There’s definitely no doubt that the eWar of 2007 between Google and Bloggers has taken a new turn. It appears that Google has targeted the bloggers who are part of the loud and proud company of payperpost. It sucks for the bloggers because their system offers work based on their PR and now Goog has taken that away, but I’m sure they’ll dig their way out of it. This move definitely gives the goog troops the false apparent upper hand. But the word is they’ve hit others too.
What does this mean for you? Well it’s no secret that people who use them more than likely use LinkWorth and many other money making networks, other than Google. Since Goog is trying to perform a public abortion to other ad networks and taking the bloggers with them, I figured the bloggers should go into their battle well prepared. I’ll come back towards the end of this post and give my two cents on those who wave the white flag, but first, here’s my checklist for anyone who uses any of these networks Goog is trying to bully into a slow death:
- Clean Your Tracks
Search engines, although they have huge amounts of resources, still have to use their algo’s to spot issues. Or they rely on the brown nosers to squeal on others and report their fellow competition. That means you must do your best to clean your tracks. What does this mean? Remove all of the outbound links pointing to ad networks you are using that Google probably isn’t that fond of. Consolidate them to point to a single redirection script that resides on your site. Let that script send your affiliate code and block the bots from indexing that redirection file.
Also, make sure you are not so flamboyant with your promotions. A lot of bloggers I come across have badges thrown across their site promoting a handful of ad networks, which just makes it very easy to spot when a human review is performed by the pesky opposing enemy. Try to move your promotions to their own page. For example, write a post about whoever you’re promoting and on your sidebar where you list affiliate links, link your sidebar to the individual pages rather than directly to the affiliate site. Even on these pages, use the redirection script mentioned above to prevent bots from following the links. Here is a redirection script and I would name the jump.php to a unique name you create, then each link sent to that file, add the rel=”nofollow” so bots will not follow. You can go even further to add the meta noindex,nofollow underneath the script.
- Disclose On Your Terms
Disclosure is usually something you want to lean towards, but since the enemy is attacking people who do disclose, it might be best to not disclose at all. For this example, I’ll give suggestions for both ways. It is always good to let your readers know when you are giving a live spot and when you’re speaking from the heart. Most readers are smart enough to figure this out on their own, but the “know-it-all’s” who make the most noise feel it’s polluting the net when bloggers do not disclose paid vs non paid. I would like to see them be in the shoes of the common blogger that works their asses off to write clever and great selling points for advertisers, only to get bitch slapped because of someone else’s agenda. I’ve actually read some of the best blog posts from bloggers doing it for money.
Anyhow, do what you need to do to cover your expenses and bills, but if you can do it and disclose, more power to you. But when you disclose, keep each disclosure unique from others. This eliminates patterns, which is what the enemybot looks for. For each post, make the title unique, but with the same message. For example: “Today Company X has paid me to review Product Y“; or… “A quick Review by Company X who paid for it“. The more unique you make each post, the better chance you have to make your readers trust you and keep the enemy off your ass. If you choose to disclose using an image, make it an image you pull from YOUR site, not from the ad network. I would download the image, save it to your desktop, rename it to something unique, then put it in the images folder of your host. If using the ALT tags, use keywords related to the post rather than calling it “disclosure” or the adnetwork you’re using. Make sure they don’t all use the same, as well. Otherwise, don’t use images for disclosure.
- Refuse Public Mugshots
A lot of ad networks like to showcase who is part of their inventory. They’ll use your name, company or url to plaster all over their site in hopes of bringing in new business. In a normal happy world, this is an awesome way for both sides to get more pub. The problem is, with Goog going after anyone who participates in these networks, it just isn’t the best thing to do. If you give a testimonial, ask to be anonymous. The ad network isn’t out to wrong you, it just makes you a sitting target.
Also make sure the ad network doesn’t reveal all of your information to any visitor that stops by. Someone pointed out the reason PPPost was popped is because their entire inventory is available to the public on their site. In their defense, they’re catering towards potential advertisers and had no idea it would be used against them. If you make it easy to spot, the self appointed net god will do what they want to penetrate the opposing side. If you are part of a network that makes everyone public knowledge without your consent, make a strong case to remove that feature or at least remove your listing.
- Host Your Affiliate Images
Most affiliate programs will serve up affiliate banners/images from the suppliers website. The advantage to this is if images change, you’ll always have the most current version. The disadvantages would be slow load times if there is a connectivity issue, the image being removed from host and you are not told, size of image changing and I’m sure there are other little issues with it. The most important disadvantage is you’re telling the bots where you are pulling the image from. So if you are pulling an image from adnetwork.com/images/img21.jpg, they know you’re probably part of that site. It’s easy to spot it and you’re busted. The way to bypass this is to right click the image and save it to your computer. Then upload to your own site and pull the image from your own site. Don’t add the ALT tags with the network name either. Throw a good keyword that relates to your site.
- Try Acronyms Instead
- More Bang For The Buck Over Ads That Just Suck
2-3 years ago, everyone wanted Pagerank because it mattered in search results. If you had a PR 7 or above, you were damn near guaranteed to be the top player in your market. Things have changed, so we must also change and get over the PR thing. It’s like going to the music store and demanding a Van Halen cassette, they probably exist somewhere, but it’s so outdated and who has a cassette player!
Do you want to attract advertisers? Then give them more bang for their buck! Don’t shove their ad over in the sidebar or foot with your blogroll or list of 10 other advertisers. Stick them in your content so your readers actually see the ads. Footer and sidebar ads pretty much suck if you want to give value to your real estate. Let’s say a huge parade was coming down your street and a street vendor asked to lease a small spot in your yard to solicit to people walking by. Would you offer them up a tiny space in the middle of your backyard? No. And they probably will not be interested. Show potential advertisers that you want people to click their link and put ads inside your content and you’ll see people will want to spend money with you. (Like our LinkInTxt product – quick plug)
- NEVER Let ‘Em See You Sweat!
I’m amazed at all of the noise bloggers are making over this. Obviously bloggers are writers and it’s a way to speak their minds, but all you’re doing is bringing attention to yourself. The enemy’s goal is to create Google FUD (< --Great Article to Read). The craziest thing is people that are giving up thousands of dollars and waving the white flag. And for what? "Hope"? Hoping their PR comes back? And what happens if it never does? Think of all the important green (moola) thrown away for some meaningless green (PR). Ok, back to this point. All of these blog posts you're making on your site is letting them know you're sweating. If you're sweating, you're probably guilty. Today I came across someone that not only made a post about how they would get their PR back, but they pointed out ways to spot paid ads. My suggestion is to keep things on the happy and positive note. Don't let the enemy or potential advertisers see you sweating. You'll lose the fight and you'll lose the sale. Keep your path and act as if nothing has happened. Make necessary changes but keep them to yourself. And if you are part of a network that has a possible flaw, send that network a direct message and let them know about it. See if they have any plans to correct it. Don't give the enemy the gun to shoot you.
To sum things up, just be smart, think ahead and don’t overreact because everyone else is. Pick your poison and learn to co-exist. No one owns the internet which means no one can dictate how you monetize your website. If you have suggestions to add to our list, post them below and we’ll include them.