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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Google Smashes Into PayPerPost - Like A Hurricane!

A few months back I joined a company called PayPerPost and another called Smorty. I didn’t follow through with Smorty, but I did with PayPerPost. I wrote a review for them on the 6th of October, entitled “Black Friday 2007” for the amount of $5.25, I think. It was accepted and I was ecstatic, to say the least.

A couple of weeks later, I deleted a post that I did on the topic of Halloween, which I didn’t like. It had no relation to PPP and was nowhere near the review I wrote. Immediately PPP rejected all my reviews and my referrals of which I had from this site and refused to pay me, saying I was in breach of contract of the "Terms of Service". The amount of money was somewhere around $15. Okay, I was disappointed but I could live with it, so I said nothing and even kept running ads for them on my site. After all, it was my fault for not understanding the terms I agreed to. (I add that all the legal terms in these Terms of Service and similar are really too detailed and need a lawyer to go through them, and I find that they are changed, without notice, at the whims of the companies writing them. Why even bother with terms, if you are going to change them? But that is another topic.)

Fifty two days ago, Google changed it’s algorithm for ranking page sites and mine along with many others, lost all rank. Okay, I can live with that, I thought but I didn’t understand it.

Today, Smorty contacts me, requesting that I do a review for them but I couldn’t have anything to do with the PayPerPost reviews on my site. Okay, I can live with that, too. After all, I wasn’t writing for PayPerPost anymore, even though I was conforming to their rules. Never know what the future holds.

So I went to the Smorty site to read more on the review they wanted and low and behold I found this: “There have been some recent changes that Google have made with regard to sponsored postings.
Smorty would like to offer you some advice on this issue. Google has primarily targeted PayPerPost member blogs and reduced their Page ranks across the board. Although this WILL NOT REDUCE your rankings or readership, your blog will receive more campaign offers if it has a higher page rank. To prevent any future loss of page rank due to this issue you can take the following steps:

1. Remove all sponsored post tags on each of your posts. Google can follow these tags to determine if you are being paid for posts.
2. Remove any PayPerPost tags on your posts for "hire me" and "review me". Any general affiliate banners are fine to keep.”

(These are only a jpeg images and do not link anywhere)

Now my curiosity was peaked so I did a Google search (God knows how much I love doing Google searches). What I found was oodles of pages, sites declaring how unfair Google was, but most I found were coming directly from the PPP company and how they were not going to take it laying down.

Google defends it’s postion by saying:

“Google assigns a PageRank rating of 0 to 10 for every site it indexes. The ranking reflects the significance of a site as determined by Google -- the higher the rank, the more popular the site. When Google modified its PageRank algorithm a couple of weeks ago, however, thousands of bloggers working for PayPerPost ("posties," as they call themselves) found their rankings wiped to zero, which meant they were suddenly ineligible for PayPerPost work.

There are roughly 100,000 PayPerPost bloggers, many of whom have seen their revenue completely evaporate since Google modified its PageRank algorithm.

Because advertisers hire posties based on their PageRank scores, bloggers in the PayPerPost universe felt the algorithm change immediately, and some say the entire business has collapsed. One postie, who calls herself Lisa, says she will likely need to find new work soon.

I did finally find a more unbiased review of the situation, but not by much. It was by TechCrunch, an information site for bloggers and computer users in general and the information appears to be sound.

“Unlike Michael I’ve never been as strong in my dislike of PayPerPost, and although I’ve never used the service myself (I did sign up for an account when they opened so I could review the service) I’m all for exploring different ways for the little guy to make money, even if personally the ethics and morality of PayPerPost has never sat well with me. Yet if PayPerPost ever wanted friends, wild conspiracy centered posts such as this one just say “mad” to me. This looks and smells like a company that is not in a good way, a company that is lashing out as its business model starts to fail around it. I’m predicting Deadpool within 12 months; I can’t see a lot of bloggers being happy with losing Pagerank so we should see an exodus of bloggers out of PayPerPost (particularly ones with traffic) over the next few months. This will leave PayPerPost with inventory deficiencies that will result in diminished revenues making the PayPerPost business model unsustainable going forward.”

As a result of the decision by Google, I have removed all references to the "Review My Post" from PayPerPost on all my posts starting from the first and to the best of my knowledge, they will not be replaced. This is subject to change if the financial opportunity makes itself available. I still have the ads for the PayPerPost site up, but they too are only pending a review of my own.

But as I had checked the available reviews possible to me, the only one PPP made available this year so far has been to review PayPerPost itself for $20. Do you suppose that they would pay for such a negative review that I could only in all honesty give?


dickiebo said...

Gosh. That's interesting. Will take some time to digest it all. (I'm a bit slow!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pay for post review thing I have just signed up and ..I think I will give it moore thought before I proceed...