[ic] Spiders and affiliate tracking
jamie at versado.net
Tue Jan 6 11:57:39 EST 2004
We've recently been having problems with various spiders (Googlebot and
Teoma in particular) following affiliate tracking links (like Google
adwords) to our site.
Apart from the annoyance that these are PPC links and it costs money
when a robot clicks through, we also end up with a number of affiliate
links being indexed by the search engines e.g.:
which screws up the affiliate tracking and can cause problems with some
search engines that try to eliminate "duplicate" pages (they eliminate
the wrong page).
I'm currently trying out a possible solution, which I thought I would
post here in case anyone is having the same problem. Please feel free to
shoot it full of holes:
I've add the following code to the top of every page (I have a "TOP"
template that is included in every page so I do it there):
<meta name="robots" content="[if type=explicit compare=|q/[data session
source]/ ne ''|]noindex,follow[else]index,follow[/else][/if]">
The result of this (hopefully) is that spiders which come in on an
affiliate link will not add the page to the search engine index, but
will still follow links to other pages within the site. Session ids are
already supressed for known spiders so that shouldn't be a problem.
If this doesn't work (for example if the search engines stop indexing
the non affiliate page too) then I guess I'll have to find another way
of tracking affiliate codes, like using doorway pages or action maps.
Jamie Neil | <jamie at versado.net> | 0870 7777 454
Versado I.T. Services Ltd. | http://versado.net/ | 0845 450 1254
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