PAGE 1 – What Google thinks about Affiliate Marketing websites

PAGE 2 – What your content should look like and what it should not do

PAGE 3 – How to create your content for better Google rankings

PAGE 4 – Things to remember when creating your Affiliate Marketing website

It is important to know how to write content for affiliate marketing websites that will rank well in Google. The reason why this is very important, is that Google does not look too kindly on affiliate marketing websites. Why is this?

ARE YOU HELPING OR SELLING?

There are so many affiliate marketing websites that do not provide plenty of helpful information but rather have affiliate links, sometimes multiple, on almost every page and post. If you are creating content and your goal is to sell instead of help, Google will not rank your website highly.

This is a major problem with many affiliate marketing websites. Even here within WA I often see members ask, how many affiliate links can I put on every page or post? Is your desire to sell or help people? As Kyle has said many times throughout the training, you should be HELPING people.

The Google Webmaster Guidelines for affiliate marketing websites says you are to provide original content that adds value to your website visitors. This means that if you are not providing useful helpful and unique information, you are not adding value beyond just product descriptions.

NEXT UP = How to know the difference between a helpful and a selling website.


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DavidLabrana Premium
Thank you Robert, I think that was exactly the content that I was looking for. What Kyle has said so far in my training is somewhat vague regarding "how many affiliate links are too much?"

The actual Google guidelines you posted help me understand why. They are somewhat vague as well.

Now I think that even 50/50 (affiliate links pages/ Internal link pages) is not exactly what Google wants.

It is only my first week here in WA, and this Class made me like it here even more!

I hope to follow you here on WA.

Thanks,
-David L.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome David. I hope this tutorial has helped to make things a bit more clear.

As long as you provide a lot more helpful content WITHOUT affiliate links than you do content with affiliate links, you should be fine.
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DavidLabrana Premium
Thanks again.
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure.
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cstarz Premium
For my affiliate links I have been putting them mainly in my product reviews and about to just use links in my articles to direct to reviews. I have a question regarding my affiliate link usage in my reviews. I use 2 affiliates at the moment, a musical instrument retailer and Amazon. My reviews have been consisting of 3 links to the music retailer (one picture, my call to action, and where to buy) and one Amazon link for recommended accessories. Is that too much? I did notice my review is showing up on page 5 of google. I also have a banner for the music retailer in my side bar but that's on every page.
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Labman Premium
That should be fine as long as the page doesn't look cluttered. You need to decide what action you want people to take on a specific page. If you focus on getting them to make a single choice on each page that is ideal.
People get easily confused if there is too much for them to do on a page.
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cstarz Premium
Thank you Labman! I will leave a link to my review page if you can tell me what you think about my affiliate links when you get a chance. The main picture was supplied by the retailer so that's one link. The others are more to the end in my verdict and then details section.
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boomergp08 Premium
Personally for me three would be the maximum and they should all be relevant for the same product or service. Like Craig, Labman, has said, confusion for what you want your website visitor to do is not a good idea. Confusion is a great way to have people leave your website.
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cstarz Premium
Thank you for the advice! I went back in last night and took the link off my picture as I didn't really want it to link to my affiliate anymore. I changed it so it will open up the picture. As a customer that is what I would be expecting. Have two links now for my main product in the review (CTA and where to buy) and then one link for my recommended accessory.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. Sounds like a good solution on your part.
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skmorrow Premium
I really enjoyed this post. Is there any kind of guideline or ratio as far as number of posts with affiliate links and those without? For instance, should 75% of your posts have NO affiliate links?

Also, I am looking for some suggestions on how to centralize affiliate links on our site. We have a reading website, geared towards kids/teens. I want to be able to have reviews on different authors, or books, and give suggestions on books to purchase. What I don't want to do is have a bunch of posts about different authors and have affiliate links in each post. Ideally I would have a post on "Dr Seuss" and suggest some of our favorites. Another post would be about Roald Dahl and some book suggestions. I don't know how to structure this without having affiliate links on each post.

