What about the rules, how closely should we follow them? The slaps, algorithm changes, TOS updates and constant policy changes we’re supposed to comply with as affiliates can be a bit overwhelming at times. And we know that the mother of all rules changes is the almighty (they just think they are) Google. If you don’t comply with Google, you essentially don’t get to play the game…that is unless you look at the rules a different way.
My financial advisor told me some time back that our politician friends running the show (if you want to call it that) in DC just go about their business continuing to complicate the tax code and then people like him read it and figure out ways to get around it. It’s just a game that’s been played ever since the wicked lawmakers have inhabited the halls of Congress and state capitals. My financial advisor’s job is to look at the complicated mess and figure out a way to save us money. People pay ridiculous amounts of money to Uncle Sam when they don’t have to.
I’m beginning to learn that rather than freak out about what Google throws my way, it’s a whole lot better to just absorb it and figure out how to use it best to my advantage or what to do to get around it. One thing I’ve learned to get around lately is the big freakout about lading page quality. The only thing Google wants there is your landing page to reflect what’s in your ad and they only look at your destination url. As long as your top level destination url matches your top level display url (even when it goes through a tracking link) and there aren’t any quality problems, you are good to go. You can then set your individual keyword url to whatever you want.
You can use this to your advantage if you direct link to offers and are having a hard time getting a good quality score, don’t put in your affiliate link as the destination url, use the top level url of your offer and then use your affiliate link with a tracking code as your keyword url. This works on both Google’s search and content network. Now put on your thinking caps and brainstorm on ways you can really take advantage of this little trick and you’ll never have to worry about quality score again.
Just as a warning here though, I’m not in any way condoning purposely breaking the rules or the law. If you violate Google’s terms, you will get nailed and if you break the tax laws, you may go to jail. There is a big difference in taking advantage of what’s in the rules vs walking over them and crossing the line. If you do Adsense, there are ways to optimize your ad placements so you earn the most possible, then there are idiots who ask their friends to click on their ads and can’t figure out why they get banned.
Don’t worry about the rules, adapt and take advantage of them. Oh, I was looking for my wife when we stopped at a rest stop, so I climbed up on the planter wall.
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