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I have a site with which third party sites ask me to put up their links within my search results and they monitor the traffic coming to them. My question is, should I make an effort to make sure robots don't click these links, or am I better just leaving them as normal clickable links that robots can follow.

If I leave them as normal links then they will probably get much more traffic to their site but the actual conversions will be lower.

If I make them javaScript links or post links, then the bots shouldn't be able to follow them, so only users get transfered.

Any feedback on which route I go down would be much appreciated.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well, firstly, I would eliminate the JS right away because you don't really need it and it'll cause you to lose ad revenue when people without it turned on visit your site. If the link is set to rel no-follow, would should be enough to stop the bots well enough though.

Aside from that, it really depends on your relationship with the 3rd part site. If you have a contract then that contract will tell you weather it is better to get as many hits as possible or weather conversions are needed. Beyond that, you've basically answered your own question as far as WHY one option is better than the other.

A lot of thought goes into weather or not it is better for a site to have a tons of random links to a site, or, if it is more important to have 'quality' links. In the end I think that as long as those links are NOT on the same server it is probably technically better to spam everywhere you possibly can to raise your rank. Just be careful, it isn't going to be worth it if you piss your users off with a bunch of spam (unless the 3rd party Co is paying VERY well). I guess it pays to ask the question, 'Where is my bread buttered?' and 'whom would I like to butter my bread?'. If your site has many loyal followers it means that you risk losing them with a move like this. If not, then no one wants to pay for your link in the first place.

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