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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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=”https://linklocation.com/url” target=”_blank”>Link anchor</a>

Dofollow links on paid post are considered part of link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. [ Source ] 

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.

dofollow links

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.

Do you accept sponsored posts to make money on your blog? That is ok but here is the danger you may not know. Serious Warning

81 thoughts on “WARNING!!! The Danger of Sponsored blog Posts!”

  1. Hello Enstine,

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post. Actually I have also started getting mails from some small startups for sponsored post. They are insisting me to add DoFollow backlinks at least one. Other wise they will not accept our post. I just curious how google will know that the post is sponsored or not??

  2. Hi Enstine,

    Thank you so much to aware us about bad effect of sponsored blog post. I never know that sponsored post can kill my blog on that way.

    I have a question with using nofollow link on sponsored post will it be enough to secure my blog? Your tips make me very alert from sponsored post.

  3. There was a time when I publish lots of sponsored post but now I have made a curb on this. Here I have a question if I don’t index those sponsored post then can I save my blog from exploiting?

    • Hey Das,
      IF those posts ate not indexed, you won’t have any problems with search engines. However, that will be bad for the clients who paid for exposure. They won’t be any long term benefits 😉

  4. Hey!
    I never knew such thing before reading this post,
    What i knew was we should not take sponsered posts at the intiall days of a blog.
    Thanks for letting me know about it.

  5. Hi Enstine,

    Till now I never tried writing sponsored posts on my blog but I write so many reviews about the tools I am using on my blog for affiliate income.

    Recently I am thinking to start sponsored posts on my blog, fortunately, I came across this article to take the precautions before accepting sponsored posts from the advertisers.

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information, see you soon with another article.

  6. Thanks for totally sharing such an insightful article on danger of sponsored posts, you have really cleared a lot of things for me and now i know what i am doing wrongly. I will absolutely follow this guide to my future business with advertisers.
    Thanks for sharing

  7. I was under the impression that Google’s algorithms have been updated multiple times over the years and that Google is smart enough to detect honest dofollow links from the shenanigans of paid links. I have been told that dofollow links are okay these days as long as it is done in moderation and not for the purpose of SERP promotion.
    I have been told by veterans of SEO businesses (honest, white hat) that this information is outdated. Dofollow links are okay when the new rules are followed.
    So, which is it?

  8. Hi Enstine,

    This is a subject that I smile whenever I think of…

    My very first blog was a collection/haven of dofollow links (I was completely ignorant of how these things work then) and I remember that when Google rolled out it’s Pagerank update, I was one of the very few bloggers who maintained a big fat ‘0’!

    I learnt my lesson!

    Today, I accept sponsored posts – but I make certain that they all carry the ‘nofollow’ attribute – same with the plethora of companies and products I promote as an affiliate.

    Thought provoking article I must say.

    Enjoy the day!

    Akaahan Terungwa

  9. Thanks Sir to share an awesome post. I did not know about Dofollow outbound links on sponsored blog post are dangerous, now i have known about this.

  10. Hello bro,

    Great post if i may say… in my own experience, giving a no follow to an external link is always the best to avoid any hazards.

  11. Hi Enstine
    Nice points. Was not aware that google has paid links report tool.
    What you thing about the service as SE Slingshot (was recommend in matthewwoodward blog )?
    Thanks James

  12. Hey Enstine,

    I appreciate stumbling across this info.
    I just created my first review for something (it’ll be published tomorrow), but I didn’t think about no follow vs do follow links, etc.

    I actually turned it into an inspirational post and I don’t have any other links in the post itself other than the two banners (which I clearly defined as affiliate links). But in all honesty, when you’re new to writing material that has to do with discussing/reviewing or promoting a product or service, this info comes in handy – even if your intentions are in the right place.

    No one wants to be penalized for anything, especially if their efforts come from an honest place.
    But without having the knowledge you’ve presented here, it can happen anyway, unfortunately.

    I’ll have to learn more about the no follow/do follow guidelines. The video was helpful, but there’s a lot to learn.

    Thanks for enlightening me about this. I know this will come in handy for others.

