Affiliate Link Quality Range

As you may already know from Section 3 of our Editorial Guidelines, EzineArticles allows links from affiliate marketers provided that the URL used is OWNED by the AUTHOR of the article and is a primary domain (can’t be a sub-domain or domain with sub-directory).

This barrier of entry is a message that should communicate that if you’re too cheap to buy a $10 domain, that you haven’t done your homework yet. Prior to this rule, we had a serious inflow of PLR & non-exclusive rights content that made it clear that some (not all) affiliate marketers are only out for a fast buck at any cost.

Here is the range of affiliate link redirects that give us pause sometimes when reviewing articles so that you could see ‘under the hood’ to our thinking:

  1. DNS Rewrite: Fastest method to move a visitor from a primary domain to an affiliate link.
  2. Meta-Refresh: HTML code that moves a visitor. Tip: If you’re going to use this method, make the delay = zero (don’t waste the visitors time)
  3. Framed: Deceptive, confusing, untruthful. This is where a zero pixel frame is setup to show the domain name in the URL address bar, but the contents of the browser show a different affiliate linked URL.
  4. Script Detect Referrer: Highly evil, creates no trust, makes us question your value as a member. This is where a script detects the title of the referring article and then redirects the traffic based on which affiliate link is A/B split tested to provide the highest yield that day. Makes us uneasy because of how fluid the owner of the script can change the quality of the user experience.

Now, put your mind in the experience of the user reading your article:

Does the user have a positive experience when they click the link that continues the trust-building process you started by offering your expertise in the article body?

If you can’t answer yes, then FAIL.

We’re very efficient at knowing member-history to an obsession level as it’s one of the primary tools we use to determine whether trust should be given or revoked.

You may already know that we continually deep database scan to find dead links… You may not know that we’re also gearing up to be able to determine if articles already accepted would still be accepted if the visitor was taken to the URL today that they were taken when the article was first accepted. If you keep changing this, we’re going to discount the value of your account or seriously question if you have our users/your readership’s best interest or not.

The acid test is: Does your affiliate link redirect from the domain name you own create a positive user experience, is it predictable, and does it build trust?

Affiliate marketers who are only out for fast buck do not represent the type of member we’re seeking.


Allen Graves writes:

Hi Chris,

You mention twice the phrase “Affiliate marketers who are out to make a fast buck.”

Since this could be called a decision based on opinion, can you provide any more triggers that would make you or your editors deem an author one of these marketers?

As you suggest in your blog topic concerning derivitive content, there could very well be innocent violators of this policy as well.

Allen Graves

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 10:07 AM



Fast buck lazy affiliate marketers:

  • Don’t have a central domain name for their business life.
  • Submit content they didn’t write or don’t have exclusive rights to the content.
  • Blast their content out rather than being selective with where they distribute their content.
  • Often the content is submitted by a 3rd party to us instead of directly as a member submitting his or her own content.
  • Could care less about delivering a positive user experience.
  • Are here today, gone and out of business tomorrow… as evidence of their lack of paying their web hosting bills which then delivers a dead link to a user in the future.
  • They use article spinners and other crappy content generators that we already filter out aggressively.

Keep in mind,… I’M AN AFFILIATE MARKETER and a SuperAffiliate to some vendors… so I get it… but many affiliate marketers haven’t put in the time to understand their craft.

I wanted to make it clear that being an AFFILIATE MARKETER does not make you 2nd class; but being a lazy affiliate marketer doesn’t warrant respect.

The challenge is being able to sort out the difference.

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 10:12 AM


Allen Graves writes:

Thanks Chris,

That should clear it up…and after reading your response, it is mostly common sense anyway…isn’t it?

Allen Graves

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 10:33 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

Affiliate marketing is only one of the basic niches these changes will catch. When I started I used essentially free accounts to set up my business, and many of those links are still live, active, and I’ve updated the sites (because so many links are out there and they’re still making money). It might not have been professional but at the time, single mom, struggling to buy clothes for kids, it was the only way I had to set up a website, and it worked. I made enough to set up the paid domain sites. The best part is, those FREE domains still pay for the cost of my paid domains and keep generating a steady couple hundred a month in income.

