Affiliate Links Can Pass Link Juice & Help With SEO

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Over at SEOmoz, Rand gives us a wrap up of the Search Engineers session from SMX East which includes the fact that all of the search engine engineers agreed with Sean Suchter of Yahoo that if affiliate links come from relevant and trust worth sources, then those links may assist with the passing of link juice which has a direct effect on search engine rankings.

…In no uncertain terms, that if affiliate links came from valuable, relevant, trust-worthy sources – bloggers endorsing a product, affiliates of high quality, etc. – they would be counted in link algorithms. Aaron from Google and Nathan from Microsoft both agreed that good affiliate links would be counted by their engines and that it was not necessary to mark these with a nofollow or other method of blocking link value.

In September, SEJ columnist and resident affiliate marketing guru Carsten Cumbrowski reviewed how Amazon leverages the power of affiliate links to assist with its SEO and the questions surrounding affiliate links and paid linking. I suggest giving this a read after checking out Rand’s recap of SMX.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Affiliate Marketer

    I always run my links trough own server side redirection that is forbidden with robots.txt, throw 302 headers and cookie cutter for user agents that do not accept cookies. also every link to my server redirection is nofollow so theoretically not one single engine should detect them at all.

  • Stephan Miller

    I usually nofollow affiliate links so that corporations like this don’t leech my link juice. Cheaters.

  • Michael Martinez

    I’ve carried affiliate links for years and have never made any special effort to deprive them of value. The merchants have done more in that respect than anyone else, since most of them now distribute links through Javascript.

    You don’t hurt yourself in any way by linking out to merchant sites with unfiltered links.

    People need to stop obsessing over where the so-called link juice flows. No one can see where it is or where it’s going, so fussing about it like a group of busybodies doesn’t do any good.

  • Stephan Miller

    Just saying it’s a bit underhanded with all the uproar of Google and “nofollow”.

  • Carsten Cumbrowski

    great info.. it was about overdue 🙂 That wasn’t too hard, right? You might think, but it took the SE a while to stop with their vague statements that raised more questions and fears than they answered.

  • Stephan Miller

    It was great to meet you at Blog World Expo, Carsten. I knew you had to jump in here sometime. This was one of the things you talked about.

  • Chris

    So, this basically means that it is unnecessary to add nofollow to affiliate links such as those to individual Amazon products on a blog, insomuch as it won’t drain link juice from your own site?