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View Full Version : Review: Digital Point's Coop Ad Network



Chris
07-08-2005, 04:37 PM
Digital Pointís Coop Advertising network is really nothing more than a large automated link exchange. Originally it was supposed to be an automated link exchange for webmaster forums running vBulletin software. How it works is you load code on your pages which shows links to other sites, and then those sites load code that shows links to your site. Its all done server side, all random, so to a visitor or search engine it looks like a hard coded link on your website.

Shawn from Digital Point approached me about being one of the inaugural members way back when. He explained the way itíd work is that ads would only show on the vbulletin pages for viewing a single post by itself, such as this page. (http://www.websitepublisher.net/forums/showpost.php?p=30990&postcount=1) Since viewers rarely if ever view such pages you wouldnít be showing yet another ad to the viewers, but search engines do view such pages and so everyone would get the benefit of additional backlinks.

The code assigns weight based on things like traffic and Google PageRank, you can also get weight from referring people. The higher your weight the more often your ad will be shown. Also, unlike a standard link exchange, the site you put the links on does not have to be the same site you promote with your links. This is an ingenious idea and does make the network more useful than had it been a standard exchange.

I signed up (it was and is free after all) and it worked well at first with the small group of less than 10 webmaster forums, however the network was then opened up to more or less any site running PHP. Imagine my surprise when checking my backlinks I saw links from places such as a fishing site. What does website publishing have to do with fishing? Nothing, so I took the ads down.

We all have our own limits and definitions of what is black hat and what isnít, and this is one of those things where youíll have to decide for yourself. I personally would not run this on any site where a Google ban would seriously hurt me. However, Google has been erratic (http://www.websitepublisher.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3289) lately, some sites simply do not rank well no matter what you do. In these cases you might as well join the ad network as itís not like itíll hurt you in Google and ad network sites do quite well in Yahoo and MSN.

Yes, make no mistake about it, using this network you can easily get thousands of links pointing to your website, and that is going to help you. However TrafficPower, the infamous SEO company, did something similar with their clientís web pages and every single one of them was banned from Google eventually. I believe their system was javascript based and so easier to detect, but Google has a lot of smart guys working for them and Iím sure they would be able to build an algorithm to detect and ban sites using this system.

Due to all of the above, my advice is to use this network at your own risk. Iíve seen some amazing results produced with this ad network, but in many ways it reeks of spam, so you will have to decide if a Google ban is worth the risk.

Click Here to Join the Coop Ad Network (http://www.websitepublisher.net/scripts/out.php?LinkID=103)

Review originally published here (http://www.websitepublisher.net/article/digitalpoint).

MarkB
07-08-2005, 11:27 PM
Good review :) When I first signed up, I saw fantastic results too. Now, the network seems to offer nothing; building links with sites (via sites like Link Metro) has given me much better results.

James
07-08-2005, 11:43 PM
Hey man, you saying you don't like having links on your site like "Plus Sized Errotic Lengere"?

MarkB
07-09-2005, 02:53 PM
LOL - might work for my wedding site :) hehe

Torito
03-05-2006, 06:08 AM
So, anymore experiences with this network? wouldnīt it be just another 'link farm'? is it safe to use it?

Chris
03-05-2006, 07:41 AM
I wouldn't use it on mission critical sites that already rank well. But it might be worth the risk on other sites.

deathshadow
04-21-2008, 10:07 PM
It reeks of the typical "beyond the pale" link chicanery that is, as noted, more likely over the long term to bite you in the posterior.

There has been a constant tide of attempts at "gaming the system" taking pages with little or no content, and therein little or no value, and trying to make them rank top in searches even when they AREN'T relevant or don't have enough actual content for the end user to do anything but get ROYALLY PISSED OFF :flare: when sites that use these types of sleazy tricks to get so highly rated. (see garbage sites like Experts Exchange or worse, all those sleaze-ball 'domain parkers'- there's a reason I think Google and other search engines need to implement user side black-lists)

MAYBE if a site is nothing more than “get rich quick” advertising link-whore bull that is more advertising for other people’s stuff than website, THEN these types of 'black hat' nonsense have a purpose... But if you are building a website of value with content of value, this type of rubbish is just setting yourself up to look like a donkey's backside.

WAY too much emphasis has been placed of late on things like SEO and search engine rankings - some nimrods even going so far as to rip people off claiming it's important enough to be it's own 'business' or worse, separating it completely from site design. Site after site see these types of stupid tricks implemented with little or no content, or worse a piss poor arrangement of content with the more important aspects of user experience and accessibility thrown in the trash.

Take a site I'm recoding for someone right now after one of these so called 'SEO Experts' had his way with it. It's rated #1 in relevant searches alright, unfortunately the new site doesn't work in Opera, Safari or mobile devices, has 40+ validation errors, is 80k of html, markup and scripts for 2k of content - and worse while he's seeing 40% of all of his traffic as 'new visits' - he has seen his overall traffic DROP as visitors aren't staying or visiting as often... That's business 101 - Unless you're Disneyworld, repeat customers beat the tar out of tourists.

For all the talk of search engine rankings - which it is VERY important - getting people to your site is only a small part of the battle. The larger battle is getting them to come back again. You can have the top ranked page in every search, but if nobody visits more than once you are most likely boned...

Repeatedly you see people complaining about low traffic - yet do they fix their inaccessible navigation, bloated code, slow page-loads, lack of valuable content or there engrish moist goodry? No, they dive right for more search engine trickery to try and stimulate traffic to a site that likely isn't seeing visits for more important reasons. Take the *** OH NOES *** of being listed on the second page of a Google search when the dozen or so higher ranked results are nothing but link-whore's, domain parkers and advertising sleaze!

Sorry for ranting on my first post to these forums, but this type of malarkey is wearing a bit thin. Not TOO surprising it came from Digital Point though given how... Mercenary things can get over there. I won't even think about sticking my head into the "Search Engines" or "Marketing" sections in their forums just because of all the stupidity, pipe-dream rubbish, scammers and nonsensical lies about SEO sicken me to the point of nausea...

At the end of the day separation of presentation from content, minimalist semantic markup, valid markup, cross-browser support, improved accessability, and most important of all - Well written unique relevant content - will do more for site traffic than 99% of the SEO trickery you see turning into a whole new industry of scam and lies.

SydneyBartholomew
10-30-2008, 02:27 AM
hey man...good review!!!:lol: