TLA Dropped, TNX too

With the rollout of the new design, I’ve dropped the use of Text-Link-Ads on this site.  I struggled to find a place for them in the new design and between the dropping income that they’ve been bringing in and a little pressure from the great oogelly moogelly I decided to just remove them altogether.

While I was at it, I removed TNX.net links from the site as well.  Both services have a place and a use, but neither was fitting where I wanted this site to go and I really didn’t want to fill up the front page with more ad stuff.   I’m still considering whether I will put scratchback back in the design or not.  I’ve got room for it on the single pages, but it might stay off of the front page.  Again, the design is such that adding it would really mush stuff together and give more of an appearance of being over ad laden.

So, with that said, there are plenty of open ad spots at the moment.  I’ve changed the advertise page to reflect the new spots and the new prices.  If you are interested in advertising on Thatedeguy, please drop me an email.   I’m thinking of celebrating the new theme with a contest and possibly a discount on the ad spots.  What do you think?

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.

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.

TNX.net Users Getting Banned?

Matt at Blogging Fingers claims that Google Bans TNX Link Buyers. And he presents a pretty good case for it. I think I’ll wait to see if anyone else has a similar issue before worrying too much.

If I had to guess, I would say that the reason behind it all is the super fast acquisition of links. It’s probably a pretty fair bet to say that a site that gains several hundred links in a matter of several days is buying links. It does happen with sites that get hit by Digg or some other similar site, but as a general rule, it’s link buying.

Part of this is an issue with TNX as well. Their system is set up with very little control over what sites your site gets links on. You get to pick a very generic category and then are at the mercy of the TNX engine to place links. And frankly, from experience, I’d say that engine is a first come first served sort of thing. The links are almost never truly relevant.

Take Blogging Fingers for instance. What category would you put it in? Probably something along the lines of SEO or Blogging, or Entrepreneur. There is a category for Marketing, Advertising, SEO, Web Development, Hosting. Pretty close match right? Well, that depends. Suppose you’re a marketer for bands. Yes, musical bands. There is a Software, Music category, but you’re a marketer, not a band. You put your site in the Marketing category. You then get links on sites like Blogging Fingers. Not even close to relevant.

Further, if you put it in the Software, Music category, you might get a few more relevant links, but you’ll also get links on MP3 sites, ringtone sites, and other digital music sites. If you’re looking for bands to market, those are probably not the places you want links.

Of course, if all you’re looking for is a little PR to trickle down to you, none of that matters. But if you’re looking for links that aren’t going to get you banned from Google, you’ll need to be very careful on where your links go and how quickly.