Over the weekend Google shared the best practices for bloggers who receive free products for review consideration. These guidelines have cleared up some confusion and should be followed to avoid being penalised (removed from the search results). In my previous post about NoFollow links, I said that product reviews was a grey area but it was better to make these links NoFollow as that seemed to be what Google meant. Now, with these clearer guidelines, they have made it very clear what they want bloggers to do.
Best guidelines for reviewing free products
If you are sent an item free of charge and choose to write about this item, here is what Google want you to do to avoid being penalised.
- Use a NoFollow Link when linking to the company’s website or app, the company’s social media platforms, anywhere that sells the product and any review sites that feature the product. Find out how to make a link NoFollow here.
- Add a disclosure directly to the post that the company has given you this product for free. Some countries require this by law, others don’t but now Google want you to say in the post itself that you were sent the product for free.
- Make sure your content is unique, valuable and high quality. It’s best to write the content yourself in your own words instead of using pre-written content from the company or their press release. They say that “the most successful blogs offer their visitors a compelling reason to come back”.
You can read the official post on Googles Webmasters Blog here.