  13. Hi Enstine,

    Thanks for sharing this info with me. I am doing sponsored post in my blog, you make me aware about, “How to handle Sponsored Post in Blog”.

  14. Well, you might be overstating this just a little bit. Per Google’s own rules, as long as you indicate that it’s a sponsored post somehow you’re okay. I accept sponsored posts on my finance blog, and every post not only has to be related to finance but I put “sponsored post” in the title. Every person I allow a sponsored post has to agree to that; it’s non-negotiable. As a matter of fact, the Interactive Advertising Bureau states these two major guidelines:

    * Use language that conveys the advertising has been paid for, thus making it an advertising unit, even if that unit does not contain traditional promotional advertising messages.
    * Be large and visible enough for a consumer to notice it in the context of a given page and/or relative to the device the ad is being viewed on.

    Having said that, if you’re going to allow sponsored posts on your site, you should take the time to read the posts, verify both the advertisers and any links within the article, and decide what you will or won’t allow. For instance, I won’t allow any articles that promote payday loans as a positive thing and I won’t allow gambling sites; one has to have a standard instead of just accepting everything… kind of like what more people need to do before accepting guest posts.

    • Hi Mitch,
      Good to have you here today and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend 😉

      You are very correct about the statement of IAB. But coming from Google’s point to fight PR manipulation, you’ll have to consider the nofollow link attribute.

      Stating on the post title or somewhere that it’s sponsored indicates that you got some reward for it. That’s great for IAB but I’m afraid if links to product page from the review post are dofollow, Google may strike 😉

      That’s the point I’m trying to make in this post buddy

      • At a certain point we all have to decide when we’re tired of Google telling us what to do… within reason. Even Google has to follow federal law, and they’ve always been more interested in the relationship of material and the supposed authority of a site being linked to more than anything else. And if they were going to go after every person who accepts sponsored posts, sites like CNN and Huffington Post would be prime targets.

        I think as long as the majority of the content on your blog is created by you, then all should be fine. I mean, look at all those sites that accept guest posts that have links in them; I’m betting the overwhelming majority of those blogs aren’t nofollowing links. I understand the caution in principle, but fear for fear’s sake never works in the end.

  15. This is really a timely information for me Enstine!

    Being a 6 months old blogger, I am still new and learning this type of things and I don’t know a whole lot about sponsored posts, I’ve found this information extremely helpful. I will study more of do follow and follow material and make sure to avoid risks that may get me into penalty situation and I would request you to refer a post/article which you found very valuable and well written on this links things. Thanks in advance.
    Great alarm!!

  16. hello sir! that’s a great post and new topic that every blogger should know about and i too got some sponsered posts but my advertisers are good they haven’t told to put dofollow tags.

  17. Hey bro,
    It may be wrong to have sponsored post on our blogs, but you should answer one question here. Could you deny to a vendor offering $1000 for a review post on your blog and asking for the 4 dofollow backlinks?

    In my opinion, sponsored posts are not bad if they relate to your niche.

    It’s quite true that if they will be well-researched and keyword optimized then increase the blog’s traffic.

    This post is really a hot topic until Google permanently ban them…


    • lol bro you decide whether to take the risk and collect the money or say no and stay.
      Mind you, as soon as Google finds you out, you’ll not escape their penalty 😉

  18. Hi Enstine,

    Great post. As long as I’ve been online, I never really knew what was good or bad about “dofollow or nofollow” until I read a post you made.

    I started making it a point to set my posts as “nofollow” a few weeks ago and it’s been unreal the increased amount of visitors I’ve been having visit my site and also starting to get comments from new people.

    It’s not quite as easy as it seems because sometimes setting to “dofollow” is also good, so I am learning more about this.

    Thanks again, Enstine

    • Hi Monna,
      It’s good to have a balanced link profile. If all your links are dofollow, that is certainly going to raise flags. The same will happen if your links are all nofollow.

      Though it will be difficult to totally control and maintain a certain percentage, it’s a good thing to pay attention to dofollow links and where thy come from.

      Thanks again for being part of the party today. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend

  19. This is very informative post .Video and Discussion are also helpful to learn about paid links. Paid link is very serious issue for Google. so we should make our straggly according to google policies .Thanks for sharing valuable content .

