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Sitewide Links: What are they Worth?
Will pay you $5000 a month for sitewide links.

 7:49 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is the offer I recently received and I need your help to determine if it's a deal or something I should stay away from.

- The Offer -

  • Place a graphic on the main page of my site that points to a landing page (also on my site) that then links to affiliate site.

  • A link in my navigation that points to a landing page (also on my site) that then links to the affiliate site.

  • A text link ad on a large number of pages that goes directly to the affiliate site.

I have not seen the contract yet, but it is a month to month and the affiliate/advertiser will pay the $5,000 monthly fee in advance.

The affiliate/advertiser's site is not a fly by night operation and has been around for some time.

- A little about my site -

My site has a good amount of traffic. I only use adsense and have never participated in anything else other than adsense or ypn type programs (no selling of links, link exchanges, etc). Any outgoing links are those I found would help my visitors and I'm selective on those links.

- Ramifications -

What are the ramifications of accepting such an offer? Am I being taken for a ride? Here is what I imagine could happen:

  • A large increase in outbound links added to my site.
  • Less adsense revenue, not only on the pages that have their link, but because my CTR may drop, I may be smart priced, right?
  • Decrease in ranking as outbound links increase.
  • My site turns into a portal for the affiliate.
  • Perhaps Google would see the site I'm mass linking to as more important than mine? (place them higher?)

I've worked very hard to make the site what it is today and I hate to think that I could damage it by not seeing something I should (sometimes money blinds us).

What would you do? What are your thoughts? What am I missing or am I being overly protective?



 5:13 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

While the majority of these offers don't work out, the few that do are well worth it. Some great advice in the above posts, and it's very valuable to hear from the perspective of the affiliate marketers.

Can you find out why they want to pay you a flat fee instead of getting you in their affiliate program? My concern is that they will end up underpaying you in the long run.


 5:49 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd also be wary of whether they may be planning on blasting tons of links at their page on your site in an effort to leverage your (presumed)authority. That could be the biggest threat IMO. You should noindex,nofollow and block via robots.txt and primarily let them know so they don't try at all.


 6:46 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)


I refused their offer, not as a way to make more, but because I figure I'll just leave things the way they are (don't rock the boat).

I have now received a counter offer to place a link in my menu and one on the front page that points to an internal landing page (page on my site) that then links out to the advertiser's site. I no longer have to worry about linking to their site from multiple pages.

With the new offer, I'm guessing they don't really care about pr (not that it's something to worry about…)

I have not been tracking the companies that are advertising on my site, but the idea that they are using Adwords and figuring that they'll contact me directly sounds like the only scenario that makes sense.

I didn't realize the new TOS requires me to contact Goggle when approached by an advertiser. In fact, it's not really fair, I don't track that information so that would leave me in the position of having to contact Google any time a company approached me to see if they have advertised on my site, right? What is the best tracking tool for this anyway?

I would never put up a page before I was paid in full and everything cleared (except Google or Yahoo), so I'm not worried about a MLM scam.

As for the comparison to the running of their ads being the same as running Adsense, I don't agree. Google is OK with Google ads and I doubt they factor into your ranking, but linking to another site (other than Google) would have some type of impact (be it big or small).

Good idea on the contract. I will ask for that in advance so that I am not wasting my time.

Great idea on the nofollow and redirect script with robots exclusion. If they are not after pr, weight, etc, then they won't mind, right?

It was suggested that I do due diligence. Besides talking with the company, verifying their site and emails, I rely upon the knowledge of you here at webmasterworld. Is there something else I should be doing?

Here is the plan so far:

  • Nofollow links and redirect script to prevent harm to rankings with search engines.
  • Make sure cash is in my hand before putting up any links.
  • Verify advertiser has not taken out ads on my site or I will have to ask Google first.
  • Ask about an affiliate program.
  • Ask for contract in advance.
  • Escape clause.

By the way, does anyone have an example of an escape clause?

I appreciate all the input so far and the suggestions are great!


 6:51 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's funny the company I work for is launching an affiliate program and I thought it'd be a great idea to subsidize big sites for running the affiliate program. Pay half of the traditional CPM rates and pay out a traditional payment per sale through commissionjunction.

This would get us great testing on big market sites and see how well our banners and landing pages convert. I didn't realize how many webmasters would be skeptical about joining an affiliate program and receiving money up front for doing so.


 7:30 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

As webmasters, we work very hard and make a lot of sacrifices to make our sites what they are today.

With so many scams out there, it is only natural that we seek the advice of others.

I'm all for the idea, I just want to make sure I'm not being taken advantage of.


 8:53 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)


we've all got this email. i got one to a site that has virtually no traffic. no way its worth 5000 a month for advertising.


