Earlier this week I wrote about Smorty Get[ting] On My Bad Side. Well, now they’ve gone too far and it’s time for us to part ways. They have two new “messages” posted on their control panel. The first is a (not so subtle) swipe at paid blogging pioneer Izea/PayPerPost-
There have been some recent changes that Google have made with regard to sponsored postings.
Smorty would like to offer you some advice on this issue. Google has primarily targeted PayPerPost member blogs and reduced their Page ranks across the board. Although this WILL NOT REDUCE your rankings or readership, your blog will receive more campaign offers if it has a higher page rank. To prevent any future loss of page rank due to this issue you can take the following steps:
1. Remove all sponsored post tags on each of your posts. Google can follow these tags to determine if you are being paid for posts.
2. Remove any PayPerPost tags on your posts for “hire me” and “review me”. Any general affiliate banners are fine to keep.
And the second’s essentially a threat to all of their bloggers-
*Recently Smorty have been filtering through all previous posts made through the Smorty system. We are aware a percentage of bloggers have been removing older posts after they have been paid through Smorty. Please note this is against our rules. We will shortly calculating the totals each blogger have removed and possibly ban their account or remove these amounts from their balance to be paid. Please be sure to follow all blogger rules and FAQ`s to prevent future issues.
The primary problem with the first message is not even the swipe at their (far superior) competitor, but rather the implication that Google will somehow not be able to identify your Smorty sponsored posts. If I can identify them easily (which I can) then Google can sure as hell figure them out. Seriously, how often have you seen several hundred bloggers simultaneously post about the same payday loan, casino, or real estate website? These things simply don’t happen spontaneously. That’s exactly why paid post companies like Smorty exist (whether they like it or not).
The problem with the second message may not be as obvious. Until, that is, you actually read Smorty’s blogger FAQs or rules. At no point in either document (as of this writing) is there mention of how long paid posts must remain active on the blog. They do mention that the blog itself must be permanent, but not the post. Somehow nearly every other paid to write company has such a rule in their ToS, but Smorty does not. Therefore, this is yet another example of Smorty changing the rules midstream. If I won’t change the way I blog to satisfy Google’s fickle PageRank algorithms, I’m sure as hell not going to do it for Smorty.
Thanks for the whopping $82.80 you’ve paid me over our four month relationship, Smorty. I’ve appreciated the work (despite how it pales next to the $1,067.77 I’ve earned from PPP in the same time frame, not to mention the $150 I’ve earned from PayU2Blog in the last two weeks, or even the $150+ I’ve earned from both Blogitive and SponsoredReviews). Since there is no time requirement for posts to remain on my blog in the agreement we made I have no qualms about immediately deleting even the posts I made for you in the last couple of weeks.
BTW, if anyone from Smorty is actually reading the the blogs as you threaten to do, feel free to contact me if you’d like the posts returned to the blog in order to please your advertisers. I’ll have them all in draft mode for a few weeks while waiting to hear from you.