Say No to Paid Blog Posts from ReviewMe and PayPerPost?
Posted on 12th December, 2006
ReviewMe and PayPerPost are services that pays bloggers to write about advertiser’s product. ReviewMe is backed by Text Link Ads, which is also one of Sabahan.com’s sponsors.
ReviewMe pays between $30 to $1,000 per post depends on the importance of a blog which is based on Alexa, Technorati and other statistics.
While I feel it’s OK for commercial blogs to use this service to make extra bucks, I do feel that caution must be exercised in personal blogs where your readers expect some level of subjectivity on certain issues.
In that sense, if you feel that you what to join the boat anyway, ReviewMe is probably a better choice. This is because, bloggers must disclose that the review is a paid advertisement and we can freely write positive or negative reviews and give our honest opinion without fear of not being paid. The only requirement is that the review must be a minimum of 200 words.
Andrew Johnson of Web Publishing Blog has an opinion on this matter.
So what makes a paid blog post “worse” than a banner ad? The problem is the ad is the content. When I write a post I feel I am sending a message that it might just be worth your time reading this. A paid blog post is more like an infomercial than a “brought to you by.”
Here is another thing I think is bad — I know these things don’t pay a lot of money. $5, $10, $100 makes me ask myself — is this guy serious about making money? If I saw paid blog posts going for $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 I would be writing something very different .
Some bloggers argue that isn’t this the same as placing Google AdSense ads in your blog or website? We are endorsing something we never used – as long as we get paid – and that’s not different from using the paid per post service.
My answer to that, AdSense ads and pay per post service are different since AdSense ads typically appears as advertisement while pay per posts become part of your content. So is that good or bad? Well it depends on your blog type and how you think your audience will response. Some blogs such as Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger.net would definiely suffer more harm than good if he decide to include paid posts in his blog.
Another issue that concern bloggers is that blogs that participate in pay per post services will be penalized by the search engines. I initially believe there’s probably some truth in this statement but was quite surprise to find that most search engines do not really bother.
This question was answered buy SEOMoz.org in their blog when they asked a panel representing Yahoo!, Google, Ask.com and MSN this question:
“how do the engines feel about pay-per-post services on blogs, where advertisers can buy links and product reviews?”
Here’s their reply:
Tim answered first and said that Yahoo! wouldn’t try to pick one post out of twenty or fifty on every blog that might be running advertorials or paid reviews just to stop link value from that particular post. If the engine looked at the site and saw that in general, the outgoing links were of high quality, there would be no discount of link value for paid blog material.
Adam from Google agreed, but said little in particular.
Vivek from Ask was quick to note that if the link were off-topic, Ask would be likely not to give that link much weight, but I pointed out that most advertisers would buy links from highly relevant blogs, not just for the search engine value, but because they wanted the qualified, relevant traffic from click-throughs as well as branding.
Eytan from MSN agreed but didn’t expand and when Tim Converse from Yahoo! jumped back in to say that it really wasn’t worth an engine’s time to going picking out paid links with that granularity, all the other panelists were vigorously head-nodding and verbally agreeing.
Why am I shocked? Not because I thought SEs really would or could discount pay-per-post on an individual level, but because I’ve never heard that level of straight-forwardness about a near-grey-hat subject like that before. Kudos to all of you – more direct answers like that will continue to earn the respect and admiration of attendees and industry professionals. Consider me impressed (and thankful).
Well I believe this favourable consensus could definitely change in the future when people find ways to abuse the pay per post system in a large scale.
Will I use this service in this blog? To be honest I do not feel as excited as LiewCF about pay per post service at the moment.
However if along the way, I have a strong opinion – good or bad – about certain product or service and I feel that a review would benefit my readers, I might give pay per post a try.