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If legal problems lurk
With text links, as I have described in the second part of my article series, even small and medium-sized blogs can earn a few hundred euros a month. However, this method has some legal problems - for example, when automatically unmarked post links are inserted into the text. On the other hand there are laws - to which only none holds.
Linklift and other Textlink marketers also provide postlinks, where individual words of a text are hyperlinked to the customer. With Linklift it runs automatically via a plugin - this is handy, but does not leave any possibility to mark these links as an advertisement!
This, however, is contrary to the Telemediengesetz, against §5 to be exact, which provides for the separation of editorial content and advertising, so that bloggers who are involved in this are at risk of warning.
And it violates the blacklist in the law against Unfair Competition, to be exact against point 11, which it too Company prohibited to post editorial content for advertising purposes that are not clearly labeled as advertising. This also threatens the customers who book such text links, a warning.
To put it bluntly: In my experience, most marketers do not care much about this legislation. I've alerted Linklift, and later other companies as well, they just do not care.
Probably, because of these laws, there have not been any known warning blunders yet, let alone court verdicts. The bill is just patient, nobody will find the text links so easily. The only thing marketers really fear is Google - that's why they do not want to tag things - says Linklift. But probably also because it would lose the competitive advantage.
Advertise your own label?
So the marketers do nothing. Therefore, everyone must decide for themselves how to deal with this legal situation. I personally have the postlinks marked with a plugin and a special icon as advertising.
Because I wanted to follow the law, however, I got with Linklift considerable trouble: It was criticized that the text links for Google much faster than purchased links are to be found and found (to this problem in the next post). It was true that I was allowed to spend some time, but annoyed me every six months.
A hardly noticed problem1
I finally separated myself from Linklift as a marketer and waived a few hundred euros advertising income per month. I am surprised that the topic has hardly been discussed in the blogger scene so far.
In the run-up to the re: publica 2010, I approached Marcus Beckedahl, who many consider to be the model for noncommercial blogging, because I thought that many would have to be interested - but they did not receive an answer.
Where there is money is not looked so exact?
Perhaps the legal basis of this problem is unknown to many. I also do not have the impression that Linklift is particularly trying to educate its publishers, but also its customers about this problem.
The fact that renowned companies such as the Volkswagen Bank advertise with such dubious methods that were active at least at Linklift at that time, I explain myself only in such a way that the decision makers in the company, the technical relationships are unknown. And since such decision-making processes often involve several marketers until the ad appears on the blog, they end up fine. But maybe they accept the low risk of getting caught, too?
Perhaps most people find that the simple peanuts are to earn a few euros through text links, even if it is strictly a little illegal.
I've talked to some people lately about this: many seem to realize that this is not good, but many are doing it somehow, because post links are barely noticed as advertisements, the danger of being discovered and the associated legal issues Consequences and reputation damage are so low. Maybe that's why nobody writes about it - you do not kill the cow you milk?
Consequences of unsuccessful advertising for all
I see it a little different: as long as companies can make dubious but effective advertising for comparatively little money - why should you spend reasonable money on legitimate advertising?
As a result, nothing will change at the current low prices on the advertising market! Readers are so much more practical!
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