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How to optimize affiliate content for SEO

Posted 10 months ago by Angus

Google is always changing it’s algorithm, but an update that went live in March, has had a big impact on how well sites index in Google. This update affected several of our publishers, so to help rectify that, we’ve put together this blog which contains tips to ensure you protect your SEO ranking and comply with Google’s guidelines.

Follow Google’s Guidelines

Google Webmaster Guidelines are designed to help Google find, index and rank your site. In general Google does not approve of what it terms “deceptive” practices and will actively seek out sites that aren’t complying to penalise them. It also looks poorly on sites that are purely designed for search engines rather than users. There is no issue with using affiliate links, but they need to be used within original content, and not just featured for revenue generation purposes alone.

Refresh historic high traffic pages

If you’ve seen organic traffic drop on specific high-performing pages it’s likely they’ve begun indexing poorly on target keywords in Google. To rectify the drop, update and improve the originality of content on them, ensuring any content you’re including provides a service to your readers.
Use SEO Tools like SEMRush, Moz and Majestic to find the pages that lost positions. Study your competitors and understand which keywords they are using and which websites are sending backlinks to them. Replicating their efforts will help you recover lost ground.

Build a healthy backlink strategy and avoid toxic links

When you want to build traffic to your site, you should spread links over the web, as this helps building domain and link authority and improves your ranking in search engines. In doing so, however, you have to be careful to balance your no-follow to follow rates and anchor text similarities when determining the value of backlinks. Avoid toxic backlinks like from link networks, spam sites and mirror pages with duplicated content. There are backlink spam tools and checkers that you can use to identify toxic backlinks and disavow them. Being rigorous about this ensures Google has no reason to alter your ranking.

Added value content

On affiliate programs, Google says you need to create content with “added value” for users, which it describes as including “additional meaningful content or features, such as information about, price, purchasing location, or product category.” Adding that information will also be helpful for readers, provide a better experience for your readers and reduce the likelihood that Google will penalise you for your affiliate efforts.

Copy and paste doesn’t cut it anymore. You cannot expect a good ranking on Google if you don’t add something new to content. Google characterises this as added information on price, purchase location, product category and more.

The bottom line is that if the content you’re creating provides value you should rank well in Google. It values content that provides a service to users and features valuable original content. With a few smaller tweaks and updates to existing copy, you should be able to remedy any issues you’ve seen and begin to rank successfully in search engines again.

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