You get a lot of mixed reactions when it comes to how a website should use an advertising disclosure. You can read the FTC disclosure guidelines here and you’ll find a Q&A from the FTC here. Although not every blogger or influencer uses them since the FTC goes after the brand and not the blogger, Google threw a new twist into disclosing relationships this week.
Google released a set of guidelines saying that you must follow the FTC advertising disclosure guidelines if you’re receiving products or reviewing them. Although it’s geared towards bloggers and review sites, it is safe to assume that Google will update and include affiliates and other web properties that are being compensated. This could mean coupon sites, loyalty sites and many other types of partners who use affiliate links but don’t disclose the relationship.
How does this affect you and your site? If you rely on Google traffic, you may get a manual penalty (these are very hard to get rid of) and that could wipe out your business. This means your CPM ads will hurt when your organic traffic drops and your sponsorships could dry up with a lack of traffic.
This post will go through:
- Where the issues are being talked about
- How Google can find out if you’re being compensated
- Why the placement of your disclosure is very important (even if you disagree with the FTC guidelines)
- What you can do to prepare in case Google decides to start penalizing sites. (It’ll probably be called the blogger or affiliate update)