I have been out of loop for a bit- one of my children has been seriously ill. First time I have had a chance to look at computer in a a while.
I have stated many many times now that Google is facing increasing problems with their algorithm and flailing about trying to control the Internet with Page Rank. They are REACTING and pro-acting to their self-made problem of passing page rank and buying/selling page rank. I have come back to a scary proposition the idea Google is floating around that ALL links within a sponsored post should be nofollow.
Clear As Chocolate
Looking over PayPerPost – IZEA Blog I had to give my had a shake. Am I reading things right?
Mat Cutts (who is an unusually nice guy and very approachable if you ever get a chance to be at an event with him) did in fact approach Ted Murphy of Izea/PayPerPost as outlined in his blog post here.
Ted spoke further with Matt about nofollow links, etc and then they have exchanged emails.
This is the part that has thrown me for a loop:
I think quoting me as saying “ALL links inside of any sponsored post should carry the no-follow tag period, regardless of whether they are required, not required or even link to the advertiser paying for the post” is different than our conversation. I believe that I said that adding nofollow to all links in paid posts would certainly be safe. Then I asked if you were going to require nofollow on required links, why not put them on all links in paid posts? I think you replied that your business model didn’t support that, but I may be misremembering.
I may be misremembering our conversation, but this is what you said in an email to me: “Google (and probably all search engines) will consider all links in a paid post to be paid. If a link were truly editorial, someone wouldn’t have had to pay for a review to get that link–the PageRank seller would have made the link on their own, without any payment involved.” This email response is what prompted me to gain further clarification on the subject at PubCon as it left me confused. I think my recount of the conversation and the above email snippet are aligned.
This has enormous ramifications for all bloggers. The implication is that links in a post cannot be compensated- and if there is one link in a post then all must be considered “paid”.
What Does Google Consider Compensation?
The biggest challenge is what is compensation? On several of my sites I OFTEN link to Amazon when mentioning a product, book or movie review. I get big fat Amazon affiliate cheques every month from Amazon. I am getting commission on sales leads. Is this compensation? Must all Amazon links be nofollow? I do routinely add nofollow tags to Amazon links but on we on the ay to affiliate links being nofollow links?
If I work in an SEO capacity on a site- and then in one of my blogs I mention the client’s product or service with link to it- is this compensation?
if some one signs up to be a Google Adsense publisher through one of my site links and I get 100.00 referral fee- is this compensation? Should all my links to Google Adsense now be nofollow?
I am not being tongue in cheek- I really think this is getting murkier and murkier.
I may be repeating what’s all ready being discussed- I have not had much time to really delve into the issue but these are my knee jerk reactions.
I see Andy beard is on similar wavelength and gives a long list of conflicts and compensation scenarios in his post, Google Dictating Nofollow For ALL Links From Compensated Content.
I just read a great post by Rob Watts, Paid posts are the devil incarnate according to search engines at Yack Yack SEO outlining the problems Google is facing and how the best way to deal paid links as a blogger.. is to..well .. fly under the radar and hope for the best.
Google is really missing the ball here- and creating more and more confusion for bloggers with every clarification!