Daily Smatterings

Important New Google Best Practices for Product Bloggers

If you’re a blogger who receives free stuff in return for reviews (book bloggers, I’m looking at you, too), you need to listen up.

Google has just released some new best practices that you’ll want to know and follow ASAP.

This morning, Google released “Best practices for bloggers reviewing free products they receive from companies” on their Webmaster Central Blog.

The two most important takeaways you should know are:

    1. Bloggers must disclose that they are reviewing the product in exchange for a gift of that product. Simply put, tell your readers that your content is being sponsored by the company that gave you the product. Best practice is to put the disclosure at or near the top of your post because we all know that many readers will not read all the way to the bottom.

    2. Bloggers should use the “nofollow” tag on any links they put in the post that take readers to the sponsoring company’s website, social media links, online store, company’s app, etc.

They also want you to “create compelling, unique content”, but that’s what serious bloggers are already trying to do, right?

What’s a nofollow tag, anyway?

Nofollow tags are html tags that you add to the code surrounding the link, telling search providers not to follow those links and not to count them in the ranking for the linked page. The nofollow tag is a way to keep pages from “gaming” the search engine ranking system (i.e. buying influence to move them up in the results).

You want to provide your readers good content about products, but you really don’t want to appear as if you’re helping a company game the system. Trust me.

So how do you place nofollow tags on your links?

How to add a nofollow tag depends upon what content management system (CMS) you’re using. In some it will be as simple as a checkbox.
In most CMSs, including some of the most popular like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you will be working with a tinyMCE text editor. Follow these simple steps:

    1. Open up your blog post in your text editor and switch to the visual editor (where you can see your html code).

    2. Find the line of code for your link, then add rel=“nofollow” inside your < a > code for the link. What order you put it in doesn’t really matter that much, but here’s an example:

    < a href= “http://www.example.com/” rel= “nofollow”> Link text </a >

    3. Save your changes.

That’s it. Simple, huh?

For further reading about nofollow tags, see:

Google: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en
WordPress: https://codex.wordpress.org/Nofollow
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nofollow

I want to hear from you!

Have any great tips for using nofollow tags? Leave a comment below.

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