Beauty blog traffic is down in general; people are searching less for beauty on Google, even the magazine sites have seen a decrease in general beauty searches, so if you’re wondering, like I have been, what is the cause of the traffic drop, that’s the simple reason. There is also speculation that an algorithm change from Google has contributed to lower traffic, making blogs harder to find.
But, a new issue that we have to be careful of right now, highlighted yesterday by www.inthepowderroom.com is the Nofollow coding for sponsored posts or paid links. Several blogs have lost their google ranking recently – it isn’t just confined to beauty – and when that happens you lose virtually all your Google page rank.
Google won’t find you, and people Googling your site can’t find you either. You have to remove all your paid-for Dofollow coding and then reapply for a page rank and the whole process takes about three months by which time you’ve probably had a near nervous breakdown.
What is NoFollow? NoFollow is a piece of html coding that stops the site that you are sending traffic to being able to count your traffic on their SEO or for it to boost their Google page rank. The link still works, but the bigger picture is that brands who are trying to pay via paid links, including paid-for ‘badges’, sponsored posts and paid for links, to get to the top of Google searches can no longer do so without the risk of Google penalising the hosting site.
Because blogs have been so heavily targeted by brands over the past couple of years, this is where the Google crack down on Dofollow links is showing up the most. Mostly on blogs that contain a large volume of sponsored links and badges in their sidebars/footers.
A quote from a Google insider: Clear disclosure of sponsorship is critical, and that includes disclosure for search engines. If link in a paid post would affect search engines, that link should not pass PageRank (e.g. by using the nofollow attribute). Google — and other search engines — do take action which can include demoting sites that sell links that pass PageRank, for example.
Legally, blogs must disclose sponsored posts (which disclaims that the content/link in the post is sponsored) but nofollow is a Google (rather than legal) initiative. It isn’t illegal to use a Dofollow link in a sponsored post but you run the risk of Google demoting your site if you have a high volume of paid links on your blog.
Google Terms state: Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:
· Adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the tag
· Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
You don’t need to worry if you take display advertising from a network (including Google ads): these already contain a coding that lets Google know that they are ads.
I’ve spoken to my network, Handpicked Media, and a lot of their work is more to an advertising/awareness raising ethos and so their clients are happy with Nofollows in sponsored posts. However, there are entire SEO (paid link) agencies who would be in a very difficult situation if everyone started using Nofollow links. As for other networks, it’s best to enquire rather than assume.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
I am soo confused and don’t worry, its not you, its me!! The long and the short of it though is that if I google Lady of the Lane and am the first result…I’m unaffected so far? x
Interesting article…a little confusing with the code 🙂 but good thanks!
I’m very grateful for this post as I had been meaning to check what the “nofollow” thing was intended for. I don’t have any paid links so I know that I don’t need to change any links to NoFollow.
I’ve noticed the Google traffic drop off and assumed that this was partly do to with the Country specific Blogger links affecting page rank. It’s interesting that it’s just a general drop in searches/interest. Does this suggest that beauty sales are no longer beating the recession?
This is so interesting and something I definitely want to find out more about. Thank you for posting this otherwise I never would have known!
My hits aren’t massive but they don’t seem to have dropped too much. I did wonder that that ‘no follow’ thing is that has recently appeared when creating a blog post via blogger!
My hits aren’t very high, but I have noticed a decrease in not just my own blog, but some of the ones I follow too… I don’t have any paid links on my blog anyway, but if I do in the future I’ll make sure to sort out the NoFollow code… Thanks for this blog post!
good to know about it, although I dont use paid links, was wondering what is “Nofollow” and you answer it all 🙂 Thanks x
Well, I believe that when I received a press sample from a website last year, the PR guy specifically asked me to not include the “no follow” attribute so I suppose instead of actual press (my blog isn’t that popular anyway)all they really want is indeed higher page rank…
I know this post is about the “no follow” attribute and is mainly directed towards fellow bloggers, but I think it is of interest and importance to readers as well because it brings to light a less obvious form of advertising that is often nestled within a blogger’s content. So, what’s the big deal? From a reader’s standpoint, if a blogger is accepting paid links and is getting kick backs when they’re used, it may mean that the blogger’s review isn’t so “independent” after all. And, that is something every reader wants to know.
I’ve always considered it very importent for the reader to know exactly when a blogger is receiving any sort of compensation from a company (ad revenue, free products, paid links, special events, whatever). Some blogs are no more than advertising platforms and the bloggers themselves are just shills. Other blogs are totally independent and reflect the bloggers’ personal shopping and product experiences. And there are many more blogs, like yours, that are a well balanced combination. So long as the blogger is up-front and fully discloses what’s what, there is no problem but . . .
Most bloggers are very good about indicating when they’ve received a free product for consideration or if they’ve been hosted at a special event, but very few bother to mention that they’ll receive a kick back if you use a link or that they’ve been paid to place a link within their content. And, that’s a huge omission. It’s a form of advertising that should be fully disclosed to the reader.
Sorry my comment strays from your topic, but I think they are related.
i’ve read this post twice and i still haven’t understood it, haha xx
I’ve been allowing paid links on my blogs for about two years now and I haven’t noticed any drop in traffic or been penalised by Google. You said that ‘several blogs have lost their google ranking recenlty’ which blogs if I may ask? I would like to have a look at them and make sure I am not doing the same things.