In a recent email out to its affiliates, WP Engine is looking at locking down the “WP Engine coupon” SEO space, “[In] an effort to further improve the WP Engine Affiliate Program and promotions of our services”, according to an email sent out to their affiliates. (WP Force is an affiliate of WP Engine)
Looking deeper at the section that describes the use of coupons, WP Engine is now requiring that any webpage that is advertising a specific WP Engine coupon, it must have the meta tag of “noindex” so that Google does not index that page.
In mind, this is going to be an uphill battle for WP Engine. It’s going to be really hard to control this and there is inevitably going to be someone, somewhere, that is advertising a specific coupon and accidentally forget to set noindex, or does it intentionally.
One good example that comes to mind, is RetailMeNot. They have a brand page for WP Engine, just as RMN does for millions of other merchants. This brand page has specific coupons on it, linking to WP Engine with an affiliate link through ShareASale. Would this constitute a violation of the new rule?
Or another example, what happens if I put a specific coupon site-wide on my site, with a coupon linking to WP Engine? Would I have to noindex my entire site?
I’m hoping that WP engine further clarifies what actually constitutes a violation of this new rule, as it’s too vague for my liking.
Here is the new rule in its entirety:
20. Coupons. From time to time WP Engine may elect to offer affiliates coupons to use when promoting our offers. WP Engine does not permit the usage of terms such as coupon, coupon code, promotional code, promo code, or discount code, when mentioning the coupon in your promotions on web pages, newsletters or any other medium. Furthermore, the “noindex” tag must also be used for any page that advertises the coupon. If it is determined that promoting WP Engine through a coupon is your primary means of sending referrals, then your commission structure may be altered. You are only authorized to promote coupons which have been assigned specifically to you. Use of any coupon which you are not authorized to use in your promotions on web pages, newsletters or any other medium is grounds for immediate termination from the WP Engine affiliate program.