There are many ways to get income from the Internet but the use of paid reviews by bloggers is one of the most controversial. Paid reviews are articles that are written in order to evaluate a given product in exchange for a reward, usually money. They often consist of short and descriptive notes about the advantages and disadvantages of the product and in some cases, photographs and ratings. While they are many Internet users that find writing paid reviews for Websites such as Ciao, Squidoo, My Lot, Constant Content, Dooyoo, Helium, Yuwie and Shvoong, as a good way to make money, this might not be the case for bloggers.
Consequences of Using Paid Reviews
The major argument against using paid reviews in blogs is that of trust from its readers. Critics say that a blog that features paid reviews automatically put readers off. This is as a result of the general suspicion that paid reviews are more likely to be biased and cannot possibly be based on facts.
Furthermore, there are some concerns that using paid reviews have a tendency to attract penalties from Google particularly in relation to a Website’s page rank. The most common reasons that are cited for being penalised by the search engine are duplicate and unrelated content, deliberate use of anchor texts to influence page ranking and not disclosing sponsored reviews as advertisements.
How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Paid Reviews
The following are quite straight forward and easy ways of overcoming (above-mentioned) problems that have been associated with using paid reviews –
- Avoid using paid reviews indiscriminately.
- Use footnotes to inform readers if reviews are paid for or sponsored.
- Stick to Google’s recommendation that anchor links in paid reviews should be marked with a NoFollow tag.
- Ensure that reviewed products are related to your blog niche.
- Write honest reviews.
Would you accept money for writing reviews?