Using TNX.net: Results

It’s been a little over a month now that I’ve been testing out TNX.net. So far, I’m finding it to be a valuable tool. I’ve added two of my sites as link hosts. This and one other. Between the two of them, I’ve sold thousands of links for 10s of thousands of TNX points.

The market of TNX and the exchange rate for points makes it almost entirely pointless to try and make money by selling your points you’ve earned. You’ll never get rich that way! So, we have to devise a better way of using those points to get richer. And here’s how: use them!

By using the points I’ve earned from my fully developed and established site, I can buy links for some of my lesser sites. I can amass several hundred links over a matter of days. You’ve got to be careful to not amass them too fast or Google will kick you right out and into the sandbox. We don’t want that. I get around this (and it appears to work) by periodically freezing the campaign and then re-activating it a few days later. It takes 3-4 days for a link to be activated and by doing this, I get a pretty steady flow of links over several days and weeks rather than hundreds of links in one day and then nothing. It looks more natural. Remember to follow the tips that TNX gives and vary the anchor text and the page linked to so that they look that much more natural.

The other trick I use is to not buy the big PR links. I’m not buying links for pagerank, but for the sake of indexing and links. So, with this site, I’m able to sell several links on PR3 and PR4 pages and buy 100 PR0 links with each one. Using a mix of PR0 and PR1 links, I’ve managed about a 3:10 ratio of links sold to links purchased.

That’s all well and good, but does it work? Yes. Within a week of using this method to sell links and buy links for smaller websites, I noticed a marked increase in traffic from the search engines. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that increased traffic from search engines can translate into more affiliate sales, more newsletter signups, and more income.

One downside to all this is that you’re only selling or buying links for one month’s time. If you delete a campaign, the links go away. In the end, you’ll want to spend some time building more permanent links elsewhere, but TNX gives a great boost while you’re doing that building. It only takes a few minutes to set up a campaign and once set up, there is little to no maintenance. I’ll be continuing to play around with TNX and honing my methods as I go. It’s a pretty good tool to have in your portfolio, I think.

Scratchback Beta now paying 90%

After about a week of being in Beta, it seems Jim Kukral and the Scratchback crew are listening to the users.  They just announced that the payout would be 90% after paypal fees.  That’s pretty generous.  They also mention something about moving back to about the same as blogads which is at 30%.  Still not bad.  Much better than the 50% cut after paypal fees that they started out with.

As you can see by the sidebar, I’ve only sold two spots on the top spots widget, so there are 8 more open!  It’s a FIFO list, so as each new one comes in the rest move down one spot.  With only two and the price at $1 you could potentially get your ad there for months.  That’s about 4000 eyes a month.  You can’t beat that much of anywhere else.

Scratchback Beta Goes Live

ScratchBack, the new advertising/tipping system from Jim Kukral got thrown into drive a little earlier than he had planned today. It was originally planned for the 31st or 1st, but it seems that it went a little bit viral late this last week and he decided to release it to the beta list.

If you’re still wondering what I’m talking about, it’s the orange widget thing talking about top spots on the right under the text link ads.

It has some potential. There are several options for setting it up. You can make the links last until someone bumps them off the bottom (like I have set up), 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days. Lot’s of flexibility there. There are several different color schemes that you can select as well. Most of the most used colors, so should be something to fit into just about any theme. You can also select between text links and image links. I couldn’t find anything saying whether the image links would default to a text link if the “tipper” didn’t upload an image, but I would assume so. And if you’re worried about Google getting mad at you, the links are hardcoded with the nofollow attribute.

Now, it’s not all roses with this. Several things jumped out at me right away. The first is that they plainly state that they are taking a commission on your tips, but nowhere does it say how much. Not the biggest deal in the world, but I’d still like to know. Especially when it’s a widget that could be programmed independently pretty quickly by anyone with some coding experience. It’s just easier to use ScratchBack. (*Update: I’ve sold one link so far at $1 and received a total of $0.333 for it.  Seems a little steep for me.  Not even TLA takes more than 50%)

And if you’ve looked at the widget here, you’ve noticed that it’s a little big for the sidebar. That’s because there is no flexibility for size. 180 pixels or nothing. I’d love to see some of the more standard sizes. Or at least an option for a standard sized 160 pixels. And maybe a horizontal option as well. Lots of people have a 468X60 banner spot that would work great for something like this.

And finally, there isn’t an affiliate program. Not really all that surprising considering that they don’t disclose how much they are taking. Hopefully they’ll work on that. I think it would help with acceptance and use if people were aware of how much they were losing per transaction as well as maybe able to get a kickback for referrals.

Another thing that I noticed, but that really isn’t a bad thing per se, is that during the sign up and in the FAQ’s, they try to make it very clear that this is not an advertising program. It’s a tipping platform that just happens to have a link kickback function. Sounds fine to me. Also sounds like double talk. Especially when you go and read the TOS and the only words they use for both buyers and sellers are the words advertiser and ad publisher. And they are called text link advertisements. Which is it? Are they tips or ads?

btw. I’ve priced the links in my scratchback widget at $1. And it’s set to bump down, so after 10 are purchased, the next purchase will bump #10 off the list. Should make for some interesting times if it’s used at all. Of course, if it’s never used, your link could sit up there for quite a while for only $1!

TNX.net Response to Google Banning Post

In my recent post, I asked “TNX.net Users Getting Banned?”  It seems that there is only about half truth to that statement.  Here’s the response that is in the comments of that post from the crew at TNX.net

It’s just Google’s “too many links at once” automatic filter… When over 100 new links pointing to one page appear in several days, all with the same anchors (which is unnatural) – Google will likely notice you and the pages you were promoting may disappear from SERPs for 1 month (after that tey will return even higher). This automated filter is intended to keep you away from buying links, but it’s very easy to avoid the filter!

Your case doesn’t mean, that Google bans TNX buyers (there is no may Google can identify TNX links). It only means that there IS a risk when buying links without following our recommendations: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=488057

We just give you a convenient tool to place many of direct links, it is up to you to choose when to stop placing new links and how to make anchors look more natural (variety is the key), which links to delete.

Previously our advertisers didn’t have a generator to make anchors look natural. Until now! Just look at the new Step-2 of Creating campaign: you can now generate hundreds of different anchors with a click of a button.

We suggest that you now try to buy links following our recommendations and then publish a follow-up review. If you don’t do that – then… the main purpose of Google’s automated “too many links at once” filter – to scare you from buying link – is accomplished :)
Have you ever thought of WHY Google wants to scare you from buying links? Because it works great, when done with care, of course!”

You wrote: the reason behind it all is the super fast acquisition of links – indeed, it is.

So, the short answer is Yes, Google is banning users of TNX.net.  But it’s only temporary.  Given time, you should come out the other side smelling like a rose.  I’ve got two sites (with a third waiting on approval) that I have campaigns running for.  At the moment, I haven’t seen any of the problems with the Google filter.  One has over 300 links through the service so far and the other has about 180.  I haven’t seen any movement in the SERPs either up or down.

I guess in the end, it’ll be up to you whether you want to risk a month in the sandbox in exchange for a lot of extra links.  The sites I have in the program don’t have a whole lot of links just yet, so I think the reward will greatly outweigh the risk.