Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Jan 28 2013 00:11:47

Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

By: David Steiner

Sponsored Link

Over the past month or so, I've noticed an increasing number of top-ranked Google News stories for companies such as eBay, Amazon, Best Buy, etc that resemble a collection of infomercials rather than relevant news articles. So many, in fact, that I had to look on pages 2, 3 and beyond for anything that had pertinent information.



It was a little hard to detect at first, since some of the affiliates were publishers that had been indexed by Google News for a long time - publishers like Huffington Post and BusinessInsider, for example. But a close look at what these publishers are doing reveals them using affiliate sites such as Viglink.com and SkimLinks.com to earn affiliate commission on items that they are "writing" about on their sites. It's also a bit tricky because some of these sites are cloaking the URLs to keep Google from recognizing them as affiliate links.

This is a very interesting development, because 10 years ago, when EcommerceBytes brought affiliate spamming to Google's attention, they were quick to run an update in an attempt to rid search results from affiliate Spam. But it appears that in 2013, this technique is now acceptable.

A few examples

Huffpost on Rotten Twinkie for sale on eBay
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/27/rotten-twinkie-for-sale-ebay_n_2562744.html

Link in story
http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&
key=9292a89875833d3830a2d19c626b7012&loc=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F01%2F27%2Frotten-twinkie-for-sale-
ebay_n_2562744.html&v=1&libid=1359341073482&out=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F121055263700%3Fru%3Dhttp%253A%252F%
252Fwww.ebay.com%252Fsch%252Fi.html%253F_sacat%253D0%2526_from%
253DR40%2526_nkw%253D121055263700%2526_rdc%253D1%26afsrc%3D1&
ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&
title=A%20'Rotten%20Twinkie'%20Is%20For%20Sale%20On%
20eBay%20(PHOTO)&txt=high_order1%20is%20auctioning%20off&
jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13593412285712


mouseover the link it displays this and redirects to:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121055263700?ru=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_sacat%3D0%26_from%
3DR40%26_nkw%3D121055263700%26_rdc%3D1&afsrc=1

Complex.com
http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2013/01/would-you-pay-at-least-
25-for-a-rotten-twinkie

Link
http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&
key=c1bfa75158ba0f760f9cf90dfe79a69d&loc=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.complex.com%2Fcity-guide%2F2013%2F01%2Fwould-you-pay-at-least-
25-for-a-rotten-twinkie&v=1&libid=1359342654362&out=http%3A%2F
%2Fgo.redirectingat.com
%2F%3Fid%3D33330X911623%26site%3Dgawker.com%
26xs%3D1%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.com%
252Fitm%252F121055263700%253Fru%253Dhttp%25253A%25252F%
25252Fwww.ebay.com%25252Fsch%25252Fi.html%25253F_sacat%
25253D0%252526_from%25253DR40%252526_nkw%25253D121055263700%
252526_rdc%25253D1%26xguid%3Db5ec65d33ec18acd2219c0c28fecf332%26xcreo
%3D0%26sref%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fgawker.com%252F5979264%252Fyou-
only-have-four-days-left-to-bid-on-this-rotten-twinkie%26pref%3D&
ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&title=Would%20You%20Pay%20at%20Least
%20%2425%20for%20a%20Rotting%20Twinkie%
3F%20%7C%20Complex&txt=eBay&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13593427010352


Redirects to:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121055263700?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_sacat%3D0%26_from%
3DR40%26_nkw%3D121055263700%26_rdc%3D1&afsrc=1

BusinessInsider
Article on 15 Stupidest Amazon Reviews
http://www.businessinsider.com/stupidest-amazon-product-reviews-
2013-1?op=1

Link to Three Wolf Man Shirt:
http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=35871X943606&site=businessinsider.com&
xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%
2Fs%2Fref%3Dnb_sb_ss_i_0_14%3Furl%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps%
26field-keywords%3Dthree%2Bwolf%2Bman%
2Bshirt%26sprefix%3Dthree%2Bwolf%2Bman%
252Caps%252C173&xguid=a09eb1661b79b71b7d4ef958d1ea2b04&
xcreo=0&sref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fstupidest-
amazon-product-reviews-2013-1%23three-wolf-man-shirt-1&pref=
https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F


redirects to:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_14?url=search-alias%
3Daps&field-keywords=three+wolf+man+shirt&
sprefix=three+wolf+man%2Caps%2C173

There are tons of others that I found in less than an hour of searching.

If you've been seeing similar results, post them here. I know that Google will be very interested in this topic.

See also, Google Passes off Affiliate Marketers as News Publishers.




Comments (6) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results   Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Jan 28 10:35:54 2013

Wow, so THIS is what's doing that. I thought the redirects were coming from some bit of undetected malware.

I'd totally ruled out Google as the source of this behavior- a knee-jerk reaction stemming from when Google were the 'Good Guys' of computing.

My bad.

Perminate Link for Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results   Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

by: jjamess This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 28 12:43:31 2013

The practice is even more insedious than you reported. Most of the links in the top results for Ebay in Google News are affiliate links. They use encrypted affiliate links to go undetected. I've seen Ebay education specialists write artilces about Ebay on Examiner.com and put in affiliate links in the articles. Google News is one big link farm.

Perminate Link for Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results   Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jan 28 23:31:47 2013

Once upon a time Google's slogan was "Do no Evil."

Today, Goggle is the Evil.

Silicon Valley is breeding The New Mafia.

Perminate Link for Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results   Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Jan 29 13:38:49 2013

Yes, how much money do they need
Do no Evil

Perminate Link for Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results   Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Jan 29 23:20:48 2013

60 minutes or 20/20 did an interview a while back on Google. It was a nice piece showing how they got started. They actually had values and integrity. Flash forward..one of these news reports should do an update on how Google has changed so much and now greed has taken over as the prime objective.

Perminate Link for Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results   Google Welcomes Affiliate Marketers to News Results

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 4 11:21:08 2013

It's not so evil, I do keep a blog for my sales site in helping inform consumers about the nature of antiques or items I sale. I also do content writing but one of the few that do fact checking and solid evidence. Yes, did a story on ebay twinkies but did the approach as such - the $2million dollar bag and the loss of jobs (the via of corporate against the worker) a judge is trying to stop the shut down and loss of 18,000 jobs as the corporate stand to gain in the sell off of the hostess line to foreign investors in Canada as they are really seeking to outsource more manufacturing jobs abroad - as labor expense is cheap. All the Ebay sales did was project the value of a sluggish manufacturer to sell out. I know outsourced a company to eastern block nations in past. It's a look as ebay corporations are degrade for a quick buck sell off with market social interest and mass drive consumer last takes.



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