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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Associated Content’s Paid Links

Okay, this is ironic. is a website that pays content producers to, well, produce lots of content. (I’m not sure about their mission, but one of the goals seems to be to attract search engines to bring visitors to their ads, e.g. the submission guidelines cover such interesting info bits as “How to Write Compelling Headlines for Search Engines,” and one of their authors discussing Associated Content’s “performance bonus” says, “Keyword-dense articles that provide answers, and articles that solve specific problems are bound to generate page views.” Fair enough, to each their own business model, and with currently about 238,000 pages in Google it looks like it’s working... and I bet at least a portion of the pages add value.)

Among Associated Content’s board of directors is AC co-founder Tim Armstrong, Google’s Vice President of Advertising Sales (pictured), which brings us right to the irony part. Quote from the AC FAQ:

How do I advertise on Associated Content?
Text link ads, banner ads through Tribal Fusion, domain advertising through Google Adsense.

That’s right, they said text link ads, those same things Matt Cutts asked people on April 14th to tell Google about using a spam report form. According to information from Preston Wily, Associated Content were selling links on their site through (disclosure: TLA is an ex-advertiser for this blog). But maybe someone at Associated Content read Matt’s post, too, because I’m told by a source that the following email alert was sent out from on April 19th:

We are losing as a publisher this week so we need to move your current links on to a new spot on our network. We feel we have new locations for your links that will work out great. Your link(s) are currently located at:

In other news, AC is infringing on Google AdSense program policies by obscuring part of their AdSense ads, but I guess that’s just a technical glitch (if you ran AdSense for any longer amount of time, you probably inadvertently too infringed on some policies... and only realized so after an email from AdSense support!).

[Via WebProNews/ Threadwatch. Thanks Preston Wily! Image courtesy of Google press center.]


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