To Win on Google, Be Careful about Paid Content

If you want to win on Google, heed its warning.


Sure, every online publisher wants to earn money from advertising these days. Note the emphasis on the word, “earn.” But there are ways to do right and ways to do it wrong.

As a publisher of what is designed to be thought leadership here on The Biz Coach, perhaps you can imagine how I felt on Monday, May 20, 2013 when the following email arrived: 

Hello,

I am Kyle with Clear Web Solutions. My company represents a leading provider of online degrees. They would like to purchase ad space on your site’s page, www.bizcoachinfo.com/archives/8426. 

Ideally, we’d like to mention our client in a sentence on your site, which would link to our client’s site.  We could pay you via PayPal for your time and efforts as soon as an agreement is made.

Please let me know if you are interested so we can discuss the details. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Kyle

Advertising Representative

Clear Web Solutions

www.clearwebsolutions.org 

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Not to be self righteous, but I had an immediate reaction of disgust. Someone wants me to mention his client with a link to his site for pay? Really?

On the same day, here was my annoyed response:

Hi Kyle:

If I understand you correctly, you and www.clearwebsolutions.org want to insert a paid-sentence with a link to you as a product advertisement in a Biz Coach article, 10 Key Differences between Leaders and Managers? 

Well, I can see why you inquired – data shows the article is perennially one of the most-requested and trusted business-coaching articles on Google.  But your request is ironic. 

A leader would neither make such a request nor would allow such a sinister-advertising approach.  Not only is your request insulting and immoral, it would result in a violation of Federal Trade Commission blogging rules.  Find another occupation before I report you and your company, and before it’s too late for your career.  

Terry Corbell

Publisher 

The abhorrent inquiry from Clear Web Solutions was certainly not the first of its type to be received here. There have been other insulting requests, which is why I once wrote this article: Is the FTC’s Blogger-Payola Crackdown Working?

Candidly, I had forgotten about them. But I was reminded of them when I spotted a WebProNews article by Chris Crum entitled, “Google Warns: You Better Adequately Disclose Paid Content.”

It was a reminder to heed Google’s policies on ethics.

“Google’s Matt Cutts has been talking about the subject a lot lately, so if your site offers any advertorial content, you better make sure you’re doing it the right way, under Google’s guidance, or you just might find yourself slapped with a harsh penalty independent of any black and white animal-named algorithms,” writes Mr. Crum.

Amen.

“Earlier this month, Cutts put out a video talking about a bunch of big SEO-related changes Google is working on, and that webmasters could expect to see over the coming months,” adds Mr. Crum. “The video discussed the most recent Penguin update, which we’ve already seen take effect.”

Again quoting Mr. Cutts, Mr. Crum warned about advertorials and native advertising.

“Now, Cutts has a new video talking for five minutes specifically about Google’s policies on advertorials and native advertising,” he explains. “Yes, they’re taking this seriously, so you should too, if you’re at all concerned about your Google rankings.”

Mr. Crum’s article linked to a second video warning that advertorials need to be properly disclosed if you want to avoid Google’s wrath.

There’s more.

“In case you’re still not convinced that Google is cracking down on this stuff, a couple weeks ago, Cutts tweeted that Google had just took action on thousands of linksellers,” Mr Crum warns.

See the original WebProNews article for more details.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these resource links:

Google Rank – 23 Key Questions about Your Web Site — Google has unveiled vital information about what it considers important for Web site ranking. Without divulging proprietary information, Google emphasized it’s all about value – quality for Internet users. In other words, there are no shortcuts for success. There’s been a lot of buzz about Google’s algorithm updates, and how they affect Internet sites. Many sites have benefited and others haven’t fared well in their Google ranking. Well, Google has made it clear what it considers all-important.

Secrets for Attracting, Keeping Readers on Your Blog — Content marketing is a valuable tool, but only if you observe best practices in substance and style – writing the most intriguing headlines and most relevant copy. Attracting readers and keeping them on your blog or site means you must capitalize on your strengths and write for the benefit your Internet readers.

Secrets for Attracting, Keeping Readers on Your Blog — Content marketing is a valuable tool, but only if you observe best practices in substance and style – writing the most intriguing headlines and most relevant copy. Attracting readers and keeping them on your blog or site means you must capitalize on your strengths and write for the benefit your Internet readers.

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

-Potter Stewart

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


Image courtesy of Mister GC at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.