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Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

I reckon it goes without saying that the amount of bloggers making a good living out of bogging via avenues such as Google Adsense or the various affiliates that they promote is quite minimal when compared to those of us who are plodding along trying to make enough to just cover our hosting and other expenses. The thing that these bloggers have over the rest of us is that they have taken the time to create a physical presence on the blogosphere, which has the added advantage of credibility when promoting affiliates, and the huge number of page views adds to their Adsense, Chitika or other PPC revenue. The question arises as to what we can do to ensure our blogs become more profitable.

The answer is a simple as doing paid posts. This is where we, as professional writers take on various tasks offered to us by advertisers who are willing to pay us to do a post advertising a product or service they are promoting. I did a post rating nine paid to post sites that act as a medium between bloggers and advertisers, something you may consider reading at a later date.

The problem with doing these sort of posts is that the almighty Google absolutely frowns on bloggers who decide to go this route and the punishment meted out to them is that they usually lose their Page Rank. It seems such a shame that we are denied a legitimate way of earning an honest income, but perhaps there are certain methods available to us that will allow us to take on paid posts without alerting Google through its sneaky spider bots. What a lot of bloggers have done in the past is to virtually stand there with their hands in the air shouting “Hey, look at me GoogleBots I’m doing paid posts, so there!” Naturally the bots do the thing they were designed for and report to their master resulting in all those bloggers getting Google Slapped.

The following are some of the steps you should take if you want to do paid posts and still keep your PR.

  1. Disclosure Policy: Whilst it is something you should have you should steer away from those generic policies that are copy and pasted into your blog as well as those auto generated ones that are offered by certain websites. Brian of That’s Right I Said It fame did a post on one such service titled Your Disclosure Policy In Minutes. It’s way better to make one up using your own words than to use these prefabricated ones.
  2. Sponsored Post: Many bloggers use these words to show their readers that the post is sponsored, well I reckon you are highlighting it to Google as well. Perhaps something along the lines of, “This post brought to you from our friends at so and so” would be better and changing it every now and again would also be a good idea.
  3. Hire Me Badges: You’ve seen them, bloggers proudly portraying to the world that they are for hire, which is fine if you don’t mind being Google Slapped, but if you do then do not use these or those get paid to posts badges on your blog.

Ok, that’s my top three methods of laying low and not making it obvious to Google that you are doing paid posts. What are some of the methods that you use?

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 76 Comments


  1. Twitter:
    Hey, I’m I first? Very nice. Thanks for the mention, it is appreciated. Good points Sire. Another way would be to add the no-index no-follow meta tags but that would create another problem.

    I just thought of this one…
    An ad for sponsored posts written in JavaScript. From what I understand JavaScript and flash are invisible to the search engines.

    Brian D. Hawkins´s Last blog post..Before You Download Windows 7 Beta…

    1. From what I understand JavaScript and flash are invisible to the search engines.

      I’m afraid this isn’t the case, Brian. Google could easily detect both.

      Anyway, according to the Google Webmaster Guidelines, all links within a paid post must be set as nofollow.

      1. Are you sure Yan, because I remember reading somewhere that flash was undesireable for websites as far as SEO goes because the links were undetectable by the search engines?

          1. Thanks for that Yan, so it looks like our best option is to lay low after all, very, very low. :flush_tb:


          2. Twitter:
            Oops, It looks like I was going to steer everyone wrong. Sorry about that. I was just reading a post on how some sites hide our comments without the no-follow tag by using either flash or JS. I don’t remember where but it seems like it was one of the popular ones.

            Thanks for clearing that up Yan. It would be bad for someone to start using something like that and then get Google bit or something. I considered working on a little project to try flash ads. I’m glad I didn’t waste my day away with that.