  20. Sponsored posts are good if you don’t want to rely upon AdSense or banner ads to make money from your blogs.

    But you should also focus on your readership, and don’t turn them off by frequently posting paid reviews. Great insights Enstine.

  21. Hi Enstine,
    Informative post this is !!!
    Thanks for sharing .
    I have never tried for Sponsors post, I didn’t knew it will be so helpfull.
    I know the balance between do follow and no follow links .

    I loved your Title With capital letters of WARNING !!! 😀
    It attracts readers .

  22. Hey Enstine, you explained it very well.
    I am new in blogging and i haven’t wrote any sponsored post yet(Didn’t get any offer yet LOL ) but your this post guided me to things to do with sponsored posts.

    Thanks for such useful information.

  23. Timely information for me Enstine!

    Just this morning I received an email asking if I accept sponsored posts on my blog. While I’m not necessarily interested in this for my “blogging” blog, I may have an interest in looking into this with my personal blog.

    Being I don’t know a whole lot about sponsored posts, I’ve found this information extremely helpful. Who knows whether or not I’ll pursue this, but if I do, I know enough now that any links in that post will indeed be of the nofollow variety.

    Thanks Enstine – truly helpful!


  24. Google is crazy and I think are trying to control how the internet should work. It may work in the short term but I think long term, Google is going to make themselves worthless somehow.

  25. Hi Enstine

    Thanks for reminding us of this. I haven’t done any sponsored posts, but I do write about affiliate products and from the above it seems they should also be nofollow.

    Sometimes I use the Pretty Link plugin to make a more readable link on my blog – so for instance myblog.com/affiliate product. Should the links on my own blog be nofollow?

    Thanks, Joy

    • Hey Joy,
      Yes affiliate links too have to be nofollow but internal links don’t have to be nofollow. Internal linking helps to boost your SEO so it will be an error to stop search engines from discovering pages withing your site 😉

      Did that answer the question?

  26. This is an excellent point…

    It’s funny, because one of my clients regularly does paid blog posts… reviewing all sorts of different products. But even though I knew that paid links had to be ‘nofollow’ it never occurred to me to pass that information on.

    Thanks Enstine!

    • Hey Brent,
      Your client will have to comply if not, he may get hit and of course the reviewed products too. Do help pass the information to him.

      thanks for being part of this post man 😉

  27. I am worried!
    Although I know DoFollow backlinks do harm but I was not such highly alert like I am at this moment (after reading your post). I already gave some DoFollow backlinks to my client’s site from the review posts.

    Thanks for raising awareness. Hope my blog will not be harmed.

  28. Hello Enstine,

    I am post only 2-3 post on my blog. I always confirm that the links should be nofollow, as it is good for the blog.

  29. Hi Enstine bro,
    I think its true about sponsored posts. Most advertisers ask for do follow links and some ask for more than one. Its true we must make them aware of the side effects of all these.

  30. Hello Sir,
    I have written some sponsored post in my site.. But I did not know about this types of danger.. Sure, I will follow you advise… Thanks for sharing with us.. It will help me a lot in future..

  31. It should be good if we use nofollow attribute for sponsored post. However, Google can’t always detect sponsored post and guest post or normal post as well. So, let make it to be normal.

    • Hey Alize,
      Given that you don’t know if Google will find out or not, it’s better to be on the safe side. Who knows, Matt might have signed up to your newsletter with a strange name and email 😉

  32. Enstine, thanks for sharing..! It is very awesome discussion…

    Honestly, I got around 2 to 3 sponsored post a month, and last I’ve got 1. I have published it with dofollow link because it is required from advertisers.

    Thanks for sharing, your information. You know..? it is really useful to me.

    However, I got a question..! I’ve published more 10 times dofollow links on my blog, so what is the best recommendation for my previous sponsored post. Should I change it? If so, what should I tell my advertisers..?

    Another question is that.. the most of advertisers are looking for dofollow link, so what should we convince them to sponsor our post…


    • I think if you have paid links on your blog, those all should be nofollow. Give Google no chance to hit you.

      Hey buddy,
      Just let your advertisers the danger that represents for both of you. Share with them this post or directly, the video from Matt.

