Google Doing Paid Reviews via AdSense? Why not!

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I had an unconfirmed resource emailing me that Google Adsense will be testing a paid review service within the next couple months to beta testers via Adsense. I promptly emailed contacts at Google to confirm/deny with nothing back yet.

At first I wanted to just dismiss the email as hogwash (and it probably is) but I can think of many reasons why Google would jump into the paid review industry.

Publishers - Google already has a amazingly huge database of publishers.

Advertisers - Nobody has no online advertisers then Google AND now they they have taped into the news, magazine and radio network they have access to tap even more advertisers on the shoulder to pay for reviews of their service.

Blogger - Google already owns the biggest blog network in the world and they seem to already have a relationship with wordpress for easy implementation of Google AdSense on wordpress.com (that would make sense anyway).

Metrics - Between Google toolbar, Adsense, and Pagerank data Google has by far the best metrics to price a site for a review. They already use these metrics for Adwords in selling contextual ads and links.

Google has pretty much destroyed ReviewMe and PayPerPost (the competition) and launching there own seems like it would solve all of their problems. The big issues Google had with paid reviews was the linking issue and now they can control all of that PLUS get a chunk of the revenue.

So again…. there is no credible source that is saying Google is getting into the paid review marketplace but it would certainly seem like it would be a very good business move for them.

What do you think? Could we see Paid Reviews via the Adwords/Adsense system in 2008?

153 thoughts on “Google Doing Paid Reviews via AdSense? Why not!

  1. Eric Odom

    Well, considering the fact that Al Gore actually owns a good chunk of Google, I would assert this isn’t a likely scenario.

    That being said… Google sucks. I still love it though.

    It’s like an addiction that society finds acceptable, even though we all know it will eventually be very bad for us.

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  4. Affiliate Confession

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Google were to get into the paid review market. They’re more intent these days on dominating than they are anything else. Putting other businesses out of business like ReviewMe would be like being Wal Mart. Whatever happened to “Do no evil”? Frickin’ Google!

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  6. Hustle Strategy

    Totally depends on their implementation. I could see this being done in a few ways where it would be good and a few where it would be bad. I first want to know why they don’t have a stumbleupon or digg alternative that is successful. Once they have that in place I see the paid reviews sitting nicely on that platform. Otherwise I don’t see where they would implement it (unless it is like adwords). Also would they give “good” reviews all the time?

  7. Fat Kid Unleashed

    What?! You’ve got to be kidding me?! If this goes through then Google will have reached their most evil point. They punish other companies who are just trying to make it big and then go behind their back to turn a profit. Ridiculous.

    Although, I could see some revenue from this, so I can’t complain. :-)

  8. Lee

    This would not surprise me at all. If it is a paid review service on other sites might surprise me. But really what is Knol except a paid review service? Look at how full of paid reviews Squidoo is.

  9. Ben

    I’m getting sick of Google targeted all these niches and destroying other peoples businesses. Can’t they just stick with perfecting search and bringing my Google AdWords costs down :(

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  13. samo

    Everyone will — but nobody will do feck’ all about it! Everyone just bends over and takes anything google has to give. They could say: “do not do any paid reviews, or you’ll be dropped from google!” and people will stop!

  14. Hobby Place

    I don’t really see Google doing this through Adsense/Adwords necessarily, though I suppose it is possible. Typically, if Google expands into a niche they purchase a company that is already successful in the niche in order to do so. Blogger is a good example. I guess they could simply incorporate a system into Adsense/Adwords instead, though. Much more likely that they purchase whichever competitor survives through all the penalties, though, and wrap it up into their ever-expanding online monopoly.

  15. Holly

    It would make sense for them to try this out. I mean they have taken over everything else. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  16. Adam

    Well, this is the first showings of monopolistic action that I’ve noticed from Google. First they lay the smack down on pay per post / ReviewMe / Text Link Ads under the guise that its “gaming their system”. Ok, so they try to destroy a subset of advertising out there. I guess I can see that it might be people taking advantage of their system.

    But…then they turn around and release their own little version? This just looks like they destroyed a profitable tactic for ad networks just to turn around and create their own for profit.

    Looks shitty if you ask me. Do no evil my ass.

  17. Marisa

    If it’s true, it practically guarantees an anit-trust suit against them. Surely they can’t be this stupid. The DOJ will have a field day with it!

  18. RacerX

    Why wouldn’t they do it? There is a market there already, and if Google does it it legitimizes the practice. They will put the spin that these are 100% actual reviews, no positive for positives sake.