            Brian D. Hawkins´s Last blog post..Throwing Good Money At A Bad Problem


      2. Twitter:
        Hi Yan,

        Sorry, but I’m going to debate you on this one as it pertains to javascript within posts. I’m wondering how Google can detect it when there’s really nothing there to detect? You can’t right-click on it and determine its properties, which to me tells me that it’s not really a link. Also, if it were, then wouldn’t Google be penalizing every single bit of javascript we all have on our sites, none of which is nofollow, including Adsense, Analytics, all widgets, etc?

        That was kind of the point of going with LinkXL; Google doesn’t consider them paid links because, by definition, it’s not really a link, as it doesn’t pass anything across the net as it pertains to, well, dofollow linkage. I haven’t seen anything that changes this one on their site, or Matt Cutts blog.

        Mitch´s Last blog post..What’s In A Name?

    2. Its hard to decide whether to put nofollow or not, different people expect different things.

      By the way, what happened brian? You seem to disappear from the blogosphere!

      1. If you mean regarding the link of a paid post, most advertisers request do-follow links.

        1. This is my exact predicament… most advertisers require a do-follow link and while I don’t recommend it… will changing it to nofollow later affect how Google views it? I don’t know =

          Asher Awesome´s Last blog post..Tips For Designing Effective Squeeze Pages

          1. I’m sure Google would prefer it but I don’t think the advertiser would appreciate it.

        2. why would they request a dofollow link when they know for a fact that by giving them a dofollow link its hurting your pagerank with google and it can give you a zero page rank as a result

          1. They don’t care about your future page rank as long as they can feed off your current one. A no follow link is of no use to them as all they are looking for is to prop up their own PR. Personally I would prefer to pay for a no follow link on a high traffic site than to have a do follow on a low traffic site that disappears into the archives.

          2. You do bring up a good point there, Sire

            almir´s Last blog post..Vital Tips That Can Aid Any Blogger


      2. Twitter:
        I’m here everyday Ben but my day job kicks my tail twelve hours a day during the week so I run out of time pretty fast.

        Brian´s Last blog post..Entrecard Widget No More

  2. Hey Brian, that is brilliant. I’m surprised that the companies haven’t come up with a piece of JavaScript for the ads. As for the mention, lets just call it a bit of Cross Promotion between bloggers. :tongue_wink_ee:


    1. Twitter:
      Thanks Sire, it was brilliant for a minute anyway. I’m glad Yan straightened it out. I don’t want to be the guy know for spreading misinformation. That’s for the link though, that’s nice of you.

      1. What can I say Brian, but it’s like the old saying goes, ‘shit happens’, so don’t let it get to you. I was under the same impression anyway.

  3. It has never occurred to me to lay low while doing paid posts but somehow your theory makes sense to me. Something to ponder about….

    Yan

    Yan´s Last blog post..Elegant Themes – Most Affordable Premium WordPress Themes

    1. Same here Yan, and I believe same to many others as well. Like I did a post about naming your text link ads “Sponsored Links”. Something obvious for google to pound you on!

      1. That’s it Ben, it’s all about not making it so obvious.

  4. It does sort of make sense doesn’t it Yan, so much so that I even surprised myself with this post.

  5. Interesting article man.

    What Paid post services do you use and what is the average return?

    Donace´s Last blog post..Windows XP Registry Tweaks

    1. The link to all the services I have tried is in the main post Donace. At one stage I was making over $300/week. Most tasks pay about $5 for 200 words. The highest I’ve been paid for 200 words was about $40, but I’ve seen some tasks that paid up to $700, but you needed a high PR to qualify.

  6. Nice blog, I want to learn more about this. thanks for sharing.

    exelinca´s Last blog post..PAYINGPOST, ADVERTISE ON YOUR BLOG


    1. Twitter:
      Hi Exelinca, Your site is monitized big time. Is that paying off for you? It’s certainly loaded with a wealth of information. I can’t read some of it but that’s ok. A multi-lingo site seems like a great idea.

      1. You’re right. My blog is full of paid post. Yesterday Google slap my pagerank from 3 to 2. Yeah, I know the risk.

        1. Exelinca, I reckon you’ve been lucky and that Google hasn’t found out yet because if they did your page rank would be a big fat 0!

