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Should Blog Reviews Use Nofollow Links?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Jennifer Tripp

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:34 AM

Hello,

I sell baby gifts and have been spreading the word about my products through reviews on parenting related blogs.

When bloggers link to my site in the review most do not use the "nofollow" tag. Assuming I could kill two birds with one stone, I've been requesting that they use my specific keyword phrases (no one does this naturally so it seemed like the only option to get those coveted keyword links).

It was recently brought to my attention that Google considers these paid links because I give the blogger a free product to review. According to my source, Google has been penalizing blogs and the companies they link to because they are not using "nofollow" tags in these posts.


These reviews bring traffic so I plan on continuing them, but I have a couple of questions:

1. Should I insist that all future reviews use the "nofollow" tag for links?

2. Do I need to go back to the bloggers who have already posted my links and ask them to change them to "nofollow"?


Thanks in advance for any advice!
Jennifer


#2 Jill

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:43 AM

They don't "penalize" you for not using nofollow links. At worst, the links won't count for anything. But that's only if they ever notice. Chances are they're not paying a whole lot of attention to your site and the people who are reviewing your products.



#3 Jennifer Tripp

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:06 PM

Good point Jill smile.gif I'm sure Google has better things to do than watch my site or the mommy blogs reviewing my product.

That said, my concern was that someone would submit a report through Google's "report paid links not using nofollow" form and that would bring a Google penalty or they would discount every backlink I have.

Any downside then to continuing asking for keyword links in the reviews?

Thanks,
Jennifer

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE(Jennifer Tripp @ Nov 1 2011, 10:06 AM) View Post
That said, my concern was that someone would submit a report through Google's "report paid links not using nofollow" form and that would bring a Google penalty or they would discount every backlink I have.


If you're worried that Google might have a problem with what you're doing, then maybe you should reconsider what you're doing.


#5 Jennifer Tripp

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Nov 1 2011, 01:28 PM) View Post
If you're worried that Google might have a problem with what you're doing, then maybe you should reconsider what you're doing.


The reason I'm here asking questions is to learn whether I SHOULD be worried.

Hearing from one person that Google gave them a penalty for something is hardly conclusive proof, so I am here educating myself on what others in the indsutry think about this subject.

It sounds like I was right to question it because Jill said it is not a penalty, but the links could be ignored by Google. Since the links are just an added bonus to what is already a good marketing method then it really doesn't matter if Google discounts them.

#6 Jill

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:54 PM

My feeling is that it's not up to us to point out links that may have received some sort of compensation. What about people who know nothing about Google? They would never think to put on a Google made up link attribute!

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:09 PM

My feeling is that if you're getting bloggers to write about your site in the hope of obtaining links to help with your search visibility, you're probably not going to get very effective links. There is a sort of Link Karma that downgrades these types of tactics. The people most likely to engage in these kinds of reviews are seldom the classy, high-quality bloggers who really can make a big difference on your search results.

Do these blogs send you traffic? Would you still ask for the reviews if you knew that the links would never help with your Google listings? That's the question you should be asking in my opinion.

#8 Jennifer Tripp

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:21 PM

The reviews do send me traffic. They have also helped me form friendships with bloggers and business owners in the children's/parenting industry which has led to joint ventures and other promotion opportunities.

I plan on continuing to do reviews. My question was only whether I need to insist on "nofollow" tags to avoid any problems with Google.

#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 05:54 PM

I wouldn't worry about the nofollows then.

#10 andreamoro

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:50 PM

I barely doubt Google will penalize for having too many links without the nofollow from a review site. It is impossible for them to determine if really all the reviewers got a product to test for free.

And even if that would have been the case, whenever the reviews are genuine (so the numbers of similar reviews is limited) this will only benefit your site.

In the worst case scenario the link won't be counted at all.




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