I am having an issue maybe someone with alittle more experience with redirects can help me with. Here's a little background info. I run an affiliate program for my site and have a crazy tracking system setup. Crazy meaning "kinda clunky". I have to keep track of leads/contacts from referring websites so originallly I created a subdomain for each affiliate. The subdomain would pass along a param to the contact form stating which affiliate the user was on when he/she filled out the contact form. I know this was a stupid way of doing it but that system allowed us to create affiliate sites with an affiliate's look and feel while our technology powers the backend. Anyway problem started when Google started indexing all the subdomains as unique websites so some affiliate sites were ranking over mine PLUS by linking to the subdomain my original site was missing out on alot of link juice.
So I rethought the idea and started moving new affiliates to an affiliate string model. SO no instead of having a site goto a subdomain they simply use www.mysite.com/?aff=1234 as the url. I thought this would be a good way to 1. remove all the subdomains 2. focus all those links onto my main site.
Here is the issue. Now Google is indexing numerous copies of www.mysite.com/?aff= urls (the number changes from affiliate to affiliate so there are numerous copies of my homepage and only difference is the aff= number). How the heck do I get Google to give my main site the link juice WITHOUT making duplicate copies??
I was thinking of having Apache serve Googlebot a URL without the aff= along with a 301 redirect. Would this look fishy in Google's eyes and would I get the credit of the link if I did this? I'm only trying to do this to get rid of duplicate pages and get the link juice that I should be getting. I dont think it's very fair that a site doesnt get the benefit of a link just because they choose to track sales.
If anyone has experience with this and can offer any help or suggestions that would be great and much appreciated.