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Google On Whether Sites Should Hide Affiliate Links

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Google’s John Mueller answers a question about affiliate links and whether it’s beneficial to hide them from search engines.

This is discussed in the latest installment of the Ask Googlebot series on YouTube. Specifically, Mueller addresses the following question:

“Is it any good to hide store/affiliate links?”

It’s an interesting question to tackle, considering hiding content from search engine crawlers is against Google’s guidelines regardless of what the content is.

Nevertheless, Mueller answers it to the best of his ability. Before addressing the question Mueller briefly explains what affiliate links are.

Affiliate links are links to other businesses. The site owner placing the links will get paid when users go to those businesses and buy products or services.

As far as Google is concerned, affiliate links are perfectly fine. It’s acceptable to use them as a way of monetizing a website.

With that said, there are two important aspects to keep in mind in order to stay within Google’s guidelines.

Mueller goes on to explain what those aspects are while addressing whether there’s any benefit to hiding affiliate links.

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Google’s John Mueller On Correct Use Of Affiliate Links

Google considers affiliate links an acceptable form of monetization as long as two conditions are met.

First, the website should provide unique content and value all on its own.

It’s easy to republish a generic or low-quality product description, but users can get those anywhere on the web.

Users expect to find something useful on the website too, especially if they’re searching with intent to purchase.

The second condition is affiliate links should be declared. Site owners are required to declare affiliate links both for users and for search engines.

For users, it’s worth checking with local regulations regarding what you need to do. Different locations have varying laws around disclosure of affiliate links.

For search engines, site owners should use the rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” link attributes to express that it’s an affiliate link.

It’s not necessary to hide or obfuscate affiliate links for search engines, Mueller says.

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There’s no need to use any type of automatic JavaScript, on-click handling, or cloaking.

Just link to affiliates as normal and declare them so Google can treat the links appropriately.

If you use JavaScript to add affiliate links, remember to use the appropriate attributes there too.

Mueller acknowledges that affiliate links are often used within the context of product reviews. If that’s the case for your site, Mueller suggests checking to see if there’s any structured data that might be appropriate to implement on your pages.

Mueller didn’t mention this part, but it’s important to note here that Google rolled out an algorithm update targeted at product reviews back in April.

In short, Google is getting more strict regarding the quality of product reviews. Site owners that publish product reviews need to familiarize themselves with the details of this update in order to stay on the good side of Google’s algorithms.

Source: YouTube

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Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: What’s the best office suite for business?

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Google G Suite vs. Microsoft Office

Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had brushed aside rivals such as WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, and there was no competition on the horizon.

Then in 2006 Google came along with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that was combined with other business services to form the Google Apps suite, later rebranded as G Suite, and now as Google Workspace. Although Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, over time it has gained both in features and in popularity, boasting 6 million paying customers, according to Google’s most recent public stats in March 2020.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has shifted its emphasis away from its traditional licensed Office software to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), a subscription-based version that’s treated more like a service, with frequent updates and new features. Microsoft 365 is what we’ve focused on in this story.

Nowadays, choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it once was. We’re here to help.

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although Google Workspace is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Microsoft 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.

Both suites work well with a range of devices. Because it’s web-based, Google Workspace works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.

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