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Million Dollar Pixels
The new 'craze'

 12:15 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Has anyone brought any advertising space on the Million Dollar Pixel page, or any of the hundreds of 'spinoff' sites that have started?

How did it do for you - and how much did you spend?



 1:28 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I bought a million dollars worth of pixels on one "Million Dollar Homepage" spinoff site. That eliminated the competition from the get go. I'm gonna make a fortune!


 4:34 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I put a one 10x10 pixel ad on the original million dollar homepage (cost:$100), and a 20x20 on the million penny home page ($4). I got in relatively early, so I got a pretty solid traffic bump out of the millon pixel page. The traffic is fairly unfocused garbage, but so is my site, so that is not a concern. With the extra clicks on my adwords its possible that I'll make up the investment by the end of the year. It has also increased my visibility and I've gotten a few other organic links out of it.

From what I hear, I think I've had better luck than most people. I am getting about 50 visits a day from my pixel ads, which is actually quite a drop off.... I was getting about 200-300 visits per day early last month, but that was before the page had filled up as much as it has. I think one of the things I did right was position my ad out in the open, far separated from other ads. A lot of people try to cram their ads in the upper right hand corner, and, frankly, I think they get lost up there.

That said, I suspect that this fad is crested and I don't particularly recommend pixed advertising as a means of building traffic.


 4:39 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Client spent $1600 - Got some traffic. Not much.

Got an interview with UK Times paper which is why they did it. Don't do it for the traffic.

PR of a different client got a jump to 6 also as a result of them doing a small one.


 5:03 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I avoid these things like the plague. That's all I need is more untargeted traffic to drag AdSense's smart pricing even further down the $#itter.


 5:07 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think placing my site along with poker, make money, and viagra sites might not be the message I want to present.


 5:14 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

The idea was certainly successful for the guy that started the site. Over half a million now for a really small investment. ROI for that site is through the roof.

I thought about doing something similar, only turning pixels into tattoo ink. I get the entire Trail of Tears tattoo I want, plus quite a bit of extra cash, people get links from the site and they get to pay for my pain. ;)

From some of the people that I've talked to, the traffic was pretty good early on, but the conversion rate was terrible. Now, the traffic has fallen off, but conversion rates have climbed. Might have something to do with having to search through all those pixels to find an appealing link.

Original ideas still seem to be worth something. Over half a million examples of proof eh?


 7:05 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Shows how many nutters there are with money to burn.

Saw this in a Sunday paper and fell about laughing, the traffic is going to be untargeted and rubbish, surely?


 7:23 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

> surely?

Perhaps, but perhaps some curiosity seeker sees an ad of decent pixel count, and this turns out to be the talk of the town of s/he, or blogged heavily, etc. thus becoming a fairly inexpensive tidbit of viral marketing. While neither building or playing this particular pixel paradise is my cup of tea, it does have an inherent modicum of charm and simplicity.


 7:36 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you do buy, buy for the possible click-through traffic only, and not to increase your PR. At least, that's my interpretation of Matt Cutts' comments about this page in his recent interview with Aaron Wall ...

Of course, I hope that the people buying pixels don't assume that those pixels will flow PageRank. :)


 8:03 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whilst I think the original million dollar pixel page quite rightly deserves to go down as an Internet Phenomenon [en.wikipedia.org], it really does go to show how the economics of the Internet are still well and truly messed up; it still being possible to cause a re-distribution of wealth inconsistent with a stable economy, and therefore by definition the overwhelming majority of pixel buyers will never see a return on their investment, based on the same logic that it is impossible to get rich quick via any documentable repeatable method. :)


 3:48 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

So, does that mean that PR is only passed through text links and not image links? Brad Fallon, a SEO guy, says that it is passed through image links. Is he wrong?

No, he's not wrong - it just means that PR isn't passed through these particular image links (from the million Dollar Homepage.

Google basically doesn't like people selling links and therefore sometimes takes such links out of the equation as far as PR and ranking goes.


 6:22 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I checked about 50 sites who bought pixels from that site, and they are not showing any backlinks for million dollar pixels.

I seriously doubt this is passing any PR or anything else that useful frankly.



 2:49 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I beg to differ. I checked several of the sites that had recently took up some pixels and did a backlink search on Google. What do you know? All of them are listed as backlinks. It may not pass PR but it clearly gets picked up very quickly as a backlink on Google.

I can think of worse backlinks to pay for.


 7:05 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

and you forgot about the pixels page (linked from the homepage and every page). That has text links (standard hrefs) to all the advertiser sites. It may only have PR4 (that's likely to rise over time) but that definitely passes pagerank.


 2:00 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It may well pass 'some' page rank, but lets be fair, 1 million pixels, the possibility of 1 million outbound links, the pr transfer will be worthless.

I'd aslo think that, due to Matt Cutt's remark, this site has probably been flaged and had some human intervention applied to it.


 2:25 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not convinced that a site showing up in your google backlinks means anything anymore. If you do a run of site link on a site with 400,000 pages a lot of backlinks will show up. How many of them are actually doing anything to help you?

