Ok, so you probably have absolutely no idea what I am talking about from the title of this post. Don’t worry, hopefully after reading the rest of this, you will gain a better understanding of a new development within affiliate marketing which is going to change the dynamics of search engine optimization.
First, lets look back in history. Affiliate links (ie links from other sites to yours within a advertising network) did not typically help natural search rankings. Typical affiliate links would go straight to a link network (ex. http://cj.com/t_a.php?id=00292282) and get re-directed to your site. Because of the tracking parameters within the URL string, as well as the fact that the incoming visit was based from a re-direct, affiliate programs did nada in helping out merchants in organic search efforts.
One company has changed that however. A company called Link Connector has created a technology that allows affiliate programs to be executed by code that is installed on the server of a merchant. No longer, does the re-direct need to take place from the affiliate network.
Their technology is called “naked link technology” and essentially allows a web publisher to use a query free outbound link. Code on the merchant side when the page loads, communicates affiliate details with Link Connector and drops the cookie on the user.
What does this have to do with SEO? Well for starters, your affiliate campaign is going to assist in link building. A website can dramatically improve the speed for which a link campaign is being conducted by using Link Connector. Link Connector has signed some high profile companies lately such as American Greetings, Gunther, and Wordtracker. Their publisher network is likely far behind CJ and LinkShare, but their technology makes it worth it to engage.
If you are considering a affiliate program for your marketing efforts, consider Link Connector or marketing with Google. You will be literally killing two birds with one stone… Well ok, maybe not “killing” your link building efforts – but it will be a great supplement to traditional efforts.