Do Affiliates Have To Build Links Differently Than Merchant Websites?

Having an affiliate website can be difficult especially when it comes to competing with other affiliates and merchant websites. Let's face it, Google hates affiliate sites, especially those sites that have little to no content. These sites are better know as thin affiliate sites. Plus as an affiliate, you get the same tools, promos, ads, and articles that other affiliates get, so there's no difference in that. On the other hand, merchant websites can build their brand and be set apart from their competition. So what are other differences. Look at this article from Affilorama


The truth is that there isn’t really a lot of difference in the techniques that affiliates can use compared to other websites. This isn’t to say there are no differences at all, the one that I do feel does exist, and what I’ll cover shortly is the differences in resources and setup of affiliates.
However there is a difference in a few on-page areas for affiliates compared to other websites:
  • No USP on the product you’re selling – it is probably available to anyone else who wants to be an affiliate too
  • You get the same boilerplate content that every other affiliate gets and it can be hard to scale making it all unique
These are just a couple of problems that affiliates have to compete with that relate to content. Before you invest heavily in link building, I’d strongly advise you to invest in your website – try to get out of the mindset of it being an affiliate website and try to not make it look like an affiliate website. Here are a few things that make affiliate sites stand out and look bad:
  • Lots of product pages but very little depth of content on them
  • Lots of external links but no content to give me the context of those links
  • Not much engagement on social including a blog, Q&A, videos etc
It is clear that Google doesn't want to see thin affiliate websites dominating it’s search results, so don’t act like one. See more from Affilorama here.

See what the last statement said about thin affiliate websites? This is one of the biggest things Google is trying to combat. So how do you deal with being an affiliate with huge competition? You become an authority site. When your site is an authority site, Google will reward you instead of condemn you.

If you are just starting out, focus on posting quality content to your site. Do this before you do anything else, including building links. Don't think about building links until you posted high quality content to your new website for awhile. Make sure you are building a site that will fit in with the mainstream sites and not like the affiliate sites.

If you already have a website and have very little content, focus all of your attention on posting high quality content all the time to your website. Make sure you give people something that will stick to their mind. Create content people can always use. If you can create content that will always help people, they will share your stuff with the world and you will always receive visitors regardless of Google's forecast for the following weeks, months, or years. Remember, Google can't take away your voice if it is being heard above the rest.

Make your site look like a regular website, not a site filled with affiliate links and ads. And as I always say, be unique, be set apart, and stand out from your competitors.

Recommended reading

Disadvantages Of Using Affiliate Marketing Tools
Use Semantic Keyword Research For Higher Affiliate Sales
Affiliate Marketing Tune Up: Affiliate Marketing Program Checklist
Use Content Curation To Attract Readers
What Does Duplicate Content Really Mean?
Email Marketing Secrets - Key to your Success
Why Deep Linking is Important

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