A question we run across often is “How many affiliate links can I put in a post?”. We used to recommend one affiliate link per 500 words however now our answer has changed based on answers from Google’s John Muller.
Google has recently confirmed that the number of affiliate links will have no detrimental effect on ranking
“You can place as many affiliate links on a page as you want without worrying about a penalty or demotion.”
“The ratio of links to article length is also totally irrelevant.”
However, this does not mean you should start adding hundreds of links to your posts.
“If the content on a page isn’t what Google considers valuable, it won’t rank regardless if it has dozens of affiliate links or none at all.”
If your content is not good enough and doesn’t answer the searcher’s intent, then your post won’t be ranked and nobody will see your links anyway!
What Google really wants to see…
So how do we determine what content is useful?
Well, short answer, we don’t. People who use the search engines decide by voting with their clicks on the content itself.
No clicks. High bounce rates. No views. This tells Google the content is either bad or just does not answer the original searcher intent. Either way, this leads no traffic and low rankings.
What can we do?
What we can do as bloggers is make content easily digestible by breaking up content in to paragraphs of 3-4 sentences, make content that answers the user queries, and find key phrases to target.
Links are meant to be apart of good SEO. You need external and internal links regardless of whether they are affiliate links, BUT only as long as they are natural to your content.
Too many links can be irritating to your visitors. No links can be just as frustrating.
It can also tell google that you have thin content so you still need to be careful.
When in doubt add a “no follow” tag to your link.
Note: When adding affiliate links don’t forget to add your disclosure and “sponsored” tag.
Content Is King
It has been said that “content is king” but that is only half true because “searcher’s intent is king”.
Google is regularly trying to reinforce this point.
If you want organic traffic, focus on the intent of searchers queries.
I know that most affiliates think that inserting too many affiliate links in a post gets you penalized by Google. I hope we have shown through Google’s own words that that is not the case.
Don’t use this message to go spam your site.
You still need high quality content to rank and get noticed by Google and other search engines.
Nathaniell, blogger at One More Cup Of Coffee says,
“I usually start off with 1-2 affiliate links on a page, then increase the number of links after it starts ranking.”
That is the best advice we could think of when creating links for your post!