Some quick and simple tips on how to at least try and avoid getting penalised by the search engines for selling links on your site. None of them allow it but some of us, including me like to try and make some income out of doing a bit of this on our otherwise useful and totally legitimate blogs, right!? Why should we be penalised?
Ad the rel=”nofollow” tag to all external affiliate links either manually or by using an automated WordPress plugin like Pretty Link or one that will do it sitewide, individually or on a per category basis. For example, most of my affiliate links are in my “Reviews” category. Having nofollow on affiliate links should prevent Google from following them and stop you leaking page rank.
Use a redirection or url cloaking wordpress plugin like Pretty Link to create your own url visible as just another link to your own site that when clicked, redirects to the proper affiliate link. This also has the effect of hiding the fact that your url is affiliate to real people who might be wary of such things. If you’re using this method then it might be wise to exclude the redirection script or folder from search engines via Robots.txt.
Don’t totally fill your site with affiliate links, just the odd one here and there and make sure you have a good pile of relevant, honest content on it too to balance things out!