The restoration of my green pixel’s didn’t last long (just 1 week), and probably wasn’t a full restoration anyway.
I had this feeling that PR5 was “Google Probation” as my link growth has been continuing and my Google Directory listing suggested PR6.
All paid reviews on this blog are blocked with robots.txt and I declare that is the case in my disclosure policy.
Thus we need to look at other potential problems (note these are potential problems, but nothing I can really change)
Linking To People Who Advertise
Some regular readers decided to purchase advertising – advertising links unlike many blogs are nofollow. I mentioned this to Google within my reinclusion request as an undefined grey area, and many blogs accept paid advertising from Google themselves, but don’t nofollow Google.
I don’t have a separate advertising department, but I am going to try my best to keep advertising separate from content. Many of the people advertising are among my most dedicated readers, and I am sure in part they are advertising with me to “give something back”. It is much appreciated.
I actually have another advertiser to link to in a post following this one – it is going to be totally natural for me to link to them, it is editorial and news I would be covering whether they advertise with me or not.
I am currently assuming this is not an issue…
I do some minor consulting with them, but additional coverage on this blog is not part of the deal.
Blogging social networks have been part of my core content for 15 months.
15 posts regarding Blogcatalog
47 posts regarding MyBlogLog
If you look at raw numbers, I have given Blogcatalog less coverage than their biggest competitor.
It is important however to look at the timelines, as a large number of the MyBlogLog posts were from before Blogcatalog was on the scene, and were during some quite turbulent times.
I basically give both of them coverage whenever they introduce something interesting – it doesn’t include every announcement
I don’t think I am really at liberty to disclose the exact financial relationship with Blogcatalog.
I am certainly not being paid to write reviews in much the same way Matt Cutts isn’t paid for writing about Google on his blog.
Then of course Jason Calacanis just loves linking through to Mahalo where he is a major shareholder.
Google are certainly in the wrong if they think my coverage of Blogcatalog is in some way against their current webmaster guidelines. I have pushed hard for clarification on the shareholder linking and paid links connection, but Google has never provided any feedback.
PayPerPost, Sponsored Reviews and ReviewMe
I have never been paid to write anything about Izea / PayPerPost – seriously
Izea have recently purchased advertising to promote RealRank – they have similar advertising on other tech blogs
I wrote an initial review about Sponsored Reviews that was paid, but that review is blocked by robots.txt
None of my coverage about ReviewMe, and sister services TextLinkAds, AuctionAds etc has ever been paid for.
As far as I am concerned I have a clean sheet here
I have been a little lazy with those but that isn’t against Google’s webmaster guidelines
I am extremely rigorous in moderating my comments – this shouldn’t be an issue
Hub Pages Hublove
I certainly wasn’t paid to link through to Hubpages and take part as a judge.
As previously explained, I have never placed an emphasis on selling PageRank and my reviews certainly consume a huge amount of time.
I have just double checked in webmaster tools – my paid reviews are certainly blocked by robots.txt and I kept close control of them.
Even though they are blocked, they are ranking extremely well, as expected – in fact if anything the ranking has improved.
Signal For Future Penalty
I value the ~400 visitors Google sends me every day on this site, but unless they rewrite the webmaster guidelines… again, there is nothing I am to my knowledge doing wrong.
Ah well, at least some of my meandering thought process whilst writing this post has resulted in some new niche site ideas… stay tuned.
That was pretty quick – showing PR5 again on most servers.
I did wait a few days prior to this post to see if there was some kind of update fluctuation as per my previous post regarding the updates. The items I highlighted still remain in the grey area, such as the dividing line between “Thanking your sponsors” (known to be a violation, and “editorial coverage” which probably isn’t.