It is quite common for companies to provide free goodies to bloggers, who review the products for the online audiences. This effective marketing strategy proves beneficial for companies as they get promotional material for the product without having to spend too much money for the same. The bloggers also get the benefit of receiving a free sample of the product, which might otherwise be well beyond their reach.
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Amongst the several different kinds of free products that bloggers can review, books are the most common objects that they get to write an opinion about. It is the knowledge of this fact that has led Google to release a new set of best practices for both bloggers and companies to make the review compliant with the guidelines of Google Webmaster. These guidelines were released on 11th March 2016 and people engaged with the production of sponsored content have been advised to integrate them into their writing style at the earliest.
These guidelines are mostly based on creating greater transparency in sponsored content. This is an important aspect that should be accepted by both bloggers and companies seeking their services to avoid any kind of deception in their marketing strategies. At the same time, they help in enhancing the usefulness of the content for the target audiences. The guidelines are discussed in detail as follows.
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- Include Nofollow Tags Wherever Applicable
The use of nofollow tags ensures that the bloggers do not include links that pass PageRank in their content, in exchange for goods or services. Using such links is against Google guidelines on link schemes and hence considered an illegal method of product or service promotion. This is because such links are not created in a natural manner but are placed in the content to appease the companies offering free goods. Even if these links are placed in the review, the bloggers should make sure that they place the nofollow tag on them, while writing the review.
- Clearly Define Their Relationship With The Company
Most users feel cheated if they are not informed in advanced about whether the content they are reading is sponsored or not. This not only damages the sense of trust that the users place in the company but also puts a question mark on the credibility of the review as well as its writer. In fact, the laws in some countries make it mandatory for the bloggers to disclose the status of sponsorship. While the bloggers can place the disclosure statement for the review anywhere in the post, placing it on the top is always the best idea as it informs the readers about the status of the review at the very beginning.
- Create Content That Is Unique And Inspiring
A good blog does not rely on false propaganda or unethical means to attract readers. That is why it is important for the bloggers to focus on creating content that is truly unique and appealing. A successful blogger carries out thorough research about the various topic areas that have been already covered. They also try to write exclusive content that is based on their creativity and knowledge of the subject.