I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
When I first started building my own affiliate sites, secrecy was key. You’d add private registration to your domain name, host it on a separate IP (maybe even a different hosting provider), and not allow anyone to know what sites you owned. I questioned this at the end of 2011:
#affiliates – are we still hiding our websites from each other? Does it matter if I know your sites, and you know mine?
— Eric Nagel (@ericnagel) December 26, 2011
But now with all of this talk about AuthorRank and rel author, can we no longer stay discreet?
SEOMoz outlines how AuthorRank works together with PageRank to determine ranking factors
What are affiliates to do?
Without putting all of our eggs into one basket, we affiliates have to balance being experts in multiple areas.
We could create online personas or pseudonyms for our different selves online. This way, each of our selves is an expert in one topic, and the lines aren’t crossed. Create multiple Google+ profiles, and don’t confuse your split personalities. Living more than one life will eventually catch up to you, no matter how careful you are.
Or, we could step out from behind the curtain and be ourselves – experts in all of our niches. But how does Google know that I’m not only well versed in wine clubs, but also the go-to guy when you want to find a Leg Lamp? Should you trust someone who’s contributing to two vastly different niches? Oh, let’s not forget I’m an affiliate and SEO. And if you need reviews on online backup services, I’ve got that, too.
Affiliates have enough knowledge to research each other, but someone looking to buy a Leg Lamp probably doesn’t know how to, or care to, research the person who published the website.
What I’m Doing
I’ve slowly outted one of my sites over the past year. First was during SugarRae’s SEO training before Affiliate Summit in New York, when I asked for advice. Then I started using my name on the site, and in videos.
Of course, being named as a source in Time magazine didn’t help keep my identity hidden
Potential pros: my social circles cause my site to rank better.
Potential cons: more affiliates in this niche.
What are you doing to accommodate Google’s Author Rank algorithm, and to incorporate your social influence into your affiliate sites?