Direct Linking to Dreamstime: Why It Is Beneficial - Dreamstime

© Maigi
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:

https://www.dreamstime.com/res123456-free-image

Whereas a direct, SEO-friendly backlink simply looks like this:

https://www.dreamstime.com

How Does This Affect Me?

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:

Photo credits: Maigi.

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October 10, 2013

Binkelj

I like your images very much and have already purchased your credits. I will set your link on my website and hope it will be beneficial for everybody. Thanks a lot.

September 04, 2013

Fallostupido

Ok thaks

April 09, 2013

Physi28

I have put the direct link at my new blog address: http://naturetocamera.weebly.com
I understand that DT progress is our progress, specially if you are exclusive like me.

March 23, 2013

Onime

Great product.
Help me earn more income.
thank you so much

March 21, 2013

Jareso

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, of course when it is properly placed and not in too noticeable or SPAMy way.
If there is some chance of penalization this could (if ever) threaten from some human penalization check done manually on side of search engine by search engine's employee doing this, but I guess this is extremely unlike scenario in this case.

Anyway, the idea with direct links with referral information detected using HTTP_REFERER has also its flaws. Main problem is that HTTP_REFERER information is unfortunately not always 100% accurate. Information in HTTP_REFERER can be sometimes stripped or completely incorrect under various conditions, such as when proxy server or some firewall is used, etc. This doesn’t happen too often at all, but unfortunately it can happen sometimes which means there would be non-zero possibility of loss of referral information and so possible loss of referral benefits for participating user, because linking website will not be always detected 100% properly. This is probably the biggest flaw of concept with HTTP_REFERER, through problems with HTTP_REFERER happen SO VERY unusual, that possible loss of referral information due this flaw can be probably considered as "insignificant error" and "a necessary price paid" for having clean good-for-SEO direct links (yet still functional as referral links).

As to the psychology of referral linking. Yes, it is always better to at least hide referral links behind some call to action script that will psychologically not imply referral linking in too noticeable way, but will redirect to referral link inside of script. I do this when I use referral links on my websites, because most of website's visitors tend to mouse-over link that they are about to click. If they find out that that link is referral link (and they know what referral linking means) likeness of those links being clicked will be strongly reduced, due psychological reasons. On the other...

March 21, 2013

Clifhaley

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 that facilitate this.

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 code on your website that will check HTTP_REFERER for each visitor coming from external website(s) and use that information to assign proper referral cookie to visitor, just as if referral link was used! This will of course require each externally linking website(s) (domain names) to be submitted to your system, probably for check-up of ownership by proper user, etc., but than that external website (domain name) will be stored in your system with matching referral ID of user to whom that website belongs.Than if you (your automated system) will detect that some visitor is coming from that specific website (it will detect it using HTTP_REFERER) your system will easily assign proper referral cookie with specific ID to new coming visitor, similar as if regular referral link was used. But in fact no referral link will be used.It can be very beneficial for everyone because:1.) It will be direct link &...

March 21, 2013

Clifhaley

Thanks to everyone for helping us out with this, it is much appreciated! And of course thank you as well for your continued hard work as referral partners. :)

March 21, 2013

Yelo34

I placed it in my business website (www.ryelo34.com). In the page I have reciprocal links

March 20, 2013

Alvera

Done. The 4th gadget from right, vertical, after blog archive.
http://alveraphoto.blogspot.com/

March 20, 2013

Jareso

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 code on your website that will check HTTP_REFERER for each visitor coming from external website(s) and use that information to assign proper referral cookie to visitor, just as if referral link was used! This will of course require each externally linking website(s) (domain names) to be submitted to your system, probably for check-up of ownership by proper user, etc., but than that external website (domain name) will be stored in your system with matching referral ID of user to whom that website belongs.
Than if you (your automated system) will detect that some visitor is coming from that specific website (it will detect it using HTTP_REFERER) your system will easily assign proper referral cookie with specific ID to new coming visitor, similar as if regular referral link was used. But in fact no referral link will be used.

It can be very beneficial for everyone because:
1.) It will be direct link (without referral code) to Dreamstime, thus good for your SEO.
2.) User linking directly (without referral code) to your website will still collect all referral benefits which will probably motivate (more of) them to spread direct links to Dreamstime.
3.) If it will be properly setuped it can work for any page on Dreamstime, because HTTP_REFERER can be easily detected on any page. Thus users will have ability to link to any page of Dreamstime using those good-for-SEO regular links (without referral code), but yet still collect referral benefits.
4.) It will be better also for possible click-troughs due psychological reasons. As click-troughs could be raised in fact by this move when compared to regular referral links. It is psychologically proven that not everyone is happy to click referral links, thus referral links may result in possible loss of click-troughs and so possible loss of visitors. Here...

March 20, 2013

Chanevy

I do a lot of referral links, but will add some direct too. DT has been good to me, it's the lest I can do.

March 20, 2013

Miraclemoments

I link from a photo forum under my signature, my own website and facebook.

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