Is My Advertising Provider a Domain Spammer?

At Wordcamp there was some discussion about how to monetize your blog. At one point one of the participants talked about using text-link-ads (which is a domain spammer) to monetize your site.

Apparently they’re paying pretty well and he’s taking in some good money. This makes sense of course because they’re spamming google and the CPM is much larger for spam than legitimate ads.

I pointed this out and two members in the audience retorted that they aren’t spammers (which is incorrect). Their website and marketing information couldn’t be any clearer that they are IN FACT spammers.

So how can you find out if you’re ad provider is a spammer?

Ask them two easy questions.

1. Can I use rel=nofollow?

2. Do my links have to be visible?

If they answer no to any of these questions then they’re a domain spammer. I suspect that text-link-ads would say no to both.


  1. Kevin,
    I respect your views 100% however I disagree. I have found No Follow tags pretty useless on a lot of fronts. Even Google hasn’t done a great job of using this and Microsoft and Yahoo definetley havent at all.

    Secondarily I dont think TLA would approve the use of hidden links. In fact they suggest putting it right up into the forefront of the content so people will click on them.

    And yeah that was me talking about them at one point. But I really respect your viewpoint just dont agree.

  2. Thanks for the comment….

    My point was if they say no to *either*…. :)

    My point being that there’s NO way that TLA would allow you to add rel=”nofollow” …

    (even if you wanted to)…

    Kevin

  3. I forget to mention I’m an advertiser who uses TLA’s and I’m definetly not in it for pagerank. My ads have a higher ctr than a campaign on adsense at a lower cost per click suprisingly. And I’m not worried about getting their pagerank as I run sites with good pagerank that I transfer over no matter what.

  4. Another thing I should note…. even if you *want* do to this there’s no reason to believe that Google won’t block you. They did it to Mullenweg when he did this on wordpress.org.

    Ask him :)

    We haven’t done any auditing yet but we (Tailrank) have blocked sites before that have questionable linking policies.

    Its just a good way to get blocked by Google and really destroys the web infrastructure. If I seem to get a little passionate about this its because it screws with Tailrank ;)

    Kevin

  5. Nah,
    I totally understand your issue. And would love to discuss making that issue go away. Whether that’s the blogging community look at that issue.

    The selling of links is nothing new however and the debate seems to get drugg out every few months.

    Your passion on this issue is understandable as it effects your products effectiveness.

  6. “I forget to mention I’m an advertiser who uses TLA’s and I’m definetly not in it for pagerank.”

    GREAT!

    “My ads have a higher ctr than a campaign on adsense at a lower cost per click suprisingly.”

    I would be more worried about your target site being blacklisted by Google. Its nice to get a ton of traffic for links but if it Google cuts you off that could be a 30% loss of traffic overnight probably a similar loss of revenue.

    If you’re more concerned about the CTR then I would pay for adsense or javascript inclusion OR you can do rel=”nofollow” …

    It sounds like in your case that you would be safe just doing rel=nofollow since you’re saying you have an increased CTR….

    Kevin

  7. “I totally understand your issue. And would love to discuss making that issue go away. Whether that’s the blogging community look at that issue.”

    I think the only way to make it go away is to sell links as rel=nofollow and to insist that they’re kept that way. (to avoid being confused as spam)

    “The selling of links is nothing new however and the debate seems to get drugg out every few months.”

    Yeah…. I don’t want this practice to go away at all and I totally support it. What I don’t support however is selling of pagerank. If thats not your goal then adding rel=”nofollow” isn’t really a problem…

    Kevin






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