      The only way to convince them is to help them see the danger of paid links. If they insist, show them you are serious and step out of the deal.

      I won’t risk my blog for some dollars 😉

      • Thanks for quick responding, bro..

        Sure, I will follow you advise. I will change my sponsored post to nofollow link attribute. And then I will send the video whenever I got new sponsored pot.

        Again, thanks for supporting me…

  33. Very sensitive topic. How would they differentiate between a normal post and a sponsored post. I can just write a review or mention a list of cool resources for my audience, and there will be no indication that this is a sponsored of normal post.

  34. Hi Enstine great and nice update here, Are you now saying if as well am reviewing a product and i attached a affiliate link into it. should the link be dofollow or nofollow.

  35. It’s a creative and unique post enstine. I read the post and think about it. I got to learn little from this post. Thank you!

  36. Hey Enstine……

    This Post was Helpful for me even i Know that Giving Do-follow Links to Advertisers Ads or Sponsored Post Links Can Cause Penalty and i always give them a No-follow Links but i Have Learn many more About it with your Post and i thinks it,s Very Helpful For Every Blogger.

  37. Thanks for this interesting post Enstine, don’t have sponsored post yet on my platform, but I will implement you tips and tricks for future purposes.

  38. Quite an interesting post and relevant topic in SEO, I had always asked myself which type of blogs, sponsored posts, or static websites to give Do-follow links on my blogposts, Google wants backlinks to be naturally earned, the way I earned mine without Paying a Dime for it.
    I had come to conclude that whether its Paid post or Not, I’ll be keeping Do-follow and No-follow Outbounding links in ratio 50/50 just as Chitraparna Sinha had said.
    And you said it all, a very well explained post review will rank well without any do-follow backlinks and give the Advertiser the Exposure they need.

    • Hey Edi,
      Good to see you here bro and thanks for the interaction.
      Just to mention that doing 50/50 can still hurt. The right thing is not to appear like you got a reward for the link. Avoid also using keyword-rich links.

      When I find an interesting post I want to naturally link to, I don’t use nofollow. That’s how Google wants it 😉

      Thanks for joining the conversation man

      • Yeah, you’re Welcome!, and thanks for that tip in your reply, it’s a Sure way to keep things Natural and Safe with Google.
        I really enjoy talking about SEO with great men like you. 😉

  39. Hi Enstine,

    How are you?

    You’ve raised a relevant question in this post, an issue that every blogger will resonate with.

    I just want to add that PageRank shouldn’t be anymore considered as a relevant metric. It’s been around 18 months since PR was updated and its unlikely to be.

    This being said, it doesn’t mean a blogger should start giving dofollow links. A blogger should maintain a balanced nofollow-dofollow ratio.

    What do you say?

  40. Hi Enstine,

    It seems that many advertisers are catching on to the reality of the changing advertising landscape.

    They understand all too well that people don’t trust what a company says about itself but people heavily trust what they think their peers are saying about a company. This is what makes sponsored blog posts so appealing. It gives them a potential positive boost because of the perception that someone else is saying it.

    While that is a positive, the negative is that these techniques will change in the very near future in my opinion.


    Because the consumer is starting to catch on. I’ve had multiple friends that I hang out with that say they will not even click on sites that know are not original or “sponsored.” It’s just another way for a business to try to talk about itself and how great it thinks it is.

    Eventually, I think it catches up and there is a better way. Some companies like Southwest Airlines in the U.S. are doing a phenomenal job of marketing online!!!!

    Great post Enstine. I hope you have an incredible week and thanks for sharing such an important topic. Not only will I be sharing on social media but your post will also be making my upcoming “Saturday Rewind.”

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Hey Don,
      Welcome here today and to a better week
      You know the main problem I point out with product review is when when bloggers focus on features while leaving out the essentials.

      If we share experiences and dwell more on the uses rather than just features, I think reviews will still help consumers in their choices.

      Wow! I’d love to be there again. Though my ISP is really making me sick, (for over 1 week, it was Facebook that was completely off their network) I constantly keep trying to check your blog.

