We all love our affiliates I know I used to be one, I also know that ranking or bidding on a Brand name is the best converting and cheapest traffic you can buy, but what about organic traffic it’s a double edge sword. In a recent meeting I was discussing the merits of controlling your serps for your brand and the pro and cons, worst case scenario.
a) The Serps are covered in bad press and hate sites, mixed with affiliates for your competitors
b) The Serps are owned by your affiliates offering a better deal than the master site :
c) You own the serps pushing news and friends to the top
Ok now you have decided that you’re going to be in control your serps a few things you could try with your affiliate URL’s. Simply don’t allow trademarks in the sub folders or sub domains of the display URL’s and certainly don’t allow brand in the domains!
The only people that should be using your brand now are people that aren’t earning from your brand. Use google inurl: to search for a site that have positive brand signals and push them with a few links just to be kind 😉
You could go one step further and ban your affiliates from using trademarks in their Titles, Meta Descriptions. This would stop your affiliates using your trademark to show up in the serps, use the allintitle: in google to identify possible brand issues
Set up brand alerts in Google so you can decide whether the article needs help ranking or needs to be watched, keeping on top of current news and articles is just common sense no one likes a surprise especially when it’s a nasty surprise !
In the Uk we have the Prss from Nominet to monitor trademarks in urls, depending on how sneaky you want to be sometimes just monitoring and not taking action is sometimes the best course, just think about the URL yourtrademarkonline.co.uk a quick google check shows you that they have started link building to this domain, if it’s look like they are natural links that aren’t on a monthly rental 😉 monitor and wait when they hit top 40 start the Nominet drs when you win and you will just take the domain and 301 the links to your site 😉