I suppose I need to write something here as I am linking through to this page so much.
This is a commercial blog, and I am going to use affiliate links, without (aff) after them.
Most of the time I will have other explicit disclosure (and bonuses for using my link)
I don’t use other people’s materials when writing about products that I think would be useful for my readers, and most of the time the products I mention I own and use on a daily basis.
Regular readers will notice a trend in my writing.
The majority of the products I support I mention multiple times, not just when I first hear about them, but 1 month, 6 months, even 1 year down the line I am still writing about them.
Occasionally I will mention other products that are much shorter term. Quite often they will be highly topical with a lot of people talking about them. I will only mention them if I can add something to the conversation about them.
There are products I have purchased that I have never mentioned on my blog. This wasn’t due to the quality of the products, but because I didn’t feel I could add anything to the discussion.
There are also products I haven’t purchased that I have mentioned, even with affiliate links. This was because I could add something to the conversation about the product, a different perspective that my readers would be interested in.
Paid Reviews & Links
All paid reviews are fully disclosed within the content
All paid reviews are blocked using robots.txt on the permalink page, and nofollow on all duplicate content pages
All links are now nofollow from paid reviews, and I have removed the robots.txt blocking as of May 2009 – it proved easier to manage when changing permalinks, though I still look on it as a risk linking to sites with nofollow, and possibly being looked on as a spammer.
If I ever choose to include a paid link (hasn’t happened yet) such a link would be nofollowed.
If someone asks me to do a paid review, I would only write about it if it was relevant. Whether I was paid for it or not would be a secondary motivation, but who doesn’t appreciate some kind of compensation for spending hours reviewing a product, even if it is only a token gesture.
The financial motivation will never influence my opinion on something, whatever the monetization model. That has cost me a fortune in potential earnings in the past, but that is just the way I am.
I personally inspect all display advertisers for suitability, but at the same time I treat display advertising as an arms-length transaction and it should not be looked on as an endorsement.
All display advertising should be nofollowed.