With the rise of stars like Zoella and Tanya Burr, it is becoming quite apparent that online influencers are proving to be more powerful that celebrities. Even some celebrities are turning into influencers to keep ahead of the game.
More and more brands are choosing influencers over celebrities to endorse their products. This method of online marketing is cheaper and sometimes much more effective. Brands will send their products to an influencer and they will review and link the brand in question, whether in video or written.
Sounds good for both sides right? However, Google earlier this year issued some guidelines for both influencer and suppliers.
“Bloggers should use the nofollow tag on all such links because these links didn’t come about organically (i.e., the links wouldn’t exist if the company hadn’t offered to provide a free good or service in exchange for a link). Companies, or the marketing firms they’re working with, can do their part by reminding bloggers to use nofollow on these links.”
We have yet to see any high profile cases of this happening so it looks like most bloggers are sticking to the rules to not hurt their popularity or source of income or Google has not started to punish those who are not sticking to the rules.
Those in the game though, better take note and stick to the rules or Mother Google will not be happy with you! Following the best practices will always be beneficial, there have been many cases around the world where influencers have not mentioned that they have been either paid or been given products to test and got into trouble with advertising standard agencies.