Are you using No Follow Codes in your sponsored links? Did you know that you are now supposed to use No Follow code on all your sponsored links? It’s Google’s Policy. And Bing has a similar policy (although I’ve only been told this and have not read it for myself…I did a quick search but didn’t net anything official).
First up…here’s Google’s Policy on No Follow Code: Click Here.
Now let’s talk about what that really means for us bloggers.
It means that when you include a link from a sponsor (someone that has paid you to do something for them in exchange for money, product or whatever else you might receive), the link must include the no follow code. If it doesn’t, Google bots think that company is paying for a higher Page Rank in the Search Engine results which is a big no-no in their terms of service jargon.
That was a lot of stuff. Let’s break it down further.
Example: Company A has offered to give me their product to review (and keep) plus $50 to write a post for them. They want me to include a link.
When I get ready to write their post, this is how their link will look (in HTML format):
<a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.companyAhome.com”>Company A Home</a>
If I don’t include the rel=”no follow” in the link, Google thinks I’m organically talking about that company. Which is why it would net the company a higher page rank. And by not including the code, Google doesn’t know that I was sponsored to include their link thus meaning by me accepting payment/goods for not including the code, it could negatively affect my page rank as well (if we were found out).
When you write a post about your favorite brands/shops etc and those brands/shops have no clue you are writing about them (ie they didn’t compensate you in any way and they have no clue who you are) and you link to products on their site, that’s called being organic with your links. Or “do follow” links. So back to the no follow…if you don’t add it and the brand/shop paid you in some shape or form, it gives the company a leg up in Page Rank.
What are the odds that Google spots it? Well, they’ve mentioned that they will be “cracking down” on all articles without the proper no follow links beginning in the summer. (I do not have a source doc for this info.) It’s also been rumored that they plan on starting with the big guns first (think New York Times Website) with bloggers being way at the bottom of their lists.
But let’s face it folks…Google likes to take things away. I’ve had first hand experience of Google pulling my AdSense account because of “wrongful clicks” even though I have no idea how or why. They eventually reinstated me after I appealed (I seriously had no clue what they were talking about) and they admitted it was their fault, but I just don’t want to have my site buried to page 1,000,000,000 in the search engine results. So I’m going to play by their big brother rules.
And there is no grandfathering of former posts. So, go back to all your old sponsored posts and change all of your links.
And one more thing…if you offer sponsorships on your sidebar for bloggers and that blogger offers a giveaway or all of your sponsors combined offer a giveaway or they gave you a product to review or just for the fact that they are sitting on your sidebar, all of their links should be no follow as well in your posts. Because they paid you to sit on your sidebar. They are lumped into the same category as brands/shops.
Blogger has a new box you can check that will add the no follow code to a link (handy right?). That sounds pretty fancy to me. I’m on WordPress and there are Plugins for it, but I’d rather type in the code by hand myself, so I make sure it does what it’s supposed to. Heaven forbid a plugin insert a nofollow code on an organic link.
I hope all of this makes sense to you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!!! I’m here to help!
Check out my other #bloggingedumacation lessons here!