Dreamstime is committed to using ethical practices in all of our business endeavors, and this includes SEO. There are two primary components to SEO: On-Site SEO, which means making the website easy for search engines to crawl and index, and Off-Site SEO, which involves establishing Dreamstime as an authority in the stock photo industry around the web. This is achieved through publishing great content across the web in the form of press releases and industry related articles, and further facilitated by providing quality content on the Dreamstime website that people want to link to.
We would like for you to provide a direct link to the Dreamstime home page. This is not mandatory, but would be greatly appreciated and would help out everyone.
Referral Links VS SEO Links
The referral program does a great job of driving quality, targeted traffic to Dreamstime and is also a large source of links to us. However, the drawback of links from referral websites, from an SEO perspective, is that they aren’t direct links. They have referral IDs attached to them, which ensure that referred traffic is tracked accurately for commissions. This makes them very valuable as referral links, but not as valuable as SEO “backlinks” because the added referral IDs cause some confusion for search engines.
We want to make our business work to its maximum potential for both our referral program participants and us, so changes in your referral links are not at all what we are suggesting. You need your referral IDs in place to make money! But what you can do in addition to promoting Dreamstime with your referral links is to also provide a “direct” link to the Dreamstime home page. For example, a typical link containing a referral ID to the home page looks like this:
Please be aware, this is NOT a requirement. We understand that you do not want to jeopardize your referral earnings by linking without your referral ID so you may place this link anywhere you are comfortable, and it doesn’t even have to be on your primary website. It can be on any website, blog, or social media page that you manage.
We’d love to compensate you for this link, but that would not be practicing ethical SEO. An honest SEO backlink cannot be paid for, which is why this is not mandatory. Only add this link if you genuinely believe in our services and images and deem us worthy of your friends, family, and clients’ trust.
We do this also. In an effort to help our community we provide opportunities within our forums, user blogs, and contributor profile pages for people to get direct links to their websites from Dreamstime. In this way we all mutually benefit from direct links and support the industry as a whole.
So how can you help? Linking to us is easy! Simply copy the HTML snippet below and paste it wherever you’d like your link to be:
Clifhaley, thank you about your words concerning my idea, I appreciate them!
Yes, I really understand your points about being a bit nervous and so from a purely SEO standpoint as you said. But honestly, lets hypothesize that those naked links (direct links with referral functionality detected through HTTP_REFERER by referral system on Dreamstime side) would be used as addition to Dreamstime referral program, how could ANY algorithmic update that will be maybe made to search engine(s) in some future distinguish those "unhonest" links from "honest"? All those links will be exactly the same as normal links and without referral code. I guess this is close to impossible to be detectable algorithmically on search engine's side, unless some heavy AI would be used, but even than I seriously doubt that. Even human cannot really distinguish whether some link is "honestly" or "unhonestly" placed somewhere on some website,...(More)
This is a VERY smart and creative suggestion! There are large affiliate networks that employ this very methodology. I believe it is called "naked linking" by at least one of them.
From a purely SEO standpoint it makes me a bit nervous. We try our best to do everything above board when it comes to linking by Google's guidelines so any links that are referral, promotional, or in some way compensated we don't want to hide. While having referral links not have IDs on them would provide more "link juice" to us, they might also be one Google algorithm update away from being classified as cloaking or spam, which would be bad for our partners and us!
Your point about the psychology of visitors toward referral / affiliate links is spot on. There are some things website owners can do with their own referral links to make them look a bit less like referral links to people such using various redirect methods. I think there are even some free WordPress plugins...(More)
I am already linking to Dreamstime from various websites I own using direct links, you know those websites of mine.
But I am writing now because one idea came to my mind when thinking about this.
What about implementing functionality on Dreamstime website that also non-referral links will work as referral links? Of course as addition to current referral program which is great in the way it is now and thus functionality of currently-working referral links should of course stay as is, because it is working well! This could be just additional functionality to your referral system. This idea is technically done-able. With it on place you will have benefit of SEO links (those direct links without referral code, such as: https://www.dreamstime.com) but also users linking to you will not jeopardize their possible referral earnings, because they will still receive referral benefits even through they will link directly to Dreamstime without referral code. I mean you can implement...(More)
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