I have an established website which I sell using E-junkie that is ranking really well in the google search. After several years without using affiliates, I decided to add an affiliate.
The affiliate I added has an established site and large customer base. They added the affiliate link to there website and to a newsletter that they send out. Although it could be coincidental, my google rankings dropped considerably right after we started using the affiliate program. I have several search phrases that my site has remained stable in the search rankings for a few years which dropped. I am wondering if the recent affiliate links are hurting my SEO.
I ran across another E-junkie posting that refers to the E-junkie marketplace using the rel="nofollow" attribute in order to prevent SEO penalties. Was this only for the E-junkie marketplace or did it apply at one time to the affiliate links as well? The affiliate links currently don't use rel="nofollow".
Also, would the rel="nofollow" attribute in the affiliate links protect the E-junkie seller from SEO penalties from affiliate links? Although there wasn't any abuse in my case, I could imaging that some affiliates would abuse the way they used the link (SPAM, etc). Could this cause SEO penalties to the E-Junkie seller?
From what I have researched, the affiliate pass through link doesn't give any SEO value to the E-junkie seller. If this is true, it seems to make sense to use the nofollow attribute of it prevented possible penalties.
Maybe I am wrong about the potential SEO harm and maybe my case was purely coincidental. Any knowledge or advise about this would be appreciated