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I offer a free web based service. In return, the sites that have installed it (1400 so far) offer a linkback to me and I serve some ads each time the service is used. The ads have not been getting many click throughs, but there is much room for improvement there so I'm not too worried. Also, people complain about the ads (and its just Adsense).
The linkbacks I get are usually not greatly positioned. Some are, but most often, the link is getting buried on forum pages. But the upside is that it appears on ALL the forum pages they have ;-) So in just 4 months I've got about 35,000 backlinks (500 from G). But probably not on pages with high PR.
MY QUESTION: do you think it would be a good idea to offer people that I will remove the ads if they link to me on their front page (which generally will have the highest PR on the site). Or do you think PPC, if done right, is worth developing more?
I hope this makes sense ;-)
If I were to choose between a strong text link, or the ability to flash banner ads, I would take a strong anchor text link.