    2. Reading is learning exelinca, thanks for your comment.

  7. Lol Sire, you’re right about the “Sponsored Post” thingy man.

    When I did my first paid review, I was so eager to show that I was actually earning some bucks blogging. Now I know its a lesson well learnt.

    Ben´s Last blog post..Internet Marketing Professionals – How to Earn Respect from the Online Community

    1. I learned the very same lesson Ben, and like you I did it the hard way, which is the reason behind this post, so that others are better prepared.

  8. Nice work Sire. I’ve been thinking paid reviews will be on Google’s priority list as I’m seeing more a more reviews for sale these days. Thanks for sharing.

    Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s Last blog post..Stethoscope! :o)

    1. Not a problem Coco, that’s what we bloggers do. As for Google, I suppose they figure we are cutting into their market share of advertising revenue.

  9. Actually Genarro, there are quite a few advertisers that do not want a disclosure within the post, so by taking that stance you could be losing a lot of business. The way around it is to make sure that your disclosure policy is such that your readers are well informed as to which posts are paid ones. For example, you may dedicate a certain category for all paid posts, this category would then be highlighted in you disclosure policy.

  10. Mitch, I have done a whole heap of paid posts and the way that I write most of them I don’t think that people actually know they are paid posts, which is why I post them all in one category that is highlighted in my disclosure policy as being dedicated to paid posts. Also if I don’t like a particular task I don’t take it. As to Google, not everyone who takes on paid posts know what they are in for and perhaps this post will inform them of the consequences if Google was to find out.

    As for credibility, as long as I state they are paid posts how will it affect my credibility. Whats the difference between doing a paid post and pushing an affiliate other than one is guaranteed to put money in your pocket?


    1. Twitter:
      Credibility in advertising has always been a big question; haven’t I written about that here before, or on my blog? There’s a strange phenomenon that most of us here in America have only recently learned of. It seems that many of our American actors do commercials in other countries, but not here in the U.S., because they worry more about their credibility here as opposed to other countries. In essence, if they endorse a product that not only turns out to be bad, but turns out that they don’t use the product. That happened with Michael Jackson (still my favorite) back in the mid 80’s, when we all learned that he didn’t drink soda, but was pimping Pepsi; that immediately made people question the marketing credibility of both MJ and Pepsi. It’s the same for news organizations; CNN won’t pay anyone for an interview because they feel it will diminish the credibility of their news story, and I’m betting your local news outlets won’t pay people for interviews either. Yet, those entertainment shows often pay some of those people for interviews, but because of that the interviewee also gets to control what questions are asked and which ones will be answered, and thus we’re left wondering just how true much of what we heard is true or, well, hype, as my latest article mentions. lol

      Anyway, that’s what I mean. Those of us who know you know you’re being honest, but do all those people who don’t know you, and see the post, know the same, always?

      Mitch´s Last blog post..The Art Of Hype

      1. I never believed any ads that had celebrities in it, and even if they actually used the product it wouldn’t make it anymore attractive to me.

        As for my posts, I don’t recollect ever actually recommending a product unless I have actually used it. I have actually done a whole heap of ads on diet pills and I always tell them that exercise and a proper diet is the way to go, but if you have to take them then you should make sure they are ones that work etc. Even when doing ads for gambling I always warn people about gambling responsibly and stuff.

  11. I think Google bots are always on the look out for the keyword “sponsor post” or something similar. If I am doing a paid post, I would not disclose or categorize it as a paid post. I have also heard Google penalize sites that take mostly Payperpost opportunity. I don’t know how true it is.

    Dalirin´s Last blog post..How to Change Your WordPress Blog Header

  12. I think that your readers have every right to know if a post is a paid post or not, you just have to do it in such a way that it doesn’t raise any red flags as far as Google is concerned. I think Google will penalize any paid post whether it’s from Payperpost or any other site.

  13. “This post brought to you from our friends at so and so” would be better and changing it every now and again would also be a good idea.

