So the internet is in an uproar about the recent PR penalty assessed by Google. I’m actually feeling rather zen-like about the whole thing. I see people scrambling to remove paid links from their blogs, or references to the companies that they work for. I see bloggers obsessing over how to link people in their sidebars, clamoring to get off blogrolls they’ve been a part of for years, all hoping to find the magical combination of things that Google is looking for in order to get that high PR.
I’m not doing a thing. I’m blogging the way I’ve always blogged, I’m linking who I want to link to, and I’m not deleting links or content from any of my sites. Stupid? I don’t think so. I don’t want paid blogging to change me, or how I blog, or what I do, and I’m not going to obsess about my pagerank, especially since Google will never tell us exactly how to obtain a higher PR.
I also see bloggers worrying more about monetizing their blogs, and less about the content of their blogs. As a moderator on the PayPerPost boards, I see a lot of people talking about interim posts, and what’s allowed. Does an Amazon.com affiliate link count as being sponsored? If you receive a free product from a company and blog about it, is that post sponsored? What about Kontera links in your interim posts? People are complaining that PayPerPost wants to control their blogs and they can’t blog what they want, when they want.
To that I say…good for PayPerPost! A little quality control goes a long way, too little, too late, and all that jazz.
I want to read original, NON sponsored content when I come to your blog. I consider myself to be a fairly good writer, but I know people really aren’t here to know what I think about mixers or loans or clocks…and all of the other products I’m paid to review. If every single post on this blog was “sponsored”, I would lost a lot of traffic from the so called “regular readers”. Focus less on monetizing every single aspect of your blog, and worry about your CONTENT. You can’t rely entirely on search engine traffic, and one part of my blogs success is that I have a regular group of readers who come here once a week, if not daily, and seek out content. I abhor blogs that have some form of a sponsored link in every single post, be it contextual, or an affiliate link, or a sponsored link. I find myself skimming those entries, discounting the writer’s words, because the link screams to me, “I am only writing this to get paid.”
What’s so hard about inserting some content that’s just for the sake of blogging? If you want to review a book you purchased off Amazon.com, and you want to link to the book using an affiliate link, so be it. But please put some of the great content that made me start reading you in the first place on either side of that book review. Tell me about what your kids are up to, or about the idiot receptionist at the office. Make me remember why I came to read your blog in the first place!
As for me, I’ve made a conscious effort to place original non-sponsored content on either side of any sponsored review / post / link I place into a post. What are YOU doing to take back your blog?