Friday, 6 March 2009

Report on paid blogging attracts Google's attention

Advertising Age covers the story of a recent report published by Forrester Research that promotes the use of paid blogs, but has attracted the anger of Google who strongly discount this activity in terms of link benefit. According to Google's webmaster guidelines, paid blogs are akin to paid links and are not encouraged - in fact, Google wants such blogs to be disclosed as such and any outbound links should also carry the "no follow" tags that are now widely used by many Web 2.0 sites to discourage 'link spam'.

Following the release of the Forrester report, Matt Cutts, the head of Google's web-spam team, reiterated on his blog in no uncertain terms that those who fail to comply with Google's rules will face punishment, though he didn't state how the offenders would be punished. From Forrester's perspective, the author of the report said he would follow up with a blog post that deals with Google's demands, including spelling out the need to include "no follow" tags in paid blog entries.

There is of course some debate about how big companies are now using blogs and paying writers to post positive articles about their products or brands. The concern for Google is that this is another way to develop website links and also that the use of paid blog entries should be revealed. The argument is likley to continue for some time.

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