[adv] What do you want from a Text Link Company?

Story Text:

There are many issues to consider when buying text link ads. Hearing those concerns will help us to build a better product, and sharpen the service we offer.

What we'd like to do, is ask you What is it that you want from a text link company?

Tell us your thoughts, ask your questions, and we'll try to answer them, and take on board the suggestions you make.



thinking outside the box

I like text link companies that think/work outside the box.
For example I might want site wide links on PR>5 sites and the links are generated by a simple random php array script.

Some link companies will accommodate this and others will not.

I work with the ones who do and from their side I obviously pay a premium for this and it increases their commission.

Also I don't always want to search through their website.
I want to give them a spec and $3000 and let them come back with a list of possible options.


I'd love to see a standard emerge for link pricing based on some other highly relevant factors like:

1. Primary topic extraction and a c-index number with the target term
2. Number of inbound links to site
3. Number of inbound links to page from site
4. Number of inbound links to page from external sites/pages
5. Position in top X results at the SEs for the targeted terms or related terms
6. Primary + secondary link anchor text pointing to page
7. Number of visitors to page
8. % of CTR by visitors to the page (on similiar ads/links)


It would be great to move beyond PageRank as the sole metric and get into the nitty gritty of what provides link pop value and traffic value in a page.

>>Primary topic extraction

>>Primary topic extraction and a c-index number with the target term

WTF is that in English?

I think that's a tall order Rand, too tall in fact. But I do agree that different metrics would be great - to move oneself away from the PR stuff would set one apart from the pack no?

Personally, having the most minimal of experience buying text links (really, really minimal) i'd have to say consultancy.

I don't expect a text link firm to do my work for me particularly, but noone knows their iventory better than the firm itself, and to be presented with a package, or recommendation for approval is much preferable to me over window shopping (or trawling through inventory as it would be) for links.

Here's what i need to do, here's what i have to spend - what have you got?


Nick - #1 is just a way of asking for the page's topic (targeted term/phrase) and a way to measure that term/phrase against the one you're targeting with your text link ad to see if they have anything to do with one another - basically, the old question of whether this is an "on-topic" page for your link.

Good question

I'd like your online form to work. It's been hanging all morning. :(

New Features To Help Advertisers

Gerbot, I agree that randomized script would greatly enhance the value of a site wide link. The popularity of site wide links has greatly diminished as many fear the use of same link text on thousands of pages and tripping a filter of sorts. So yes I will look into the option of randomizing your "marketing message" ;)

Rand, you have created a list that sounds great in theory but is a lot of data to provide to users. It is relatively easy to provide traffic details in terms of impressions per month and also it would be easy to provide the location of the ad on the page. I think a lot of the data you listed is important but there is a point where you would be delivering too much data to the potential advertiser don't you think? Maybe a simpler link popularity metrics tool that grouped of number of these factors in and outputed a link score of sorts?

I think being able to identify the theme of the page you will be advertising on is very critical. Not only for receiving targeted traffic from the ad but also as search engine algorithms become more advanced they will want to give more weight to an on topic link. In addition to a brief description of the page maybe listing the actual meta title from the page would be helpful?


i think between nick and

i think between nick and rand's advice, they've hit the nail on the head. the first step of any successful, long-term sales relationship is consultancy. especially when you're selling something where the exact ROI is so difficult to calculate.

to nick's point, for any potential buyer, whether very basic or very advanced, having a "recommended package" presented tends to accelerate the buying process. the seller should be leveraging their knowledge of their product, their insights into the customer's business needs, and adding some value beyond just say, "i've got stuff you can buy if you want to." in the past week i've done more link buying from patrick than i have in the previous five months, simply because i had the luxury of some extra time to browse through his inventory. if you present the buyer with a recommended package, you've reduced the amount of time necessary for research, and so shortened the sales cycle.

to rand's point, advanced buyers may well have the budget and desire to spend considerably more money, but may require some extra data points in order to justify the expenditure.

i would be very interested to know the c-index value of the inventory page's primary term in relation to my target site. again, i don't necessarily have the time to calculate this every time a vast list of pages i could buy links on is presented to me. it's much easier for me to survey a recommended package that i can see has had some effort put into it, even an expensive one, and say yes. give me reasons to spend the money.


Hey if we could get away with anything I want a text link that sends me winning lottery numbers!!!


I've got some requests that I don't suspect you guys get a lot of:

* traffic figures
* audience characteristics
* section breakdown

I want to know (at least as a ballpark figure) how much exposure my ad will have. How many real internet users will see it? And I do mean see it - if it's parked in a linkfarm bottom of page somewhere, I'm generally not as interested as if the link is clearly visible.

It's all about competing for attention: Not search engines, but real users.

As for PR of linking site, I really don't care much. Don't care a lot about being on all pages vs. frontpage page vs. subpage either. I care about being in the right section, ie. where the right target group will be reading.

Here's the shocker if you haven't already figured out that search engines don't matter much to me (in this respect): I wouldn't even mind advertising on banned domains if it means that the right people will see my link. But then I'm odd like that.

On the same note, a straight a href link vs. a javascript, or 30X redirect don't matter much, as when I advertise it's exclusively for users and not SE's. If it wasn't for Google screwing things up whenever Gbot sees one of those 30X thingies, I really wouldn't care if the link "passed PR" or not. As it is, however, some of that stuff may cause damage, so now I need to know if the link is a straight link or what.

- how many real users will see the link (per site)?
- how many other links are on the page competing for attention?
- is the link placed in an attactive position on the page?

Hope this helps.

This was a good thread and

This was a good thread and single handedly got me checking out your site Patrick (score +1 for [adv] posts).

My request - much larger selection of sites please. I get offered the same 3 sites on almost every search (abeit different sections).

Their seems to be changes

Their seems to be changes going on in the search engines. They are doing their best to identify links that are being paid for and removing their effect.

So there are some simple things that you could do to lower the chances that the link would fire off this filter, like remove any ‘sponsored links’ or ‘advertisements’ captions that go about the links. Also placing them in blocks of text or within the navigation, or even not together in a group of outgoing links might reduce this effect. However most websites owners probable wouldn’t like this.

The main problem with links buying is figuring out the ROI, when I brought link to improve search engine ranking I am reluctant to get any links that I have to pay for monthly. You have to wait at least 3 months before you can see what the effect is (maybe a cheaper prices for the first 3 months woudl help). Also there are a lot of other filter that are rumored to be about, like links growing stale over time, these make paying out monthly not a very tempting offer.

If you are not selling the links for the improvement in ranking, then you have to provide qaulity traffic. So you are then competing with the PPC services like adword and overture, if this is what you are doing then there are few things that would be very useful for the buyer. Firstly as much details as possible on the traffic of the site things like geographic, age so on. The exact position of the ad on the page woudl be useful to. Also they would need to be able make the ads more tempting ideally image ads or flash, if you can't have images then at least a little description like adword test ads. The only difference your service would offer is a set rate rather than a pay for click, so they would need to be able to get the most they could out of the link.

I might be a good idea to give the owners a control panel so they can alter the ads themself to see if it improves the click through rate. Not an easy job.

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