    How about just not saying anything, just write on as if we’re telling our experience to our readers, that’s a lot better and safe as far as I know.

    SEO Blog´s Last blog post..Permalink Migration Plugins To Permenantly Moved Ugly Permalinks Into Pretty Url

  14. True, but that would as, Mitch said, hurt your ‘credibility’, after all, you don’t want to deceive your loyal readers now would you?

  15. Of course not, you’ve got me wrong Sire what I meant just write on as if telling experience to readers is for Google to make it sees it’s a natural post. But my readers will definetely notice that’s a a paid post.

    SEO Blog´s Last blog post..Permalink Migration Plugins To Permenantly Moved Ugly Permalinks Into Pretty Url

  16. Yes, and the only way that they will known is if you disclose it somewhere, whether it is in the post itself or a general disclosure policy.

    1. Sire,

      I did disclose it but I use the words ‘sponsored post’. I guess I will have to make a change. Thanks for writing this post. I think it helps a lot of us.

      Peter

  17. Hi Sire, thanks for sharing this information here. I’ll come back again to digest the information you have here more thoroughly just so I get the right information I need. This is definitely a very useful post =)

    Asher

    Asher Awesome´s Last blog post..How To Be Unaffected By The Google Change

  18. “Anyway, according to the Google Webmaster Guidelines, all links within a paid post must be set as nofollow.”

    I think this shouldn’t be a general requirement. It’s still OK to sell links excluding 3rd party. Without a 3rd party your website doesn’t carry an html code that would be trackable by the engines as linking software hosted at a 3rd party. So if you sold text links like blogroll, this is perfectly OK and no way can the engines trace any selling taking place

    Peter Lee

    Peter´s Last blog post..The Truth About Using Duplicate Content On Your Blogs

    1. The problem with that Peter is that most advertisers will not pay for a nofollow link, and Google knows it, therefore the requirement.

      1. Sire,
        What I meant was go ahead to put dofollow for the advertiser. I was saying what are some instances where Google will never ever know you”ve sold a link to someone.

        Peter

        Peter´s Last blog post..How To Increase Blog Traffic? Use This Simple Technique

        1. No worries Peter, my mistake, I just misread your comment. It’s all good mate. Thanks for clarifying that.

  19. AS usual you come up with some great comments, Google Adsense is a dictator who will put you up against a proverbial wall and do away with you.

    To get traffic I believe you need to crosslink as much as you can, everywhere and anywhere. I have noticed that i am getting the odd comments on my blogger posts now, including those from a certain Aussie friend of mine.

    1. Really, who would that be Peter, perhaps I know him. :wink_ee:
      Also, I am glad those comments are starting to roll in as you really do come up with some interesting articles.

  20. Interesting post. I don’t mind paid posts, but there need to be a clear disclosure within the post itself. As a reader, I want to know and as a blogger I want my audience to know. In terms of Google. They are king at the moment so there is much bloggers can do. Better to be on their good side. nd not just with PageRank.

    Gennaro´s Last blog post..Groundhog Day In Punxsutawney: A Travel Guide


  21. Twitter:
    In general, Sire, I think of this in two ways. One, if you do paid posts and know Google doesn’t like it, and you can couch it, then go whatever you want to do, but be ready for the consequences, which we all always are. Two, the other side of this is whether one wishes to risk their credibility by doing paid posts to begin with. You know what I want to see? I want to see at least one paid post where the writer totally trashes the product and still gets paid.

    That’s why I’ve stated, and stuck with, I will “never” do a paid review on my blog. I want to do reviews and say whatever I feel like saying. And, as you’ve seen, though most of my reviews of stuff are pretty nice, I’ve gone after one or two things as something I don’t like. Course, other than highlighting something with “this is a sponsored post” or something of the like, I wonder how Google would know whether it was a paid post or not, unless someone from their company saw something, then actually visited your blog or website. Do you think they really take the time to do things like that?

