Marketing shills

This Boston Globe article about blogs that shill products without disclosing their connections is an eye opener. I suspect that as underhanded SEO techniques become more obvious to Google, companies will move into this sort of hidden message marketing by paying bloggers to load up entries with fake testimonials for products they’ve never used.

Take a look at Jeff Cutler’s old blog entries by scrolling down here. You see obvious keyword linking that jumps out like “Credit Cards” and “Funeral Flowers”. Of course, Jeff doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong and the article closes with “In our opinion, paying bloggers is no different than Tiger Woods getting money to wear the Nike logo.”

Of course there is an obvious difference: Tiger Woods actually uses Nike products. Also worth noting is that it may very well violate FTC guidelines. [via]

2 Comments

  • You may want to check out Aaron Wall’s blog yesterday about blogs that shill. I had the chance to meet him last week at the Webmasterworld Conference, and he is a sharp guy, he also had some interesting thoughts on this topic from an SEO veteran’s point of view.
    http://www.seobook.com/archives/000982.shtml
    If you have urls turned off, it’s seobook dot com. (I hate comment spam too)

  • I welcome your comments and questions on blogging for cash and also balancing a 14-year career writing for newspapers, magazines and businesses.
    Stop by my newly formatted blog that now allows RSS and pings as well as comments. http://www.jeffcutler.com/jblog
    As with my comments to Jenn Abelson and on other sites that just railed against me without sending me an email to ask about the blogs I wrote for cash – the glass houses rule applies here.
    Until you’ve done your due dilligence and found out what I was doing and my reasoning, please hold your criticism to a minimum.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

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