LinkXL Offers Monetization With No Footprint


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.


66 thoughts on “LinkXL Offers Monetization With No Footprint”

  1. Eastwood says:

    hmm another review eh?

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      lol thats what I was thinking

    2. MR. NICE GUY says:

      Yes i agree with you. This is another great site for review.

  2. Gorldworld says:

    Nice…Another good choice for us…
    Thanks… ๐Ÿ˜†

  3. NEM says:

    I will try แป‰t! :mrgreen:

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’ve always said it’s best to not put your virtual eggs in one basket, and it’s good to see this reinforced. Good to see a respected poster letting the masses know there are options out there.

    1. Yes there are always few options open. He said it about Google Baby, There is no google ad on this site. Still No. 1 Money making site (I guess).

  5. Robert says:

    It sounds pretty cool because, yea, it’s deceptive. There also is “no approval process.” That is HUGE. TLA takes forever! However, I’m not crazy about the $100 threshold.

    1. Dwight says:

      That $100 threshold can be lowered to as little as $25

        1. Dwight says:

          Go to and on step 3 at the bottom you can set your desired payout amount.

          1. Michael Kwan says:

            It doesn’t let me do that. When I replace the 100 with 25, it says “Value is lower than $100”

    2. Me neither. Special when you get only a few dollars per link.

  6. Nowadays link selling companies have to be tricky, otherwise Google eats them alive. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    1. We’ll see if it really leaves no footprint. Google seems to be able to find out everything.

      1. Matt Jones says:

        Yes I agree, Google will find a way to penalize the bloggers AND advertisers who use this. Risky stuff.

        1. How, or more importantly, why would Google penalize the advertisers? By penalizing advertisers they’d be giving their competition a weapon to sabotage other peoples’ sites. Just purchase links to their site and viola, they get penalized.

          I agree Google will likely try to go after the sellers, and they will probably try to devalue the links, but I don’t think advertisers have to worry about being penalized.

          1. Jeremy says:

            Google IS penalizing Link “Buyers” and even worse than link sellers. Sellers get their PR yanked. Buyers can’t even rank for their name.


      2. As someone who “may or may not” have purchased links for some of my sites, I can tell you that Google doesn’t figure out nearly as much as they’d like you to think they do. I’m fairly certain the recent PR smackdown (which didn’t affect rankings AT ALL) was only tied to a few sources such as TLA and PPP. If the link looks natural (on the page and in the code), Google has no way of knowing whether it was paid for or not.

      3. Robert says:

        Google is like Big Brother. Ever read 1984?

    2. Selling links is only tricky if you’re going the dofollow route. This company offers both kinds which IMO is a smart move on their part.

      1. Matt Jones says:

        PayPerPost offered the option of both, and the bloggers still got burned.

        Also when I used TNX as a buyer I got penalized, – see this post:

        Buyers may be able to sometimes get away with it, but Google would penalize them/remove the bonus of the links they bought if they can find a way.

        Another thing is that Google didn’t just conduct mass executions of bloggers toolbar PR a few months back, they are still doing it. Blogging Fingers PR has been going up and down every few weeks. Started at 3, then when I removed paid links moved up to 4, then after some linkworth links were added went to zero, then I removed the linkworth links and it crept up to 2 (were it remains). All in the space of a couple of months.

    3. They will screw if someone try to sell paid link (as business) am i right?

  7. Sha says:

    Interesting. I wonder how long they will last. I’m tempted to try them, but then again, I wonder what Google [Adsense] would think…

    1. Robert says:

      They’ll probably drop you. But who cares!! There are so many alternatives out there to Google.

  8. jsanderz says:

    Sounds like a good idea, is there anywhere we can see it in action, does anyone actually have it up and running?

    1. Dwight says:

      I can give you a demo if you are interested. Contact me directly…

  9. This look somewhat like TNX although I like the in content links. I’ll have to check it out further.

    1. Dwight says:

      No, no one has what LinkXL has . PM me if your interested

      1. Robert says:

        What’s your blog?

        1. Dwight says:


  10. Gadget says:

    Hmm, I will give it try…

  11. Not really sure if I want to try it out or not. I guess I will, the only thing I’ve got to lose is time- and maybe some PR.

