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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is Affiliate Marketing Allowed, In Blogger?

Anxious blog owners ask the question periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Is affiliate marketing allowed, in Blogger?
And the truth is that there is no prohibition against affiliate marketing, by name.

If the blog content is legal, you can do anything. The question is, can you make a Blogger blog, and use affiliate marketing, and not run afoul of Spam and TOS guidelines?

A description of "affiliate marketing" - or maybe the problems involved - would be a good place to start.

Affiliate marketing networks consist of blogs and websites, linked through ads. The reader, who clicks on an ad in a blog, is redirected to another affiliate blog - randomly selected by the redirector.

Blogger blogs need informative and interesting content, to attract traffic.

A blog, to successfully host ads, needs its own unique content, that both
  • Is interesting or informative, to your readers - and to the search engines.
  • Is relevant to the nature of the products advertised.

Too many blogs that involve affiliate marketing depend upon the affiliate relationship to both provide traffic to, and reward for ads hosted on, the blog. That's where the problem starts.

Ads need to be relevant to subject of the posts - and to the readers.

When you have a network of affiliate blogs and websites, where the only thing common between the blogs and websites is the affiliate relationship, the problem becomes worse.

Blogs that host ads, that are not relevant to the content of the blog, or to the interests of the readers, are considered spam hosts.

As an example, AdSense is a contextual service. AdSense ads are chosen according to content of the posts.

Non contextual ads still need to be relevant to the post content - and this may not be the case, with affiliate ads.

Ads that link blogs with illegal content can also use affiliate techniques.

Some blogs with illegal content can also link to similar blogs. In this case, all blogs are detected, and deleted.


Bookmakers setup blogs which focus on various gambling activities, like sports betting.



Bookmaking is a popular blog topic - and bookmakers have been known to setup affiliate networks - which can be deleted when detected.

Network membership does not provide content - it links to content.

Affiliate marketing network membership, by itself, does not provide content - and blog readers are not cattle, to be shifted from blog to blog, randomly.

If a reader clicks on a link, he expects to be taken to another blog with relevant or similar content, with complementary information - not just complementary ads. Ads are not content - they are, at best, decorations.

Both Blogger Content - and Google Terms Of Service contain details.

If you publish a blog and intend to include affiliate networking, stay well within the limits, described in Content and TOS. If you cross the line, you may not get a warning, in time to save your blog.

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Some #Blogger blog owners join affiliate marketing networks, to both gain traffic and get paid for providing traffic. They do not care that their readers, clicking on an affiliate ad, may wind up on another blog or website with completely different content - but the same ads.

The affiliate network both compensates for the clicks by the readers, and transports the readers randomly, from blog to blog. To an affiliate redirector, one blog is as good as another - and this makes the affiliate links spam.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Sara Smith said...

Very enlightening stuff.