See Spot. See Spot run. Run Spot, run.
Despite what its name may lead you to believe, the free advertising system that serves as the subject of this review has nothing to do with the classic book series starring Spot the Dog. That’s why there are a couple extra letters attached to Spottt. Even so, it’s not like Spottt is completely original either.
See Spottt. See Spottt Share. Share Spottt, Share.
You’ve surely noticed that the 125×125 button has suddenly become the most popular advertising format on a number of blogs. Part of the
blame credit can probably be placed on the redesign of John Chow dot Com several months back. With this in mind, the folks who run AdBrite decided to capitalize on the emerging ad style and Spottt was born.
The idea is that anyone with a webpage can get their hands on some free advertising in exchange for offering some advertising to like-minded websites. After you design a 125×125 button for your own site — Spottt works with blogs, MySpace, Xanga, LiveJournal, and any other website — you submit this to the Spottt database. They provide you with Spottt code that must be implemented into your website and this is where you display ads from other sites.
Spottt is a free link exchange program, but the sharing is not on a one-to-one basis.
Two For Me, One For You
The Spottt code includes a traffic tracker, so you are able to know exactly how many times your Spottt widget has been shown to site visitors. These impressions are translated into Spottt credits. You would think that with a traffic exchange program, each impression on your site would then result in one impression of your Spottt ad on someone else’s site. Sounds fair, right?
Well, that’s not how Spottt works. Instead, the FAQ tells us:
For every two times an ad is shown on your site, we’ll show your ad once. We’ll use the extra pages to show Spottt “house ads” that promote the Spottt service to other people like you. This will help grow the Spottt network which means your Spottt will have the ability to show on even more sites.
In the future, Spottt will be able to sell these extra impressions to paid advertisers. You’ll still have the opportunity earn “free” ad impressions, but there will also be an option to buy Spottt credits.
Create Your Spottt Ad
Signing up for a Spottt account is an incredibly straightforward process. All you have to do is provide an email address and you’re good to go. You’ll get an email confirmation and then your account is activated. From there, you’ll create your first Spottt.
Ideally, you’d like to have a graphic that is already 125 pixels wide and 125 pixels tall, but Spottt will automatically resize any image to fit these proportions. After filling out the short form above, you will be presented with your Spottt code. This must then be implemented on your site. Here’s what Spottt looks like on Beyond the Rhetoric.
Although you start generating Spottt credits right away, it takes a day from them to verify that your code has been implemented correctly. After that, your Spottt ad will start appearing on other people’s websites.
The Pinkest Link Exchange Ever
Spottt is cute. It’s too cute. Just about everything that has to do with Spottt involves a cute puppy (Golden Retriever?) and a whole lot of pink. Not to sound sexist or anything, but this makes Spottt seem terribly feminine and it may not be immediately appealing to the more masculine among us. To get a higher level of adoption, it might have been better to go with a gender-neutral color.
Entrecard All Over Again
If you’re thinking that Spottt sounds familiar, you’d be right. BlogRush does it with a text link widget and Entrecard does it with, you guessed it, 125 ad buttons. The two key differences are that Spottt was created by the same people that brought you AdBrite and Spottt has the one-for-two impression scheme described above.
That said, one of the biggest advantages that Spottt has is that they force you to embed their code above the fold. This significantly increases the exposure of your ad button, because both BlogRush and Entrecard users are known for placing their widgets further down the page.