Sponsored content is a tricky animal and Google just drew the line in the sand. Using sponsored content with the intent of gaining SEO benefit is simply not a smart idea and that is directly from Google. It’s good to see how much Matt Cutts and team has starting communicating on issues in a timely manner. Go Google! Up next, let’s discuss what caused this post to appear on Google’s Webmaster blog.
The reason Google made the post above is because UK Company Interflora and UK Newspapers were penalized for advertising and accepting sponsored content for SEO benefit. This is a stern reminder that you shouldn’t be gaming Google, they bite! So how can you capitalize on the sponsored content trend safely? Read on.
This article summarizes a good debate between a blogger and the editor at Buzzfeed. If you don’t know Buzzfeed, they are the kings of sponsored content and it’s their primary revenue source. So where does sponsored content work and where does it not? In my opinion it depends how you execute on it as a strategy. You do risk losing trust and if you do not ‘rel=nofollow’ any links in the sponsored post, you risk losing free traffic. On the other hand, you can have a new revenue stream.
When it comes to monetizing a website with sponsored content, blindly accepting content with links meant to drive SEO juice is not a good idea. If you accept sponsored content, it shouldn’t be something you wouldn’t post anyway to reduce the risk of losing trust. Buzzfeed very much does a good job of keeping the content on par with the rest of their content. If you are a blogger talking about music most of the time and you start sharing weight loss tips, common sense says you might lose some trust. The better option for monetization might be to simply use a sponsored content advertising network like Outbrain or nRelate which add ‘Recommended Content’ widgets under each blog post. This way you can earn additional revenue, not pass any SEO juice and keep your content in focus for readers.
Okay, enough about sponsored content! This graph is to illustrate the problem of why a ‘post content marketing’ world is starting to evolve. Mark goes into 4 fantastic ideas of what will come after content marketing and states content as advertising is going to spur this change. Mark’s examples are possible with current technology and certainly something publishers/bloggers should try. However, the ideas aren’t very ‘Minority Report’ which is what I was hoping to read from his title.
This is absolutely stunning. The best part of this new form of content? It comes with a way to build a community and publish fresh content. This comic book effectively merges the most important reasons to even do content marketing: build relationships and entertain. With Google Glasses on the verge of release, among other advanced devices, the future of content is looking bright. Let’s say these rich new forms of content become mainstream. How do you think this will change the custom content industry?
With content marketing getting more and more competitive it makes sense to learn new ways to create content. With WYSIWYG editors failing all the time, you might as well fail at HTML a few times instead of let your publishing software fail for you, again and again. This is a great technical guide which digs into a few examples how to make more engaging content with graphs and basic HTML.