Google Slap for Product Review Sites

by Ket-Sang Tai

News Flash from Dr. Glenn Livingston of Rocket Clicks:

I got word from several affiliate marketers that Google dropped the hammer today on affiliate review pages. Many pages went from quality scores of 10 —> 1 overnight.

And these were NOT skinny sites, rather well build out, consistently updated blogs with good navigation above the fold, xml site maps, high click through, hyper-relevant keyword mapping, low bounce rates, long average time on page … everything else Google loves.

When we analyzed which pages survived, and we take it in combination with other information, it seems pretty clear they’ve added code which screens for affiliate links on the landing pages.

At the moment it seems cloaking and PHP redirects are untouched, … but I can’t imagine these are far behind. (I’m guessing they’re just avoiding this in order to decrease their server burden … takes some CPU cycles to visit every link on the page and evaluate for affiliate code)

I’d say it’s safe to conclude Google’s on the war path against affiliate review sites, and we should be advising clients towards a different business model… at minimum it seems necessary to avoid placing affiliate links on landing pages, but ideally, I think people need to move towards a deeper list building/relationship building strategy and/or a strong e-commerce model.

Time to stop “building on sand”.

Glenn 🙂

To Your Success,

Ket-Sang Tai

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