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    rel="external" for cloaked links?


    Hi,
    I am not sure what to think of the rel="external" attribute. I guess google knows when a links is external or not just by looking at the domain? ATM i have the external attribute also on the cloaked affiliate links like domain.com/out/affiliate. These links however seem to be internal due to the cloaking. My question is; would it benefit or harm my google ranking if i have or haven't the rel="external" attribute on my cloaked (internal) affiliate links?

    Thanks
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    No one? Or am i overthinking things?
    Thanks
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    The best practice, at this point of I.A. Development and algorithms... would be to think ALLWAYS as a white SEO specialist. I mean... Think in long term, and remember we could be hitting the singularity in less than 15 years. That means your SEO will get hurst unless you stop practicing tricks.

    Work the links like you were a "saint". Google will note the difference.
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    Hi,
    Thank you so much for replying.
    So what do you suggest, not to work with cloaked links at all? The thing is, it is just easier to maintain my links. I am not applying them for SEO reasons, thinking that it will boost my seo.
    Thanks for your insights.
    Rob
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    Hi wzshop,

    Sorry for the slow reply... Actually I did read your post a few days ago and I was writing a reply when I was interrupted by a visitor and had to switch off and rush out! So to your first post/question:
    Originally Posted by wzshop
    would it benefit or harm my google ranking if i have or haven't the rel="external" attribute on my cloaked (internal) affiliate links?
    No it won't make any difference...
    rel="external" is also used as a (valid) XHTML attribute instead of target="_blank" and - apparently - doesn't affect Google's link graph in the same way that "nofollow" does: (ref')

    Renoel's warning against blackhat seo in this respect is shared by many who see this as a sneaky redirect which is against Google's GWG (see link). BUT I believe that the crux of the argument is the intent used when "cloaking" the link...
    Originally Posted by wzshop
    The thing is, it is just easier to maintain my links. I am not applying them for SEO reasons
    Exactly. If you tell the surfer they are going to "site a" and redirect them to "site b" you are using a sneaky redirect, but if you tell the user they are going to a page where they can buy a product - and the link is redirected to a place where they can buy the product, you aren't!

    Many others also see this type of "link-cloaking" as legitimate. In fact Joost de Valk (Yoast) says (here).:
    Originally Posted by Joost de Valk
    Iíve always said and will continue to say that affiliate links should be redirected through a redirect script
    James Parsons (seo blogger) calls it How to Hide Your Affiliate Links in an SEO Friendly Way

    One thing many agree on is that it is a good idea to "nofollow" affiliate links.

    There is an article here which includes a video of Matt Cutts talking about handling affiliate links, saying:
    Originally Posted by Matt Cutts
    If you're at all worried about affiliate links I would go ahead and add a no-follow
    If you are redirecting as you describe, your links are not going to be followed anyway, so I do think it would be advisable to change your rel="external" to rel="nofollow" (or use both), but I wouldn't worry about your rel="external" at all and I would continue to "cloak" them as you already do.

    Good Luck

    Comments on this post

    • Pierre Benneton agrees : Good post and great ressources as always, I wish i could explain myself as you do.
    Last edited by ClickyB; Mar 11th, 2016 at 11:49 AM. Reason: I AM the Typo King, but a good SEO proof reads everything!
    ClickyB
    "The quality of the visitor is more important than the volume..." (Egol 22nd Feb 2008)
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    Thanks ClickyB, greatly appreciated.

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