Last month I actually got two calls from clients who’d seen one of my first FREE sites, which offers resume writing decorated with angels and roses. It’s so cute I can’t bear to take it down. I worked hard to learn html code and put those angels and all that typeset and content down the center colum of the page (can we say UGH?)

The disgusting part is, one of the resume’s I posted was for my then 14 year old daughter, who wanted to work as a babysitter and her resume had teddy bears on it., in .PDF format, of course!

We didn’t all start out online with high tech knowledge and html expertise… lol

Now that I’ve ruined my reputation, I’m outta here.


Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 11:07 AM



Perhaps the difference between a lazy affiliate marketer vs. an incompetent affiliate marketer is “INTENT”…

Whatever you’re doing Jan… we think we know your intent and that intent is positive. Most likely this has to do with the quality of your articles or your association with other members who we also know to be quality authors.

Or the fact that you butter us up with blog posts… Wait, did I just say that out loud? Is this thing on?

My point: Newbie affiliate marketers make innocent mistakes all the time and that’s expected… not appreciated, but that’s how it goes. We are all new at something at some time. Over time, the question is: Does the person learn, grow and become smarter with each failure? If so, then PASS; If not, then FAIL.

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 12:49 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

Butta,butta,butter up!

Too funny Chris… Besides, butter would be just way too cheesy.

I only read this blog for inspiration, content, and motivation. Besides, your content builds the most informative google ads on the right side. I can’t even count the number of titles I’ve grabbed and innovated from the adsense links over the years…

Just think… Pre-tested keywords, keyword phrasing that’s all ready working, and content! Oh, yeah….

My son just told me to get a life. He’s back to edit his book. – Toodles

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 1:58 PM


Jennifer J writes:

Did you just say “too cheesy” to a CHEESEHEAD PACKER fan? :)


Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 3:30 PM


Dan Janal writes:

Thanks for maintaining the integrity of your system and for setting standards for marketers to achieve. I know it isn’t easy or inexpensive to ferret out the dreck, so I truly applaud your efforts for creating a great service to everyone — authors/marketers and prospects/researchers.

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 4:30 PM



Jan’s story of progress from free to paid with calls triggered by long-time html rendered with love proves Chris’ point. Intent, progress made both from learning through mistakes and caring about the inherent value of what’s being offered is discernible…

Comment provided June 24, 2008 at 7:09 PM


Thomas Cummins writes:

First of all my compliments to Jan on her successes and owing up to being a student for a better purpose and my compliments to Chris for maintaining an ethical and positive business experience for the readers as well as the authors. The reader experience has to be a positive one and I for one respect your guidelines and to the best of my abilities as I want and desire to be represented on for as long as is possible and I appreciate the interaction between all of us through this blog.

Comment provided June 26, 2008 at 12:55 PM



Hello All,
At first time,may I introduce myself. I’m Thadchai from Thailand,after I read all comment on this blog. I must accepted,I’m new affiliate marketer too. If you go to my blog at,you will see the posts that I copy from anywhere but I will noted that each article where I take from.For this issued,do I corrected?,pls advice me too.I don’t wanna be a lazy affiliate marketer but I don’t have an experience as well as the other authors. So,can I write a article for product that I need to do the markets
Thank you for advance!

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 4:58 AM




Some advice:

1) Put a space after every period or comma in your sentences.

2) You don’t have a right to “copy from anywhere” so go do some self-education on copyright law, what’s fair use and what’s not fair use, and be sure to read our reprint rights TOS:

3) Be careful which products you choose to promote as you will be labeled by the URL’s you pitch. No, I can’t tell you what’s good or bad as you’ll have to figure that out on your own. :) Let your integrity guide your experiments.

