SOURCE: Apogee Search

February 26, 2008 08:00 ET

Apogee Search Study Demonstrates Effect of Paid and Sponsored Blog Links on Search Engine Rankings

Despite Recent Penalties and Concerns, Advertisers Still Seeing SEO Benefits From PayPerPost

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - February 26, 2008) - Today, in conjunction with Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West, leading search marketing firm Apogee Search announced the results of its study of PayPerPost blog links. The study was designed to determine the impact of a penalty recently imposed by Google. When Google dropped many PayPerPost bloggers' reported PageRank™(1) to zero, the search engine optimization industry assumed there would be a negative impact on SEO and a loss of opportunities for the bloggers involved. Apogee Search decided to test this belief with a controlled study.

The results of the Apogee Search study show that, despite the drop in PageRank™ and the recent concerns in the industry, PayPerPost is still an effective strategy for many online marketers.

PayPerPost (PPP) is a service that connects full-time bloggers with businesses for sponsored reviews. Businesses that use PPP benefit from widespread awareness and link building, while bloggers are compensated for their reviews and posts. Because businesses tend to qualify bloggers based on PageRank™ for sponsorship opportunities, many PPP bloggers found their livelihood and sponsorship streams jeopardized when Google imposed its penalty, a severe drop in PageRank™ for PPP blogs, just before the last year's holiday season.

The Apogee Search study consisted of over 80 blogs, both PPP blogs, those that were penalized by Google, and non-PPP blogs, a control group. The blogs were each given a unique set of anchor text and a destination page, and over the course of six weeks, Apogee Search studied their ranking on Google, Yahoo and MSN. A rough estimate of the results includes:

Google - 26 percent ranked
Yahoo - 59 percent ranked
MSN - 0 ranked

Google - 52 percent ranked
Yahoo - 55 percent ranked
MSN - 0 ranked

The study found that among the PPP group, blogs are ranked in Google at half the rate they are in Yahoo, while the blogs in the control group were ranked similarly in both. Another lesson learned from the study is that MSN did not rank any page based on the anchor text provided, signifying that search engine rankings on MSN are largely determined by key words and phrases on the page itself.

Apogee Search concluded that a PageRank™ of zero, imposed by the Google penalty, does not have as large an impact as previously perceived on PPP bloggers' ability to provide valuable natural search ranking and optimization benefits for advertisers. To further test its theory, Apogee Search will conduct several follow up tests over the coming months. For a detailed look at the methodology and results of this study, please visit:

About Apogee Search

Since its inception in 2001, Apogee Search has rapidly grown to become one of the 20 largest Search Engine Marketing firms in the world. Founded by early Internet pioneers and McKinsey & Co. alumni, Apogee focuses on a variety of proven online marketing methods that include paid search, natural search, other online media placements, and website effectiveness / conversion optimization. All of Apogee Search's solutions are designed to drive qualified, targeted visitors to B2B and B2C websites for more leads, customers, revenues and profits.

(1) PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set. The name PageRank is a trademark of Google.

Contact Information

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