Most readers of this blog probably don’t care about this topic.
Most of you probably know that I do make money from blogging. You can see the Adsense column on the left and two banner ads (there’s a third banner ad but I don’t get paid for it). Then, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see various links. These are called text links. Advertisers use text link advertisements to help increase their page rank within Google, which helps send traffic to their websites. I have been selling these links for around $60 per month.
Lately there’s been a lot of chatter about Google lowering the boom on websites that sell text links. The penalty for selling text links could be a drop in the seller’s page rank (AFM is currently a PR5), which will impact the amount of traffic sent to the site via Google search. I get quite a bit of traffic from Google search – way more than I get from any other search engine. If the rumors are true (who knows if they are really true or not since Google won’t come right out and say) and I continue to sell text links, Google could theoretically punish AFM. In other words, my hands are tied and Google knows this.
The message is clear: if you’re a blogger and you want to make money from blogging, then sign up for Adsense and don’t try to sell other advertisements. Seriously, I don’t see how a banner ad can be considered different from a text link. It’s an ad with a link in it. Why would Google penalize a regular text link but not a link coming from a banner ad?
Bottom line for AFM: I’m discontinuing text links for the time being. I have a few that are long-term contracts that I’ll let expire. The rest will be gone soon.