4) Hire an English 1st language editor to proof your written works before syndicating them for maximum credibility transfer.

Comment provided June 30, 2008 at 8:22 AM


Jo de Jong writes:

Buttinski’s back again. Can’t you people stop asking such thought provoking questions? This one is exactly why I’m here, i.e., to seek clarification with the use of a question format that I read was supposed to be in the lower right hand corner of the page where I’m finding all of these questions. Maybe this is where I’ll find the answer.

As a longtime internet shopper, I am planning my website around detailed reviews and recommendations of a few products that I have used for as long time and know are first rate. Each product will get a separate page with detailed discussion, including cons as well as pros, and maybe product comparisons. If I interpret all of this correctly, I can’t use a link directly to that page but must make the reader stop at the top level first (which I really don’t want to clutter with ugly banners and affiliate links) to find a further link to his desired product page. At the top level, I want to establish my credibility and attract a literate, discriminating client base. Comments here suggest that if the powers that be detect that you are decent and sincere, they won’t zap you, but that’s not what the Editorial Guidelines say; they don’t offer any evaluation and say you’ll be zapped. Unless, as I hope, I don’t understand the meaning of ‘the top level of the domain name.’ To me, that means the home page of your web site.

I’m not trying to make tons of money. I’m old and just need to supplement my retirement a bit. Some of the products I want to market aren’t even big seller stuff — classical music, for instance. How’s that for sincerity? Now, can I do it my way?

Comment provided July 6, 2008 at 9:39 PM



Jo de Jong,

You can link to any page on any site that you own.

If it’s to your home page, we call that a link to the ROOT page;

If it’s a link within your site somewhere, we call that a DEEP link.

Comment provided July 7, 2008 at 7:56 AM



Dear K.Christopher,
Thank you for your advice and so sorry for late reply because my mom still at hosital. I just checked my mail and found its. I will improved myself and don’t do like that again.


Comment provided July 7, 2008 at 9:47 PM


monkcave writes:

I find this discussion very valuable as it clears up a few points. I think the problem is that
new guys to the submission field is misled

Jo de Jong stipulated his problem : Unless, as I hope, I don’t understand the meaning of ‚¬the top level of the domain name.’ To me, that means the home page of your web site.

Your answer : You can link to any page on any site that you own . Really?

Now this is the question I still have :

It is my site, paid for but if I have it correct I can only do a ROOT link and a DEEP link is forbidden.

I know this might irretate the old partners but I hope you could solve this issue for me. Al I ask is if I have 10 pages for 10 Affiliate Products I need to let my readers find it on my Root Page and then they have to click again to get to the correct product. Am I stupid or do I have it right? Will ten registered domain names, directed to one registered site be worthless then? Leon

Comment provided July 8, 2008 at 3:18 PM




If you own the DOMAIN (we don’t care if you own the site, but you must own the DOMAIN that the site is on), you can link to your DOMAIN or any deep link within your DOMAIN… provided it’s not a redirect to an affiliate link in which case it must only be a link to the ROOT of your DOMAIN.

Another example:

You own the DOMAIN and you have 10 pages, each that pitches another product where you give the reader a review or more information about the product, but you don’t force the reader into being pushed to your affiliate link for that product… In this case, you could link to a DEEP link within any of the subdirectories of your DOMAIN.

The Section 3 of our Editorial Guidelines only comes in play when you do a redirect to an affiliate link… it is then that you must own a domain for EACH affiliate program you pitch.

Comment provided July 8, 2008 at 10:43 PM


monkcave writes:

thanks so much. For the first time I see some light on this issue. Now I understand how to use this site to my own benefit.
This site is highly recommended but the only thing I couldn’t figure out was how it could be of benefit in affiliate marketing. I didn’t want to submit knowing the articles would have been rejected because of a misunderstanding.

I hope to be a platinum member by next week.

Thanks – Leon

Comment provided July 9, 2008 at 3:17 PM


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