martinibuster - 3:49 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
For example, will the advertorial serve and inform the site users etc.
Don't mean to put words into your mouth, but it sounds like you are trying to justify a paid link on the grounds that it is useful. A paid link is a paid link, regardless if it is useful or not. It's not a "win-win" situation where you get your link, the publisher gets a good article, and the readers get useful content. It's a paid link. You can dress it up and call it a win-win situation for everybody but it's still a paid link.
It is a false argument that it's restricting our freedom to practice marketing in the manner we see fit. Google is not the Internet. We are free to engage in any lawful form of marketing we wish.
However, this is WebmasterWorld's Google Forum and we are discussing a site that lost their Google rankings. In the context of this discussion being about Google rankings, if you are buying paid links and your Google rankings matter, then put a no-follow on it. It's as simple as that. Not difficult to understand. If your Google rankings don't matter then do whatever you want. It's as simple as that.
Unless you want to have your cake and rank it as well. If so, then just say it outright, you want your paid link and want to rank with it as well. Yes, it's good content, yes it's a win-win situation, and say what you really want to say that yes, you want Google to rank it because it's good (paid) content.
A few years back there was venture capital backed company that told its publshers and clients that they were in the business of matching quality publishers with quality advertisers, and boasted on their website that the links would help their client's search rankings. They justified the scenario based on quality. This is the same rationalization made by extreme reciprocal linkers many years ago. This win-win line of thinking is not new, it is very old. Some well known SEO marketers say the same thing about forum spam, that it's a win-win situation if you're answering a question by adding a link to your site that answers the OP. Anytime someone tells you that a link scheme is a win-win situation and throws in the word quality, be wary.