More examples of blog cash for comment

This morning’s story about video blogger Hugh Thomas not disclosing he was being paid to talk about TV show Lie To Me is not the only Australian case of undeclared paid blog placement, Mumbrella can reveal.  

mr-gadget-testfreaksMumbrella has seen correspondence suggesting that several Australian sites were offered cash to talk about the review site Testfreaks when it launched in Australia late last year.

The offer came from a marketer called Jay Haffling, who appears to run a business in which he pays bloggers to write about his clients. His messages can be found on the comments section of many blogs.

Many of them declined, but a handful did run items.

Among the most prominent was one on the Mr Gadget site which carried a long post on October 30, which concluded: “I will personally keepin’ an eye on Testfreaks Australia as they grow and anticipating some great reviews.”

Mumbrella has seen correspondence from the man behind Mr Gadget, Arnold Aranez, who describes the process as “easy cash”. He did not return Mumbrella’s messages today.

Other sites that carried pieces at around the same time announcing the arrival of the site include, which has a Google ranking of three and endorsed Testfreaks as “well worth a bookmark” and which has a Google ranking of six. Neither piece mentions receiving any payment for the mention.

Update: Google Japan has been caught paying bloggers to write about a new tool – as a result, it’s made an example of itself, and been downgraded from page rank 9 to page rank 5. As this posting from Google makes clear, sites that pay bloggers to write about them face being penalised on the Google index.


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