  12. Hannah says:

    Yeah, that $100 threshold seems high, but I’m sure because of the lack of approval process it will be really popular among smaller bloggers. It might become the “Pay Per Post” of text advertising.

    And maybe I’m just a moral-free capitalist, but the deception doesn’t bother me, as long as I know that the links on my site aren’t leading to something I don’t want them to lead to.

    1. Robert says:

      Sometimes, capitalism requires you to ignore the upmost morals.

  13. How exactly is it deceptive? You aren’t hiding the fact that it’s a link. Just because it doesn’t jump out and scream PAID LINK doesn’t mean it’s somehow deceiving the users. Michael, you don’t seem to have a problem with the normal links in these reviews. Sure you have a disclaimer at the top of the post but the rest of the links would fall into the same “deceptive” area.

    Also, what about affiliate links? Those links look the same but are paid for as well. Are those deceptive? Do you mark every affiliate link with a big (AFF) or something so everyone knows?

    You’re not hiding where the link takes the user, you’re not redirecting the users to some unexpected page. It’s simply a link.

  14. Holly says:

    I’m always looking for new ways to make money. This seems like a good choice for me as I hate the double underline, not because it screams paid link but because it just looks weird to me.

  15. i will try it and look up for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. That’s important, to not leave a footprint for paid links, SEs hate that stuff.

    It’s also important not to put all Easter Eggs in one basket (lol)

    One slipup and Google terminates your Adsense account due to TOS violations, if you’re not careful, so switch to CPA or CPL networks, or even PPV monetization techniques.



    1. Hannah says:

      Have I missed something? I know Kontera-style links aren’t allowed with AdSense (unless you’re John) but are paid links against AdSense TOS too?

  17. kashif says:

    The good thing about this service is that the links would look natural to the search engine spiders and thats simply great ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. Luke says:

    Interesting, but I do wonder how Google feels about paid links disguised as normal links, intended to boost search engine rankings. It pays to be careful.

  19. Hardi says:

    Looks like interesting, i will try my luck there… Happy Easter anyway!

  20. Collin LaHay says:

    I think it has potential, although it could be a nuisance to your visitors, at least when it is used by bloggers.

    1. Definitely Collin, visitors don’t like to be “tricked” and not be able to distinguish your links from advertising links – that’s why I use Kontera.

      1. Dwight says:

        Personal choice I suppose. Comes down to if your visitors like the double-underlined links and if those really make you any money each month.

  21. Dwight says:

    Bloggers really like them because their safe, there is nothing to do and they get a check every month!

    1. How is the payout compared to Kontera?

      1. Dwight says:

        The highest – 60% to publishers compared to all the others….

  22. While I am also looking to use more then just adsense to monetize my blogs, I am still weary of the pages that have constant links throughout the text. Still worth a look, thanks for the info

  23. Joseph says:

    Seems like a great way to make money.

    1. Dwight says:

      It is ๐Ÿ™‚ – many people with websites and blogs make a pretty penny each month. There are a lot of people and agencies out there that buy links no matter what “G” says. Just do in moderation and don’t misbehave.

  24. MR. NICE GUY says:

    This is just like any other textlink ad site. Let’s see if it explo ๐Ÿ˜€ des

  25. Nice review Michael. I’ve heard about Link XL before, but it was really nice to finally read a review of their services!

  26. unnikuttan says:

    I tried it, but it is too complicated to understand.

    1. Dwight says:

      Let us know what was wrong or submit a support ticket and we will get LinkXL installed on your site(s) free of charge.

  27. Tere says:

    okay ๐Ÿ™‚ gotta check this out later.

  28. its an TNX clone…and i don’t think its up to their standards ๐Ÿ˜

    1. Dwight says:

      Yeah LinkXL launched well before TNX, it’s not Russian and not sidebar or footerbar links. They are links in content that pass juice with no footprint. It’s a patented technology that no one else has. What you said is like comparing McDonalds with a Filet Mignon…

  29. Hannah says:

    I also tried using it, and it is pretty complicated. After installing the plugin I have no idea what to do, so really I just gave up.

    1. Dwight says:

      It’s simple- after you install the plugin and activate it, you go to LinkXL, log-in and then add website- step 4 “start selling links”

  30. bernard says:

    i installed it, ran it and it crashed our servers time after time… any idea why?

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