 10:07 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you think its legit give them the benefit of the doubt. Then you need to ask yourself what the deal is worth to you. You can always raise the price until you are comfortable.

I would tell them that they can advertise for the first 30 days at $5,000.00. After 30 days if they are satisfied with the results they can advertise for 12 months with a 10% discount and full payment up front.

All links get No-follow
Only take Wire Transfers.
You get final approval of links.


 10:13 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wondered that myself. Is there something preventing adding the rel=nofollow or putting noindex,nofollow on the landing page on your site?


 11:44 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

$5000 is an awful lot of money for such links.

The reason I'd say its a scam is a legit company recently got in touch with us about running text links site-wide. The price we quoted, which was much less than $5000 on a site that's got quite a bit of traffic and unique content, was turned down.


 2:21 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)


we've all got this email. i got one to a site that has virtually no traffic. no way its worth 5000 a month for advertising.

I have lots of sites that get virtually no traffic, yet sadly I have not received any such email.


 2:29 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Am I the only one that is bothered by the request for a link in the site nav/menu?


 2:34 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a scam.
But if it isn't and you decide to do it then you should get a 2 year contract where they agree to keep paying you to run the ads on your site even if traffic on your site drops. This way you insure yourself against the case where your rankings tank as a result of adding the ads.


 3:27 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

we've all got this email. i got one to a site that has virtually no traffic.

Check around on the 'net. This particular email is getting mass emailed to lots of people even for sites with no rankings or appreciable traffic.


 10:43 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Jane_Doe this email you are refering to, is a scam then?

Also I'd like to ask. Typically for a site to be able to command as much money for advertising (say $3000 per mo), how much daily trafic would it need to have?

michael webster

 2:42 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

sugarrae writes: ">>>3. Unless the offer is from someone running adsense on your site, there is no way they can offer and pay you 5k a month

@michaelwebster you're so wrong... I have affiliate programs paying me five figures a month for commissions being generated from one site... and they're not the only affiliate we work with or website we own in that position...

Also agree with @incredibill's advice *IF* this is a site you care about Google rankings for.

Additionally, if the company is willing to pay you 5K a month to promote them, it's because they're making more than that. So, you may want to look into the affiliate space for this product/service and give that a try as well.

My two cents... "

You write based on your business experience. Which I understand and respect

But, I write based on my experience as lawyer dealing/uncovering frauds.

People who are conned talk themselves in to it. You are not smarter than a con crimninal - just avoid anything sounds like something for nothing. You will be on the wrong end of it.

The pitch was made to sound like an affiliate program -it isn't.


 4:56 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you get the money in advance, get the cash in hand, don't see the problem. Had a question tho. With the offer it says that on your landing page you would have links to affiliate site.

Do you mean links to the merchant site? Or are they not really a merchant but an affiliate? And if they're an actual merchant, are they one that has an affiliate program?

Because you keep calling them an affiliate, didn't know if you were just using the wrong terminology.

[edited by: TrustNo1 at 4:58 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2008]


 5:27 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have referred to affiliate and I should not have used it in the way I did.

The company sells a product and they would like me to link from my site to their product page.

I took everyones advice and wrote them asking for more information about their affiliate program and explaining that I would be willing to give this a shot for a month provided I had cash in hand.

I also explained that I will be placing nofollow on the links and that I'll be using a redirect script.

I believe everything is legitimate and if they are really only concerned with selling their product, then they shouldn't have a problem with this. I really hope there are not tricks and it turns out to be a win win.

Regardless of what happens, I will post as events take place so that others have something to research should they run into the same situation.

If you think of anything, please, don't hesitate to post your thoughts!

ken_b - the link in the nav bar would be to my landing page. Am I missing something here?


 8:20 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>The pitch was made to sound like an affiliate program -it isn't.

@michael webster if you actually read my whole post, you'd note that *I* actually pointed out that it wasn't an affiliate program: "The title of this thread is either misleading or ignorant. This is not an "affiliate offer" because affiliates make money when they actually produce something and aren't simply paid a flat fee. This is someone who wants to *advertise* on your site, not do an affiliate deal."

Secondly, you stated: "Unless the offer is from someone running adsense on your site, there is no way they can offer and pay you 5k a month"

And me saying you're wrong there has nothing to do with uncovering fraud or anything of the sort. You said that no one but Adsense could offer to pay this much for advertising. You're wrong. Legit companies can and do pay this much for advertising on good websites. I'm not saying *this* company is legit, but saying that the basis of your statement is flawed.


 9:49 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

that points to a landing page (also on my site) that then links to affiliate site

I don't think the existence of affiliate links makes the site bad or dangerous. Evaluate the content. Maybe I am misunderstanding the whole thread, because I see some people calling it a scam. Isn't this just a link-purchase request?

