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Is This Good-bye to Advertorials?


Google’s latest update sent waves of different emotions to webmasters around the world practicing advertorial techniques to improve their site’s rankings. Just last week, 22 February, Google unleashed a new update that targeted websites with various advertorials considered as paid links. In the end, you can either get penalised, reduced PageRank, and even worse, disappear from Google.


Could this possibly be the end of advertorials?


Advertorials are pieces of content that read like an editorial but has links (potentially bought) pointing to a certain website or product. Buying and selling links on a massive scale can get a website in trouble. As a marketing strategy, could this be the end of advertorials?


Right now, Google seems to be right on the spot figuring out which websites are violating its guidelines. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team wrote a blog post saying:


"Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay you for links or "advertorial" pages on your site that pass PageRank. Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations. The consequences for a linkselling site start with losing trust in Google's search results, as well as reduction of the site's visible PageRank in the Google Toolbar. The consequences can also include lower rankings for that site in Google's search results."


It’s a stern warning that webmasters should heed to avoid the tragic consequences various websites across the Internet experienced, such as Interflora.co.uk and many UK news websites.


Affected Sites


As mentioned earlier, Interflora.co.uk and many UK news sites were affected by this PageRank penalty. Right now, Interflora doesn’t even rank for its own brand name. Although Google still has no comment regarding this, Anthony Shapley has written a well-researched article on how and what really caused Interflora’s decline. Shapley’s article also has an interesting compilation of the affected UK new sites and their past and current PageRank.


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How to Get Rid of PageRank Penalties


Like all the penalties Google dishes out, this too has a solution. According to the blog post Cutts wrote, you can remedy the situation by making sure that all paid links do not pass PageRank. You may either remove the paid links, advertorials, or make sure that the links have the rel="nofollow" attribute. After cleaning out the links, you can ask for a reconsideration request which you will receive a reply whetherit has been granted or not.


Right now, Interflora is on the move of removing all the links that point towards their site, including from bloggers they have flowers to so it can be reviewed on their blog.


As a last note, Cutts said:


"We do take this issue very seriously, so we recommend you avoid selling (and buying) links that pass PageRank in order to prevent loss of trust, lower PageRank in the Google Toolbar, lower rankings, or in an extreme case, removal from Google's search results."


Google is on a meticulous war with paid links and if you don’t want to get in the crossfire or as collateral damage, make sure you have a company that practices techniques and strategies in accordance with Google’s Guidelines. BuzzOutsource is an ethical company that drives results without any damages. Find out more about our SEO, web design and development, social media marketing, and other services on Buzzoutsource.com and contact us today.


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