on May 16, 2011
SocialSpark bills itself as a platform for connecting bloggers with advertisers. For bloggers, SocialSpark offers a way to monetize content and traffic. For advertisers, SocialSpark provides an easy to use platform for reaching out to bloggers and comparing different blogs. The value in this setup is pretty obvious for publishers / bloggers; however it is a little more nuanced for advertisers.
In keeping with Google’s policies with regard to paid links, SocialSpark requires that all paid posts use the rel=”nofollow” tag. From an SEO standpoint, nofollow links aren’t the best because they do not pass along link juice like dofollow links (the nofollow tag originated as a way to direct search engine bots and crawlers not to index certain pages i.e. password protected areas, blog comment spam, etc.).
However, nofollow links still can and do drive traffic. While advertisers get no immediate SEO benefit — i.e. improved Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) — from paid Social Spark posts, good paid posts will send traffic to the advertisers domain. If even a small percentage of this traffic buys an item off the advertisers site, then the paid post has just paid for itself. Even if a person visits the advertiser’s site, but doesn’t buy something, there is still the possibility that that person will pass on the link to friends, family, co-workers, etc.
In short: it’s important not to get too caught up with SERPs because, while they play a significant role in SEO, one cannot forget that the ultimate goal of high SERP / SEO is to drive traffic to a given site. Whether that traffic is from a search engine like Google or a paid blog post is largely immaterial (as long as the traffic is not poor quality).
It’s easy to get started as an advertiser on SocialSpark, all you have to do is sign up. However, for bloggers, before you can start earning money, you must get your blog approved by SocialSpark. Below are some guidelines provided by SocialSpark for getting your blog approved:
- A blog must be at least 90 days old with a minimum of 20 posts written within the 90 days prior to submission with no more than a 30 day gap in writing during that time.
- A blog must be uncluttered, have an easy to navigate layout, contain a chronological archives, and be written in fluent English.
- If a blog is not approved initially, it can be resubmitted when it meets the terms.