Just the other day, I shutdown all the offering at my www.amcy.org website. Web development, web hosting, domain name registration, search engine optimization, Internet merchant accounts — all gone. Most of the services I was offering at AmCy.org hadn’t made money in a long time — and some of them were costing me money! — so it was time to let them go. The site is now a glorified contact page. Yep. It was my first successful venture on the web, so, as you can imagine, there’s a soft spot for it in my heart (sniff.)
AMCY.ORG is a valuable LLLL.org domain name, registered and consistently online since August 19, 1998. So, of course, I’ll be hanging onto it and keeping at least the homepage up.
Many of my sites have been around for a while and are therefore trusted. So, with this recession breathing down my neck like an oppressive boss with chronic halitosis, I decided that it’s time to sell some links. Not too comfortable with the idea, but this hard economic downturn’s got me in survival mode.
In my search for a link broker, I can across LinkAdage.com. I read some good things about the company over at the DP Forums, so I decided to give them a try.
When I arrived at the LinkAdage.com new publisher signup page where they ask for my details, I was shocked and amazed to find that they had the audacity to ask for all my personal info, including my social security number, without providing me with a secure page. Hey, LinkAdage.com: what is up with that? See for yourself: http://brokerage.linkadage.com/signup_pub.php
No excuse for this. The cost of having a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate has come down over the years, to the point that just about anyone can afford one. IMHO, if you can afford a domain name, you can afford an SSL certificate! Right now, you can visit www.GoDaddy.com and buy an SSL certificate for $ 29.99 per year (that’s less than the $ 35 Network Solutions used to charge for a year’s worth of domain name registration back when they were the only game in town.) Some sites, like Rapidsslonline.com, are even cheaper. I can recommend GoDaddy because I’ve used their SSL certificates on my clients’ sites in the past. Rapidsslonline.com may also be good, but I don’t have any experience with them so I can’t testify on their behalf.
Text-Link-Ads.com has a good setup. I used to buy links at that site a couple of years ago, but I don’t anymore. All my sites are now mature enough that I don’t need to purchase text links.
As a publisher, what I don’t like about Text-Link-Ads.com is that they don’t pay as well as I had hoped. I did some research and found that in their pricing, they tend to focus on PageRank, as opposed to focusing on keyword/keyphrase rankings, volume of legitimate traffic and content quality, which is the way it should be IMO. Every publisher who’s been in the game long enough knows that PageRank is virtually meaningless these days.
In all fairness to Text-Link-Ads.com, I called them to ask about their pricing, and they told me that they start everyone low, then increase a publisher’s rate if demand for a publisher’s spots increases. This seems quite sensible to me, but I’m not ready to capitulate and accept $ 10 – $ 25 per month per ad (not for my high-profile sites, anyway.)
So my search continues. If you know of any quality link brokers, please feel free to share by posting a comment. Thanks.