I know for sure that if you were to add affiliate links without no-follow tags would cause you to lose your pagerank. This is through personal experience.
In end of November 09, I wanted to experiment with Amazon Affiliate programs. It has been something that I had wanted to do but keep putting it off- even though Paypal has now opened its doors to Malaysians (previously it was not the case). From liewcf.com’s blog, I’ve learned how to activate my Malaysian Paypal account. Then, in early December 09, I took sometime to figure out how Amazon Affiliate program works and signed up with them.
On 5th December 09 (Saturday), I put up a couple of affiliate links in my Health Blog on posts which I wrote and referencing to certain good books that I’ve read. After all, I figured that I had written about these books for a long time- these are books that would really benefit people. So what’s wrong with putting up a link so that people who read the books and wanted to consider buying them at a discount could get those books online.
I set up the links and just let it to that. It was Saturday afternoon.
By the following Tuesday, I lost my pagerank- it dropped from 2 to grey. I had that pagerank for months, so it must be something that I’ve recently did.
There was nothing new except adding the Affiliate links. So I googled to check if adding these links would affect the pagerank- and I found blog posts indicating that if you did not add a ‘no follow’ tag, Google would follow these links and penalize the blog. I’ve only added about 6 links to books and I was penalized within a few days. Immediately, I removed all the Affiliate programs and left it to that.
But I know for a sure thing that if you sign up Affiliate programs and do not assign no-follow tags, you can kiss your pagerank goodbye. I only have a low pagerank but bloggers that worked hard to achieve high PR will get the devastated.
Does a drop in PageRank affects Search Engine Traffic?
My Health Blog was generated first page Google searches on certain specific health topics. Some of these topics have been written for quite sometime and had benefited a number of people- somehow Google had recognized the relevance of these topics and still continue sending traffic to my blog. But for a few days after losing my PR, I did notice a slight drop in traffic, but as I continue updating my health blog, the traffic build up to usual.
The thing I’ve realized is that- in the end, it is up to you what type of traffic you want to attract. To a typical blogger who blogs about usual subject and monetizing the site, search engine traffic are the best quality traffic- because they attract people who are looking for solutions to certain problems that they are facing. As such, these visitors would usually convert to buyers for the advertisers. And to attract human traffic from search engine, the best way is to give good, unique, quality and original content. Not stealing content from other blogs and putting things haphazardly together to trick the search engines.
I waited patiently because I have faith that Google would be able to figure out good sites from the spammy ones. On New Year’s day of 2010, I’ve decided to put on the Amazon Affiliate links again, this time using no-follow tags.
I’ve gotten the pagerank back
As I was working on putting affiliate, I glanced on the Google toolbar and noticed that my pagerank was back. I was grateful- it’s like Google has given me a great New Year’s day present J
How to add no follow tags to Amazon Affiliate Links
When you do a search on books, DVDs, etc, automatically a link will be generated. When adding the links, you have to go to the “html” and not the “Visual mode” of your WordPress edit blog post. Ensure that you add this tag at all times:
Let’s say that I am promoting a book by Problogger on how to blog because I have read the book and honestly, I find that Darren really provide a lot of useful tips.
The code provided by Amazon looked something like this:
|<iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cmxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx =_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”width:120px;height:240px;” scrolling=”no” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>|
I will add the no-follow tag here:
Remember to switch your blog post mode to HTML and not Visual when you paste the entire code at your text.
|<iframe src=http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cmxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx =_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr rel=”nofollow” style=”width:120px;height:240px;” scrolling=”no” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”0″ ></iframe>|
And the results is what you will see as below: