Either Disclose Advertorials or Be Prepared to be Penalised by Google
Last week, Google’s Matt Cutts sent a message, or rather warning, to those website owners and webmasters actively using Advertorials as a way to give sites or business’ products and services perceived credibility. The message was that they either openly disclose the fact that they were paying for content that endorsed their business, products, services, or other offering, otherwise wind up on Google’s naughty list and face a penalty.
What is an advertorial? Advertorials are an internet marketing tool or strategy that a growing number of people have been employing, for good or ill, in the hopes of making themselves look like more of an authority in their industry. The problem, in Google’s eyes, is that many who are using this internet marketing strategy unsurprisingly fail to tell their site visitors that the people writing and posting the articles or reviews on their site were paid to do so and don’t actually represent real site visitors or customers. Basically, Google wants to prevent businesses and sites from pulling the wool over visitors’ eyes.
Cutts isn’t saying that advertorials can’t be used, but that when they are, there must be a clear and obvious disclosure accompanying the content. What’s more is that it’s important any advertorial-style content is appropriately ‘no follow’ so that their corresponding links don’t go through PageRank. This is the best practice for any paid links that you use.
While some were likely under the impression that advertorials were a rather cost-effective means of small business marketing, a Google penalty will definitely affect your future internet marketing and website SEO efforts. In our opinion, it’s best to stick to the methods that get your site and business results without blurring the lines. For search engine marketing that can and will stand the test of time, website SEO best practices, like those performed by our team at The SEO Company, is always the best way to go. Get in touch with us to learn more about the internet marketing and website SEO services that don’t get your site penalised.