austtr - 6:43 am on Jun 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
In recent comments, Matt Cutts is reported to have said Penguin 2 will, along with other targets, crack down on advertorials.
When I see a page in a newspaper or magazine that presents itself as being part of the publication, but which is just a means of promoting a particular product or service, then I know I'm looking at an advertorial. They are usually very easy to recognize.
I understand Google's objective in trying to drive these mostly worthless, mutton dressed as lamb, pages from its index but I can't help wondering how accurately they can decide when a page becomes an advertorial.
Articles immediately come to mind. If I write a whole bunch of stuff and submit it to article publishers as a way of generating some links back to my money pages, then I can see how that might be considered as creating advertorials... manipulative, pay for placement, low quality content created for a self serving purpose.
But if I actively encourage people to write articles to publish on my site because I want to supplement my content with additional material from subject experts, do my article pages become advertorials because I provide an acknowledgement and links back to the author?
Do you think there might be a risk that a traditional "thank you" acknowledgement/links to the article author can be seen as no different than a tell-tale sign of an advertorial? Can Google really make such subtle distinctions?