Using Advertorials in SEO Content Marketing

Google has a long standing policy on how it views links from advertorials. The explicitly say that it goes against their policy to sell links that pass PageRank. First off, let’s review what advertorials actually are. Advertorials are content that is written like an editorial piece but they are really just content that  advertisers pay for to get published.

Clear Intentions
The intent behind these “stories” is to get links on major news sites and therefore pass off the link juice back to their site. And therein lies the problem. According to Google, these types of link have to be clearly marked as advertisements or sponsored. The links also need to have a rel=”nofollow” attribute attached to them to show search engines that they aren’t trying to game the algorithms.

The problem that Google (and readers) have with advertorials that they aren’t clearly marked as basically being paid ads. Without proper disclosure, it’s misleading to have content that intends to sell to readers. And publishers don’t have to be paid to violate Google’s guidelines. They also aren’t fond of publishers receiving gifts or other forms of compensation for publishing the stories.

Still Thinking of Using Advertorials?
Passing off advertorials as high quality content is a risky move and just when you think you can’t get caught, you can get slapped with an ugly penalty (see: Interflora). If this method of marketing still seems appealing, it’s important to go by Google’s rules and a) clearly mark content as sponsored and 2) follow through with the no follow attribute.

Advertorials aren’t a new tactic but Google has seen a rise in businesses taking this route, hence all the articles and videos against advertorials. In the long run, informative and quality content will help your website’s staying power and we aren’t talking about it through the form of advertorials. The difference is that advertorials tend to be more sales-y and self serving, whereas “evergreen” content is actually helpful.

Google’s Official Stand
Check out what Matt Cutts has to say about advertorials in the video above and let us know if you think it’s fair or not.

Infographic Time: Do Facebook Ads Work for You?

facebook and google ads

As a small business owner, it’s important to think about ROI as it applies to paid ads, even on Facebook. Take a look at some findings above and check out the full infographic by WordStream here.

Depending on your business, Facebook could be a great place to target new fans and potential customers. Although Facebook ad options do a great job of expanding your advertising reach, there are also complaints that could greatly impact a small business so that these ads don’t work so much to your advantage.

Some argue that is perhaps the only benefit of Facebook ads, the potential to reach such a great audience. But then again, that might be just enough to convince some to try out this form of social media advertising. Another benefit is having easy control of your ad budget with the option to run and test campaigns for $20 or even $10 at a time!

Here are some cons when dealing with Facebook ads:

– Extremely small and limited ad format – small pictures and limited text is never fun
– Difficulty with ad approval (check out: Advanced Facebook Ads: How to Beat Disapproval)
– Not enough ad targeting options
– Noise in users’ News Feed makes it harder for ads to be noticed
– Potential for appearing to be invasive and spam users

In Quarter 1 of 2012, Facebook made $1.06 billion in ads while the Google Display Network made $2.9 billion. As you can see, Facebook Ads will continue to grow and we can expect Facebook to continue to make it a better experience for both advertisers and users. Be sure to contact us with any questions about running a Facebook Ad campaign. There is nothing to big or small when it comes to these social media ads!