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  20. Sander

    Also another rumor.. I’ve read somewhere that matt has launched a script that scans all email within gmail for ‘link buying / paid reviews’ and so on. They scan the emails and ban/downgrade the domains (websites) doing paid (review/link) deals.

    Big brother is watching you!

  21. Paul

    They are monopolizing the internet in all aspects. If they continue to do this people are going to stop using them. Free market my ass they are communist in all facets. It is just a shame that the millions of us that have made them rich are now taking it up the @$$!!!!!!!!

  22. Linda Tong

    Well I guess they will try and corner the market on paid reviews. Anything for profit and since they are trying to control what the bloggers are doing. Something they havent exactly cornered yet or have a thumb on. Especially since they tried to track down paid reviews for PR and gave a few bloggers a 0 for such reviews.

  23. WebSide Ventures

    The reason a lot of people pay for reviews is to get link juice passed back to their site. I would honestly be shocked if Google entered the paid reviews space. Matt Cutts wrote a post recently about how paid posts spam up Google’s SERPS.

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  26. Rui Augusto

    I would like that those rumors would be true. Then Google will just get my website’s pagerank to the real one so I can make them increase their profits.

  27. Stealth

    I don’t think Google would do that. Also they have to be careful now there becoming a monopoly so the government intervention axe will be coming swinging down Soon.

  28. Gary R. Hess

    Plausable deniability. It lets them advertise a new product without actually advertising it and allows them to deny everything until they actually release it. And on the other hand they are getting publishers excited and ready for the product before its release without ever hurting their image.

    Large companies do this all the time.

  29. blackysky

    Agree you cannot slap compagnies and then offer the same service. It doesn’t make sense at all…. They will have the same microsoft problem
    Internet explorer vs nescape and others
    Windows media player vs others like real player…
    Let’s face it google search engine become a standard like windows was…..
    I still love google … the walt mart of internet. You find everything at cheap price ahahah

  30. Gary R. Hess

    No, all they have to do is say “use nofollow on all reviews”. Or, they will just spit out a bit of javascript required on every page reviewed. They will probably do the ladder.

  31. How To Rule The World

    i have a close contact at Google and i asked him if this is true. Here is his response

    “In terms of a paid review service through AdSense, I certainly haven’t heard of any such product. I’ve done some searching around the web and found some speculative reports that were the first I’d heard of this product. ”

    The reps at Google have not heard of this product yet, so i assume its just rumor. He said he will also speak with some of his superiors to see if he can get additional information on it.

  32. Gary R. Hess

    On what grounds? They only punished those who wrote the reviews and didn’t put nofollow on the links. If you used nofollow, you were safe… although you probably didn’t get any buys.

  33. sukosaki

    yea, but why do people hate them? are those people mad because Google CAN do what Google wants? Are they mad they are getting away with interweb monopolization? Are they mad because the toolbar is too simple and doesn’t cause their browser to crash? What is the real reason people “hate” Google?
    I myself, like Google, search, that is. I appreciate their excellent business sense, but I can’t help but feel they are getting away with something. Nonetheless, this service would be no surprise to me, or to others that posted here I see.

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  35. Alan Johnson

    In the end, it’s their business and they have the right to make whatever decisions they see fit but will, of course, have to live with the consequences.

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  37. Alan Johnson

    After each controversial decisions of theirs you’ d think that people would stop using them but that hasn’t been the case up until this point and I doubt that it will be in the near future.

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  40. Syed Balkhi

    Looks like google will dominate another industry. I think it will be good news for bloggers as more contracts now … because i am sure google will have plenty of advertisers to help us all ;)

    lets see how this works out.

  41. domprofesor

    Paid reviews are certainly the next step in advertising and google must get a piece of the pie. It will be interesting to see if they are going to keep a large % of the money paid for the review. But in my opinion – direct negotiation is the best – eliminate the middle man (or company)

  42. Colin Joss

    Those reviews could perhaps generate some public interest and increase the quality of the ads. The only CHALLENGE for google is to get genuine reviews, so I am thinking that google could get real buyers and consumers to do the reviews.

  43. Popular Wealth

    Google wants to bring us EVERYTHING we may want but I don’t think they have any interest in paying bloggers to create more reviews when there are millions of reviews on the net already. Especially paid reviews.

  44. sean

    who gives a cr#p. I am getting close to jetisoning google from my life. They will overreach and then decline.

