Google’s Warning to Affiliate Publisher Sites

MonetizeMore has always encouraged publishers to provide useful content to its readers. Websites without any content that create value for the user are usually frowned upon by AdSense and Ad Exchange. This is in line with Google’s latest warning to affiliate publisher sites:

Over the years, search engines have gotten smarter. While initially simple keyword saturation (using the same keyword many times) worked, now this is not the case. Many sites instead will use “affiliate programs.” Google’s official webmaster blog posted a warning on January 27, 2014, against this new method to bypass the search engine originality check.

Note that website affiliate programs are actually an added bonus in terms of monetization of websites. However, if you do not follow the requirements of Google quality guidelines, you may find yourself at a distinct marketing disadvantage.

What is an affiliate program and how does it affect publishers?

Quite simply put, it is a syndicated feed of content that is provided by external sources. It is a very cheap way to rack up many articles on a domain at once, which may sound appealing at first. This used to work for website optimization until recently when Google decided to crack down on the practice. Why is it harmful to search integrity? These affiliate programs can saturate Google for specific keywords.

This means that anyone using Google is more likely to find the same article many times over while searching for something specific without getting any original or unique content. This is bad for consumers, as no new information gets shared, and it’s bad for original publishers because their articles go completely unnoticed.

Is there any added value?

Google asked webmasters to pose the question “Is there any added value?” before publishing a syndicated feed. For example, if you were to publish an article that was already on a news site, you would have to add some analysis to the article in order for it to not to fall under Google’s definition of “affiliate programs”.

This category is now specifically outlawed according to Google’s quality guidelines. This means that affiliate networks can now be considered counter-productive. Rather than being simply a nuisance that searchers and publishers alike have to put up with, they can now be removed completely from Google if they are found to be in violation of these guidelines. In short, webmasters should take heed and ensure that their content is high quality, original, and useful.

Bottom line

Google is now cleaning up these web pages by ranking them into different categories such as Thin Affiliation, Spam, Junk, and so forth. The common denominator among these labels is that the web page’s contents are not at all useful to end-users.

The trick to avoiding any of these adverse rankings isn’t a trick at all — just continue creating fresh, quality content. With that, you can never go wrong.

MonetizeMore is an industry leader in Ad Optimization. If you’re a publisher who wants to be eligible for Google Ad Exchange and wants to keep his sites always Google-compliant, Sign-up for a FREE consultation.


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Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like Adsense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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