Businesses and “mommy” bloggers have had a great thing going for the past several years. Businesses with an online presence in search of new marketing ideas and in desperate need of page rank from Google, have turned to mommy bloggers as a solution.
The business offers a product in exchange for a review containing links from the blogger. Since no cash was exchanged for the product, businesses did not technically consider it a “paid link.” Or, perhaps they did but knew Google wasn’t targeting this type of specific link. Well, that time is up. For the past year or so, Google has been applying penalties to sites that previously benefited from this type of link.
According to Google Support, any link provided in exchange for some consideration violates the quality guidelines.
Here is the link to the Google Support Page
Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
So what needs to be done? If you’re a blogger, with review and/or giveaway articles already written on your website, you should add a “nofollow” attribute to each link. Nofollow is an HTML (website programming language) attribute which instructs search engines to refrain from passing ranking value to the linked site.
To insert the nofollow tag, simply add rel=”nofollow” in any active link. For example:
<a href=”http://www.examplewebsite.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Example Text!</a>
If you are uncertain how to accomplish the task of adding the nofollow tag, search the platform help feature for your blog or contact a website programmer. Below are the specific instructions for WordPress and Bogspot:
Because mommy bloggers can have a large following, and therefore potential exposure, it is still beneficial for businesses to exchange a product in exchange for a review. But make sure all reviews contain the nofollow tag.