Some SEOs claim affiliate websites are dead now that Google is cracking down on backlinks. However, you can still build a great, successful affiliate website as long as you create a quality site and follow Google’s guidelines. Here are some tips for building a strong affiliate website presence that can rank well in search engines.
Don’t Make Affiliate Content the Only Content
One mistake affiliates make is building a site with only affiliate content that just paraphrases or rewrites manufacturer content. Google wants unique and compelling content that adds value to its index. When you just rewrite other content, it gets filtered by Google Panda and doesn’t last for long. If you take on an affiliate program for your website, choose a program for a product you know well. When you know the product well, you can discuss it as an expert and create content that is better than your competitors.
Build a Following of Users
When users want to see your site in search engines, Google wants to place your site at the top. Building a following gets users talking about your site, and when users talk about your site, it creates backlinks. These backlinks are completely natural and Penguin-safe. Natural backlinks build your popularity, your PageRank and your search engine rank.
Update Your Content and Website Frequently
Google still loves content, so it’s important to continue updating your site and adding more valuable content. You still need to make sure this content is unique, compelling and high quality. Most products have updates, new versions or additional models that you can add to your content.
Google also says you should not focus your writing around affiliate links, so add occasional content that isn’t a sales ad and doesn’t have an embedded affiliate link. Inform customers about new trends in the industry instead of trying to make a sale with every blog post. Keep the tone conversational and allow users to comment on your articles to generate conversation.
Avoid Link Building
Affiliate marketers have a bad habit of link building as soon as a site is built. Google has cracked down on link building and unnatural links. Link building with a new site is a big red flag for Google. Focus on natural links and avoid the scams where SEOs promise high Google rank from link spam. You can market your site, but don’t fall into the trap of unnatural links such as placing links on link directories, article directories or low quality press release sites.
Make All Affiliate Links Nofollow
Placing “nofollow” on an affiliate link stops the link from passing PageRank. Placing nofollow on an affiliate link not only protects your site from being seen as a link seller, but it also protects the affiliate site from being penalized for unnatural links. Penguin affects websites that have too many unnatural links, but Google also penalizes sites that have too many outgoing links that pass PR.
The best way to start a site is to always think of users and what users would want to see on your site. The more you think about users and making a site useful, the faster you’ll see success.