  22. I would never use a pay for posting site; it’s just not worth it. All private sales are strictly stated as no follow.

    Btw Yan, did you read the whole article you linked to or just the top half?

    Dennis Edell´s Last blog post..D.S.W.M. Monthly Article Round-Up Is Back!

  23. I have and do, there is even one on this blog. The difference between this and my other blogs is that my original content is going to outweigh any paid posts by a huge amount.

  24. Brandon whilst I personally am not all that fussed about page rank, to some people it can be very important. Perhaps to some it is a form of recognition to others that their blog is doing well where to others it may mean they can charge more for a link. For me I don;t really care if I have one or not as long as I have people commenting on my blogs. That is what really counts.

  25. Damn Yanks, I reckon I’m going to have to sneak some Aussie slang into some of my posts just to get even :lol_ee:


    1. Twitter:
      We’re just getting you back for all that stuff that came out of the Crocodile Dundee movie. :twisted_wp: :devil_tb:

      Mitch´s Last blog post..The Art Of Hype

      1. Yeah, don’t you worry, just for that I am going to come up with a post full of Aussie slang, just to see how you like it. :jittery_tb:

        1. Crikey! Don’t do that!!

          hahahhahahahahahaha yea I probably spelled it wrong too.

          Dennis Edell´s Last blog post..Free Backlinks: A Traffic Experiment via Commenting & Promotion

          1. No, you spelled it right, and never you fear, that post is on the way.


        2. Twitter:
          First Sire, some of your blog code is messing up. This is what’s at the top:

          Warning: couldn’t connect to host in /home/loadofbu/public_html/wassupblog.com/wp-content/plugins/popshops/popshops.php on line 356

          Second, if there’s Australian slang that we didn’t already hear in the first two Crocodile Dundee movies, or from Steve Irwin, bring it on! :snake_ee: :guns_tb:

          Mitch´s Last blog post..Two Upcoming Presentations

          1. Post is up Mitch me old mate, why don;t you have a gander and see what you can come up with. :smoke_tb:


          2. Twitter:
            Looks a lot better now; I wonder what was up.

            Mitch´s Last blog post..The Ads On This Blog

          3. From the looks of the error message, I reckon the popshop plugin was having some internal problems.

  26. hi there, i was new in here.i am visit here by peter’s blog.in my opinion, i just follow what the advertiser want, and as i know that advertiser want to dofollow link and not agree if i am post with nofollow links. and i just trying my best to make a good reviews to them.thank you, your blog is good looking and thank you for sharing your methods.

    joe comp´s Last blog post..Long-Term Traffic To Your Adsense Sites

  27. Hi Joe, thanks for hopping over from Peter’s blog and taking the time to comment. I hope that you have taken something of value with you from the time you spent here.

    1. Downlow? Do you mean lowdown? :ponder_tb:


      1. Twitter:
        LOL! No, he means downlow, but he’s kind of joking with you also. Keeping something on the downlow usually means you’re keeping something discreet, kind of quiet, which is the opposite of lowdown in a way. It’s usually used when talking about being sneaky with a member of the opposite sex. Caught you on an American expression.

        Mitch´s Last blog post..The Almost Millionaire

  28. I honestly can’t see the difference between paying for posts and having a writer on your company staff. Either way, it’s someone promoting something. It may seem more genuine if it comes from without, but idea of employing a writer is still there. From the consumer side, I guess I do appreciate knowing if it’s sponsored though.

  29. I suppose the main difference Nathan is exposure as when you pay for paid posts it’s so that many bloggers can take the task thereby giving you more presence on the net.

  30. its great to get paid for blogging but not when google penalizes you and decides to drop your page rank, google isn’t very precise about what there looking for when they do take action and hurt your efforts by dropping your page rank especially when you work so hard to achieve such a feat

    almir´s Last blog post..Vital Tips That Can Aid Any Blogger

    1. I was Google Slapped on two of my blogs and I still make money from them doing paid ads. The PR to me isn’t all that important, its the SERP that counts.

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