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Text Link Ads Link Value Calculator

Over the past few months I’ve been testing Text Link Ads (aff) on most of my blogs as a secondary way of adding income streams by selling text links. I’ve found TLA to be a very useful service – particularly because it’s something that once you’ve set up is incredibly easy to maintain. In effect TLA do all the work for you – finding advertisers, working out the cost, collecting the income and then sending it to you at the end of the month.

They are by no means my highest income earner but in April made up around 5% of my income. The other good thing about them is that each month they perform better and better as they gradually fill your inventory of empty ad slots over time. Most advertisers stay on from month to month so it’s very low maintenance and as they find new advertisers the potential for higher earnings grows.

Looking at my own blogs and the b5 blogs that we have them on (almost all of them) they do perform better on some blogs than others (obviously there are more advertisers out there looking for links on some topics than others) but if a blog has a reasonable page rank they seem to earn between $15 and $52 per link per month on most blogs that I can see. Not bad if you are selling up to 10 of them per blog and then if you have multiple blogs.

One of the only gripes I had with them was that the way they determined how much to sell text links for seemed quite mysterious. Some blogs seemed to fetch higher prices than others for no apparent reason.

Tla

Today they launched a helpful little Link Worth Calculator that gives some insight into how they value links. It’s a cool little tool that is quite fun to play with. Variables that impact the worth of links include positioning, site (presumably your page rank has some influence), topic of site, how many ads are to be sold and whether the link is site wide or on a single page.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Hsien Lei says:

    The whole pricing of TLA is definitely mysterious. I’d like to know how they determine which blogs are “premium” and which are not. The URL’s for these “premium” blogs aren’t revealed until you actually purchase a (refundable) ad.

  2. Rob says:

    How do they compare with AdBrite in regard to the size of the pool of advertisers?

  3. Hung says:

    Try typing in “google.com” or “yahoo.com” and see what happens.

  4. Darren Rowse says:

    Rob – All I can really make the comparison on is the blogs that I have them both on and in those three cases TLA sold out those blogs spaces within a month and Adbrite sold one or two ads per month. Adbrite didn’t hold the advertisers from month to month though and TLA has been a full inventory for me ever since.

    This will differ from blog to blog though – the key is to experiment and see what works best where I suspect.

    Hsien – yeah it is a little odd. Not sure how they determine premium either – will see if I can find out.

    Hung – very amusing

  5. Darren Rowse says:

    try engadget.com :-)

  6. Rob says:

    Interesting, Darren. I didn’t sign up w/ TLA because I’m a bit weary signing up for all of these different services that basically do the same thing, figuring that AdBrite was the largest and most likely to work.
    It’s been pretty disappointing so far though, so maybe a bit more experimentation’s in order.

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    The thing about Adbrite from an advertisers perspective is that the links they buy have no SEO benefits at all. They are ads in that they promote the service but the links are not directly to the site in question. I’m finding more and more advertisers want BOTH the promotion AND the SEO rich link. Perhaps this is why Adbrite text links have sold much worse for me in recent times. In fact a few advertisers who signed up with Adbrite approached me directly after a while asking if I would sell them direct links instead…

  8. brem says:

    Darren: typically, how long does it take before a link is sold?

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    hard to generalise brem.

    On a lot of my blogs I’d sold links within two or three days but there are a few b5 blogs that we have had them on for a month now that havn’t sold any yet.

    I think this is for a variety of reasons including:

    page rank – the higher ranked blogs seem to be more in demand
    topic – obviously commercial topics seem to sell faster

    I’m hesitant to claim they’ll work on every blog – I’ve heard of some new blogs not being accepted into the program (before they get a page rank) but they seem to work with quite a few of the blogs I’m involved with – especially those that are a few months old at least and have some search engine presence.

  10. George says:

    I have to say this Text ad isn’t really good. Here is why I think it is bad. I have used this and sold an ad about 2-3 weeks ago and after that I can say my site pages that was in google is slowly being deleted by google. I had pages from 1500 to about 170 today. Due to this my AdSense revenue has taken a beating.

    So I would advise people that might be looking to sell text ads to not do it, because Google will delete your pages.

  11. Darren Rowse says:

    how do you know it was because of selling text link ads George? I’ve been using TLA for two or three months now and if anything my SE presence has increased…. there are so many factors its hard to tell…

  12. Andy says:

    Hmm, according to their tool a link on problogger.net would pay $182 a month. A link on my site would pay $9 a month. Seems kinda high considering I have a page rank of zero.

  13. George says:

    Not 100% sure Darren, but I just did a logical deduction and conclude that the ad was a reason. It might have all been a coincident or it might not be.

    Plus after I changed the ad from site wide to just a single page, I have see the number of pages in google started to increse again since yesterday. Hopefully it will be back up in a week or so.

