If you own a web site, chances are very good that you've tried to monetize it to cover costs. With the added expense of purchasing computer hardware to complete my review articles, I know that feeling better than anyone. So when I first started Benchmark Reviews, a colleague suggested that I use Text Link Ads to help make a little money.
At first, I liked the idea of placing small text links (anchor text links) deep at the bottom of Benchmark Reviews, and making a few dollars in the process. If enough advertisers purchased a text link on our site, after a few months of payments I could actually pay off the entire web server hosting bill for the year.
But that was the upside to working with Text Link Ads. The downside, I would learn, made it not worth the money. To begin my woes, first Google punished Benchmark Reviews by reducing page rank from a 6 down to a 3. Apparently pay-for-link advertisements are a big no-no with Google. As a result, the articles we publish are no longer ranked at the top of search engine results, and thus draw in fewer visitors. This was a big hit, but because TLA was helping to pay the bills I considered it... for a short while.
Eventually I became fed-up with the punishment, and decided to experiment with the rel=nofollow attribute. Within a day or so, the Text Link Ads spider-bot generated a message to TLA servers that my ads weren't displaying correctly. As a result, my account was immediately suspended mid-month. The writing was on the wall, and I had a decision to make: keep Text Link Ads and suffer a low Google Page Rank, or conclude business and enjoy more visitors. I decided more visitors was worth more than the small amount of money they paid each month.
But here's where my problems end, and begin again. You see, TLA pays at the end of each month. If an advertiser quits the campaign during the month, you're paid a pro-rated amount. So the end of April came, and I wasn't paid for 13 days of displayed ads prior to the Spider-Bots visit. I wrote to Brock Boser
, the COO of Text Link Ads, and requested my payment. In short, he said that TLA was not going to pay me unless I reinstated their ads without the no-follow attribute in the links. I explained that he still owes me for nearly half a month, and to that I received no response... or payment.
So the lesson learned is: Text Links Ads is bad for business, unless, of course, you're just not trying to get paid.