A great SEO play is to start or grow an affiliate program. This may seem like poor advice though if familiar with the topic…
Google requests adding the rel=”sponsored” tag for paid or sponsored links. In the past, rel=”nofollow” applied to all of these links, which included comment spam and untrusted links. You may continue using just nofollow but nonetheless they prefer the newer, more specific rel tags.
Either way, affiliate links (in theory) shouldn’t pass value to boost your site’s authority.
Yet they help because linkbuilding is not a definite process. It’s about leveraging relationships for win-win scenarios. Affiliate programs create warm leads for opportunities like guest posting that improve SEO.
Furthermore, Google uses words like “try” instead of “must” for using rel=”sponsored.” They admit to using nofollow links as “hints” for ranking purposes. We already know Google isn’t clear about how UX measured via the long click affects organic search.
Affiliate marketing boosts SEO due to more exposure and therefore more backlinks, however they occur!