The importance of using ‘nofollow’ in affiliate links

Using affiliate links on your website or blog can provide an interesting new revenue stream via a few well-placed links for products you endorse.

Search engines, such as Google, crawl and index your website constantly. But they also monitor if the site contains too many paid links. Most major search engines penalise you where it hurts the most. You show up less in search engine results!

how to promote affiliate products without getting punished?

In this post I’ll provide you with a simple solution to protect your site from getting a bad rating.

DoFollow and NoFollow

When you add any link to your WordPress site, it’s automatically classed as ‘dofollow’. A simple plain link like this, easily spotted as an affiliate link:

<a href="">Get Namecheap hosting</a>

This kind of link generates traffic to the target site. When you have too many affiliate links or have too many paid links Google and similar companies give penalties and eventually your site won’t show up in search engines anymore.

You can avoid this by telling search engines not to follow those links with a simple tag.

<a href="" rel="nofollow">Get Namecheap hosting</a>

While invisible to the normal visitor, this tells search engines to not follow that link. Thus it won’t increase or affect your SEO and it doesn’t influence your visibility in search results. People clicking the link will still count as a click and if they fulfill your (or the affiliates) goal, you get paid.

How to Manually nofollow Your Text based Affiliate Links

How to add this attribute to your own text based links. Text based links are those lines of text that include a link to another website or product for which you may receive a commission.

To set those links to ‘nofollow’ you need to be in the WordPress editor and add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link tag. This is easiest done in the Text editor of WordPress.

Your standard link may look like this:

And the nofollow’d link then looks like this:

Note I added a rel=”nofollow” to the link. Once you publish your article your site will be safe from penalties and low SEO ranking by Google.
Every link with this attribute will be skipped by search engines. So remember to edit them all.

AdRotate for Wordpress

With AdRotate and AdRotate Pro you can add the nofollow attribute to your adverts quite easily. But it works just as well for affiliate links. Since those are essentially adverts, too.

Nofollow and advertisements
Most affiliate links you get from your advertisement provider will be set to ‘nofollow’ from the start. Google made a set of rules for advertisers and affiliates to follow. This means that most advertisement agencies and providers already adjusted their code to comply with Googles policy.

However it always makes sense to check if the ‘nofollow’ attribute is included in the code. Especially if you use adverts from individual businesses and organisations.

Start making your website more profitable like a professional and use AdRotate Pro. The easy way to set up and manage your affiliate links, paid links and advertising campaigns. All in one plugin.

Do you have comments or questions about this article? Feel free to comment!