Google’s Matt Cutts took part in a keynote discussion at SMX Advanced earlier this year. Amongst many other topics, Cutts talked in brief regarding affiliate links along with moderator Danny Sullivan.
SMX simply uploaded the relevant clip of the discussion to the YouTube channel today, and also to reiterate the purpose Cutts made, fellow Googler John Mueller posted the video to Google+.
In Google’s quality guidelines (the basis for the Penguin update), affiliate programs appear more than once.
“Avoid ‘doorway’ pages created just for search engines, or other ‘cookie cutter’ approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content,” Google says. “If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.”
Google includes a page in regards to what it means by “little or no original content,” which talks about “thin affiliate sites”. There, Google says, “These sites collect pay-per-click (PPC) revenue by sending visitors to the sites of affiliate programs, while providing little or no value-added content or service to the user. These sites usually have no original content and may be cookie-cutter sites or templates with no unique content.”
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