Why do I like this so much?

So Google has dissed the bloggers who participate in the horrible PayPerPost ad scheme by removing their page rank altogether. PayPerPost is the hideously deceptive practice of IZEA that pays bloggers to make posts about advertiser products without revealing they are, well, ads.

Some people are saying that what Google has done is censorship, but I don’t view it that way. Google historically has done nothing that I view as contrary to their “Do No Evil” mantra, and this PayPerPost crap is certainly evil. The more I watch this stuff, the more I conclude that — at least for me — I’d rather have Google policing things than anybody else, including any government anywhere.

UPDATE: Per Andy’s suggestion, here’s a link to PayPerPost founder Ted Murphy’s blog entry on the subject.


  1. You know it would be a much more interesting for your readers, and less biased if you actually link directly through to what Ted Murphy sayd, because they were pointing out a post by Techcrunch that had nothing but links in it — no content at all.

    This isn’t a question of disclosure, because Google are hitting all forms of sponsored links, including the Washington Post a few weeks ago.
    They removed that penalty because it made them look stupid, and probably the only reason Techcrunch hasn’t taken a hit is because that would make them look stupid.

    So the rich get richer, and the little guys, many of who have never witten a paid review on their website, but merely offered commentary, take a hit.

    I use the PayPerPost direct service as a payment processor for consulting work. I have full editorial control of what I link to if I choose to even give a link.
    So far I only have a ‑1 or ‑2 penalty.

    Why don;t you write about Yahoo selling links in their directory, or Google and Microsoft employees blogging about their company products without disclosure.

    Is it really wrong for companies such as HP and Ford to use a blogging service with full disclosure to get public feedback?

  2. Matthew makes good points, but I’m not saying Google should govern the world. I’m just saying that it’s their prerogative to adjust page rank any way they wish, and I say good for them on this one. The only people who see this as evil are those who are trying to fool the public with fake blog entries. It gives us all a bad rep.

  3. Andy, for me, full disclosure is exactly the issue, and I get that Google has swept those who do disclose with the broad brush that may have been intended for the few. In a world where self-restraint is the law, trust is the only thing that matters, and bloggers who write fake posts for products without disclosure violate the law. And I think the comparison to Techcrunch’s monthly posts is absurd.

    Page rank isn’t life or death, and neither is the industry that has been built around trying to game Google’s search for the sake of profit. Google is under no obligation to stand still, while others use what it has built to compete with it. So even if the conspiracy you and Ted suggest is real, that Google is using its universe to tilt the playing field in its direction, my response is welcome to the business world. Google is not the Web. That it uses the Web as its platform is its brilliance, and Adsense is its bread-and-butter. What would you do if you ran the company?

    We both know that one day there will be anti-trust issues for Google. Until that happens, the best people can do who don’t like their business practices is complain to the FTC.


  1. […] Terry “PoMo” Heaton says that he has no problem with Google stamping out the “evil” that is PayPerPost, and that he would rather have Google policing such behaviour than any government. I’m not sure I would go that far. […]

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