Paid reviews have always been a hot topic amongst bloggers. There are those who are all for it, those who are absolutely against it and those aren’t sure where they sit. Personally I’m all for it as I believe it’s a great way to generate income, and I must admit this has to be the strongest argument for it.
I would say the fact that Google disapproves of paid reviews and would Google Slap the PR off of any blog that would dare to partake of this lucrative money spinner is more than likely the strongest argument against it. I’ve even read some blogs where the bloggers are so against others doing paid reviews that they are quite willing to tell Google on them, something that is actually encouraged by the BIG G!
You have to ask yourself why Google is so against paid reviews, and they will tell you that it messes up their algorithms when paid posts passes on PageRank. Matt Cutts will also tell you that one of the reasons is that they do not want paid post passing PageRank to sites that talk about brain tumors, colon cleansing or certain loan companies as some of these may be less than honorable. The problem is if you search any one of these terms you will find that Google has it’s own sponsored links which would make one assume that the real reason is they do not want others to get in on the action. Think about it, every paid review is taking money out of their coffers. We must remember though that it is Google’s search engine and they can run it any way they want and if they want to penalize people for taking on paid post that is their right.
Another argument against paid posts that I’ve come across is, “What if I don’t support the site or it’s content?” The answer is simple, unless you are a member of PayU2Blog, you simply do not take the task, but don’t for a moment think that you are doing the world any favors because there is always someone out there who will take it and they may not put the spin on it that you would have, had you taken the post. Say for example the task was to review an online gambling site. Were you to pass it up the person who took it on may paint such a rosy picture of gambling online that it may well encourage some to take it up. I’ve done many such posts and I play it down some and always finish off telling people how they should gamble responsibly and not to gamble at all if they can’t afford to lose the money.
Then there are those who are worried that people will stop reading their blogs if they did paid reviews, and you know they would be right if there were more paid reviews than regular posts. That would be like watching a TV station where commercials exceeded the actual program. Paid reviews should not be the main focus of any good blog and where they do exist there must always be some sort of disclosure so that readers know exactly what they are reading.
Now don’t for a minute think that I am promoting paid reviews, because I am not. I am merely stating some arguments as to why certain bloggers, myself included, may want to take on paid reviews to supplement their blogging income.