I stumbled across Sponsored Reviews whilst one day reading a high-quality internet marketing news-wire. I have been wary of sponsored reviews as they seem like a cheeky way to get backlinks but due to the legitimacy of the site that had them as an advertiser, I decided to check them out.
Sponsored Reviews is a platform that allows advertisers to pay bloggers to review their product or service.
According to Sponsored Reviews, that helps you get direct traffic, increase buzz,improve search engine rankings and get valuable feedback.
After reading the point on improving search engine optimization, the credibility of Sponsored Reviews edged up a notch. That’s because many other website review platforms have been afraid to talk about one of the main reasons behind paid reviews. That is that webmasters get a particular PageRank link to their site with the exact anchor text of their choosing.
The reason why other review sites have been treading on eggshells when it comes to this is because it can interpreted as simple paid links which Google frowns upon. If the big G discovers you’ve been buying links to your site in order to manipulate search results, you’re likely to get a big hard slap across your face. In internet spiel, that means if your ranking at number 3 for your target search term, you could be slapped back to result number 300. Then that just leaves you with the option to plead via the Google reconsideration page.
However, Sponsored Reviews seems to have been doing a good job at preventing themselves and their customers getting slapped. That is through their reiteration that reviews must be unbiased and webmasters need to disclose that it’s a paid review.
“Just Tell Me If It’s An F’in Scam!”
Oops, sorry – back on track now.
So is Sponsored Reviews a scam? …No.
How do I know?
- As per usual, I trawled through tons of reviews and the vast majority of bloggers and webmasters are happy
- They have around 32,000 blogs in their system so I think if it was a scam , it would have been shut down by now
- Most importantly, I tried them out!
Here’s My Review
The interface is all pretty easy to use. You register and then create an ‘opportunity’. This opportunity sets out what you want to get reviewed, your desired anchor text and you select other preferences.
Once that’s created, you go and start hunting for blogs. I like how you can search by PageRank, Alexa, backlinks, price and many other variables.
You add selected blogs to your shopping cart and then deposit money into your Sponsored Reviews account. It’s annoying that the deposit amounts are in fixed increments. It would have been better to just pay the required sum. Once you’ve paid, bloggers go ahead and write a review about you.
When searching for blogs that I could advertise my health related site on, I was tempted to just pick the $5, PageRank 2,3 and 4 domains. Thinking of getting a great search engine boost from these keyword rich, high PR domains got me excited. But then after looking into these blogs in more detail, you could see that they were set up with the sole purpose of reviewing any site they could in a pretty insightful manner.
Google aren’t stupid and if they see a website has tons of random links coming from it, each link gets devalued. I therefore decided to stick to 2 higher-cost and higher-quality, related blogs. The lovely ladies on these blogs reviewed my health site within a week and I was pretty happy with it. They actually looked into what my site was about and gave genuine thoughts on it – that’s how it should be. The backlinks also showed up in search engines and I got a couple of visitors from the links – not many but a couple which showed that the blogs had some readership.
Sponsored Reviews is legit and it’s worth thinking of getting a few paid reviews to increase link diversity if others haven’t blogged about you. Although it’s marketed as having a number of benefits, I think the main reason to get a paid review is to try and boost search engine rankings.
Due to the potential for misuse and the negative connotations around paid links, which is what an extremist may think of this service, Sponsored Reviews doesn’t make it to the top of the green bar but they’re not too far off.
You can sign up to Sponsored Reviews here.
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