Are your advertorials hurting your SEO?
Yesterday Matt Cutts posted a new video on YouTube reiterating Google’s policies on Advertorials. While Google has not changed anything in their Advertorial policies recently, the WebSpam team, led by Matt Cutts, has noticed an increase in companies and individuals who violate the standing guidelines. As Cutts mentions, Google strives to create an internet atmosphere that is fair to everyone. However, in an effort to ensure a level playing field for all, Google’s consequences are sometimes detrimental to a business’ success online. So rather than getting caught unaware of the guidelines that rule one of the most essential search engines of the web, it’s best to learn and understand what the experts have to offer.
In the opening minute of Cutts new video he explains what an “Advertorial” is. Since many of us are familiar with the term editorial, he uses that as a point of reference, emphasizing that an Advertorial (or Native Advertising) is very similar to editorial content. The difference being that advertorial content is actually paid content.
This small detail presents the very problem of Google’s current predicament. Many content publishers are either subconsciously, or purposefully, excluding full disclosure that particular posts are paid. If “people” – search engines and readers – are unaware of what they are reading, it simply is not fair. Therefore, Cutts suggests the following two guidelines:
- Disclosure to Search Engines
- Disclosure to Readers
In order to provide the appropriate disclosure to these audiences, articles should be clear and include the proper labels, such as “Advertisement” or “Sponsored,” directly in the article. By recognizing payment and publishing these captions, Google will have no reason to flag content for being misrepresentative.
On the other hand, people who continue to ignore this will be vulnerable to the deletion of inadequately displayed content and also the loss of other content, should their misuse of the search engine policies persist.