      Not even easy to switch ISP here. Really complex

  41. Hey this is nice piece of information.Thanks for letting us know about this.
    I have question regarding backlinks.
    If we have 98% No Follow backlinks on your blog then it is bad or not?

    • Hey bro,
      Your link profile has to be balance. While I don’t know of any exact measurement, 98% may be weighing too much on the dofollow side 😉

  42. Hi Enstine,

    What a great topic for discussion! 😀

    Yes, I received sponsored posts on my blog. And I am aware of nofollow and dofollow. After reading this, it seems to me to be more careful in accepting those kind of posts.

    Until now, I still have not received the advertisers who insist on making their link to dofollow. But, if I get it someday, I will do the same with you. I would reject it. 🙂

    However, I have one question Enstine. Some time ago I published an infographic which I took from the Quick Sprout and I put DoFollow link towards the original site. Whether it would be a problem later on? What do you think about this?

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Enstine.
    It’s insightful article, indeed. Have a nice day for you!


    • Hi Nanda,
      Thanks for stopping here again dear friend 😉
      Well, You won’t have any issue with the infographic. the post was not sponsored in any way. I don’t think you have to worry about it. You just gave credits to the source of the content which is ok.

      Hope you make more money this month with sponsored content 😉

  43. Good for letting me know on the implication of sponsord post on a blog . . and what to do instead

    But funny enough i haven’t got any sponsored post ( at Blogginglane) since i started blogging which i don’t the reason i’ve not gotten even one .

    Well, i love the way you spaced it . It has taught me the way to go concerning sponsored post . I’ll refer back to it when i’m in need of it mostly

    Have a great time. . .

    • Hey John,
      The quick question I have for you is what have you made to attract advertisers on your blog? Have you contacted some? Have you signed up to some advertising platforms?

      Hear from you!

      • I have tried the best i could do and none has shown up but i’ll keep on hoping on that good day . . My song shall change!

  44. Hello Sir Muki,

    I am still looking forward to getting a sponsored post on my blog…you know it’s kinda hard for the entertainment niche..(The way i see it) and please will Google get me if i give out back links even when am not paid? just want to know that because I’ve been giving out a lot of links of the blog…Thanks

    • Hey bro,
      I have heard from many that getting sponsored posts is hard for your niche. I don’t still see how that is. I’ll study the case later.

      No you don’t have issues linking out to relevant contents. Make sure it doesn’t appear as paid. Use less keywords in the links

      • Oh great! know my mind is at rest, and please do a study on why we (Entertainment niche) don’t get sponsored post, i will be very much happy to check it out…have a nice week Sir.

  45. I am yet to write sponsored posts on my blog. Reason being that I am currently focused on serving and superseding my subscribers expectations. And also building their trust. But i do intend to do sponsored posts soon.
    I have heard so much about “no-follow” links and Google’s penalties for violating this rule. In my honest opinion its better to be on Google’ good side regardless of how many sponsored posts you might have to turn down.
    It takes a lot to build a website with a solid PageRank and hence makes no sense to sacrifice all that effort and investment for a few dollars.
    If an advertiser insists on “do-follow” links so as to pass PageRank Juice, the best thing is to tryl and explain and appeal to the advertiser’s reasonable side. If the advertiser still insists, I will do exactly what you do Enstine; which is to turn down the offer.
    Thanks for another great post, Enstine.

    • Hey Chioma,
      Thanks for reading and taking time to do a bright comment.
      You know, you have to focus on building a community first. I didn’t start with sponsored posts. However, some products may be exceptionally relevant and you won’t having trouble telling your readers about it early.

      I do take time to let advertisers know the dangers of dofollow links in their paid post. As I mentioned, if they insist on it, I’ll drop. But the good news is that most of them are aware and have decided to stand on the side of Google 😉

      thanks for your interaction this morning dear friend. Hope you are set for a wonderful week ahead

  46. I also only provide nofollow links in sponsored posts, Also I publish less than 3 sponsored posts per month to maintain quality on my blog,
    Nice post Enstine

    • Great! Thanks for sharing your experience 😉
      You know you can even post more while maintaining your value. It all depends on the quality and relevancy of the product you review.

      Thanks for showing up Rachit. Have a wonderful week ahead

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