22 January 2008

[blog_life] Another Excellent Reason Not To Go PayPerPostal

1275. Very recently, ORBlogs admin Paul Bausch announced a policy of delisting blogs for ORBlogs who were found to use a new service designed to get advertisers cheap marketing in blogs called PayPerPost (no, I'm not linking to it, peoples ... you're on your own).

The stated reason was that Google got wise and went Agent Orange on the so-called "Posties", sending their page rank to zero. Any blog that has PayPerPost content consequently falls so far off the Google search radar that you might not even know it was there. ORBlogs runs that same risk if found to be reproducing any Postie's posts, which would ripple down to blogs that list with ORBlogs.

So it should go without saying that we here at The Times are 100% in support of pb's move. But then it occurred to us: how do you know that any given blog contains Postie content? They say they'll disclose but people being people, maybe they won't.

At the PayPerPost website (add the dot com to go there peoples, like I said, I ain't linkin') there is, fortunately, a short list of the most successful Posties ... who seem to be making about $1K/month doing PPP content. I chose this blog to look at ...

The PPP material stuck out like a sore thumb. Ostensibly a sports blog, it had posts on online gambling, LED wedding lights, Christmas lights, and retail job bank sites. They floated there like dung in a punchbowl.

So, aside from the manpower (how much does Google have? Oh, forgot, they use surplus Jango Fett clones, I guess) I guess it isn't that hard to figure out what is and isn't PPP content.

Short answer: it makes your blog look horrid.

So if anyone thinks that Google and services like ORBlogs is being unfair, look at it this way: using PPP content will make you look like a braindead wanker with no pride to speak of. Of course, if you're down with that, Postie away.

But for me, whether or not I approve of the message any blog is sending, I tend to respect it more if it's not advertising at me. Just because we can stick an ad on anything and everything doesn't mean we ought to, or should.

(Disclosure: while many of my posts carry the phrase powered by Qumana, this is not paid promotion for Qumana. Qumana is free blog client software (that we are quite happy with) that can be obtained by going to Qumana.com ,)

UPdate: Can't let this go without including what Rafe Needleman (and while I could be justly accused of just wanting to use the name "Rafe Needleman" in a post, that's just merely the case here) said at CNet News.com:

This is a bad, bad, bad thing. It's hard enough for bloggers and professional journalists to maintain their integrity as it is. Even an unsubstantiated rumor of impropriety can destroy a writer. And PayPerPost casts a pall of doubt over everybody.

Maybe I'll go start a company that certifies writers as "guaranteed payola-free." Sure, we all have our biases. We're human. But when I read a blog, I want to know that the opinions I'm reading actually come from the writer's heart and head, not directly from some influence-pusher's marketing budget.

I am adding this service to my list of awful ideas that subvert the social contract.

Could hardly say it better myself.

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