated the same way, and so a large part of their algorithm is based on how many other sites link to yours.
If you have a huge number of sites linking to your site because you provide good and valuable information on your topic, and happen to have some affiliate links going out, then that's certainly no problem. If you have an overwhelming number of links going out, with few or no links pointing to you, well then your site isn't very important to the world, is it?
The other important factor is that Google is very much concerned with sites adding value to a users experience. I should say. . . to THEIR users experience. And so, if all you are doing is providing a bunch of links to affiliate programs with little more than a rating or some short description, you're not adding much value.
And as a result, your site's "quality" will be ranked lower.
I hope that makes sense to you, Russ.
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