WARNING!!! The Danger of Sponsored blog Posts!
Sponsored blog posts are posts you publish on your blog in exchange for something – Money, free copies of software or ebook, free access to a platform, etc.
It has become a common way for bloggers to monetize their blogs. They get paid something between $10 and $1000 (and even more) to review advertisers’ service and link to it from the review post.
There are generally 4 or more reasons an advertiser would pay you to write about his product;
- To instantly have traffic from your community. Once the sponsored post is published, you are required to mail to your list, share on social media, etc. This instantly will start driving traffic to the reviewed product page.
- To continually have traffic from your blog. Advertisers expect the sponsored post to be well positioned on search engines in the long run. That way, they will keep having targeted SEO traffic from your blog.
- The third reason (which happens to be a bad idea for Google lovers) is to pass PageRank and boost their SERP ranking. They insist on not adding the nofollow tag to any link on your post pointing to their product page. Some insist on keyword-rich dofollow links.
- Branding is another reason some advertisers want to associate with some influencers.
Dofollow or Nofollow?
Dofollow outbound links are links without the nofollow tag. Its source looks something like this:
<a href=”http://linklocation.com/url” target=”_blank”>Link anchor</a>
The reason is that they pass pagerank to the linked page. Google considers this as PageRank manipulation and attaches a penalty to it.
This video throws more light
Dofollow outbound links on sponsored blog post = DANGER!
Both the blogger and the reviewed product are on risk bench. If you want to do a sponsored post for a client, you are better not making your links dofollow. I understand some advertisers won’t accept this (and I have rejected a couple of them because they insist on dofollow links).
We as bloggers have the obligation to educate our clients and not just go after their reward. The danger is eminent. Don’t accept to publish any sponsored posts that requires dofollow link.
Such advertisers are out for artificial links and page rank manipulation. Google will find you and you won’t escape their penalties.
Some people think they can never be found by Google. Well, Google is smart enough. If they don’t find you, your competitor will tell them about you.
You see that it’s easy to fill this form and tell Google about your blog and of course the product you just got paid to review.
Nofollow Link! What do advertisers get?
I encourage advertisers not to focus on pagerank benefits except they careless about Google traffic. You know when Google strikes, you lose everything. There are other ways you can grow your backlinks and not be penalized by Google.
Though the instant traffic you may get from some blogs may not be considerable, if the review is well written with proper keyword research and SEO, it will definitely rank well on SERPs and that will continue to bring your traffic.
There are other things you can require from bloggers to boost exposure. Sometimes, requiring them to publish your banner on their blogs, sticking the post to home page, sharing on social media a couple of times, etc could bring more exposure – just my ideas!
What do you think about this? Do you accept sponsored posts on your blog? Are your outbound links dofollow?
Let me hear you out in the comment box. Please share this post too on social media.