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THIN Affiliates Google SPAM Guide

Linda Buquet

From the 5 Star Blog

We all know that content is king and affiliates that will succeed and prosper need to be adding value to avoid duplicate penalties by search engines. I know the issue of "Google's Spam Recognition Guide for Raters" is being discussed at a lot of places right now. The following article from the AssociatePrograms Newsletter sums it up well and divulges the HUMAN algos that Google has trained it's human mods to look for when deciding good affiliate sites from bad. There are also links to some of the major forums discussions about the topic. If you have not read this info yet, you REALLY need to!

Google says:
"We differentiate between affiliates that produce extra service, value, or content, and those that simply are duplicates of other sites, set up to boost traffic to other sites and earn a commission for it. The former ones are not Offensive and should be rated on the merits to the query. The latter ones are Offensive...

"Thin affiliate doorways are sites that usher people to a number of Affiliate programs, earning a commission for doing so, while providing little or no value-added content or service to the user. A site certainly has the right to try to earn income; we're attempting to identify sites that do nothing but act as a commission-earning middleman."

To Google, affiliate links such as, and - on the page or in redirects - "strongly suggest" that the site is a thin affiliate.

Are you using an affiliate datafeed? To Google, that's another warning sign.
Read the rest of this important info here:
Then come back here to share your comments and discuss it.


It's a worry, to me it seems similar to the department stores cutting out the corner store. I fail to see what right Google has to dictate what type of site should or should not be selling products.

I notice from around the Forums that Google has been de-indexing Amazon pages lately. I guess this is just the start.
It's Ironic that as Google cracks down on affiliate sites their Adwords program is reaping record profits. There seems to be an ulterior motive here, not to mention the hypocritical aspect of it :mad: .

Linda Buquet

Hi Cyclops,

Amazon pages are getting hit? I heard some of the big affiliate gurus and their followers got their sites delisted awhile back too. (Won't mention any names.)

One thing to keep in mind is these are guideline for "human editors". They can't have that many can they? I wonder what tips editors off that they need to review a site?

As long as I have been in this business there has always been some new algo or obstacle that seems super threatening to the industry at the time, but then end up not being as damaging as people originally thought. I hope this turns out to be not as bad as some fear.

Now I'm not a total pollyanna (well maybe kinda) so if I were an affiliate I would always be looking for ways to generate traffic outside the SE. Give enough unique content that people want to bookmark and keep coming back, build community, generate compatible link swap partnerships, not just for PR but for real targeted traffic. I would try to diversify my traffic sources, as well as my merchants and networks to some degree so I didn't have all my eggs in one basket.

OK, putting my rose colored glasses back on: :cool:

If we were farmers we would have challenges like floods, insects eating our crops, draught! Every industry has challenges and that's all that changing algos and everything else are. The successful affiliates just learn to overcome and survive.

Not sure how much impact this Google thing will have. But I can guarantee that affiliates that can stay positive, work harder and smarter and learn to go around, jump over or dig under any obstacles that get in their way in this business - will be MUCH more successful.