When Is “Link Building by Digital PR” not Digital PR (or SEO)? When It’s Affiliate Marketing.

Note I’ve broken some hyperlinks below:

    I saw a post from a UK-based digital marketing agency on Linkedin recently on “How to earn top-tier links” [by Digital PR outreach] in 3 simple steps including:

“[3] Pitch the advice to top-tier journalists. Link building is simple.”

    I looked at the photo in the post which showed a link to the Digital PR company’s client website from an article on a major UK tabloid newspaper’s (owned by Reach PLC) website.

    I then looked at the source code of the page on the newspaper’s website in my browser and noticed that the link to the 'client’s website' was was to : hXXps://go.SKIMRESOURCES.COM/?id=76202X1526515&xs=1&url=hXXps%3A%2F%2Fwww.bedkingdom.co.uk%2Fbeds.html&sref=hXXps%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Flifestyle%2Flittle-known-overnight-hack-cool-32780594 . As it says at the top of the article in question: “This article contains affiliate links, we will receive a commission on any sales we generate from it.”: skimresources.com is a domain of Skimlinks - an affiliate network .

    The link (as per Google’s best practice for affiliate links) was ‘nofollowed’, indicating that most definitely (along with the fact it’s an affiliate link) Google will not count the link for ranking purposes in my assessment.

    The link in question does not appear to be an “editorial link” obtained by PR outreach (if it was, the hyperlink would be to hXXps://www. bedkingdom .co.uk or similar). Hmmmm….

   The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (the UK's regulator of advertising) states that "content related to affiliated products (and the links themselves) should be identifiable as advertising. If not otherwise clear from the context, this means highlighting the relevant content so that it is obvious prior to engagement which links and associated content are advertising within each article." Simply stating “This article contains an affiliate link, so we will receive a commission on any sale we generate from it” is not enough. See https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/affiliate-marketing.html .