Google wants news organizations to clearly label any links that they've been paid for, lest their search ranking be negatively affected.
The head of Google's Web spam team said May 29 that the company is prepared to punish news organizations--by lowering their search engine rankings--if they don't clearly label ads that have been made to look like standard editorial content, known as advertorial or native advertising.
"If someone were to come to a newspaper reporter and say, 'I'm going to give you some money. Can you link [to us] within your news article?' that would be deceptive. People would not realize that there was payment involved, and it would really not be fair." Matt Cutts, head of Web spam team at Google
While Google's guidelines aren't new, they come at a time when several news organizations have started to use so-called native advertising to increase revenue. Such advertising can be difficult to distinguish from genuine editorial content since it's often formatted to resemble editorial content.
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