Are affiliate sites going to be a thing of the past in Google’s search results? They could be if webmasters of affiliate sites do not adhere to Google new guidelines regarding them. Yahoo has frowned on affiliate sites for some time. Now has Google joined the fray?
Google has made some updates to its Webmaster Guidelines. Nothing major has changed but two points that could spell out disaster to traditional affiliate sites:
- If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
- If a site doesn’t meet our quality guidelines, it may be blocked from the index. If you determine that your site doesn’t meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and request reinclusion.
This does not shock me. In fact, Yahoo has been taking a stand against affiliate sites for quite some time now. And as well as they should. Who wants to see the same content, the same site, the same exact product, hogging up the search results over and over again?
Google is not saying that they hate affiliate sites but what they are saying is that if your site is a clone of the “mother affiliate” site, don’t come crying to them if it is excluded from the index. Rather, make sure your site has something unique and valuable to add. My sentiments exactly!
It is entirely possible to participate in affiliate programs but at the same time offer a quality site for people to visit. These new guidelines may affect lazy webmasters who simply want to paste affiliate codes and product offerings in web pages but for those who still offer something of value, they should have nothing to fear.