BedStar site in Google includes my tracking code

If you perform a search for “BedStar” on Google, their www.bedstar.co.uk site is the number one result in the organic listings. The title, description is exactly as it is from their site. However, the display url is a webgains one and includes my affiliate tracking code.

Beds are expensive purchases and so I quickly noticed some high commissions being received and with Webgains statistics you can see the referring page for the sale.

The stats show that this has been present since 1st September which coincides with Shop Codes gaining a lot more respect in Google. My discount code site is currently receiving fantastic traffic at the moment and so it looks like the search engine is giving my links a bit more weight.

A quick search on Google shows that BedStar are not the only merchant to experience this issue. There’s a discussion at Google Webmaster help on Affiliate Links in Natural Search Results“.

“Recently we’ve noticed that our affiliates’ links have replaced our site links in natural search engine results. However the Title and Description listed is not our affiliate’s but our own. It appears that Google is following links on affiliates’ sites to our site. Indexing our site based on our site optimization, but listing referring URL (affiliate’s) in their database.”

I don’t use paid search to advertise Shop Codes. It’s just too costly. Instead I optimise my pages so that they appear as high as possible in the organic search results pages, to attract shoppers searching for a merchants discount codes.

I also don’t use redirects, framing, popups or pulldown menus. I just link to merchants with standard text links and creatives supplied by the networks.

All in all it’s a well opimised site and ethical site. So, open question to any readers out there, which may or may not include BedStar or Webgains themselves. Are the sales legitimate? Would BedStar have a right to cancel any sales? I personally think they’re legit as in theory having that link on Google is no different to having it on my own blog. It’s just that the volume of numbers and that it’s Google make it a unique case.

It’s worth pointing out that I’m not making many sales out of this. BedStar will be the losers, who may see a drop in traffic and therefore sales as visitors may not be happy with clicking an unrecognisable display url.

I predict that Google is going to change my own rankings on the 30th of this month. Assuming they’re spidering my pages daily I could help BedStar by removing all affiliate links and just linking straight to their site? If that would make a difference or not I don’t know. It would mean I miss out on any commissions though.

Anybody want a bed? I know of a great metal bed shop that could do with some link juice.

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6 Responses to “BedStar site in Google includes my tracking code”

  1. I’ve just spotted that there’s no mention of “BedStar” in their meta title, keywords or description.

  2. […]   Re: Help me with a serious Google problem! My blog post is here, written before I spotted this active thread. In the post you can see I am doing my bit to help by linking to the merchants site. There’s a screen grab showing that my own site is the second result in the organic listings. Not a bad ranking if I don’t say so myself. […]

  3. I am 100% behind you on this one. You shouldn’t have to beckon to the merchant & you should maybe change your direct link to an affiliate one.

    From the forum

    http://www.affiliates4u.com/forums/affiliate-marketing-moderators-choice/64774-help-me-serious-google-problem.html

    It appears they have deleted your commissions which on the face of it is fairly disgraceful. If this is the way they act now then I guess this is how they will behave throughout any future history of their program. Is this the kind of merchant we want on any network?

  4. Indeed. Now that I’ve been accused of doing unethical things to achieve this and had commissions reversed, I am taking your advice.

  5. Google did it!
    I remember I had some of my affiliate tracking links in the index a few times.

    It doesn’t seem fair to kill commissions in this case so I hope it all gets sorted out nicely for you.

  6. Hi,

    read your post on A4U .. its disgraceful.. a similar thing happend to my friend .. he took the network in question to court over it & won.. dont know what your commission was like but he wasnt going to give away over £45k without a fight

    Behind you all the way man !

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