Back in December 2006 I was introduced to the world of PayPerPost at the Chicago version of the Search Engine Strategies conference. For those half-geek readers who are not familiar, PayPerPost is a business that leverages the Blogosphere by giving businesses (advertisers) the opportunity to create online buzz for their product or service. PayPerPost to achieve bloggers (publishers) get paid for each post they publish on behalf of PayPerPost advertisers.
In the eyes of the worlds leading search engine Google, the PayPerPost business model is designed to achieve much more than just 'online buzz' for advertisers. The recent Google Page Rank update has now been clearly identified as a move by Google to punish websites that sell links with a clear intention to pass Page Rank value and Google believe that PayPerPost bloggers (publishers) are running websites that fit into this category.
In other words, Google is about to come down hard on bloggers who 'sell' posts and more importantly links as part of their commitment to the PayPerPost program by removing their Page rank completely. Just to make things clear, half-geek.com does not participate in the PayPerPost program. I have logged into the scheme, however, I have never accepted any offers to write promotional posts and get paid for them and the links that they would need to contain.
The whole idea of PayPerPost always seemed morally 'stretched' from my perspective. I hail from an up-bringing of 'white-hat' search engine marketing and it was immediately evident to me that PayPerPosts business model was not sustainable. PayPerPost are, in my eyes, link brokers.
Link Brokers are building businesses that go against the grain of the values of Google proprietary search algorithm. Read any business strategy book and it will not take you long before you learn about 'Driving Forces'.
Google is a 'driving force' in the online marketing industry. Link Brokers have , in my opinion, have not adequately identified this important factor as part of their business strategy. The result of this mistake will be catastrophic for them. The core product offering and ensuing customer benefit within their business model is based on something that could be taken away over night- and that's exactly what has happened.
Key lessons here:
- Don't sell links unless your core business model revolves around selling links
- If you do plan to sell links as a business, don't plan to be in business for long ;-)