When we were younger, we all did stupid things. I for one let a friend borrow my car in college who had multiple wrecks and crashes, all of which were his fault. When he came back the first thing he said was, “Wow, I didn’t know your car could go that fast!” See? That was a stupid thing for me to do. And unfortunatly as we get older, we are still prone to stupid things. For me, that includes participating in Pay Per Post, Review Me, where I was paid to blog.
Why I Did It
That’s an easy one – Money! At the time, I was really interested in monetizing my site and the quickest and easiest way to do that was by writing paid posts. At first, the whole thing seemed great – Get paid anywhere from $5 and up to write posts on topics that fit with what I was talking about anyway… Write a couple of those per week and you could get some decent side cash.
Everything That Glitters…
After a little while of doing this, the luster really started to fade. For one, you’re kinda limited on what you talk about and how you can talk about it. And when that happens, blogging stops being fun and starts being a lot like a job which is no bueno. Secondly, paid postings can really undermine the spirit your blog. For me, I’ve always wanted a cool little place where I could talk about things that interested me and people could chime in if they saw something that piqued their interest. To do that, you can’t come off as a corporate shill. (See where I’m going with this)? Thirdly, if you want to monetize your blog, there are better ways (imo) to go about doing it such as selling ad spots, AdSense, and working the affiliate marketing angle…
Not to Mention that Google HATES Paid Postings
Back then, I MIGHT have read somewhere that Google was going to punish those who were paid to blog. Then again I might not’ve. More likely, I might have read it and glossed over the implications of it all together. Well kiddies, if you’re at the beginning of site monetization and don’t get why Google hates paid postings, let me break it down for you.
Google wants to have the best search engine in the world right? That means that when you search for something in Google, the results you’ll get will help you find what you’re really looking for. Well how does Google figure that out? In a nutshell, they assign importance to pages based on a number of factors including how many other pages link to them with certain text in the links. For instance, if enough people link to this site with the anchor text “cool guy”, Google will think that I am this “cool guy” everyone is talking about and will make me appear higher in the search engine results. When you do a paid posting and link to a page with certain keyword text because you were PAID to, it kind of messes up what Google is trying to do. Got it?
Now Why is This a Problem?
If you’re lucky enough to start making money through CPC advertising, you really depend on your search engine traffic. And when Google penalizes you for selling links, you won’t be able to get that search engine traffic you’d otherwise be loving… Which to be honest is kind of where I’m at. It’s only recently that I’ve come back to blogging and before I left I think I had a healthy PR of about a 3. But since then I’ve dropped to (I believe) a 0, and that was after Google went after everyone selling links. This PR drop is probably indicative of a penalty I have which is making me lose a lot of traffic. Despite this however, I’m still making a little bit from AdSense every month but obviously I know I could be doing better.
Repairing the Damage
Some of you have already noticed the little things I’ve been doing to clean up shop around here, but I think this is one of the more important subjects that I need to address. The worse part about this is (like so many other things) that if I had divorced myself from paid postings before my big blogging absensce (way back when), none of this would have been a problem. C’est la vie I suppose but from what I’ve read around the net, dealing with this stuff once you’ve already been penalized can take some time. BUT, it does look like hope is out there so today I will file a reinclusion or reconsideration request from Google. That means I will not be paid to blog anymore!
Wish me luck!