Most people know about adsense which are the pay per click ad blocks you can place through out your site. There is another form of pay per click called ‘in text links’ and one such provider is InfoLinks. What these providers do is select keywords in your sites content and change them to hyperlink ads, typically when you hover over one of these links you’ll get a little pop up square with info on the advertiser. If the visitor clicks they are taken to the advertisers page and you are paid. Seems simple and you’re ready to add it to your site right? Well wait a minute, I have been testing this with 4 of my niche sites and have made some determinations that might change your mind.
First the positives.
There are a few providers of in text ads out there, I chose InfoLinks because they were the easiest to implement. Others you have to place a code snippet onto your pages by hard code methods, but InfoLinks comes with a nice and handy WP plugin. Install plugin like others, then enter your account and site number (each site has to be approved) then switch it on. Thats it if you want the default settings. To customize you go to your account on their website, select which website (if you have more than one) then you can select how many words will be changed (up to 12) and color of the hyperlink (blend in with your site). You can also change the underline from single to double or dotted.
Thats it, only positive I really have found so far. Now the next items may not be exactly negatives but are my observations and what I feel you must consider if you want to do in text ads on your sites.
Like most monetizing techniques you will do better with higher traffic to your site. Of the 4 sites I was testing on, my most trafficked niche site had 2800 visits in a 2 month time span. Now thats not bad really but with that the site only generated 66 in text clicks. Actually thats 2.4% click through so I guess thats not to bad but combine that with the next stats.
Your content will play a big factor in what ads are presented and therefore how much you will make, kinda like adsense. The above mentioned niche is in I’d say a food niche which apparently does not get that many ad bids as most of the clicks were worth .00 – .05, yes some clicks payed out .00! Those 66 clicks mad a whopping $1.02. Now compared to another one of the niche sites I tested it on, which is in a tech niche, it only received 11 clicks in the same time frame (with less traffic) but made $1.22. So consider what kind of ads you may get before you add it to your site.
Personally I don’t like the look of all those hyperlinks on my site. You can make it blend in but it still looks messy. The biggest distracting factor to me though is that it takes away from other ads you may have on the site that pay more. There is no way to make the links open in a new window and 9.9 times out of 10 once they left your site they are not coming back. Back to that first food site. Before adding info links to it it was getting a steady stream of adsense clicks, yes not becoming a millionaire on them either but it was paying more than the info links. as soon as I added the in text links I noticed a definite drop off of the adsense clicks. I waited 2 months to run my test on this then finally I removed them from the site around the beginning of this month. Very soon after adsense started performing better. So far this month its made more than 3 times what it did with info links in 2 months.
I have since removed it from 2 of the other sites, I’m thinking on leaving it on one but may change my mind on that soon. You see like google they have a high payout threshold, theirs is $50. Meaning I can’t get paid until I have earned $50 through them. If I left it on the 4 sites and at current rate of maybe $1.50 a month… well you do the math. It may be better to just abandon the couple bucks I have made there and just be done with it.
I have read with other people that they make good money with it. Maybe with the right site and a ton of traffic. Granted my little niche sites may not have been a good test but for me its not a good option. I definitely would not use it on a regular blog like this one just because of the annoyance factor. For me the pay out and the take away from other ad sources just don’t make it a good source for additional income.
Have you used in text ads? what are your thoughts and/or experiences?