Affiliate pages are often dismissed as low-quality content. Here, we explain how to make better affiliate pages which actually add value to your site and contribute to your ranking on Google.

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is an automated marketing program in which a web advertiser recruits webmasters to place a company’s advertisements on their sites. The most common types of affiliate programs are pay-per-click, pay-per-lead and pay-per sale.

Affiliate revenue

A webmaster might receive a referral fee each time someone clicks on the affiliate link. Alternatively, if someone has clicked on the ad and gone on to buy something from the advertiser’s site, the webmaster who hosted the link  would receive a percentage of the sale. Understandably, many companies prefer these types of ads because they don’t pay unless a sale is made.

How to add value to an affiliate ad or link

To heighten the quality of an affiliate link, it’s well worth you updating and adding content to whatever advert you’re hosting, building upon the information provided by the affiliate advertiser.

Whilst an affiliate page may appear complete and insightful, if all of the information was supplied by the advertiser then it has minimal value because the exact same content has likely been provided to thousands of other websites. As other sites will have this same content, when Google looks through all of these pages it will generally ignore the content which is the same and look for sites with more detailed information on.

Your affiliate ad page should include:

– Original title, text and product description
– Photo of product taken by site owner
– An affiliate link with unique anchor text

Before you start promoting a product, make sure you’ve taken the time to get to know what you’re supporting. A page with unique content stands out from the others because it provides updated information and therefore allows users to make a more informed decision when considering buying a product. By adding value to an otherwise uniform advert, Google notices this and correspondingly ranks a page higher than its identical counterparts.

What does Google think of affiliate pages?

It’s a common misconception that Google looks down upon affiliate pages and programs. People assume that if an affiliate site isn’t ranking well, it’s because it’s an affiliate and the pages aren’t deemed useful. However, often affiliate sites aren’t ranking because they don’t offer much value.

The Google webmaster guidelines never advises against making affiliate pages, they simply state:
“Avoid participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value.”

So, with affiliate programs it’s integral to remember that Google ranks a site according to the value it thinks a page offers to a user, not because of the type of advertising it promotes.

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