ReviewMe reviewed

Aaron Wall,  a reputed SEO, and Text-link-ads.com, an ad broker, have teamed up in Reviewme.com, a place to connect companies with bloggers that want to review their products for a fee.  Bubble 2.0 overspending?  Corruption of bloggers’ ethics?  Let’s see:

Ethics

  • Another similar service, Payperpost.com, attracted a lot of negative comments.  With Payperpost you commit yourself not to disclose you’re being paid, and your review has to be approved before payment (so needs to be positive…) .
  • The opposite is true with Reviewme: no commitment to a positive review and the obligation to disclose you’re being paid.  Seems to be a fair and transparent, the only consideration left is whether or not to annoy readers with a paid review (and whether being paid will influence your subjects and posting frequency…) – see this mixed evaluation at Publishing 2.0.

Economics

  • Paying for possibly bad reviews?   Seems pure madness from the sponsor’s point of view…  (Prices vary from $30 to $250, see the screenshot of the “Web Development” blog listing.)  But it might not be totally so: 
    • It’s hard to imagine a review, even a negative one, without a link to the company site or product page.  Links are worth money, and especially links that are in-text  and in-context will make sure you end high in the Search Result Pages for relevant search words.
      • (in-text= in the body text, not in some obscure link list in the sidebar)
      • (in-context= embedded in a text with keywords relevant to the product discussed),
    • If your product or service sucks, it sucks, and a positive paid review wouldn’t help anyway.  But on the other hand: even if it’s really good, it’s going to fail if nobody knows about it… 

Review Prices in the category Web Development

  • Text Ad Links CalculatorSo how much is the value of a link in a review, without taking the directly generated traffic into account?   Selling links on web pages (for traffic and pagerank) happens to be the business of Text-ad-Links, and the calculator on their site (click screenshot thumbnail) values a link in the “primary content zone” on a single blog post on this blog to $24/month (that’s what they charge advertisers, 50% goes to the site owner).  
  • Compare that to a paid review on this blog: $60 (50% payout here as well) for a permanent link.  Seems like a sponsored review is a better investment than a paid link… 

Execution

  • From the blogger’s perspective:
    • your remuneration depends on a mixture of Google pagerank, Technorati ranking and feed subscribers (Bloglines!).  (Comparable to the Blog Juice Calculator, a valuation gimmick by Text-link-ads).
    • you have 48 hours to accept a proposal for review and probably another 48 hours to write the review.
    • slick interface, clear workflow
  • From the advertiser’s perspective:
    • search through the blog inventory via tags, sort on ranking
    • What’s lacking from the advertiser’s perspective is a search engine that lets you seek through the full text of the blogs that have registered at Reviewme – I assume a Google Custom Search Engine or a Live.com Search Macro is out of the question here :-D.
    • 50% is quite a high share for the broker.  Common wisdom has that the payout rate for Google Adsense is 80%.  It’s not unthinkable for other companies that have gathered blog metrics and contact data, to  jump on the bandwagon, so prices might go down (think feed readers à la Bloglines, Netvibes, stats trackers like Performancing, IceRocket and RSS services like Feedburner, Feedblitz).
    • As always with this kind of services, Tech and Webdesign blogs are overrepresented… 

Localisation

  •  I found some Dutch-language blogs by searching the keywords “Dutch”, Nederlands”, “Netherlands'” or “Belgium”.  The interface seems to be unaware non-English-language blogs at the moment.

Results

  • You can’t say they missed their debut…  Since launching, hundreds of reviews have been posted – since they practice what they preach and pay for a review…  Be quick if you want to scoop up your part of the $25.000 giveaway.
  • Also this blog posting is being paid for.  If everything works out fine, that is :-) .  (Also note: the link to Text-Ad-Links contains a referral ID.)

Will I post more paid reviews?  I will definitely have a look into more offers, but it won’t be for the money – I’ve been labouring 2-3 hours on this post, so the research be better worthwhile… Feel free to trackback or comment to let me know your thoughts (or your own experiences).

[tags]reviewme, reviewme.com, payperpost, payperpost.com advertising, marketing, seo, blogging, aaronwall, Aaron Wall, Text-link-ads, text-link-ads.com, reviews, reviewing[/tags]

4 Responses to “ReviewMe reviewed”

  1. Bart Says:

    Interesting reading although the screenshots were quite confusing because they fit in too well with the your own content. Maybe a border around the screenshots could seperate them better from your content.

  2. Wie schrijft, die krijgt* « Om ter saaist Says:

    […] Want wat ziet mijn lodderig oog? De vriendelijke mensen van Reviewme geven zomaar eventjes 25.000 dollar weg! […]

  3. Pascal Says:

    Hey Bart,

    the white screenshots on a white background bugged me also… but I thought I’d postpone the issue till a next great upgrade (of the kind that never materialize).

    Anyway, I’ve added a light dashed border around non-linking images in my css – what do you think?

  4. Text link buying: pros and cons Says:

    […] In my review of Reviewme, I mentioned that it was a relatively cheap way of buying relevant and well-placed text links.  […]