  14. wow to engadget.com … if you type MSN.com you get the Borg haha

  15. Ken says:

    George is right. Google’s BigDaddy indexing/crawl algorithm lowers the priority of sites/pages that engage in reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling. I blogged about it here.

  16. Ohad says:

    I have just signed up for TLA.
    Has anyone using blogger tried to use them as an alternative ad to google’s adsense?

  17. I’ve found TLAs pretty good for all the reasons Darren gives. They don’t accept blogs with PR less than 4, I’ve found. Money blogs seem to do best. Tech and company blogs not so good.

    As for how they value the links, I would think they have a demand quotient for each category of blog. Rough and ready maybe, but unless they had an auction like Google, it’s hard to see how else they could do it.

  18. A.H says:

    I’ve noticed that PR plays a huge role in determining the price paid. This calculator estimated that i would earn about 28/ad if 4 ads are sold. I’m testing that right now….the money i earn (if i earn) from TLA is gonna be invested back either in a new design for one of my blogs, advertising, or hiring a blogging-partner.

    A.H

  19. Jesse says:

    holy crap….10 sitewide links in the sidebar at engadget would be…about 5k per link per month…

    no wonder people say AOL paid 25 million for engadget

  20. Must Love Goblins says:

    Well, after going through the trouble of signing up and customizing the code, I learn it won’t work on a Typepad blog. I’m guessing Blogger blogs and any others that are hosted are out of luck.

  21. gaman says:

    I am not sure if I am being reasonable or paranoid to be a little bit wary about joining TLA.

    Matt Cutts writes:

    A natural question is: what is Google’s current approach to link buying? Of course our link-weighting algorithms are the first line of defense, but it’s difficult to catch every problem case in adversarial information retrieval, so we also look for problems and leaks in different semi-automatic ways. Reputable sites that sell links won’t have their search engine rankings or PageRank penalized–a search for [daily cal] would still return dailycal.org. However, link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext).

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank/

    —–

  22. George says:

    Update:
    After changing the text ads to single page, Googe have started to reinclude my pages. I now have 2500 pages in there index once again.

    So this tells me Google doesn’t really like people selling text ads unless the site is something like engadget or some other big site.

  23. Linh says:

    i trying with google adsense and adbrite …..

  24. Lipped Media says:

    2 questions: I can’t get the form to submit, how do I submit it? I swear there’s no button.

    2: Could you give advice on a blog by blog basis on whether to join (or stick with) AdBrite or whether to apply for this? I’m afraid of being rejected.

  25. Lipped Media says:

    I’ve been having Internet issues, but I see my comment WAS posted.

    I didn’t complete the form when I didn’t see a button, which I didn’t realize.

    A couple blogs were automatically approved. :-] I was very encouraged by that form, he he.

  26. SciFiDrive says:

    My site just got approved for TLA and its a sci-fi site. I still have to see how effective TLA will be as a revenue source.

  27. louis says:

    hi guys

    im looking into buying some text links, and i wanna make sure what im paying is well worth for the links: any advice.

    second can anyone advise on a good website with a good text link calculator.

    best regards

    louis

    http://www.providentestate.com

  28. SEO Expert says:

    Hi Louis…

    My advice is pretty well simple:
    Hire an seo expert, they know what they are doing.

    Just search for an seo expert in your town.. Google it :)

    Just kidding… Good luck purchasing links and I really hope that you will success, even with out any help :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I saw a post about the Text Link Ads Link Value Calculator over on Darren’s ProBlogger site. Apparently the calculator is an estimate of market prices for text links (they have a disclaimer for their tool: “does not always reflect the prices of Text Link Ads inventory”). [...]

  2. [...] My buddy and blogging superman Darren Rowse yesterday pointed the attention of his audience at a Link Value Calculator that’s just been launched by Text Link Ads (aff. link). [...]

  3. [...] So lots of hoopla here, here and here about Text-Link-Ads’ new Link Worth Calculator. Besides a great way to sneak in affiliate referrals (see the embedded referrer ID?), it’s also been a great way for them to get some link-love from the unwashed masses. TextLinkAds (who seem to have an identity crisis around whether or not to include hyphens in their name or not… it’s definitely in the domain, but it’s not used consistently on the site… hello, marketing?) has been around for a while, but this is giving them a big boost. (Let’s hope they learn from Chitika’s mistakes.) [...]

  4. [...] How effective is it? I had just signed up as a publisher so I have no idea how well it works. However Darren over at Problogger had been using it with some nice results. [...]

  5. [...] There are a lot of blogs using and praising Text Link Ads. But I have experienced some cons of their system. First of all, they seem to be picky about which sites they accept. They didn’t accept my Speeltijd website, although it has more visitors than this blog. And secondly, they choose the price for the links on your site, and you can not directly influence it. [...]