Does Google hate PayPerPost?

by Mathew on November 17, 2007 · 16 comments

Ted Murphy of PayPerPost has a post up about what appears to be another Google PageRank restructuring, which Ted says is specifically directed at PayPerPost — and posts from Andy Beard at WebProNews and PPP-using sites like Big Foot Marketing and 5xmom.com (whose somewhat unsubtle real name is Make$ Money$) seem to confirm that PayPerPost users have seen their PageRank not just fall but drop to zero.

Is that fair? Ted and a small legion of PPP users clearly would argue that it isn’t. In fact, as TechCrunch’s Duncan Riley notes, Ted wants supporters to write to their Congressman to complain, and tries to make the case in his post that Google is just “defending their monopolistic stranglehold on search and online advertising,” and wants to put PayPerPost out of business because it’s an alternative to AdSense.

I wrote about this a little while ago, when Google used its PageRank hammer against a bunch of sites — including mine, which dropped a couple of ranks — for using paid links such as TextLinkAds. Some sites, such as the above-mentioned 5xmom.com, have decided to bend to Google’s will and get rid of their paid posts and links. Others, such as John Chow’s money-making site, have decided that it’s worth more to them to sell ads than it is to be in Google’s index, which is an interesting choice.

The question remains: is Google just trying to maintain the purity of the search experience, so that people don’t get misled by paid posts? If so, that’s a fairly noble goal (PPP’s disclosure policy requires bloggers to say somewhere on their site that they use PayPerPost, but not on the individual post). Or is the search giant just concerned with others selling paid links because that’s competition for AdSense? If so, that’s not such a noble goal. And how do we tell the difference?

Terry “PoMo” Heaton says that he has no problem with Google stamping out the “evil” that is PayPerPost, and that he would rather have Google policing such behaviour than any government. I’m not sure I would go that far. And Tony Hung at Deep Jive Interests thinks that Google may actually be trying to send the webosphere a message that PageRank isn’t really that important.

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  • http://www.winextra.com StevenHodson

    I gotta admit that even though I don't like the PPP method of income generation I'm not so sure that Google's moves in this area shouldn't be examined very very closely. After all using any advertising method that is a competitor to Google AdSense that can result in your losing status by a drop in another Google service definitely should sound some warning bells.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    I agree, Steve.

  • http://limadang.com limadang.com

    Am not sure why this things actually happen, while some people cried for their page rank dropped, my page rank went up from PR0-PR3 and this had given me more OPPS daily.

    However for those who has severals blog, can surrender at least 1 of their blog to get index again. But to my case i don't think so.

    google is always be GOOOGle but remember if there is no US the user, There is NO google.

    So it's high time for ppp,reviewme and others providers to start using others method of measurement.

    :) Anyway Nice post. and subscribed your Feeds. will come back again and again matthew,

    Regards,
    benny
    Limadang.com

  • http://andybeard.eu AndyBeard

    Hi Mathew, Techmeme was a little slow in picking this one up, anything to do with search marketing these days seems to require a link from Techcrunch, so you are actually linking to a 2 day old syndicated article.

    The biggest problem with this and what got Duncan stirred up is that this is not being applied evenly, and Ted called Techcrunch out on some extremely blatant pagerank passing links.

    There has also been a huge amount of collateral damage, site that do not write paid reviews punished just for mentioning PPP, and there is no way to request reconsideration without saying you are guilty of something.

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  • http://www.webcash.just-rum.com myla

    My take on things… google is being unfair.

    I hope that blog advertising sites implement another method of ranking and i hope avertisers will consider some form of measures other than Google Page Rank for their campaigns.

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  • http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/ Karoli

    I was out of town when you wrote this and am just now catching up.

    Can you imagine the outcry if Microsoft had done this? Or look at the rebellion over on Facebook? Why should Google be allowed to essentially prohibit people from making money, even if it doesn't meet with the approval of some? If the issue is passing page rank, why isn't that a penalty applied evenly to all?

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    All good questions, Karoli. I wish I knew the answers.

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  • Cory

    This is an old article but I thought I'd still comment….

    How can PPP be penalized when all the big guys do this and get away with it??

    Take a look at webmd's site for example. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and right above the bottom search form you'll see “Health Solutions” in big letters and “from our sponsors” in small.

    Click on a couple of those links and you tell me if the average user would be able to understand that the article has been paid for and is one big advertisement.

    Everyday, I believe more and more the view that “Google is just 'defending their monopolistic stranglehold on search and online advertising,'”

  • http://www.videobloggingtips.com/ Taylor

    I had used PayPerPost on my Page Rank 1 site and only a week later did I lose my page rank altogether. I think this had to do with the flooding amount of paid posts that I was posting. That's when Google just said, “SPAM!” Not to mention, that site had no set niche and barely any back links so my page rank was probably a fluke anyway.

    With that being said, I have another website with a page rank of 2 and I am going to see if Pay Per Post will kill my Page Rank on that also. If it does, I will likely quit the program altogether.

    Trial and Error my friends. Trial and Error.

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    It is a great way to make money blogging. Many bloggers made lots of money from it.

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