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I like to add in-text links when I'm talking about certain products as I not only think they are some of the most effective, but also some of the most helpful. What I don't understand is why there is a limit of 2 in-text amazon links whereas we can make a slew of Amazon links using the Amazon capsule. 3 in-text amazon links would be considered overly-promotional on a Hub of 1500 words whereas 5 capsules with multiple Amazon products would not.
It seems to me from a reader's point-of-view this would be less annoying than seeing an Amazon capsule occasionally on the side. Why not just have a total number of Amazon links for the capsule / in-text instead? I'm not advocating for or against the capsule itself, but rather the ability to use more in-text Amazon links.
Does anyone else agree or am I alone on this?
Actually, Google just started posting a manual spam review that you can see in your Google Webmaster Tools Account. If you don't have it you should sign up for it.
The new rule will flag your hubs if you have too many affiliate links. The last thing you want is for Google to flag your hubs. Google doesn't indicate what too many is. But it may have something to do with "close proximity" to one another.
Therefore HubPages had to make a quick change to ONLY ALLOW ONE Amazon product per capsule. This news was just released in yesterday's Weekly Email from HP. HP is simply trying to help us stay out of trouble with Google.
You can still add 1 product link per 50 words of text. That hasn't changed. Same goes for eBay capsules.
We have a policy against more than 2 in-text affiliate links to prevent overly-promotional Hubs. We strongly recommend using the capsules for Amazon products rather than linking to them in the text.
Also Glenn Stok's explanation of the recent changes to Amazon and eBay capsules is spot-on. We're now only allowing one product per capsule as measure to protect Hubbers from Webspam Actions by Google.
You know Hubpages doesn't get their 40% if you do that - right?
Glenn, if you set up your own in-text Amazon links, HubPages does not get a cut of those sales.
If you highlight some text and click the "insert/edit link" icon, then select the Amazon tab, you will get a list of products that match the highlighted text. You can select any of those products for the hyperlink.
When you do it that way the hyperlink will automatically have your Amazon code 60% of the time and HP's Amazon code 40% of the time. I checked the HTML once, and I can confirm it does work that way.
You might be referring to hard-coding your own Amazon link. I am sure "that" would be against HP's TOS.
You sure about this? I asked this same question here a couple of days ago and the answer was, apparently, that its okay to use Amazon links (straight from Amazon, with your affiliate code in them) as text links, and they simply count just like any other affiliate link.
I'm not talking about using the link tool as you described, or somehow inserting the code Amazon gives you for adding image or text links . . . just copying and pasting the url from a product page with your affiliate code and using it as a text link.
The answers I got were in line with what relache said . . . if you do this, you collect 100% commission from sales, and it is NOT against TOS. (I had assumed it would be against TOS too.) But of course you're limited to two links.
I'm not sure who to believe here.
The confusion here is that we are talking about two different things.
I was referring to the Amazon tab in the link tool that's built into the text capsule. When you use that, then it automatically uses your Amazon affiliate code 60% of the time and HP's code 40% of the time.
But you are right that if you enter your own affiliate link with your own affiliate code in the URL, then it will obviously have your affiliate code 100% of the time.
When you use the Amazon tab in the text capsule link tool, you'll notice that you never have to enter your affiliate code. The system does it for you in 60% of the views.
You are also correct that HP allows two affiliate links in the text. But it never was made clear if they really mean that we can hard code our own Amazon affiliate code, rather than using the Amazon tab in the link tool. If you can show me where they specifically say that, I'd like to know. I'm curious myself.
Hopefully one of the staff will chime in again to verify this one way or the other.
Please clarify in text links Glenn. I thought we had to use the capsules.
"In-text" links are done in the text capsule. It works the same as making any text into a hyperlink. The only difference is that you click the Amazon tab (when setting up the link) and then select an Amazon product. These links function with the 60/40 commission structure. But as Christy said, in-text affiliate links are limited to two per hub. And affiliate capsules (eBay and Amazon) are limited to one product per capsule now.
In all cases the absolute total is limited by one product link per 50 words.
We spend so much of our efforts fighting spam and often the pages have affiliate links or links for backlink only purposes. The product rules came about because when we saw people misuse them we didn't think it was doing a ton of damage. For example, when someone sticks a list of pans for sell at the end of a recipe, or when they write a Hub, and add a list of tangentially related products. But, we now believe google views this as spam. Many people do it innocently, so these efforts are to protect folks, but still give the more savvy folks freedom to strategically place products. Our hope is that the large blocks of related products will become less of an issue. I just saw the check-in, so this change is like to roll out Monday or Tuesday.
I don't think either your explanation, or Christy's, really addresses the question that question that the OP asks.
True Google slaps pages with too many affiliate links, but I don't think it distinguishes between in text links and amazon capsules? If I had a page with 3 in-text links to Amazon, and no modules I suspect Google would be fine with that but HP wouldn't be.
A 500 word page with 10 Amazon modules might possibly get slapped by Google, but would be pass HP's filters.
The reason I think this is important is because various IM marketers claim that in-text links convert the best, with images second and widgets last.
I suspect that these rules are just a shortcut, where HP decided that more than 2 links to most domains is over promotional.
It seems to me that the best solution would be to say a link to Amazon (in text or module) per 50 words, or even 100 words to be safe, so ppl could put in more in-text links if they cut down on Amazon modules. This would give us greater flexibility.
I realise that would involve changing the filters, and you're all very busy, but it would be nice if it could be considered for the future.
It would also be great if we could link to any Amazon page rather than product pages using the "Amazon search" in the hubtool. On occasions it would actually be useful to link to other pages.
I realise that giving people more flexibility can lead to people abusing the system, or making mistakes. But if you still limited the overall number of Amazon links, that should be quite safe.
If it was down to me, I would restrict hubbers use of affiliate ads far more than this. Almost nobody understands how to use them.
In my experience, if a product is not discussed in the text, at some length, the product should not be advertised.
Also, you could get some shape into subs by allowing only 50 per cent of pages to carry affiliate ads.
As I said before, these ads should be treated like radioactive material, great in the right place, disastrous when scattered around at random.
I always go to the page I want and use the URL. There is a black line top of page showing affiliate status.
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