In this article
Learn what a bridge page is as well as a few tips to optimize your affiliate website.
There was a time when the internet was brimming with ads, it was almost impossible to surf the web without running into pop up ads and flashy banners. Not much has changed since except that Google has revolutionized the internet with the philosophy of giving users a high quality online experience. The internet became a place to navigate around more easily. Sleek clean design launched Google to become the most visited website. New features continue to be added such as the instant preview tool to maintain their noble philosophy. For this reason, Google AdWords prohibits bridge pages. Therefore it is important to make this distinction.
Bridge pages are defined by AdWords as websites whose sole purpose is to drive traffic to another site. You may be wondering, isn’t that affiliate marketing? Notice in the definition Google doesn’t use the word ‘affiliate’. Bridge pages by definition employ affiliate marketing; however, affiliate marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to bridge page practice. Advertising bridge pages on Google could lead to account suspension and even a complete ban from Google AdWords, with an automated suspension upon set-up of new accounts.
First, a little on bridge pages. The internet is inundated with bridge pages. Anyone who has been on the internet has at least one time in their internet lives fell victim to landing on one. Bridge pages are also known as banner farms, entry pages, doorway pages, and gateway pages. Since most search engines do not accept bridge page submissions, spammers find other ways to drive traffic. For instance, common bridge page practice is to profit off traffic of highly visited websites by using misspelled variations of popular domains such as:
Another method is to buy high traffic web domains that are no longer active or contain keyword(s) with high search volumes such as:
- *copy these links to your browser at your own risk
As you can see, these websites contain nothing but advertisements.
So exactly how do you do affiliate marketing without having what’s considered a bridge page?
It is easy for websites that employ affiliate marketing to be viewed as bridge pages. Affiliate marketers who want to be distinguished from spammers and want search engine visibility with Google can do so in two ways:
Your website must be angled as being informative rather than as a sales pitch. For example, if you are an affiliate marketer for plus size clothes, you could have an in depth article of at least 500 words about society’s view of women’s image, useful facts on its health implications, the emergence of plus size clothing, its growing popularity, and plus size designers (there would be a great space to put a few ads).
Be careful and make every effort to not clutter your pages with ads. Ads should have a degree of subtlety. But of course noticeable enough to make sales! If you engage your users with content, they will naturally gravitate to your highly relevant ads!
When you have a webpage that is highly informative, you will then be permitted to lead a PPC campaign with Google AdWords to drive traffic to that page. Google AdWords permits advertisements for informative websites.
By sticking to paid search, you can set up ads on websites that directly land on the merchant’s page. Make sure of the tracking software that your merchant is using so that you will get the commission from any sales produced from your links. How this works is that you will obtain a unique URL from your affiliate manager or software. This URL directs to the merchant’s website. The URL also has a unique ID on it that credits you for the click and sale.
If you would like to learn more about Google AdWord’s policy on bridge pages, click here.
For more information on bridge pages, you can read this Wikipedia article.