The Advertorial earthquake has hit, is the Tsunami still to come

by Peter Young on February 27, 2013 · 0 comments

The fallout from last weeks “Advertorial” update have been well documented by many in the industry – with Interfloras fall from grace being probably the most high profile casualty. However a simple look around the search landscape would suggest they are not the only ones and the number of sites affected by the Googles focus on “advertorial” sellers. Some initial analysis I undertook, suggests that much of Google’s initial “penalisation” was extremely localised particularly targeting publishers.

That in itself has already caused an initial earthquake in terms of upsetting the search landscape – however the tsunami may well still be on its way

Let me explain further. The changes we have seen are in many cases down to the direct impact of Googles changes – simple cause and effect. However the reaction from many of these publishers is likely to be very strong and very swift. I would suggest many may go down the route of nofollowing any links from the sites themselves – therefore diluting any benefit they link may have carried. Others may pursue more extreme courses of action and actively remove any advertorial based content from their sites – and thus the links with them

As such we may only be experiencing the initial shockwaves – and as these publishers implement more “Google-friendly” approaches to content publication the impact of these changes may well impact a considerably higher proportion of sites in the mid to long term. Further to that , the knock on effect in terms of its wider impact on publishers approach to guest posting and linkage therein, is still to play out – and I would suggest there may be an increased degree of caution by more “savvy” publishers with regards to allowing linkage whether content based or otherwise – so even the most white hat of white hats may still find their opportunities further limited.

That effectively means we are seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment, as we see the direct fallout from Googles focus on advertorials. The knock on effect from publishers could yet work out to have a significantly bigger fallout than the initial update itself – and one may argue this more than any focussed activity from Google before may well serve to have the biggest impact in terms of “cleaning up” the industry.

That may be a bit far fetched but theirs no doubting this has well and truly thrown a very big cat in amongst the pigeons. How it plays out, I will be watching with interest.

As my good friend Bas Van Den Beld from State of Search said, “I think if anytime ‘linkbuilding’ would be under siege, its now”

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