PayPerPost RealRank DecisionsEveryone in the land has been talking about IZEA RealRankâ„¢ lately, hoping that it’s a replacement for PageRank. For those that aren’t familiar with it, IZEA is the parent company of PayPerPost and RealRankâ„¢ is a new system that they have come up with to rank blogs. They say it will make it so they don’t have to use PageRank to rank sites. PayPerPost almost has RealRankâ„¢ ready, in fact the PPP blog says they’re going to turn it on tonight.

I’ve seen some posts lately that proclaim RealRankâ„¢ to be the white knight for bloggers. I’ll give them this, it will be the best ranking system out there because it will track real stats. Bloggers have some decisions to make, and I can see some real problems with this.

The Issue Isn’t PageRank, It’s Paid Links

Taking one ranking system away to implement another when the issue is paid links is only going to delay the inevitable. The issue isn’t the ranking system here. Does anyone think that from one day to the next Google is going to be happy just because PayPerPost (or Text-Link-Ads for that matter) changes how they rate the sites that participate in their program?

Google Isn’t Going To Like It

The core problem here is that Google thinks that paid links cause inaccuracies in their ranking system (which they do). Don’t get me wrong, Google should be trying to figure out better ways to find and discount the value of paid links. I have believed this since the beginning and my stance hasn’t changed on this issue. Google has wronged a lot of people during this process but the facts are facts. Google will continue to fight against paid links.

If you have a site whose PageRank was slapped -1, -2, or eliminated altogether, you’re already on the radar. What’s going to happen if you continue to sell links under the guise of a new ranking system? I would hate to see this happen, but believe that it’s possible that Google will remove you from their index altogether. Google has an index of over 10 billion web pages and I dare say that they would remove a few hundred thousand pages to protect their lifeblood, which is their search relevancy.

Google is already on the war path, and I can tell you that so far they aren’t getting the results they’re looking for. People are still selling text links and writing paid reviews that pass link juice. It seems likely that Google will continue to slash and hash until they get the result they want, which is for people to place nofollows on all paid links. I’m not that happy about the fact that I had to do it, but my plans for this site will be accelerated with the help of Google, so I changed my advertising models.

What RealRankâ„¢ Is Going To Do

Google Cartoon

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It’s going to make it 100 times easier for Google to identify you as a sponsored reviewer. You will have to install a piece of javascript in your footer, and Google will easily be able to identify and track that code. If you install the code, you’re running the risk of Google slapping your PageRank or doing something worse if they feel the need.

Many people don’t think that Google will take it this far. Why wouldn’t they? I keep reading that Google needs us more than we need them and this isn’t true. Google has billions of pages to rank and the number of blogs that use PayPerPost and other similar services is very small. It’s likely that Google sees these as weaker sites – banning them isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

I’ll tell you right here, right now how Google is going to see this. Keep in mind that this isn’t how I see it, it’s how Google will see it:

  • They have been issuing warnings for the last few years. (no effect)
  • They increased the validity of the warnings with the first slaps. (very little effect)
  • They slapped harder to increase the validity of the warnings. (very little effect)
  • They eliminated the PageRank on many sites that sell sponsored posts and reviews. (very little effect except for the fact the IZEA came out with RealRankâ„¢, which doesn’t solve anything for Google)

Google isn’t getting what they want – do you think they’re going to give up?

Can You Survive Without Google?

If you can, by all means continue to write paid reviews. If you can’t, you have a decision to make. I think you’re taking a huge risk by writing them. I wouldn’t put anything past Google and believe that they may start de-indexing people that sell links. This would start with the small sites because they don’t have as much relevant content.

The best option here is for you to start selling your own paid reviews with nofollows on them. If PayPerPost would change their policies to allow posties to stop selling PageRank, it would be a lot safer service for everyone. As is, they’re asking everyone to try to hide from Google. What are they going to do when people start getting banned? The responsible thing to do is to create a model that’s safe for the posties. Right now it looks like that’s not going to happen.

Who is RealRankâ„¢ going to help? The .01% of bloggers that don’t care about Google traffic.