Affiliates: why they a dangerous

  • Author

    Oleg Vereitin

  • Published


  • Reading duration


In the recent past, users of search engines noticed a strange feature. Starting to view the site for any query from the top of the search results and when trying to contact to clarify and compare prices for goods or services, subscribers got to the contacts of the same company.

This situation caused negative and irritated users. How is this possible? Why do the same companies occupy high places in the search results, only in a different shell? It turns out that this phenomenon is very simple to explain — monopoly through affiliates.

Affiliates are web resources that are promoted by creating identical requests and owned mainly by the same company. Affiliates can also include partner sites that do not sell the product itself, but place external advertising links to the selling site. When you click on one of these links posted on the partner’s site, the owner of the affiliate site receives a certain percentage of the transaction. Recently, search engines have been fighting this phenomenon and screening out affiliates.

Signs of affiliates

According to technical characteristics, affiliates can be considered as web resources that match at least one of the following parameters:

  • hosting;
  • thematic content;
  • name or contact details of the company;
  • domain data;
  • exact match of IP addresses.

If you delve into the history of the origin of such sites, it is harmless. Affiliate resources got their name in 2007 by participating in the Google AdSense campaign. At the moment, the presence of affiliated sites is meaningless and impractical. When you enter a specific query to the search engine, as a result, you get a large number of duplicate resources with the same subject matter from the same company. This, in turn, takes away the ability of more worthy companies to sell their products. Search engines are now hard fighting duplicates by doing filtering and sorting in the SERPs.

Carrying out filtering of affiliated sites is a fully justified step of search platforms, which is necessary to eliminate the monopoly of top search positions. Often, the operation on such a filter is manual, so any network user, faced with an unfair web resource, can inform representatives of search engines and provide information about unfair competition. Further, the data is checked, and punishment from the system follows.

However, there are situations where a company is faced with the need to own and promote multiple websites. In this case, promotion is possible on different requests. There is no need to create completely identical resources. Often they create sites with different directions, which means that they will be optimized for different requests.

It can be concluded that, a company can create any number of web resources necessary for work with various topics. Search engines will not impose bans on such resources. What to do if the company needs top positions in search results for several site positions?

How can you honestly avoid ranking

Western companies in this case achieve a leading position by creating resources that are completely independent of each other. That is, the created websites are completely autonomous and do not fall under any criteria of affiliates: they have different hosting, domains, company name and address data.

Such web resources can be compared to the opening of subsidiaries that have full legal force and autonomy, and are also protected from the penalties of the antimonopoly committee. While filtering affiliates, a conscientious business owner will not suffer. Even if two sites of the same company accidentally hit the top of the results for the same query, the search engine will filter by a more relevant query, and the company will not suffer losses from this. It is worthwhile to correctly optimize the information of the main page of the web resource, which contains the key information of search queries. For example, let’s take information about wholesale and retail sales with various links from the landing page. A search query may return both of these links to the same site.

Summing up:

Summing up,  affiliate filtering is a necessary measure in the fight for fair competition in the online sales market. For stable brand promotion and business prosperity, it is necessary to properly optimize information on web resources.

We at Rescanners recommend conducting a comprehensive audit of your site and your competitors before starting promotion or already in the process in order to adjust the strategy in the best possible way and, as a result, invest in promotion as profitably as possible, as well as increase sales as quickly as possible


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