Once or twice a week, I get an unsolicited request from an SEO/Marketing firm to publish sponsored posts on my website. I’m not opposed to accepting sponsored posts — from reputable products and services — but invariably the proposal requires a “No Sponsor Tags” clause as part of the deal.
I’m no expert on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but I suspect their strategy is to trick Search Engines like Google in thinking a published article (and importantly the links it contains) is genuine. These SEO agencies aren’t interested in my readers, or even my traffic. They are merely seeking to cash in on my domain authority — a measure of how well a domain is regarded, based on the number of incoming and outgoing links.
Speaking of links, another clause is the instance of including “Do-Follow” links, which tell a web crawler to follow and track the destination of each included link. Sponsored articles of this nature are typically stuffed with links to whatever dodgy websites these agencies want to promote. As a rule, I only link to content I find interesting or relevant, and thus I also find the practice of link-stuffing and Do-Follow linking to be quite sleazy.
In either case, unsolicited proposals that demand these practices are a dealbreaker to me. I have worked too hard building trust with my readers to accept such a dodgy deal. It’s not as though I need the money — certainly not at the cost of my website’s integrity.
So, to my readers, here’s my public commitment that I will never engage in these practices. Everything you read on his site, is written by me, out of a sense of my interest, enjoyment and whimsy.