WP Engine Coupons Now on SEO Lockdown

WP Engine - WordPress Hosting

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.

Comments

  1. By Anonymous on

    I just wanted to chime in. I’ve run into this issue with WP Engine. I had the same question as you, whats going on with the entire first page of google? What about art of blog and RMN? My AM’s answer was “We have different relationship with different affiliates”

    Thats bullshit if you ask me. “Bigger Sites” shouldn’t get away with it when we are stuck without those keywords. I probably changed my site 7 times trying to satisfy their needs.

    Finally, I did everything I thought I possibly could do..I sent them my website and said “I fixed all the “issues” you claim the website had. They responded saying it was actually far from that.

    I run a coupon site and as a tagline I have “Review and Coupon Codes” they said remove that. All my “recent / relevant” posts widgets? Remove all of them. (Since my other posts were coupons like “tigerdirect coupon”) and you can’t have the word coupon shown once in your site no matter what. Even if its 10 articles down. Complete nonsense. I refused to redo my entire website around them. They said “you can simply add a “noindex” – Which means there is no point in advertising WPE with a noindex page.

    Might as well keep my google ranked ranked post I have for WP Engine already and simply switch the review around and say “go with zippykid” or one of the other hosts.