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Should you use infolinks and other text-link ads on your blogs?

Text-link based advertising like Infolinks are used as part of income generating revenue in a blog. It differs from Adsense because the ads appear within the contents written by the blogger- anywhere from the sub titles, side bars but mainly within the blog post itself.

Once, I have signed up with Infolinks to increase my earning potential of the blog as I felt that Adsense is delivering less revenue even for the same number of clicks.

When I google about reviews on Infolinks, most of them were positive and a number of bloggers said that Infolinks give them quite a pleasant side income.

So I set up my Paypal account (luckily Malaysians can now register for Paypal account), registered for Infolinks, add my blogs to it- and wait for a few days for the approval. At first, when the approval did not come, I send them another email and the friendly staff at Infolinks promptly replied and activated my blog. With just inserting a simple script along the sidebar, I am up and ready to go.

infolinks-popups

My personal experience with Infolinks

After putting Infolinks into my blog, there is no drop in my traffic. Their earnings per click is much lower than Adsense compared to the same number of clicks. Given that the links were placed within the blog posts, the clickthrough rate should be higher than Google Adsense.

However, after a few weeks of having Infolinks in my blog, I decided to bring down the links from my main blogs because:

1. User experience

The links appeared at random and as the user mouse over it, a small pop up appears- it depends on the visitor if they want to click on it or not.

A blogger will know immediately that that’s an ad. But not a visitor who stumbles upon your site searching for information. The pop-ups may end up annoying the visitor- and in my opinion, it’s just not worth sacrificing the user experience for just small earnings.

2. Unrelated content

Using the same search engine technology, Google is able to place the advertisements according to the keywords found in your articles. That means that it will match relevant ads to your blog post. A visitor that comes to my blog may end up exiting via an ad because the information there could be relevant to what he/she is looking for.

But a lot of ads placed on the links are not relevant to the content of the post and therefore not helpful to the visitors at all.

3. It’s difficult to control where the links appear

There’s probably a way to tweak it to stop the links from appearing on my blog tagline (the phrase located right below my blog title) and at the sidebars. But I don’t have time to explore. And chances are, the visitors may have clicked on to those links thinking that it is a part of the blog.

4. The blog may get de-ranked by Google.

Previously, bloggers using link-ads were being penalized by Google during one of their page rank update exercise. Infolinks users were not being penalized but who knows….

In a nutshell

To me, there’s too much at stake. I’ll rather earn less than to irritate my visitors with mini pop-ups.

As a blogger or writer, it may be something that you want to consider too- invest in developing your skills …taking classes to learn and enhance your skills, using your blog as a platform to launch your freelance career, etc.

A number of writers, programmers and site designers showcase their skills for the whole world to see via their blogs and some even have chosen to remove all forms of advertising. Eventually, that move propelled them to become a highly sought freelance or consultant in an area that they have demonstrated clear skills in.

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  • Jonathan Cohen May 25, 2010, 2:45 pm

    Hi Yin,

    My name is Jonathan and I work for Kontera. I think our In-Text network might be a better match for you.

    I understand your frustrations about the lack of related content, and Kontera’s contextual technology was built to address that problem as our algorithm is able to scan webpages to understand content, which allows us to highlight keywords that are related to your subject matter and display ads with related subject matters. This differentiation allows us to deliver higher CTR and better CPC. In contrast, competitors like Infolinks aren’t able to not understand your content and just scan keywords, which leads to less relevant ads.

    Additionally, Kontera offers an exclusive ad inventory of some the most recognized brands in the world including Blackberry, Microsoft, L’Oreal, Dove, Quaker, Kmart, and Volvo. These premium, often Rich-Media ads are more attractive to your site visitors thus less intrusive, offer the best CPC, and are only available through Kontera. Infolinks doesn’t have their own ad inventory, relying solely on generic ad feeds, so the quality of their ads is dependent on a third party.

    In terms of site visitors mistaking In-Text ads for something else, for the most part I believe it’s generally understood that a double underlined word signifies an In-Text ad. Some competitors still play around with offering single underlined ads, but at Kontera we’re straightforward and consistent that our ads are double underlined, which is less confusing for your users.

    If you’re interested in trying out Kontera, we’re offering a 70% revenue share rate for new publishers, and are currently offering a $50 bonus for any new publisher who gets at least 25,000 U.S. page-views during their first 30 days on the network. We also recently lowered our minimum payment threshold from $100 to $50, which is applicable across all payout methods.

    You can find out more either by e-mailing me, or alternately checking out our Publisher Page: http://www.kontera.com/publishers/

    Thanks,

    – Jonathan Cohen
    Kontera Community Manager
    Jonathanc@kontera.com

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