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A new service launched last week that hopes to help blog publishers generate more revenue through the use of a blogroll. BlogRolled allows you to sell spots in your blogroll for cash. The links are similar to Text Link Ads offering except that rather than potentially being labeled as "sponsored links" or "advertising", these ads just appear as normal links in a blogroll. The company was founded by Shawn Nafziger.
We know that Google is going after sites that sell paid links and to combat this, BlogRolled uses no script code or tracking software. When an advertiser purchases a link using BlogRolled, the publisher is emailed and has to manually add the link. This is done to avoid Google detection. Also note that I am guessing that the publisher can’t advertise that blogroll links are available for sale so the only way is if BlogRolled is able to draw in a large number of advertisers.
Piad blogroll links have been around for a long time. Will there be a marketplace for buying links in this manner and how will Google react? Also, will advertisers want to get involved with a system that could potentially come back to bite them? I am guessing the reward outweighs the risk.
Blogrolls seem to have died out recently and only the old blogs seem to have placement on most blogrolls.
What I’d like to see is a simple HTML tag that can be added to a link that alerts Google that the link is paid and no search engine juice should be sent. I know "nofollow" is supposed to do this but I’d like to see some differentiation between paid links and those you just don’t want to share juice on. Frankly I’ve never understood why Google has such an issue with paid links, except maybe that they want everyone to use their AdWords system exclusively.