Flat Rate Advertising:
Recently a guy talked about creating a peer reviewed information system which charged a flat rate for clicks. The problems with flate rate advertising are:
- not all ads have the same value
- charging a flat rate would lead to oversaturation in competitive areas and minimal coverage in less competitive areas
- the lower overall income generated through such a system would leave less money for marketing it
It is hard to bribe people to rate relevancy. The best bet on that front is to try to establish a system and idea which will be good enough to build a usebase which markets itself, and then figure out how to attach a business model later.
SEW also recently had another forum thread about acquiring cheap links. Pyramid Link Building Scheme:
Someone recently spammed SEW forums asking about www.16links.com, which is a link building pyramid scheme that charges people to join it too.
What a hunk of crap site / idea!!!
One Time Fee Links:
Another person dropped in the 16links.com thread to recommend textlinkpopularity.com for building one way links for a one time fee. (incidentally, this person's only other comments are in a thread they started recommending textlinkpopularity.com).
Why one time fee links suck:
- Low Quality: High quality sites selling useful ad space usually do not sell that ad space for a one time fee, even most directories suck.
- Low Quality: If sites are hard up for cash then those sites likely are not going to be long lasting ones.
- Low Quality: If a site is selling underpriced ad space for a one time fee, then eventually that ad space becomes hyper saturated to where the value diminishes.
- Low Quality: If sites are made just to sell links for a fixed rate then they may not have enough money to put back into promotion. The site the ad is on may not grow with the web. If a site rarely picks up new links then it would be easy and likely that a search engine may discount the value of links from that site, especially if it is a site that is not well integrated into the web.
- Low Quality: I started on the web by creating a site that was a bit critical of the military. Its a really bad site and I should take it down, but I leave it up to still speak my mind and show how quickly people can learn. One of the more reputable link brokers spammed that site asking if they could buy links on it. That shows there probably is not much quality in that business model if they are willing to risk their reputation for a few dollars.
Easy to Replicate:
Another common problem with most linking schemes is that they are easy to replicate. This means that if a quick low cost link scheme is effective, easy to trace, and has no quality standards then people will be able to quickly replicate it, thus any competitive advantage gained would be quickly minimized.
I have lots of directory links and one time fee links, but most of them were not built through any broker, and at the end of the day most of them do not drive much traffic, and I am moving away from doing it as much for some of my sites.
Most of the links for a one time fee type programs charge about $20 - $30 for a link. So a dozen crap links would cost you around $300. These links would most likely:
- drive no traffic
- be on pages full of other junk links
- not be on authoritative, highly related, or well integrated sites
The links that drive the most traffic to my site are the ones where my site or I am featured or cited. Examples:
Writing an article might take a couple hours, but if you get it syndicated through the right channels it can build dozens of quality links. These links:
- drive targeted prospects
- are on pages with few links
- are on pages about your topic
- some of them may be on related, authoritative, well integrated websites
Most articles I write and syndicate quickly bring in at least one or two consulting clients, so there is some value there, plus for about 3 hours of work (writing and submitting the article) I can get links that are worth well over $300, since the articles would have more longterm value than the crap one time fee links.
Like a twit I recently broke the Link Harvester tool. Currently I have an old version up, but my friend who made it is going to add a few new features to it and have it back up this weekend. :)
The Link Harvester tool so far costed me about 2 hours of my time and around $500 to make. It got links from sites like SitePoint, ThreadWatch, & Yahoo! from within the content part of the pages. In most good algorithms 3 of those links, from sites which:
- are well established
- drive traffic
- are authoritative
- are not going away anytime soon
are going to be worth far more than a dozen or two dozen permanent junk links. A few other beautiful things about getting links from authoritative sites:
- Using tons of cheap one time fee links may raise your risk profile. Odds are that Yahoo! is not going to use their link pointing at my site as a reason to ban my site.
- Getting links on authoritative sites is not as easy to replicate as getting links from a program which serves up links all you can eat at $25 each.
Scalability of a business model is important. If a project or idea does not gain steam then the value of the ad is limited at best. I like investing early into some ideas just in case they pan out, but the people selling links using cheap instead of value as the selling point may not be giving you much value. Sometimes the value of links is destroyed by the business model of the site the link is on.
When you look at links on a shear numbers level you end up missing the value of putting in a little effort or spending the money in indirect ways to get more longterm value out of your link ad spend. [/end rant hehehe]
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