Thank you,
Steve
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MBond Premium
All of your posts can contain affiliate links. You just have to limit the number of links that you put in each post. No more than 5 is my understanding.
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boomergp08 Premium
I definitely agree that you should not have affiliate links on every page. This is something that Google says in their guidelines NOT to do. Affiliate websites should be mostly information with a small part dealing with selling.

How about a page of affiliate links specifically for kids and another one specifically for teens? This way you can write about the various types of kids or teen books and then link to the appropriate page of affiliate links.

Though it would not be centralizing all of the links to one big page of links, it will help to keep the affiliate links within a defined area of your website. Does that make sense or am I missing the point of what you are looking to do?
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skmorrow Premium
Yes, I think we are on the same page. With WA you are selling one thing, so I think it's easier to have one central post with a WA link. With what we are doing, there are multiple items, so I wasn't sure how to centralize the affiliate links. I am just trying to figure out how user friendly that is, to send someone from a review of a book, to an affiliate page, then to Amazon.

So, if we did decide to do that, and if we have a post with 5 or 6 Dr. Seuss books, would there be one link on that post, that links to our affiliate page? Something like "Click here for more information or to purchase"? Then a second click would take them to Amazon?

I am not sure what other people are doing in this same situation.

Thank you very much!!
Steve
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boomergp08 Premium
Yes when you are promoting WA it is easier to centralize your affiliate links to one page because it is one product. But this still can be done when promoting multiple different products like your website.

You can still centralize to two different categorized pages like I mentioned in my previous comment having one page of links for kids and the other for teens. This is the approach I would take if it were me because it seems less confusing.

But there is one other way to centralize everything to one page and that would be to create a Store Page where all of your affiliate links reside. On this Store Page you could create areas for your kids category links and another for you teens category links.

The choice is your how you wish to approach this. Again, I personally like to two categorized pages of links better than the one Store Page of links. But like I said, the choice is yours. I just wanted to offer you another solution to consider.
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skmorrow Premium
Thank you, I really appreciate it. I am going to take a shot at structuring this way. I might reach out again and have you take a look and see if I am on the right path.

Steve
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Steve.
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TinyStar Premium
Thanks that was really helpful, I' e just finished the first course of training and was a feeling a bit lost on where I'm going now. This really cleared things up for me and laid the path ahead out nice and easily so I know I won't be wasting my time constructing content of the wrong types early on.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. It was my pleasure in helping you to know how to move forward in the writing of your content.
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Sharlita Premium
Great training! I do have a question or two. Does Google differentiate between links to sell vs referral links where there is no money required?
I was planning my site around being more of a hub of information where I would send the audience off to other free programs or sites. Some I would be compensated for and others not. I'd be giving full reviews.
Almost every post would be of this nature and if I couldn't get around that would it be better for me to rely on social media marketing than just Google?
Also, if I could create 3-5 generic posts that could spin off of each program and then link back to the post with the external link, would that help because my site is going to be very external link heavy when first starting out.
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boomergp08 Premium
Google does know the difference between links that you could earn money from and links that are informational only.

It is the over use of links that will earn you money that will get a website into some Google trouble, especially if the website is young and has yet to gain authority in the eyes of Google search results.

Personally I rely on social media marketing just as much if not more than Google to get traffic to my website. When I first started it was 80% Google 20 % social media. Now it is 40% Google 60% social media.

Creating generic posts without links that sell and linking back to other relevant posts is fine, regardless of the types of links on the posts you are linking back to.
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Sharlita Premium
Thank you!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome.
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Gunnertwist Premium
Thank you Robert for another wonderful training post. I absolutely agree with you on this. I joined WA simply because I felt that Kyle and Carson were genuinely trying to help people and not push their product on to me constantly. It is what I want my website to do, is to help people make informed decisions. If they do happen to click my affiliate links then woohoo for me!, but it is not my primary purpose to push products on to them. For example when I give a review of say WA, I do not "slam the competition" or bad mouth them, rather I give just my personal experience with WA. My other pages offer alternatives to WA as well. Anyway thank you again for sharing. :) and good luck and success to you sir!

carl
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Carl. My website does the same thing. I promote WA but not by slamming other similar online programs. I prefer to help my website readers by providing them with the benefits of WA and how it can help them to take their hobbies and passions and turn them into a revenue generating business.
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skmorrow Premium
Thank you, this is very good information. After reading this, I realize we have way too many affiliate links on our site. What is the best course of action to take at this point? We have a lot of posts, that are short reviews for our niche. About the only traffic we have is when we ask for comments on our site. Do we delete content, add to it, or other?
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boomergp08 Premium
Don't delete it. Just add to the existing content and make sure to create NEW content that does not sell or have affiliate links in them.

