Lots of controversy over V7N and their new contextual links program.
- Darren questions the ethics
- Matt Cutts has “Laid into Them“
- Graywolf Delves in Deep (read my comments there btw and the ones by Jeremy Zawodny)
- Carsten Cumbrowski has made a post I agree with on a link being a pointer, not a vote, or at least should be. I still don’t agree with him on the Wikipedia move as that punishes webmasters who deserve the “vote” as it is currently counted both for positioning and duplicate content. One option is for a couple of Google engineers to spend a week of 20% time fixing their software by adding a voting system for links.
- John Andrews gives his strong views on Matt Cutt’s current attitude:-
- It seems this is what Matt was really up to at the last Google Whipping Session / SEO Convention
Today, Mattâ€™s post was again in-your-face authoritarian. Matt is likely millions richer than he was when he started way back when I tussled with Google for the first time, but Iâ€™m not seeing as much â€œsmartsâ€ as I would expect to see. In Mattâ€™s post, he speaks of V7Nâ€™s advertising system, and says things like :
From what I have read so far, this service is very similar to using the alinks plugin for WordPress – that is used by thousands of bloggers with links to Amazon, Clickbank etc.
Here is what Darren wrote about Alinks last year.
Rachel also points out a helpful WordPress Plugin – Auto links which will automatically link to URLs when you mention certain keywords. This is especially handy if you find yourself mentioning siteâ€™s regularly. It also has the ability to turn keywords into Amazon searches (with your associate/affiliate ID) which some will find handy.
There doesn’t seem to be any moral problem with using it, and the V7N system is effectively the same, but rather than hoping for an affiliate sale, you get the money up front.
The requirements seem to prevent specific disclosure as Darren does on his blog, such as (aff)
As I wrote about recently, the Adsense Referral Link program effectively prevents you telling your visitors that you earn money if they download the software, but you are allowed to give a hearty recommendation.
As an example Darren now uses the phrase “Recommended Money Makers” for his affiliate links, but in the past I seem to remember he had “Affiliate Links” or something similar – that would indicate earning money from them, which would be against Adsense policy for the referral unit.
Thus the rules for V7N and Adsense are effectively the same regarding disclosure, but are for totally different reasons.
There is however a difference in regards WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing)
Adsense allow you to express an opinion about the products, V7N I think would prefer you not to even mention them.
There is nothing within the V7N terms preventing you having a general disclosure policy for your blog, and even having a general disclosure with each piece of content you publish.
With Adsense Referral Units, the only way might be to have a general disclosure, and then not place them as advertisements. Maybe they will clarify that sometime.
Many might think that $10 for a link is not a lot of money, but it is just one text link on a page without having to do anything for it.
If Google really don’t like paid links of any kind, they should put their money where their mouth is and add a clause to the Adsense terms banning Adsense on sites which contain paid links.
Lots of web masters would probably react to that by removing…. Adsense, especially from large sites with horrible click-through rates.
Is it Worth Using V7N?
I noticed that they are mainly looking for blog inventory. They are going to get bundles of it – I am also sure lots of forums with 100,000+ pages are going to be pulling on the leash for this kind of offer.
I do foresee that this will also put pressure on other networks to increase their rates, such as PayPerPost. Sorry guys, but in many ways for most of your bloggers, this is a great deal.. but they do go hand in hand.
That being said, PPP is much better value for advertisers, as they do get a review out of it, which to be honest is part of the charm.
I have seen people state that this is too cheap – honestly by not having to do any work it isn’t.
You can buy up old domains that have a large number of content pages and just flog the inventory.
The funny thing is, for many bloggers, just like email marketers, search is not the primary source of traffic, and probably never will be.
I am sure a lot of people will be wondering
- Do they have negotiable rates for advertisers
- Do they have negotiable rates for people with lots of inventory
- Where is the affiliate program?