Should Affiliate Links Be Nofollow?:
Yes, affiliate links should be nofollow. In fact, here is what I could able to see from the transcript for the July 2023 edition of the Google SEO Office Hours.
Let's dig deeper to provide you with more information.
Nofollow Attribute on Affiliate Links:
This means that when a search engine crawls a webpage with a nofollow link, it will not consider that link as a ranking factor.
In other words, the link won't contribute to the page's search engine optimization (SEO).
2. Now, when it comes to affiliate links, they are typically used to promote products or services and earn a commission for each sale made through the link.
The problem arises when search engines encounter these affiliate links without the nofollow attribute.
Search engines like Google have strict guidelines against manipulative tactics that aim to artificially boost a website's rankings.
If they detect excessive affiliate links without the nofollow attribute, they might consider it a violation of their guidelines and penalize the website [demote in rankings].
3. By using the nofollow attribute on affiliate links, you are essentially telling search engines that you are not trying to manipulate rankings or pass SEO authority through those links.
This helps you stay in line with search engine guidelines and avoids any potential penalties.
4. Moreover, using nofollow on affiliate links also provides transparency to your users.
When users see a nofollow attribute on an affiliate link, they understand that it is an advertisement or a sponsored link.
This prevents any confusion and ensures that your audience knows when they are clicking on an affiliate link.
“Focus on directing buyers to your affiliate links while providing genuine guidance, remember: honesty reigns supreme. Disclose your affiliations transparently to maintain your audience’s trust” – The DailyZoo Newsletter
5. It's important to note that not all affiliate links need to be nofollowed.
If the purpose of the link is purely editorial and not intended for promotion or earning commissions, then it may not necessarily require the nofollow attribute.
However, when in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of caution and add the nofollow attribute to your affiliate links.
In conclusion, affiliate links should definitely be nofollow and also highly recommended.
It helps you adhere to search engine guidelines, protects your website from potential penalties, and ensures transparency with your audience.
So, whenever you include affiliate links on your website, blog, or any other platform, make sure to add the nofollow attribute for a better user experience [UX] and SEO compliance.
Here's related information that you may also find helpful – How do affiliate links work?
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