You can totally promote the heck out of something and not include an affiliate link. Just provide a link back to the original review that contains the affiliate link. This would be a great SEO tactic of interlinking your posts.
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boomergp08 Premium
Good share Craig. Thanks.
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Rich908 Premium
I am writing about Dads -and duplicating content for Dads from authority sites as I am no authority on certain subjects. I reference where I got the source from and have external links to the authority sites. I don't claim the work to be my own. Is that still considered plagiarism? Your comments would be very helpful

Thanks Richard
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boomergp08 Premium
Unless you are copying word for word and are not adding any new relevant and useful value, Google will see it as a website not worth ranking.

Why did you pick a niche you have no knowledge in? I am sure there has to be a niche you have knowledge in. Everyone of us are involved with several niches on a daily basis.

If you can do the research and spin your content, in your own words, into content that gives more information than your competitors, you could make it work.
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deebse Premium
Very useful article, I will save it when I start promoting my affiliate marketing, however I've created a gifts site, and anything I review has '5 ideas' or '10 ideas' of how to impress your mum, dad, girlfriend with unique ideas and I have no clue how can I do it without putting many affiliate links to it. Will have to think about it big time and find the solution. Thank you! Mike
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boomergp08 Premium
Try creating a page that has a majority of links, like a Store Page, and then inter link to that page from the other pages with the information on the products.
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deebse Premium
Would love to do it but I have no idea how it would work and look for my customers when reading a review, can I send you a link to my website so you can have a look and maybe find some visual solution? I read nearly all of your trainings but still don't have an option how to sort this out. Im also trying to create rich content but when posting for example "gift basket for newborn" I have to add pictures, reviews and in the end- affiliate link and Im not sure how it would work out at one page with all links for either gifts for him/her/showers/ couples and gift baskets. Really appreciate your help.
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Defiant6 Premium
I certainly do not put affiliate links in every post and if there are any in a post, it usually just is one or 2. I'm glad you talked about a website's focus should be on helping people instead of just making money or selling like you stated.

I think we all lose sight of this, myself included, as we all have dreams of the kind of money we would like to make with our website.

I certainly think I've lost sight of this as there has been so many changes at my day job, that I'm focusing on doing whatever I can to make money from my website instead of doing something to genuinely help people.

While my traffic is increasing, I've noticed my bounce rate is creeping up and session duration is going down plus it has been a VERY long time since I've gotten organic comments on my site vs requesting comments from here.

So while my traffic is going up, the traffic that is coming in seems to not find my content engaging or helpful even though I do keyword research. Maybe I just don't know my niche as well as I thought which is disheartening because I really do enjoy it, but maybe I don't know enough about it to truly create great and engaging content. Maybe I should make my content more personal like you've stated.
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boomergp08 Premium
I believe this is a problem many people have with their affiliate marketing content. I know I had this problem when I first started. People do not realize or remember, that our websites are meant to help answer the questions people type into Google.

If we provide them with information and do it in a personal and engaging way, without selling to them all the time, people will want to spend more time on our websites and eventually will feel safe in buying from us.

But I understand that the pressures of life outside of our websites and the financial burden that it can cause, will make us want to sell instead of help first. We are all guilty of that at some point in time.

Just take a step back and return to the helpful nature of your niche. I do not think you need change niches, especially if you enjoy it. Just know that it takes time to build trust from your website readers and not selling to them will help.
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Defiant6 Premium
You know boomergrp08, I've been thinking a lot tonight about my niche and why I haven't made much money with it, or why I'm not getting people engaged (outside of WA) in my content. My website has been around close to 3 years now and I first started earning revenue from it last year thanks to AdSense, but it is very little and I did not have my first affiliate sale until very recently (I do have someone here at WA to thank for that).

