I have written about this a few times in the past, first of all questioning Google’s definition of paid links and more recently with my post on linking payola.
OK I have probably mentioned this a few more times than that, but those articles cover the core points quite nicely.
There would be a gaping hole in my content coverage if I didn’t mention the release of OIOPublisher, who are trying to find a way to totally cut out the middleman in both paid reviews and paid links.
Just 2 weeks ago PayPerPost launched their PayPerPost Direct service and I wrote one of my typical in-depth reviews about why I believe that this new offering really changes the paid review landscape.
It is hard work giving money away, and it seems it is hard work voting for which WordPress plugin author should receive $100.
Whilst it might appear that there was an increase of votes this time around, with 29 votes instead of 24, that doesn’t allow for the fact that 8 votes were added as a bonus. Thus there were only 21 fresh votes.
Matt Cutts has again been writing about paid links and has also jumped into the sponsored themes discussion, invoking the power of the Google Webspam team from behind the protection of a carefully worded disclaimer.
As Matt says:-
It is great theorising that you can monetize your blogging activities with various forms of advertising, and possibly some affiliate reviews, but blog visitors often don’t click contextual advertising, and affiliate marketing is most effective when you have a large amount of traffic to a small number of sites, or a small amount of traffic to a huge number of sites. Your relationship with your audience is also extremely important, as Scott Jangro was recently discussing in relation to Google’s new CPA offerings.
There are a number of fatal, hypocritical or naive flaws in almost every attack on paid posts by A list bloggers and it is time to show them their Achilles heel(s).
Yep this is a sponsored review, though it was something I was intending to write about anyway, to announced that Sponsored Reviews is now live and available for both advertisers and bloggers.