Are Affiliate links bad for Seo

Hi. I am Praneeth.

In this blog, you will learn Are Affiliate links bad for Seo and your website or not.

Without further ado let’s get started.

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What are affiliate links?

Affiliate links are the links that you get after joining an affiliate program where it is the link that leads to your product you want to promote.

Affiliate marketing is the model based on making sales and getting commission so these links help people to generate sales of the product with an id attached to the links.

Here is the picture of how an affiliate link looks like,

are affiliate links bad for seo

Source: Livechat.

With these affiliate links, you get a tracking id that tracks all your sales and you get that sweet commission of the sale in your program and account.

Are affiliate links bad for SEO & your website?

To be honest,

Affiliate links don’t affect your website and are not bad for SEO rather google likes these affiliate links.

Let’s take a deep look into how these affiliate links are good for SEO and in what cases the links might backfire against you.

If a query of the user is highly relevant with your content and the product you promote in your content is highly useful and value-adding to users then the affiliate post can rank even in google and get you traffic.

For example, you target a keyword in your niche best keyword research tools for beginners.

In that explaining some things about different keyword tools in your content you can leave an affiliate link in your post for each tool for users to get the subscription of the tool.

In this case, your affiliate links are very value-adding things because your content is matching a query and the links are adding great value for users to be able to access the tools.

It is all about adding value to users.

As long as you keep on adding unique value-adding content without causing much damage to the user experience on your website.

Everything is fine with your website and your affiliate links because,

Google’s ultimate aim is to present the most highly relevant and useful website to its users in search results and,

As long as your website is value-adding and unique and helpful for users it is a great website.


If you use affiliate links without thinking of the user experience of your website then it is a sign of trouble for your website.

Google made an algorithm update in 2017

The update was called FRED.

The update in its algorithm helps find, filter, and penalize websites that are full of monetization tactics that hurt and negatively impact user experience on the website.

The update affected sites with websites full of monetization in low-quality content which negatively impacts the user experience on the website.

Google views the affiliate links as ads.

Sometimes using affiliate links can hurt your website and SEO badly leaving a penalty behind, here are 5 cases where your website can get seriously affected with a penalty for using affiliate links on your website.

5 cases.

Here are 5 cases that can get you a penalty for using affiliate links on your website.

  1. A blog full of affiliate links and ads without adding valuable content.
  2. Blogs with a bad balance of informative and affiliate posts.
  3. Blogs with good content but an excessive amount of affiliate links.
  4. Blogs with irrelevant content and affiliate links.
  5. Blogs with duplicate or plagiarized content with affiliate links.

Let’s learn each case in detail.

1. Blog full of affiliate links and ads without adding valuable content [posts].

This is the most important thing you need to understand,

When you are creating a website you should be careful with what kind of articles you want to publish on your website.

You should know whether they are going to be informative or commercial ones.

Most people tend to start their website or blog, with lots of product reviews and product comparisons and all rounding to a product, product, and just products.

If you are not adding value to users which google wants you to do by writing highly useful and helpful informative blogs on your website or blog but focused more on product comparisons.

In that case, your website or blog will look like spam and not that attractive for user experience.

Users don’t want or do not like to stay on a website with lots of product reviews and affiliate links which kind of push users to forcefully buy the product for your commission.

Focus on adding value to readers rather than trying to forcefully insert the affiliate links to users in their throat and get the commission out of it.

Be natural and be human and most importantly be helpful with good helpful value-adding content on your website.

2. Blog with a bad balance of informative and affiliate posts.

are affiliate links bad for seo

This is also one thing you need to consider.

You should have a good balance or at least an equal number of informative blogs or posts on your website compared to the posts which get you money.

3 informative blogs and 10 product based blogs is what I am talking about.

Just maintain the line of your money posts and value-adding posts.

Don’t let the number of product reviews and product posts that get you that sweet commission overtakes the informative articles on your website.

Maintain that balance.

The reason being is it is just a bad user experience for the users and it is definitely going to bring a FRED google penalty to your website due to bad user experience on your website.

User experience is the ultimate goal.

3. Blog with good content but an excessive amount of affiliate links.

Another similar case that can create a bad user ex[eirenc on your website is that,

Even if you have a good balance of affiliate posts and informative posts on your blog and.

If you write a 2000 words post where you insert 25 affiliate links in that post it is just a bad user experience on the website.

This act can surely get you a FRED penalty from google because the user experience is bad so is google gives you a penalty.

So be careful with where you use the links in your content and how you use them without hurting the user experience on your website like not giving an impression of spamminess for users.

4. Blog with irrelevant content and Affiliate links.

This is another big issue that most people have with.

They start the blog on some niche, continuously publish blogs on that niche and all of sudden they start writing product based articles on totally different niche like,

It just looks bad and totally irrelevant for users and so for google.


If you are writing a blog on a health niche and some topic in a health niche like how to lose weight

And you insert the affiliate link of the keyword tool in that blog being greedy of that commission and wanted to make money without thinking of user experience on the blog.

These are called cloaking and redirecting which are against google policies.

Though this is against google’s policies this does not lead to a penalty but creates a bad user experience and reputation of the website for users.

5. Blog with duplicate or plagiarized content and affiliate links.

are affiliate links bad for seo

Another problem with affiliate links is that it can be with duplicate or plagiarized content.

Usually, these types of content are of low quality and not value-adding,

For your kind information duplicate content means the content or blog is present on the same website multiple times and plagiarised content is scraping content from other websites.

Google does not penalize sites with plagiarised content but it does not rank the website as well.

Google thinks it is not a value-adding thing so it avoids ranking that site in search results.

With duplicate content, it is also a bad experience where a user gets the same amount of information about the product in different posts.

Bloggers do this when they find a product with a high commission rate and want the commission so badly that they start promoting it in every blog post attacking users to get it bought for that commission.

It is just a bad user experience for users.

So enough of the cases where you see the problems which can happen with affiliate links for your SEO and your website.

Here is the best solution for all the problems regarding affiliate links for SEO and website.

What’s the best solution?

are affiliate links bad for seo

First of all, make it clear in your head that google has nothing wrong with affiliate links rather google likes affiliate links as they tend to be helpful most of the time.

The whole difference comes into play and getting that penalty is all about where and how you use the links on your website.

Google’s John Muller stated that affiliate links don’t hurt your website.

It is the content and the usage that makes the difference.

Affiliate posts and websites can rank well on google if they genuinely being helpful and useful for users and mainly adding unique value to users.

If you are just like others with having tons of affiliate links or low-quality content or copy-paste content then it may not rank on google.


With that, the best perspective to use affiliate links on your website is to focus on using your affiliate links as the genuine solution for the problem not for that sweet commission.

By the way when you are using the affiliate link in your blog make sure that you no-follow the link so that google does not crawl the link and does not pass the authority to the link.

If you be helpful for users, Google will be kind and helpful to you because you are the most important asset for google which is being a highly value-adding resource for users.

Ending remarks.

There you go, I have answered all the queries related to are affiliate links bad for SEO and your website or not in 2020 and beyond.

Do let me know what do you think about affiliate links in the comments section below.

Share the blog with your other affiliate marketers and your family and friends if you found it to be helpful.

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With that said, I will catch you next time in another blog,

Till then keep learning and keep growing.