Google and Onmouseover Penalties
Hi, Here is some information I just received and I don't totally understand. How can a onmouseover script be a problem? or am I missing something here!
Google and "Onmouseover" Penalties
We believe it is quite reasonable to assume that Google will initiate similar penalties for sites that use redirect links that point at large affiliate systems – at least affiliate site domains that they have identified.
To prevent this from occurring, we suggest that you consider blocking Google's spider from accessing your sites redirect system for outgoing links to affiliate sites. It appears that they object to hiding the target of links in any fashion.
i think this is talking about onmousover - it would generate a click. so when you mouse over the link, it will force you to go to the web site.
"...Google will initiate similar penalties for sites that use redirect links that point at large affiliate systems..."
If that is true, wouldn't it spell deep trouble for any site using one or more of the huge affiliate networks like http://www.cj.com or http://www.linkshare.com ?
If so, this is serious stuff because these affiliate network companies' lifeblood is redirecting links from affiliate sites to their advertiser customers. Consequently we can expect these affiliate network heavyweights to react substantially.
Where was the original posts information taken from? Richard didn't mention it, shouldn't we verify the Source before we get to worried?
I believe it was taken from a reputable source:
To prevent this from occurring, we suggest that you consider blocking Google's spider from accessing your sites redirect system for outgoing links to affiliate sites.
In my experience, its a tricky thing determining the PageRank impact of these affiliate urls.
I think this is referring to the "Hide Link in Code" option offered by Commission Junction. When you use commission junction, the links go through qksrv.net which tallies the hit, sets a cookie and redirects the user to the merchant web site.
As you know, when you put your mouse over a link, you can see the destination of the link. This poses a problem for computer users. Rather than seeing the web site of the end destination of the click, the user sees the url of the redirecting sites.
At first I thought the mouse overs were a fiendish way to trick people and hide the fact that the the user was going to an affiliate site. It finally dawned on me that the mouse overs were doing a service by clarifying the end result of a click.
Let's say I have a CJ link going to eBay.com. Having the mouse over say qksrv.net means nothing to the user. The mouse over re-inforces the idea that the true destination of the click is eBay.
I can see why some people would think the mouse over is a trick...but is it actually an elegant way to design a system to track traffic with a minimal amount of confusion to the web surfer.
I would not be surprised to see Google punishing sites for using mouse overs. Companies like Google tend to foster elitist attitudes that says anything small businesses do is bad.
The funny thing...Go to Google, you will see that they use the same mouse over trick with their sponsored ads. Do a Google search on coupons and mouse over the ads....see what it displays in the status bar. Now look at the code. Here is a link to coupons...hold your mouse over the sponsored links and look at the status bar.
Great guns! Google uses mouse overs to hide the fact you go through their hit counting mechanism before going to the end user site. Golly Molly, do you think Google might actually be charging web sites for clicks?
If Google demotes sites for mouse overs and continues to give themselves a coveted 10, then they will successfully prove to the world that they are a bunch of arrogant elitist twits. What is good Google is good for the Gander.
Sorry, guys, just to clarify, we're not talking about Google penalising simple onMouseOver stuff that shows an alternative image when the user's mouse rolls over it, but has no hidden links in it?
So, we're not saying that google will penalise this kind of thing are we???:-
<a href="http://afilliate.com/aff.php?blah-de-blah-ugly-url" onMouseOver="window.status='http://www.nice-url.com/';return true" onMouseOut="self.status='';return true" target="_blank">Great place here at nice-url.com</a>
Because if the above is a problem then half the damn sites on the net are in trouble no?!
The original quote referred only to onmouseover combined with affiliate links.
But isn't that what I've just shown above? An onmouseover for an affiliate link. The surfer sees the final destination but not the actual affiliate link to take them there.
So, the question remains. Is Google lining up to punish sites that have these types of links on them?
Right you are Pooner, not only does it look like Google will penalize affiliate links combined with onmouseover, but it could also extend to penalizing the affiliate networks (Commission Junction, LinkShare, etc.) themselves, since their function is essentially to redirect links to the final destination, i.e. their advertiser customers.
Thanks for the reply.
OK, next question
Now if the links aren't to affiliate 'networks' but just an affiliate.
Let's say the link is actually to http://www.some-dvd-site.com/affiliate.asp?code=3256 BUT you make it look like it's simply going to http://www.some-dvd-site.com/ in the mouseover???
There is a subtle distinction between an intermediary doing this and simply a site that runs an affiliate scheme and another site that wants to do the clean mouseover look.
What do people think? I think you can guess this relates directly to what I am doing
I suppose one way round it could be similar to Darrin's way of linking now. robot off the dir /redirect/ for eg, then use redirect.pl?affid=3 and within redirect.pl have something there that redirects to the affiliate link. However, this method more than ever needs the onmouseover so it looks nice.
So, what do the bright and beautiful people of this board think
(will flattery get me anywhere?)