It's not that I don't think that google knows which links they are giving value to, it's that I don't think that the backlinks they show have much if any meaning. Links are the backbone of their algo. Why would they give useful data to SEOs?


 4:17 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Lots of people are approching me to develop a website similer to million dollar home page. I made few sites but i dont understand one thing, why people are running towards this concept?

I dont see much benifit in it, May be Alex (Owner of Million Dollar) has earned a lot, but i dont think people are going to buy pixels on everysite.


 5:33 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I made few sites but i dont understand one thing, why people are running towards this concept?

  • Because people don't stop to think about what they're doing
  • Irrational exuberance
  • Fear of being left behind combined with herd mentality

A lot of things people do, like exclusively hunt for links PR 4 or above, are done without understanding why. They only know that others are doing it and they follow along. That kind of thinking creates opportunity for others, I guess.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:22 am (utc) on Nov. 25, 2005]


 6:41 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I bought a $100 square yesterday for the heck of it. I mean if I get increased 5000 visitors a day from the site awesome. I'll break even in like 5 days. If I get zip, well, I'm out one adsense check.

My square went up yesterday, and so far it looks like I shoulda spent my check on steaks. But I'll give it another month before deciding if I'd buy more pixels for fun.


 9:15 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

like I shoulda spent my check on steaks - No kidding.

Its just a silly gimick

Marketing Guy

 2:32 pm on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

> Its just a silly gimick

So is the little green bar! ;)

SEO benefit debate aside, I don't think there's anything silly about it - as someone said previously, the site will have an insane ROI. Fair play to the (original) guy who set it up IMO.



 5:31 pm on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>the site will have an insane ROI.

To the person who builds it? No, that fad has peaked.

To the people who buy the link? No ROI. Zero. It's like buying Sea Monkeys and you realize it's just brine shrimp.

After you drop your dough on the pixels you realize it's just a link farm with zero traffic. Just use your head and think about it.

  • This site is not viral. People aren't emailing this to each other. It is not a craze.It is not a craze.
  • They claim there's traffic from CNN/AOL/etc. (which reported it over a month ago). Do you really think that a news report from over a month ago is still sending traffic?
  • Of that traffic trickling in, trickling in, how likely is it that one click will make it to your site?
  • In the remote case that a curious surfer clicked through on your pixels, what is the likelihood they are in the right part of the buying cycle for shopping/clicking adsense ads/clicking through aff banners and making a purchase/joining your forum?

The idea that you can generate any kind of ROI from this is wishful thinking. Just use your head and think it through. This site isn't viral. People are not emailing this to each other. There is no traffic, much less targeted useful traffic.

Marketing Guy

 9:54 am on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's viral enough - having ongoing discussions on WebmasterWorld, SEW, TW, et all (ie the places where webmasters - the target market of the site - hang out) is pretty sweet IMO. Press coverage is a bonus and probably helped make the idea more successful than it otherwise would have been.

I totally agree that the clones that are popping up are pretty daft, but the original concept / implementation worked well and the ROI for that site will be insane. The others just idiots trying to jump on the bandwagon.

The concept is simple enough to be viral but has a limited lifespan (in that the success can't be replicated with the same model) but the lifespan is such that it is fad-esque.

I still think the concept has merit in terms of orginality - typically the copycats just replicate instead of innovating.

For example, this might be an interesting way for a site to host a links page - a links wall instead. OK maybe not *all* sites, but it might appeal to certain types of people.


 5:45 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's viral enough - having ongoing discussions on WebmasterWorld, SEW, TW...

What value does a trickle of SEO traffic have to someone advertising their travel affiliate site?

It's like a nude beach full of dirty old men with binoculars.

There's no action there.

Marketing Guy

 9:45 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh I agree - I was talking about ROI for the owner of the MDH - not the advertisers! ;)

A trickle of SEO traffic it may be, but it is all site owners (or largely site owners anyway) - not just that, a lot will have a fairly substantial disposable income. All those hosting and casino advertisers didn't come from mainstream press coverage.

If I was conducting a SEO / viral campaign for MDH, I'd consider the subsequent press coverage, 1330 IBLs, PR7, blog and forum coverage and 700k+ pixels sold a success.


 6:36 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I myself started a similar site, No, I am dead serious. I initially laughed at the idea but considering Google adwords is a waste of money, due to people clicking on the ads on their own sites, and competitors clicking on others ads (just try running a Adwords campaign for anything.com - pay $1 a click and see how fast your budget will be depleted, If I were a google stock owner, I'd click on anything that's Google ad, even if I dont know what anything.com sells (which I dont). It's the only business model I know of where the stock owners can generate millions of dollars a day for themselves, just by simply clicking on ads or having others click (hence the ClickBanks) if you own stock in oil, how manny gallons can you put in your car(s)? 30?, If you own Google stock, how many clicks can you perform a day? Millions! to a small online business running a google adwords campaign 30 bogus clicks a day, can ruin their business. my site makes an impression by the mere name and since it will be up for 5 years, no telling how much traffic it can generate for others

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