I do have Google Alerts to follow new trends and things happening in my niche which I do post a lot about, I do keyword research and I also utilize the alphabet soup technique, but there is still just something missing and I think I may have figured out what is missing.

My niche is part of the broader video game niche, but I target a certain group of games in it that I enjoy the most. I will have to admit though, I just do not play games like I used to back a bit in my younger years, but I still do play them at times.

What is the one big thing popular though with home console gaming and PC games? Online multiplayer! Back in the last decade around 2005, I remember buying Microsoft's second game system known as the Xbox 360 and signing up for its online service known as Xbox Live. There were some games back then that I played online a lot and developed a great friends list where whenever we were online, we could connect and have great fun and talk about the crazy things we did in that game together.

That is something I know longer have done with today's games and systems and while I do play online at times, it is generally for short bursts and I really don't have a friends list or engage with other gamers online like I used to. I think it is time to start getting back into that to better understand my audience.
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boomergp08 Premium
I think you need to get back to understanding your target audience and provide them with the information they are seeking.
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Defiant6 Premium
I think that's what I'm struggling with on this particular niche. In the make money niche, people want to find a true legitimate way to make money online so it is easier to suggest a solution to that problem (which we know WA is that solution). People want to save money, but don't know the best ways to do it, so it easy to give them tips and tricks that have worked for yourself.

With the video game niche though, people just want to play games and don't necessarily want to pay money for a game guide anymore when there are many free places online to get that information if they get stuck in a game, but since they already have the game, then there's no need to tell them to go purchase it. It almost makes my reviews of games pointless because the people that really want the game already have it and they were determined to get it long before I posted a review about it because they've made the determination to pre-order the game.

I guess the best thing to do is to be a good source of information of upcoming games in specific niche in video games because the sooner they can get that information from me, maybe there's a good chance they'd be willing to buy or at least pre-order the game through me. Regardless, I still need to investigate and see if that's what my audience truly wants.
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boomergp08 Premium
Doing reviews of games already on the market is not a good avenue to take if you want to make sales for the exact reasons you state.

If you want to only do game reviews it is always best to review games that are not yet on the market. Now this could be problematic unless you have access to pre-launch information.

Now if you were to do reviews of peripherals like flight sticks, steering wheels and pedals, gaming keyboard, gaming headsets, console repair options, and most things that are not centered on a particular type of game, you will have a better chance of making sales.
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Defiant6 Premium
I don't use a lot of peripherals, but I do see where you're coming from. I have 2 reviews on my site that do focus on something related to gaming.

I reviewed a wireless gaming headphone about a year or so ago and I also reviewed a television I used to use for gaming around that time. None of them produced sales, but they did get a lot of clicks.

I have a fairly new television now that is 4K and I could do a review of that and talk about how much better my games in that specific niche look compared to my last TV.

I guess I'm just going to have research, experiment/test until I find something that works.
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boomergp08 Premium
One thing is for certain when it comes to the video game niche, more people will be interested in finding out what products will enhance their video gaming experience than the actual games themselves.

The reason for this is because not everyone will be into the type of game you are reviewing but they all will share a desire for a better gaming experience. Peripherals, headsets, TVs, monitors, and stuff like that always draw attention.
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Defiant6 Premium
That does make sense. I do remember a while back where it was either you or another member who was talking about promoting products that can be related to your niche or enhance it.

I think it's time for me to do a review of my 4K television and talk about how it has improved my gaming experience visually.
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J-KWest Premium
We definitely have to play by Google's rules, but...

It's ironic that, "Google Webmaster Guidelines for affiliate marketing websites says you are to provide original content that adds value to your website visitors"... applies to us, when the top spots on page 1 of Google belong to ads. It's okay for them to "run a business" and make a profit, but they don't look to kindly on affiliate marketers for doing the same.

