Are exchanged or reciprocal links okay with Google?
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What Google SEO best practices are important for a new affiliate site?

What Google SEO best practices are important for a new affiliate site?

Today’s Style an SEO question comes from Saif in Saharanpur. Saif asks:

“I am starting an affiliate site. What is the practice I could follow to NOT get caught in the Google update? ”

Hi Saif,

Big question and this is a topic I know a lot about. The best answer I can tell you is not to do anything that would get you caught on the wrong side of an update.

We look at some do’s and don’ts that will help you stay on the right side of the “law” below.

As affiliate marketing, your goal is to build a resource that addresses needs and that a person will want to return to.


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The pages should be something that people will share with friends and subscribe to so that more people can be exposed to your affiliate links.

It does not matter if you are talking about gardening, cooking, photography or pool toys.

You need to build exceptional content. It means proper formatting, problem solving, explanation of why your site should be trusted, entertaining / engaging and creating a sense of belonging.

If your site does not inspire people to subscribe and trust you, you will not succeed as affiliate.

Avoid these tactics for affiliate site SEO success

Participation in roundups. Use of link farms, PBNs or blog and forum comments for backlinks. Sale of backlinks. Participation in each program. Using HTML directly from the network or affiliate program (it lacks link attributes and better tracking). Creating thin pages. Make Brand + Reviews for review content. Speaking of a million products or niches. Pay-to-play content, especially with listicles; place e.g. no higher commission / payout link higher on your list.


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Choose a theme for the site based on what users will be engaging in for a long time.

Google’s SEO best practices for affiliate sites:

Mark “sponsored” on each associated link and image that pulls an asset from the platform or application. Write useful content that provides solutions to the person reading (do not talk about yourself or why you love it unless you already have 1000 active readers on all new content). Add to video demonstrations that you create (do not integrate from other people). Use the correct structure for your content (internal links, H-tags, bullet lists, etc.). Upload assets to your own site as images and do not pull from a third party. Some brands and programs first require approval, and if they use third-party ads, this becomes incredibly important. Be honest and do not lie about the “best” service or product (especially if it is because a brand wants you to favor them). Use the manufacturers’ specifications and information (everything must be 100% unique and you must always find original angles to share). Choose a niche and stick to it – do not talk about hosting, then flowers and then SEO tools. If you allow comments and visitors to interact with content, UGC places on all outbound links.

(Do not know which linkmarkup to use? See Need Nofollow, Sponsored or UGC Links? To learn more.)

What does well-related content look like?

Let’s dive a little deeper.

You can say “My family loves this product” if you are a parent blogger.

But do not stop there.

You need to add something that is relevant to the reader so that it can be related to them.

“My family loves this product because my toddler used to grill about vegetables. By incorporating ABC Product at lunch and XYZ at dinner, she now gets excited about eating vegetables. We can not let them come fast enough! ”

But it is still not enough.

To go from thin or average content to quality content, you need to add more.

Using the example above, I would recommend adding a few more sections.


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A video of the toddler before and after using the product showing that it is effective. we ran into, and the solutions.What it is and is not compatible with, including other brands, tools or toys; high chairs vs. booster seats, etc. A few alternatives based on the negatives to provide opportunities for all.

By ensuring that you provide the best possible answer, you build content that will benefit the reader – and with Google.

This starts with building yourself as an authority and then showing the product will solve the visitor’s problem.

You also want to make sure that the reader knows that the product is safe or effective and that it is compatible with other devices and tools.


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Then show them how to use it. Finally, share your feedback and provide alternatives if a particular product does not meet the needs of readers.

Sure, it’s a lot of work. But guess what? Building a successful, sustainable affiliate business is worth it.

More resources:

Editor’s Note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO consulting column written by some of the industry’s best SEO experts, which has been hand-picked by the Search Engine Journal. Do you have a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You may see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!


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