Recent Experience: Text Link Advertising

So a company recently contacted me to see if I wanted to better monetize this site, and when I told them I was interested, they sent me details outlining the fact that they wanted to have me insert JavaScript on this site to display upwards of four random text links. These links would not be no-follow links, thus Google would no doubt penalize me at one point or another.

I sent them back an e-mail basically saying “pay me a lot of money, or make your links no-follow”, and the response I got was that their program wouldn’t fit my site’s needs.

I can’t say that I am all that surprised, but everyone should take this as a warning. Just because these companies are not Text Link Ads, or PayPerPost, doesn’t mean you won’t be penalized. Google engineers are not dumb, and you will be penalized for selling such text links no matter the company, especially if they want to do it via JavaScript, a way that leaves a huge fingerprint for Google to find.

Sure, you can say that you don’t care about PageRank, but when Google knocks you to zero, I am sure you will be one of the first complaining how unfair it is that most advertising systems still use things like PageRank to determine advertising value.

After my current advertisers finish their run, I will be changing all of my advertising to no-follow, including all advertisements. Rates will not be changed, and I hope potential advertisers begin to see the value in branding, traffic, and other metrics, rather than gaming the search engines.

2 thoughts on “Recent Experience: Text Link Advertising

  1. Steven Snell

    I’ve had a few people offer me money for links on specific pages. They wanted permanent links and were willing to pay a pretty big amount. I turned it down because I figured Google was ban me and then I wouldn’t be able to get rid of them since there would have been a permanent agreement.

  2. David

    Never, NEVER sell permanent links on any site. I would say, never sell longer than a single year. And Google can’t track every private ad sale… so don’t worry too much about that.

    Just make sure its on your terms, and that you are able to remove it if there is a Google penalty.

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