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How Affiliate Links Are Treated by Google & their impact on Search Rankings

Last Updated on November 22, 2019

Affiliate marketing over the internet involves a clear research into methods and technologies that help in beating the competition. The most obvious benchmark here is search engine rankings. The higher your pages and product links rank the higher chance of making sales you have!

Therefore, it is essential to have an idea about the SEO and related methods of boosting your link rankings. Affiliate marketers often research about how their affiliate links are treated by Google from an SEO perspective. I did some research and experimentation of my own and came up with interesting results.

Here is my take on how Affiliate Links are treated by Google : It lays more stress on quality content!

Many affiliate sites get banned due to one single mistake. They don’t maintain high-quality content and instead go for cluttering their pages with numerous links and banners.

To be safe from penalization and consequent bans you must add value for your readers by creating genuine, unique, high quality and optimized content.

With the recent Google Algorithm updates, it has been made clear that the search engine crawlers will evaluate the content quality and take it as the most major factor in search engine rankings. Therefore, affiliate marketers must take note of this and start building content strategies around quality content!


There is no special way Google handles affiliate links as they know most of the major affiliate networks. But to just be cautious and avoid penalisation, you should add no follow attributes to these links.

Use codes to avoid unnecessary crawling of your affiliate links and avoid penalization

I have a Shortcode for disabling crawlers in the infographic at the end. If you have installed this link then you need to install other plugins like Shortlinks or  Outbound Link Manager to add no follow attributes to old posts in absolutely no time. I also recommend the use of these plugins to mask your affiliate links and make them more reader friendly. Links containing text like /recommended/ achieve higher conversion rates than the ugly and long ones.

Google’s values your affiliate links normally until you do too much!

As can be concurred from what I have discussed above, Google treats genuine affiliate links in a normal fashion. Quality content around your affiliate campaigns will be the best boosting factor for your links with the recent updates in place.

Do you have anything to add to my opinion about how affiliate links are treated by Google? Please, let’s discuss in the comments section.

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For example, my URL trigger for affiliate links are /recommended/ and in my WordPress robots.txt file, I have following lines:

  • User-agent: *
  • Disallow: /recommended/

 This is how I stop google crawlers from crawling my affiliate links 🙂 



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