Sorry, just had to through that out there :-D.

Thanks for the training, very helpful. Always appreciated.
Jay
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Jay.

Those top spots you are talking about are not part of the organic Google search rankings. Ads will sometimes appear at the top based on your query but those are paid ads.

Google position 1 appears below any ads that are posted. So if you are ranked in the top spot and there are ads above you, your post is still ranked as number 1.
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J-KWest Premium
Oh, yes of course... what I meant to say was, those ads are Google's "version" of affiliate links. Google has no problem putting those ads (links) on the top of their page and making money every time someone clicks them. But when we put links on our site that make money, it's a different story.
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boomergp08 Premium
Yes, money talks when it comes to paid Google searches. We all must bow to the great Google god and follow their rules without complaints. LOL
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BobZeiss Premium
I was beginning to worry about the length of time it was taking to get my website going but that is because I was concentrating on helpul info. But I realise that this a lot more time consuming than just banging up a few pages with lots of affiliate links and little useful or origininal content. Your training really helps me out and gives me the confidence to push on. Based on what you have said I have already made some small but important adjustments..

Thanks Rob

Bob Zeiss
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Bob. Creating an effective affiliate marketing website will always take plenty of time. But like Kyle and so many others have said, in the long run it will pay off. As long as your content is helpful in tone, you will eventually see sales.
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davegcol Premium
Thanks! The more clarity on Google the better. Quality content is always going to outperform in the long wrong, than short tricks of google. A quick anecdote - When I first started, my website had zero authority and I used to share my blog posts across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. At the time if I searched the exact title of the post, the Google+ share would be pretty high up (higher than my site), which made me laugh. It got me wondering if Adsense on my site would also increase my ranking. Turns out that it apparently has no effect.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Dave. With all of the Google rules and guidelines it is always good to get better clarity on them. This is one of the reasons I did this training tutorial.

As for seeing your Google+ shared post ranking higher in Google than your actual post, that was nothing more than a visual treat from Google to you. No one else would see that same result. You saw it because you were currently logged into Google.

And no, having Google AdSense on your website will not help to increase your website rankings. Only writing and providing a lot of helpful quality content with low competition keywords, like that which is taught here within WA, will lead to better rankings.
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davegcol Premium
Thanks Boomer. That makes more sense! - Learning as I go, but enjoying the ride.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. The ride is a constant learning experience that can be enjoyable if you like to learn new things.
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renelmiller Premium
Rob: this is all very great stuff and I'm so glad that somebody finally wrote something like this. I am really concerned that the only traffic to my website so far is from people at WA that have made comments because I have requested it. But "NO traffic yet" is really concerning to me. I think that something is wrong somehow and holding people back; possibly my site isn't visible or something? I don't know. Would you mind taking a look and letting me know what you think of it?
https://livingsimplehealth.com

Thanks again for all this great information.
Rene
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Rene.

It looks as though your website is only 4 months old. You are still in the early stages as far as Google is concerned. However I do see one thing that bothers me and I see this on some other member's websites too.

You home page blog roll is displaying your full blogs instead of just previews. This makes your home page very cluttered and reduces the chances of people scrolling through all of your posts.

It would be more User Friendly to only display your posts as summaries to make it easier to scroll your home page blog roll. You should be able to go into your website Settings>Reading and make the change
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renelmiller Premium
Thanks very much for that help. So you don't think that it's odd that some of my posts are on page one of google but I haven't received a single lick of traffic from anywhere except the folks from WA?

Always thankful
Rene
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boomergp08 Premium
Are you sure you are on Google page 1? Did you check Google by using a private browsing mode? If not, then you are probably getting false results. Here is how to know for sure.
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renelmiller Premium
I have 3 posts on page 1 of google, not the whole site, just the posts
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renelmiller Premium
I'm sorry to keep bothering you but I did as you suggested and went and put a check mark in the summary option for my posts but it didn't change anything. The whole posts are still there. Is there something else that I need to do?
Thanks again.
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boomergp08 Premium
What is the name of your theme? I will have to investigate it further but need to know what theme you are using because some themes have different settings.
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