Never put all your eggs in one basket. This is a mantra that John has been saying for a long time, especially when it comes to monetizing your blog. There are countless ad networks that can supplement or even replace Google Adsense, so you shouldn’t feel restricted in how you make money online.
Seemingly acting as a competitor to Text Link Ads, LinkXL ordered this review to emphasize why they’re better. And the main reason for this? “All links [are] placed with a patented proprietary system that has no footprint to be seen.”
How Does LinkXL Work?
Although they may claim otherwise, LinkXL isn’t really a contextual ad service. Instead, advertisers can search through the marketplace of publishers to find specific pages where they want to advertise. And it gets even more specific than that, because they can select the exact anchor text they would like to have link back to their websites.
LinkXL is an in-text advertising system not unlike IntelliTXT and Kontera ContentLink. The difference is that the links served by LinkXL do not have a distinctive style; the paid links adopt the same color and underline scheme as backlinks that the publisher included him or herself. This stealth monetization is in sharp contrast to competing services that do the double-underline scheme. In this way, site visitors are not even aware that these are paid links in the first place. That is, unless the publisher discloses as such.
Note that the paid links served by LinkXL — which can be set as either nofollow or dofollow — are only placed within the content itself. They do not sell links in the sidebar or the footer.
Registration and Setup
To register as a LinkXL publisher, you’ll need to fill out a brief application form. There is no approval process, because as soon as you verify your email address, your account is good to go. This makes LinkXL very accessible for small publishers who may otherwise have trouble getting approved for link broker services.
After signing in for the first time, you’ll be granted access to the member area.
The control panel is reasonably straightforward with most of the navigation found along the left sidebar. When you add a site, you can set the default link price based on the Google PR of that page. You can also set the max number of keywords for sale on the page and specify the most appropriate category. A little further along on the wizard, you can also specify “hot” keywords. These can carry a premium price.
The easiest way to implement LinkXL on your blog is through the WordPress plug-in. After uploading via FTP and activating the plug-in through your WordPress dashboard, the only step remaining is to connect your blog with your LinkXL account. From there, you can choose where you want to sell ads too.
And that’s all there is to it. Installation was a piece of cake. Now you just have to wait for advertisers to buy your links. I’d imagine that dofollow links are more attractive, because they want that link juice, especially since it’s so cleverly masked.
Payment and Pricing
In terms of fees and payouts, LinkXL takes a 40% commission on all links sold. Competing services typically do a 50/50 split, so this is marginally better. Publishers are paid on the 10th of each month for all revenue collected during the previous month, assuming that their account balance reaches the minimum threshold of $100. Payment is available via PayPal or mailed check.
Too Deceptive For My Tastes
LinkXL is certainly not the first company to offer a paid link service, but they do have a few things that set them apart from the competition. Advertisers are able to not only hand-select where they want their links published, but also choose specific anchor text after the fact. There really is zero footprint, until a site visitor clicks on one of those links and finds themselves on a commercial site.
Although I realize this may sound a little hypocritical, I personally find that LinkXL is too deceptive for my tastes. How you feel on the matter is up to you.