What if we are doing a review of a product we purchased with our own money? I still do those on occasion if I find a product I love.
How does google know the difference? Should I just use the nofollow on all of the links I use?
I'm so confused about this. Why does google make it so difficult?
I know! I just checked it. That's so weird that now that I'm making a conscious effort to include the no follow code that it has gone down. It's so arbitrary with no explanations given for why the ranks go up or down, that I can't even focus on it. I'll just keep doing what I know to do now going forward. Que sera, sera.
I think that if you clearly have a PR and review policy listed on your blog you will be ok as far as the FTC guidelines are concerned. It is a google thing.
However from the perspective of the merchant who offers you the fee or product for a review, having a no follow link defeats the purpose of their marketing campaign. They offer the free merchandise as a way to get their 'brand' out there and a no follow link does not help thier PR with google.
If a blogger had no follow links on I am not sure I would encourage my clients to provide them with free merchandise for reviews or giveaways.
I have to agree with Karrine- if companies can't have the link back to their site, they aren't going to want to send out items for review.
if you read the FTC new guidelines, it does NOT say you can't have the link. The only time you get penalized is if it is the link to BUY the product, ie straight to purchase page. if you only link to the product info page or the company home page, you are not seen as making money from the link. It is when you have say the Amazon Affiliate widget, where you make MONEY off the purchase, that you have to declare the income from those purchases.
As long as you make FULL disclosure that company X gave you XXX to review, and you have a disclosure statement AGAIN at the end stating you were not told how to review product, you are ok. IF it is for a product like face cream, you have to have the disclosure that your results are for you only and may NOT be typical of any other person. As long as you state the non-claim, you are ok.
I'm sure the FCC will change the rules yet again after the new year, but for now, that is all that is needed
as far as google, my page rank has not changed and I do not have the non-follow codes. It depends on whether you focus your blog on page rank or not. Alot of companies are now searching out newer blogs as they have different audience that the same ones that the older blogs have. keep that in mind!
Question - I didn't realize this about the Amazon links and sometimes put my Amazon aff. link in a review post, at the end. I guess I'll remove those. Are we allowed to have an Amazon store with products we've reviewed in it or does the FTC see it the same way as links directly in our posts?
Wait - I thought this only affects your Page Rank (which is basically a worthless number). PR and where your blog shows up in google's search are two very different things. My PR is 3, but my blog comes up high on the searches for my keywords. You get higher in the search engines by having quality links to your site. Please correct me if I'm wrong.