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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : March 15, 2016

Google posts advice to bloggers who receive freebies for reviews

Bloggers - take note. Google wants you to disclose, be original and provide nofollow links in posts reviewed in exchange for free products.

by Helen Leggatt

A common practice in the blogging world is the provision of free products by companies in exchange for reviews. Not only are reviews requested but also links back to the brand's website, or its social media accounts and app, or an online merchant that sells the product.

However, Google is warning bloggers to tag any such links as nofollow because "these links didn't come about organically" - in other words, those links would not have existed had the company not 'bought' them with a freebie. Links that pass PageRank in exchange for goods or services are against Google guidelines on link schemes.

The other part of Google's advice is sound - they urge more transparency which is good for both the blogger and the company whose product they are reviewing.

"Users want to know when they're viewing sponsored content," says Google in its blog post. "Also, there are laws in some countries that make disclosure of sponsorship mandatory. A disclosure can appear anywhere in the post; however, the most useful placement is at the top in case users don't read the entire post."

The final element of Google's gentle reminder goes without saying. Bloggers should create unique content that compels readers or viewers to return.

rvlsoft /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: bloggers, blogs, links, nofollow, reviews

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