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Friday, November 24, 2006

Paid Blogging: How to Stop Artificial PageRank Inflation

Paid review sites like ReviewMe and PayPerPost are often seen as simply marketing tools for companies that want to promote themselves via the blogosphere, but many bloggers have also pointed out that these services are a cheap way to get incoming links. Since the PageRank algorithm ranks sites partly based on the number of links a site gets, ReviewMe is a relatively cheap way to get hundreds of links quickly and boost a site's search results ranking.

Search engines like Google (especially Google) have traditionally frowned on attempts to game search results. According to Amit Agarwal, Matt Cutts, a prominent Googler with a big blog following, has suggested in an interview that sites that participate in paid reviewing might see their search engine rankings jeopardized. So, if you're determined to post a paid review, consider putting a "nofollow" tag in links to the advertiser's site. The nofollow tag tells a search engine's spider to disregard a link in determining a site's ranking. As an example:

<a href="www.payperpost.com">PayPerPost</a>

would become

<a href="www.payperpost.com" rel="nofollow">PayPerPost</a>

As PayPerPost's terms of service indicate, PageRank inflation is one of the key selling points of its service. Blogs with "nofollow" or "noindex" tags aren't accepted.


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