  45. sean

    right and it isn’t the first time they have used one division to kill competition while another exploits the gap.

  46. Omar Yesid Mariño

    If a paid review system from Google is coming, then I surely will test it. But, certainly, it would be a hypocritical attitude from Google after they have criticized those systems so much.

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  48. Start Blogging

    This would be awesome if they did this. Google has TONS of interested advertisers via adsense, so finding an interested advertiser for a paid review would be easy as pie.

  49. Shane

    If they do it they should just buy PPP or RM and create a WordPress plugin that links a review post to your review account – that way, they can automatically verify the review was done and even apply no-follow to the links if they want. Bottom line though is they have to allow the market to price itself to some degree. If there isn’t decent money in it for publishers, it’ll be a total waste of time.

  50. Keith Cash

    This explains why they kill everyones PR a few months back. Maybe I will catch back up in a few months my PR will be back up.

    Tell Google to sign me up.

  51. BrinkStow

    This would be very surprising. I guess that if they did this, they would be no-following the links. Otherwise, it would be EXTREMELY hypocritical.

  52. Louis

    Why are you talking about them possibly doing it? They already ARE doing it.

    Google has their own referrals/CPA offers in Adsense. There is nothing to prevent you from blogging about a specific offer peppered with a few of these referrals. Unfortunately for Google, their referrals are not proving to be popular.

    A natural extension would be to allow come up with a post with 3 to 4 links and you are either paid a flat fee for the post OR you paid for the referral or even clicks in the post.

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  54. Emil

    Are there any easy setup web sites where you can place ads on your web site then make profit every time someone clicks on an add? How can you make money off myspace by posting ads on bulletins! or messages?

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  57. Elmo

    A Google free world is easy (nuttin tuit honey). Try it …. the only thing you have to lose, is your wooly coat and bleating voice :-)

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  59. Goldie

    This sounds really sus, and it doesn’t sound legal – if it’s true.

    This sort of behaviour, building up a monopoly and crushing your competition only to get into their business, is what Microsoft has been in trouble for. I’d expect the, now ruined, competition to start pushing for anti-trust lawsuits.

    In fact, I’m kinda surprised no-one has sued Google already.

  60. Beasiswa

    Are there any easy setup web sites where you can place ads on your web site then make profit every time someone clicks on an add? Are you sure??

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  63. TheBloggerTips

    Google become a giant in advertising program and now will increase their market share once the paid review is launch. Maybe Google will hold back since they will consider the monopoly issue if raise by other competitors?

  64. TheBloggerTips

    Google become giant in advertising program for adwords and if the paid review is launch, probably google market share will increase. Maybe Google will hold back to consider some monopoly issue if raise by other competitors?

  65. Martin

    really? i would have never thought that they would delve into such a business, i still think its unlikely but this post has slightly swayed my opinion

  66. Alan Johnson

    Actually, they didn’t criticize the reviews, they criticized the paid links which came with the “package” so that, if they were to launch something like that, the links would not carry any weight as far as SEO is concerned.

  67. Simon

    Let’s hope nothing comes up. It would make all of the Google campaigning against paid links seem mighty shady, wouldn’t it?

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  69. Darren

    hmmm…. so a week ago you post how excited you are about April Fools….

    I wonder if this new service from AdSense might be released April 1? :-)

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  76. Web Design

    Google just wants to rule the whole internet and have all the money to itself, it’s already penalising paid links (it’s very close to adwords if you check closely), paid links was killing their business, so they just penalise. Same here with paid reviews, it won’t shock me if you start hearing google is penalizing “in content” links. hah!

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  78. Tom M

    I can not imagine they would do this with all the bitching Google has done about paid links. However, anything is possible when it comes to Google. If they see a money making opportunity, they jump on it.

  79. tech blog

    They would get royally fcked in the EU for that, as its abuse of a dominant market position, which to be honest they already do abuse.

  80. Too Much Vodka

    Yep, they are already abusing their position. Specially in the online advertising market. I really want to know when the EU starts re-thinking Googles Dont-Be-Evil policy.

  81. Nate Hill

    If Google started doing paid reviews that would be great but i suppose they might be abusing their position in the market. It would however, probably be the fairest service because of analytics, adsense and all their metrics

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  83. add your site

    It’s interesting – every knows Google is opposed to dofollow paid links, but one of my colleagues did some research the other day and found that Google allows websites that openly sell such links to advertise on AdWords with them. Search on Google for “buy backlinks” and you’ll see what I mean. Thanks for the great post!

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