A “Thin Affiliate Site” is a term coined by Google and refers to websites that offer no value to the visitor. Read on to find out how to avoid being labelled a “Thin Affiliate Site”.

What is a Thin Affiliate Site?

If you have ever seen or created a website that contains only adverts and affiliate links, then you have seen a Thin Affiliate site. This is a phrase used by Google to label a site that they don’t believe deserves good rankings.

Sites with no unique content, auto blogging sites, sites with “spun” content etc. are all classified as Thin Affiliate sites.

Why Does Google Penalise Thin Affiliate Sites?

This type of site offers nothing of value to the user. The products they would eventually buy can be found elsewhere and nothing else is added.

Visitors to the site are often frustrated by the adverts, bad content etc. and this reflects badly on Google.

If Google allowed this type of site to rank well then the search results would be filled with this type of site and the users would soon start looking at other search engines to use.

How to Avoid the Thin Affiliate Label?

Simply add value to your store. Add some unique content, some reviews and helpful advice. The act of organising your products into useful categories is adding value, but on it’s own it will not be enough for Google.

Use good unique content; don’t copy content, don’t use spun content and make sure your content is well written and informative.

Importantly – don’t launch your store until you have at least 5 pages of unique content. You only get one chance to give Google a good first impression.

Will Good SEO and Link Building Prevent This?

No. If your site is labelled as Thin Affiliate you will never achieve good rankings.

How can I tell if my Store has been Labelled Thin Affiliate?

You will be at at least position 50 for the majority of searches. Your Google traffic will drop dramatically overnight.

Keep in mind that if you have used your site in other ways in the past it may already have a Thin Affiliate penalty.

If I have been Labelled a Thin Affiliate, what can I do?

Fix your site. Add some great content and follow the suggestions in our other guides. Then submit a reconsideration request via http://www.google.com/webmasters/ explaining that you feel you were not offering value, you have added information and generally talk up your site.

It may also help to totally remove your site and just add simple pages with good content. Remove any affiliate links until you get your rankings back (that includes Fresh Store Builder)

Unfortunately Google don’t pay much attention to sites that have been penalised in this way. You may never get re-evaluated, and if you do they will not let you know about it.

Don’t take the risk and make sure you don’t get this penalty, as it is very difficult to escape from.

Where Can I Find Out More?

This article explains more about Thin Affiliate sites from a technical point of view and is well worth a read: What is a Thin Affiliate Site?

Every website owner who wants attention from Google should know this information off by heart: Google Webmaster Guidelines

As long as you follow the guidelines in adding value to your store, you will have no problems.

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