This sounds like a link request I got recently claiming you can make $5000 a month "just by linking to them". Reading more carefully revealed it was a pyramid scheme, and other people have to link under you in some sort of "chain reaction".

Is this what you received?


michael webster

 10:16 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)


Like all potential marks, you are missing the point. Cons typically work by getting the mark to jump to all sorts of conclusions.

Why was the offer pitched in affiliate language, when it clearly wasnt't?
Did you miss the attempt to short circuit the new Google TOS?

Of course I didn't say that no space could be worth $5,000. My response was to the previous poster, small company. Whose analysis I think is a good start. Read it in context with that post.

[edited by: eljefe3 at 1:37 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2008]


 4:20 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

The offer sounds good although any outgoing advertising links would need to carry the rel="nofollow" attribute to prevent the possibility of your site being punished by Google for 'selling PR'.

The problem I do see is that it will have an impact on your current Adsense earnings and I do not know whether the $5000 would be enough to compensate the possible losses that you would incur.

A possible solution for you to consider Shoreline... why don't you look at related affiliate products and create your own site to send your current traffic to?

This way, you wouldn't get the $5000 per month from the deal but you could make money on affiliate sales. Again I am not sure whether it would enable you to raise total revenue by $5000 as it would have some impact on adsense revenue and may not yield $5000 in affiliate sales each month.


 8:44 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

I second the nofollow idea, better yet...externally reference the links in a js file!


 8:54 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Really looks like the google FUD campaign is working for them.


 1:00 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth, I've communicated back and forth with this person, verified the company and talked in person over the phone. It is a legitimate company, ...

You definitely must verify that the person is indeed speaking for the company.
Is the person's mail address a genuine company mail address or an unrelated hotmail/yahoo/whatever address? This a vital scam indicator.
And did your mail replies go back straight to that address, or was there a funny/scammy reply-to: redirect trick, like
From: joe@company
Reply-to: scammy@hotmail

Add a bonus point if the mail originated from the company's mail server (look into the headers).

Can you associate the phone number of the person to the company -- did the phone calls come from that company's headquarter or from someone somewhere else? Did you ever call him back to that given number? Then check again and call the company's main number and ask to be connected to that person.

If all those points are OK and nothing came back on a search for the words "company" and "scam", then consider to do the deal.

If your site stands good and strong, I won't worry about a possible PR-leakage (if such a thing even exists) -- that's the deal: money for the link.

Kind regards,


 3:14 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ganceann: I have considered this and I'm half inclined not to run with it just for that very reason. If I see a sharp decrease in ad revenue, then I'll drop the link and take advantage of my escape clause (still not sure what an escape clause should say, anyone?)

Romeo: All you suggest has been verified - Thank you.

Michael Webster: You state that they are bypassing the Google TOS; do you think I need to notify Google before moving forward?


 3:19 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>do you think I need to notify Google before moving forward?

This is where the google FUD is working.

Unless you are making a killing on adsense, merely take it down and take the money for the link. No harm no foul as you are not circumventing the adsense TOS as you no longer are using adsense.


 3:41 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Since the link in the menu bar takes me to my own landing page, then I need only be concerned with the landing page.

However, if the link in my menu bar went directly to the advertiser, then I would have to take down adsense site-wide, is this correct?



 3:45 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Take $2,500 in advance before you do anything. If they DO pay, use the money to build another site just like the one you have now, so if the site bombs because of them, you have another site going to replace it. Make sure you use a different IP and host altogether. Take the money. They're probably taking the money from some big corporation that wants search engine positioning.


 3:52 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, how I would love to build another site and have it have it turn out just like the original (back-links and all), but it just doesn't work like that for me :)

I'm a long term type of person and losing the site would be like losing my Dog, and I love my Dog. Sure, I can buy another dog, but it just wouldn't be the same.


 7:02 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

I received a response to my counter-proposal (over the phone) and I'm pretty upbeat about this!

I'll wait until I have the cash in hand, nofollow links and redirect script on landing page will be used and should I discover that my adsense revenue is dropping, I can bail at any time and refund the unused portion.

If I so chose, they are willing to do an affiliate program.

Unless I am blinded by the $$$, I can't see how this could be bad.

We'll work on the landing page over the next week or so, then go live.

I will keep everyone updated.


 9:57 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Jane_Doe this email you are refering to, is a scam then?

Well, the ones I got recently offering $5,000 for a link for a month seemed to be. I got several of the same emails sent to different sites on different topics. I searched for part of the email text in Google and found the same email being mass emailed to other web publishers as well and discussed as a scam.

If there are some legitimate $5,0000 a month for a link emails making the rounds, too, then good for anyone who makes that kind of money for one link.

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