MySpace is the 5th (some say 2nd) biggest site on the internet. With any big community based sites, there are people looking for ways to make money off it. While checking out Digital Point, I came across this post by Exaro, who tested out the MySpace “bulletin” feature. For those of you who don’t know, the feature allows you to post a message that can only be viewed by people who are listed as your “friends”. The message in most case is a “Check out my new Google whore website” or something to that effect.
When a MySpace friend clicks the link, it posts a bulletin on their MySpace page of an advertisement for the whore site, which is seen by all of that person’s MySpace friends. If one of their friends clicks a link on the whore page it opens another opportunity for the site to be exposed to any number of more MySpace users. This creates a tree branch effect that yields exponentially rising traffic. How well did this work for Exaro? Check out this traffic graph.
Exaro reports that his Google AdSense earning on the first day was $X,XXX.XX, which is really good since he has never made more than $100 a day with Google before.
If this reminds you a lot of the old ICQ Forward Pages, well it’s pretty much the same thing. It’s borderline spamming. The only thing that prevents it from being true spam is all those “friends” in your MySpace account opted to receive bulletins from you. And since the average MySpace user is 14 years old, they don’t know a whore page from a non-whore page and many will click on any links presented to them. This of course devalues the Google ads and in the end only hurts the legit publishers (that’s us) because advertiser will lower their bids or stop advertising all together because they can’t get a return on investment. Stuff like this is one of the reasons I only advertise on the Google search engine and not on the Google AdSense network.
I am by no way saying what Exaro doing is wrong. More power to him. The only problem with this type of business model is it can’t last. You can only spam you friends so many times before they’re no longer your friends. But if you can make $X,XXX.XX off them then why not? 😀