Why would any advertiser pay for a post this way?
It can’t be for the credibility that bloggers have. As someone said over on Digg: “when did bloggers have credibility anyway?” Certainly not when they post something and take money for it and don’t disclose it. And, if they are disclosing that they are pimping their posts for cash, doesn’t their credibility go out the window?
I had dinner with Leo Laporte last week and we talked about just this. He listed to me a whole raft of things he wouldn’t do for money. Why? He values his listeners and readers as more important than any money he’d make. Certainly he’d never take money for advertising without disclosing that he (or others in his network) are getting paid. I think that’s a great stance to take.
Will PayPerPost lead directly to sales? Now that the blogosphere is being bought off, I sure won’t buy something just based on one blogger the way I might have if, say, Dave Winer said he liked a product. I know Dave isn’t bought off, though, so will probably still listen to him when he finds a killer product. I don’t think PayPerPost will lead to many direct sales. I might be wrong, but if I were an advertiser that isn’t why I would be paying bloggers to post.
So, why do it? If I still ran a camera store in Silicon Valley, here’s why I’d pay bloggers to post about my camera store: to game Google.
See, the more inbound links I can get from bloggers, the higher on Google I will go.
But, here’s the rub. If this starts effecting the relevancy of Google (and it will, especially now that there’s some serious money) Google will find a way to remove those listings from the index (or devalue them). So, will PayPerPost advertisers get their money’s worth?
For the record, if I ever take money from anyone for anything I will disclose it on my blog (like, my ScobleShow is sponsored by Seagate). At PodTech if we take money to make a post it goes on the Corporate Channel.
I should disclose that Seagate is giving Podtech and me a serious pile of money (far more than I could make over on PayPerPost) and they haven’t asked me to do anything that I wouldn’t disclose, and disclose fully. That’s the kind of advertiser I like. But then they aren’t trying to game Google either through my sponsorship. In fact, they haven’t even asked me to blog anything about them. Which, makes me want to blog about them even more.