Google Still Hates Affiliates

by Josh Todd on April 19, 2010

This is old news. We’ve all received a slap or two from Google. But does that make it hurt any less? If you prick us, do we not bleed? It had been a little while for me, and this last week I got another middle finger from Google. Must be on the right path with that campaign, just need to try other traffic sources.  But it brings it all back around for me. I’m still aghast at how Google treats Affiliate Marketers.

I don’t think it’s possible to figure out how much money Affiliates spend (or at least would spend if they were allowed) on Google Adwords. It’s definitely in the seven-to-eight-figures-per-month range.  With all of that revenue floating around, why would Google (and Facebook for that matter) just decide to turn it away?

Google, like Facebook, likes to chalk it up to something they call the “User Experience”. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good that Google cares about the results that people are finding on its Search Engine. You don’t want people to be searching for “skateboards” and getting pages selling wedding dresses. But what really burns me is how Google has outlawed “bridge pages”.  They define a bridge page as any page that leads to another website without adding any value.

In its very nature, Affiliate Marketing is taking a user and sending them through your affiliate link and to an advertiser’s page. In almost all cases, your affiliate link is going to be found on a website that you own. It could be a blog, website, or landing page. The problem is that Google won’t allow you to advertise these so-called bridge pages on Adwords. So if your website sends traffic to another website, you are the enemy to Google. Now it’s up to them to decide whether or not your landing page adds any value to the product or sales process.

Shouldn’t it be up to the customer to decide whether or not my landing page added any value? If they bought from me, to me that says I provided a valuable page to them. Too bad Google doesn’t agree.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tipjar April 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Pisses me off too man. Some affiliate 'bridge pages' are more user friendly than some merchant sites with horrible navigation.

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Henry April 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Google hates affiliates. I hate Google. I created a landing page site a few weeks ago and its managed to hit bottom of first page for a keyword I want (yay). The problem is that its 'thin'. Really thin. Its basically a landing page with big call to action buttons, some images and some text hidden in a drop down button. Ive attached a blog to the site to allow for more content, but I fear that if I manage to get to position 1 for my keyword, that some Google fucker will look at the site and press the 'say no to thin affiliate sites' button and banish me to the bottom of the pile. I guess the obvious thing to do is to change it to make it less "thin", but I dont want to Google you fucking giant corporate bully.

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ikaro April 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

google sucks!!!

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Anthony Wakefield June 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm

How ironic is it that google is the biggest bridge of them all!

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Josh Todd June 13, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Haha well said!

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Scott December 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Well said Anthony.
My site got banned years ago because Google said that i did not have enough content on the page. I wrote them back and told them that i modeled my website after Google’s, clean, simple, and to the point.
I told them that they are the biggest hypocrites and to F off.
I took my advertising dollars elsewhere and Google is no longer my preferred search engine. I also went to the store and bought a bottle of champagne which as been sitting on a shelf waiting to be uncorked the day Google no longer rules the internet.

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Josh Todd December 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

You could be waiting a long time Scott, but I like the spirit!

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Ryan Jentsch January 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm

You are all right ! Google is the biggest joke when it comes to affiliate marketing . I just got into the business and used Google Adwords to promote my site and my marketers . After three days and $200 they decided to cut my site off and give it a disapproval . After two days of phone calls I finally find out that Google doesnt allow bridge pages . What a crock . They take my money and run . Now my question for everyone is where can I advertise my site that allows bridge pages so I can start making so me money . Any advice would be helpful .

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Josh Todd January 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Check out my posts about PPV, that is where you want to go.

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Ron Gorman November 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Yeah all this BS about 'user experience'. I built a full silo site with a landing page giving quality reviews and still got the old G slap.

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Foogan February 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

Google is a hypocrite since they are affiliates themselves.

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