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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Selling Text Links or Banner Ads
    I have been toying with the idea of selling ads on my site.

    I have been approached several times for selling text links or banner ads on my site. I am sure many of you have too so wanted to see what the common practice is. However, it seem lately that it is more requests for text links as there seem to be more SEO benefit. Several times been approached by merchants on SAS or CJ and they seem to know that G views affiliate links different than plain ol' pat-on-the-back backlinks.

    Any advice and experience in this area I would appreciate your feedback as I have shy-ed away from doing this because I am just too lazy to keep track of payments, links etc and also whether this would be frowned upon by search engines. However, it seem attractive if they pay on an annual basis so you don't have to worry about income if your G rankings drop or if a merchant goes belly up and you have to replace all your links, etc.

    If I went ahead and did it...
    (1) Would you "nofollow" the links?

    (2) How much would you charge?
    Stats for the month of May for one site:
    108,000 unique visitors
    138,000 visits
    Alexa 179,000
    PR 4

    (3) Use ad networks instead? Which ad network?
    Looked into OpenX and little bit into Burstmedia. But honestly don't know much about.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Google says you have to use the "nofollow" if it is a paid ad.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  3. #3
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse View Post
    Google says you have to use the "nofollow" if it is a paid ad.
    Google doesn't dictate what happens on anyone's site.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    I was reading up on paid links for one of my sites and found this on Google Webmaster Centrel:



    Paid links

    Comment Print Google and most other search engines use links to determine reputation. A site's ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to it. Link-based analysis is an extremely useful way of measuring a site's value, and has greatly improved the quality of web search. Both the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of links count towards this rating.

    However, some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results.

    Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:

    Adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag
    Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file


    http://www.google.com/support/webmas...n&answer=66736
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  5. #5
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    I somehow doubt that your advertisers are interested in a no follow link but you can ask them anyway. 100,000 visitors a month is pretty good number. I would work out how many impressions their ad are likely to generate a month and how much you would like to charge them for 1000 impressions. You can then reach a monthly figure from there. A PR4 link on its own is not worth that much.

    I would think twice before you offer do follow links. Google will penalize sites that sells links if they found out. Penalties range from drop in SERPS, PR to a completely de-indexing i.e. ban. If it is your major revenue producing site, I would strongly advice you not to do it since PR4 do follow links are not worth that much.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdaden View Post
    ...........I would think twice before you offer do follow links. Google will penalize sites that sells links if they found out. Penalties range from drop in SERPS, PR to a completely de-indexing i.e. ban. If it is your major revenue producing site, I would strongly advice you not to do it since PR4 do follow links are not worth that much.

    I agree,

    Mybe you could use Adsense or something simular to generate more income??
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  7. #7
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse View Post
    I agree,

    Mybe you could use Adsense or something similar to generate more income??
    +1
    I turn down one of those paid-link offers every othem month or so. One reason is that I hate any kind of extra paperwork. On the other hand, AdSense is "easy" and it pays well; and I'm quite sure Goog likes it if placed on good sites.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the excellent info!

    I did not put much weight on the G penalty so kse thanks for the info and link!

    I have seen others sell paid link banners on their site (many are do follow) and they seem to be doing well in G and getting traffic. These sites do not have affiliate links on them besides the occasional amazon links. The revenue generated by them is more than what one would get from affiliate links for my site and what a thought to have a steady income coming in without worrying about SERPs changes, G updates, merchants problems, tracking problems, etc.

    pdaden, you are right that many would probably not be interested in a "nofollow" links. Most probably do not even know what that means and a select few who are merchants and hired OPM or AMs would know. As it is already I do link out for free to sites which I think would benefit my visitors however most are "nofollow". Very few are "dofollows" but that is only due to error on my part and forget to add the "nofollow" in.

    Bill! I am with you. The less paperwork the better! This has actually been my main reason for not selling links. I have played around with Adsense and the problem with that was it was too successful in that it took away traffic and decreased my affiliate earnings substantially! Especially now that interest-based ads are in place, the ads are highly targeted and will take away affiliate money off the site.

    I have plenty of pages that have content on them but no targeted affiliate links and perhaps those are the ones I could use to sell link ads.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne View Post
    Google doesn't dictate what happens on anyone's site.
    Yep.

    That's just old school selling advertising on your site, with the web there is also SEO benefit. And there is really no way Google would know if you sold links (advertising). That's why they want you to use nofollow, you're basically taking the guess work out for them. If you had a sewing site and had links to lawyers, mesothelioma or completely unrelated topics, it's pretty obvious you're selling links.

    But go to a typical blog, they usually have a blogroll or section of links. How would you know if the links are there because they linked out on their own or somebody paid them too? You really don't. And good thing about that, is you get paid up front. And you can still have all the Adsense you want and other ads as well.

    So I've never had a problem with it.

    As an example, I typed in sewing blog, picked the first result, in their little blog roll/links section:

    Blogs on Feminism, Body Image, and Other Lady Issues

    * Big Fat Deal
    * Broadsheet
    * Bust Magazine
    * Feministing
    * Glossed Over
    * Jezebel
    * Kate Harding's Shapely Prose

    Are those paid links or just links they put up because they thought there were sites worth linking too? There's no way to tell, certainly no way for Google to tell. They might be all paid or all just natural, you might have all of them natural with a couple paid in there etc.

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