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    Hi,

    If you have a site with affiliates, and those affiliates are copying your home page word for word and then inserting their affiliate links will this harm your seo?

    I would have thought the correct way for google to respond would be to protect the original content owner, but how do they decide who that is?

    Thanks,

    Phil
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    HI Phil,

    Good question. In theory, you're right that they should protect the original site. In practice, Google sometimes makes mistakes. For example, if one of your affiliates gets more or better links to their site than you, Google may think that their site is the original,. As you stated, them linking to you should indicate who the original is, but it's impossible to be certain.

    What I would do in your place is basically replicate the scenario with dummy sites. Get 10 domains, host them on 10 different hosts (look for cheap month-to-month contracts for $1/mo or the like, since you won't need to keep these account) (edit: just googled it and you can get hosting for $10/year, though the renewal fee is higher for subsequent years), add identical homepage content. Anyways, set up your affiliate software on one of the sites, have the other 9 link to it like is happening now, and then get identical quality links for them (e.g. cheap directories, or press release sites, that sort of thing... again, u don't need to worry about the long term effect of the links, since we don't care about these sites). Then track what happens with automatic rank tracking software.

    Should take a day or two to set up and then you have your answer. Equally important, you learn how to answer challening questions in SEO, not based on theory or what some expert said or blogged, but based on real data.

    Comments on this post

    • roosh agrees
    • jsteele823 agrees : testing things out on your own is best - so long as you know how to conduct an experiment successfully
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed response. Generally they don't link to me as the affilliate program isn't in house, so the content will be the same, but the link will simply go to the payment processor. I wasn't sure if google could track who put something online first, which would make sense, otherwise any site with authority, better links has the power to simply copy smaller sites.

    Another solution I've thought of is to simply completely change the homepage content, although then this could too be copied, but it may give me some idea if its a problem.

    Thanks, Phil
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    Originally Posted by roosh
    Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed response. Generally they don't link to me as the affilliate program isn't in house, so the content will be the same, but the link will simply go to the payment processor. I wasn't sure if google could track who put something online first, which would make sense, otherwise any site with authority, better links has the power to simply copy smaller sites.

    Another solution I've thought of is to simply completely change the homepage content, although then this could too be copied, but it may give me some idea if its a problem.

    Thanks, Phil
    That clarifies the situation. Google claims to notice when things first went online. Nonetheless, in practice, you do find scrapers sometimes outranking the original publishing site. The bottom line is that it's a link war, and you best get armed . (More like a waterfight, cuz it's fun and usually no one bleeds.)

    Your thinking about changing the homepage content isn't a bad idea... especially if you did it selectively for certain IPs (i.e. your affiliates browsing from their computers, or their scrapers). The question is how do you identify your affiliates' IPs? One thing you could try is to put on a webinar for affiliates about SEO in the niche (or whatever else may interest them) and record the IPs of those that sign up, and ask in the form what their site is so you can associate an IP to a particular affiliate.

    A few related points - are they doing this in bad faith or just out of ignorance? Have you tried speaking to them? You don't have to accept them doing it, and can just kick them out of your affiliate program if they don't change behaviour. If they continue scraping, it'll be hard for them to monetize the content since it's not as related...

    Also, to clarify something I said above, I meant setup may take a day or two, but you still need to track results longer, say a week or two until all the sites are indexed and rankings stabilize.
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    I too had a doubt on this about having same content in home page as well as in other pages in website. Now I got the solution for my doubt
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    No it will not harm my SEO but it will harm their SEO who have done copy of my home page because google have already show my home page before their home page.

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