Affiliates Swapping Out Dofollow Tracking Links After Google Product Reviews Update

One space that seemed to be hit the hardest by the last Google Product reviews update – the July 2022 update – was the affiliate space. Some affiliates are scrambling to make changes to see a return of their rankings and one change I see affiliates are talking about are swapping out dofollow affiliate tracking URLs with other tracking URLs.

Here is one example of someone asking about this where John Mueller of Google responded by asking why swapping out the links would matter one way or another. The person wrote “we’re seeing publishers switching on affiliate tracking across so many more industries now, in some cases widespread on historic coverage. Not seen much testing around it but seems like it’s a major problem for SEO?” John replied, “Why would that change anything?”

Here are those tweets:

John’s response is not that affiliate links will cause any ranking issues in Google Search, John said numerous times affiliates can rank fine. But rather why would you swap out links, that won’t do anything specific to make the site rank better for its affiliate content, he implied.

The conversation went off a bit on dofollow vs nofollow links and that affiliate links really show be nofollowed according to Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Here are those tweets:

Again, the product reviews update hit a lot of affiliate marketers this time around – so things are a bit scary in some verticals right now for them.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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