To Use or Not To Use Redirects

by Gayla Baer

I’m in the process of converting all of my affiliates into redirects and wondered if any of MomGadget’s readers have any advice or feedback on the use of redirects.

To make a long story short, one of my most profitable affiliates has changed their links twice already and is looking to change again in the next couple of months.

I have these affiliate links on nearly 300 pages and rather then going through and changing the link on every page, I decided to bite the bullet and make use of the redirect. And rather then waiting until other affiliates follow suit, I decided perhaps it’s time to change out all my links and replace them with redirects.

What I’m most concerned about, of course, is a possible drop in conversions and what it might do to my traffic.

Any tips, suggestions or feedback would be great.

This is one of those things where I tend to be a creature of habit and don’t like change much — It’s just kind of scary that way.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

David Airey :: Creative Design :: May 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Whilst it’s not quite the same thing, I recently took a self-inflicted page rank hit from PR5 to PR4 by moving my site from a directory to the root.

Using a redirect helps keep those inbound links coming to my articles, but I know it’s had a detrimental effect.

Have you any idea how often Google update their page rank algorithms?

Gayla May 17, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I’ve heard they update on Tuesday’s but I don’t know how true that is.

It would be interesting to know.

The whole redirect thing has me baffled. I did get a suggestion for someone to call upon for answers. If I get a good one, I’ll be sure to report back :)

Ponn Sabra May 17, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Hey Gayla.

You know my stance on this issue: I’m PRO redirects, specifically for affiliate links because:

1. great tracking tool

2. ability to change easily if you have to do what you need to do, change over all redirects elsewhere

3. helps prevent affiliate marketer hacking by 2-ways:
(a) either the affiliate is already a member and will hijack your rightful commission by putting their affiliate link in, or worse
(b) the affiliate marketer finds out you’re an affiliate, signs-up as an affiliate and hijacks your commission as well as cheating out the promoters’ purse. Some info-product affiliate marketers allow you do this once you make your first full-price order, and then actively promotes their program, and not simply use it strictly for their own selfish un-rightful discount.

4. it helps to chop off llloooonnnngggg affiliate links for your end-users. I presently use the free to do this, but I think it’s not too professional

*ONLY* because I’m a computer-dummy, I have not yet used redirects, but my VA is teaching me how…sometime very soon.

All these issues are PROS, but after seeing David’s experience I’m very confused.

I’ve always had

#5 redirects *help* PR, because you have even more webpages…a larger website. Of course, the redirects must be target-specific.

David, please share more. I haven’t seen or heard of this issue before.

Last, as for PR updates, I was under the impression it doesn’t change often…is it weekly Gayla?

Everything (like this post topic) makes ya go hmmmm…

Good luck with your decision sweetie ;-)

pop May 17, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Go for the redirects. No doubt.

Gayla May 17, 2007 at 8:17 pm

Ponn thanks for such detail. It does make it easier to figure out what I have to do.

As far as the Google Page Rank, I just assumed it updated when they index. Of course that’s why I’m just a lowly blogger and not a Google Guru :)

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