I’m not very Internet savvy. I don’t know the difference between SEO and SEM nor do I care to know. I used to check my analytics, but I honestly don’t care to anymore. I did stumble across some website stats while I was googling myself (Oh, come on–don’t tell me you’ve never done that) and was pretty shocked at the number of estimated daily page views this blog receives. HELLO LURKERS!
I write this blog because I enjoy writing it and I’m hoping that on any given day, some people will enjoy reading it. I’ve never given much thought to placing ads on this site, although I will promote people and/or products I believe in.
Last week I received an email from a digital marketing firm (whatever that is) asking if I’d be interested in placing a small, text-based ad on my site. I’ve received requests like this before and simply deleted them, but for whatever reason, I replied back saying that I might be interested, depending on the size of the ad and what they were advertising. After a couple of emails back and forth and reading the terms and conditions of the ad, I realized that the “small text ad” was a backlink. What’s a backlink? Glad you asked:
A backlink is a link coming from another website to your own. The number and quality of backlinks that your site has can affect your search engine optimization efforts, as some search engines provide significant weight to the backlinks of a site. (Source: About.com)
I use backlinks all the time. Whether it’s to link back to a previous post I’ve written or to provide a link back to another site I’ve referenced in a blog post. But that’s different. I make it clear (at least I hope I do) that if you click on the link it’s going to take you exactly where you expect to go. And based on the sample copy they provided me, that’s not exactly how these backlinks work. In exchange for a set payment to me (which, under the terms and conditions of the agreement, I would not be allowed to tell you about), I would write a blog post and place a backlink back to their client’s sight within the body of the text. So, it might look something like this:
Child of the 80’s
My formative years of junior high and high school were spent in the late 70’s to mid 80’s. Musically speaking, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time when MTV and VH1 actually played music videos instead of mind numbing, soul sucking reality television 24-7. It was the era of the Go-go’s, the B-52’s, Peter Gabriel and Rick Astley. Good times, bad times. You know I’ve had my share.
See what I did there? If you clicked on “Rick Astley”, you got Rick-rolled. And that’s essentially what I think these hidden text ads are equivalent to. They’re inherently dishonest, and I just can’t have ads like that on my blog no matter how much they’re offering to pay me for the space. When I expressed my reservations about these type of ads, their response was to offer me more money.
Long story short, they will not be placing ads on this site now or ever. I appreciate that you take time out of your busy days to visit this silly little blog, and the least I can do to show my appreciation is to be upfront about what you’re going to find here. In the words of Rick Astley, Never gonna give you up, never go let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye. Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.
If I ever DO run ads on this site, they will be for products or services I unequivocally stand behind and support like New Blog Hosting or SwitchFlops by Lindsay Phillips (who currently does not advertise on this site, but call me, we’ll talk. I love me a good flip flop.)