Links in a New Site, Yes or No – How Do Affiliate Links Affect SEO

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If you have a brand new site you might ask yourself if you should add affiliate links in your posts or not. So how do affiliate links affect SEO? Read about my experience.

There is a misconception about affiliate links and SEO. I have seen it many times within the Wealthy Affiliate community where I host some of my sites and where I follow their weakly tutorials and the activity in the forum.

So in the last webinar which I watched (before writing these lines), there was a nice comparison with a coffee mug and affiliate links. The author was describing the affiliate link as a hole in the mug (or in a barrel as in the picture below) through which the authority juice leaks.

A hole in the barrel as an outgoing affiliate link.
A hole in the barrel as an outgoing affiliate link.

This sounds cool and there is truth in it, but then there was a statement that followed: after you rank for the targetted keyword (and consequently for many other keywords), it is the time to add affiliate links. This can be weeks or months later.

Such an analogy with a coffee mug with holes is very descriptive, but in my view it does not make much sense. The problem with this logic is, again using the same coffee mug to visualize the things: adding affiliate links at a later stage will also allow the authority (juice) to leak out. So if having links is so bad, the whole ranking will go down, and this will drag down the ranking for all the possible secondary keywords.

The reality is that you simply cannot cheat the biggest search engine on the planet (I mean Google of course) by adding links later. They will crawl the site in any case, and they will see whatever you put there at a later stage.

If you are a blogger you publish frequently and you simply have no time to go back later and add those extra links. It would be hard to keep track of everything you have to add at the later stage, as suggested in the webinar.

This is just the usual SEO mythology and I have never followed this logic. I use to put all the links in the very first post on a new site, publish and forget.

So does it work? Absolutely, in my two most recent sites I did just what I described, and in both of them I had sales within two weeks. I have all the screenshots to show this, see one below. In fact, both of them were bringing a 4-figure income after less than 6 months. Again, the proof is available.

How do affiliate links affect SEO - my example.
How do affiliate links affect SEO – my example.

The example above shows the site started on February 12th and the clicks it was receiving instantly. And yes, the posts were ranked practically instantly, I use Fetch as Google (now known as URL Inspection tool), and I was publishing every day. Would you like to know what the fastest ranking time I have had in the past? It was 8 seconds. Perhaps it was even faster, but this is how fast I was able to check the post incognito in Google.

All in all, in my view, the best recipe is simply:

  • Write a quality text.
  • Add all the necessary internal and external links so that the visitor has a good reading experience and all that is necessary to take action related to his/her reasons for visiting your site in the first place.

So do affiliate links added in a new site/post really affect SEO?

As you know, there is nothing exact in affiliate marketing, and there are hundreds of parameters that determine ranking of a post. I can only speak from my own experience, and I can say I do not think so.

If you write a product review, you will have visitors who are interested to buy, therefore it is a matter of good service to provide the link to the place where the product can be ordered. Google knows why you write reviews, so adding links later makes no sense. Bots will detect whatever you add later.

Should you add affiliate links from the beginning?

My answer is yes, add as many as necessary and move on. It is fine to listen to various gurus, what they claim may work for them but this is not the proof that it wouldn’t if they worked differently. So use your own logic and act accordingly. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitor and you will know what you have to write in the post and how many affiliate links to put in the text and when.

Thank you for reading. Do you have anything to add? Do you agree or disagree? There is a comment box below so please let me know. Have a nice day.

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