Thursday, November 22, 2007

Smorty Offers Advice But Is It The Right Advice?

DIY cosmetic surgery makes blogs what they are notI recently joined Smorty as an alternative to PayPerPost. This was recommended to me by Rob at Make Money Fa$t.

What interested me today was the the advice they had entered on their website. To quote:

"There have been some recent changes that Google have made with regard to sponsored postings.

Smorty would like to offer you some advice on this issue. Google has primarily targeted PayPerPost member blogs and reduced their PageRanks across the board.

To prevent any future loss of PageRank due to this issue you can take the following steps:

1. Remove all sponsored post tags on each of your posts. Google can follow these tags to determine if you are being paid for posts.

2. Remove any PayPerPost tags on your posts for 'hire me' and 'review me'. Any general affiliate banners are fine to keep."

From what I can see it isn't necessary to mention that posts are sponsored with Smorty, but is this really right. Shouldn't our readers know when we are paid for a review?

As an alternative it's possible to have a Disclosure Policy on your blog - you can get help with this at - saying words to the effect that you are sometimes paid for posts and therefore may be biased in your opinions. And also that these posts will not necessrily be marked as such.

This is okay but not many readers will ever bother to read Disclosure Policies - there's enough small print in our lives. If we all do this no one will know what is genuine and what isn't and an element of trust will be lost.

The Sponsored Post problem won't go away and it's a bit of a Catch 22 situation. If you do such posts, and declare that is what they are, you'll have your PR cut. If this happens your income will also be cut as lower PRs mean lower amounts earned for such posts.

It's Google dictating what we can and can't do. Is a sponsored post so very different from an advert, for instance?

It's not if it's used to promote a product or service.

It is, however, if it is used purely for the value of the link - and this is really what Google wants to stop. And, dare I say this, it does make some sense.

I have always been against artificial means of inflating any figures. I've never joined viral chains/trains and the like to push up various rankings (though I have still been included on a few).

It's a bit like cosmetic surgery it makes blogs out to be something they aren't.

As regards Smorty I'll write more about them after I have received payment and find that everything works as it should.

I can confirm so far that my blog was approved by them within 24 hours and I have been offered posts to write for payment.

Good luck,

Source: Mike's Money Making Mission

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