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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast Mowser's Avatar
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    Using htaccess to hide affiliate links

    Hi,
    I was recently having a look at other peoples sites (to see if I could learn any seo techniques) and I found a few which were hiding affiliate links. This got me to thinking, why were they doing this, and was it OK with google.

    I suspect that some sites are using file.html as their link and then presumably using a redirect using htaccess to the affiliate site. Would I be right in thinking that this method would be OK with google? I'm guessing hiding the link may stop it from being hijacked.

    I then had a second idea about conserving site page rank as a lot must be lost to affiliate links. Instead of redirecting straight to the affiliate site, go to a php page which is not indexed (so has no Pr) and then use some php code to forward onto the affiliate site, thus preserving pagerank. I suspect that this would be frowned upon, any thoughts?

  2. #2
    King of da Wackos Nintendo's Avatar
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    :::why were they doing this

    It's scumware. Ones that only look at the links won't take your money.
    ...

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Mowser's Avatar
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    So you're saying that using htaccess to hide affiliate links is of no benifit (from a scumware point of view)? If thats the case, presumably this guy was using it to gain an advantage with google, does google penalise sites with lots of affiliate links?

  4. #4
    Degrading Gracefully PalmerB's Avatar
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    I was recently having a look at other peoples sites (to see if I could learn any seo techniques) and I found a few which were hiding affiliate links. This got me to thinking, why were they doing this, and was it OK with google.
    Can you show us an example of a site that is doing this?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast Mowser's Avatar
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    Hi PalmerB,

    I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post links here, I've pm'd you the url.

  6. #6
    Degrading Gracefully PalmerB's Avatar
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    Since it's not your site you can post the url.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast Mowser's Avatar
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    Well, I've actually found an article discussing what I'm talking about. It seems to suggest its ok (but I dont necessarily believe everything I read). The article is at:

    http://www.zongoo.com/article368.html

    Two such sites I've found that may be doing this are:

    http://www.pamela-heywood.com/2004/0...rectly-to.html (link that says 'click here for more information')
    &
    www.scansea.com (the php links on the left)

    The article above seems to suggest it helps you preserve page rank (without the need for the php redirect I was talking about in my first post).

    Any ideas? Is the article to be believed? It's causing much moustache stroking

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot Onlyphp.com's Avatar
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    I wonder the same thing. Would Google penalize urls like that ?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist speda1's Avatar
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    It was my understanding that unprotected (no afsrc) server side redirects (of any kind) where the most vulnerable to hijacking.

    I'd go with a straight affiliate link, tagged with the afsrc parameter. If you want to display a different url in the browser status bar, use javascript.

  10. #10
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    mouser, redirects seem like a great way to preserve your page rank. Does anyone else use this method? Are there any better methods out there? It seems like this would be very useful, but I wonder why more people don't use redirects. Can anyone talk about the disadvantages? Would this work well for amazon aws sites?

  11. #11
    $this->toCD-R(LP); vinyl-junkie's Avatar
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    It depends on what you might be doing this for as to whether or not it would be ok with Google. What you're proposing is called cloaking, which can be good or bad, depending on how it's used. There is an excellent discussion on the subject here.
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