Google AdSense Alternatives: Infolinks

The “Google AdSense Alternatives” series continues! In case you missed it, I previously wrote about Media.net, and today I’m going to discuss Infolinks.

Much like Media.net, Infolinks was one of the alternatives I turned to almost immediately after losing my AdSense account.  I had seen it around on a lot of other sites in the past, but never bothered to try it until now.  My overall feelings are pretty mixed on this one, and I’ll explain why below.

What is Infolinks?

Infolinks is a bit different than AdSense or Media.net, mainly because of the way the advertisements are displayed.  Instead of displaying advertisements in a separate box, the ads are actually embedded within hyper-linked text in a site’s content.

Here’s what it looks like on one of my sites:

Basically, random words are selected and underlined, and when your mouse cursor hovers over the text, a small ad box pops up (as pictured above).

Customization Options

Depending on your site, double-underlined green text may not fit in with your overall design. Infolinks does have a number of options when it comes to customizing the way the links appear.

As you can see, you can select whatever colors you want for the links, and whether you want the links to be double underlined or dotted.

More importantly, you can select how many links you want per page.  To me, this option is important if you don’t want your content to look really spammy.  Infolinks allows you to select as few as one link or as many as twelve.

Other Types of Ads

In addition to the underlined text, Infolinks offers a few other types of advertisement.   One of them is the tag cloud (pictured below):

They also have a type of ad called related tags, which is very similar to the horizontal link unit that Google AdSense offers:

And finally, they have what they call a “search widget” – essentially, it’s a bar that sits at the bottom of the screen, and pops up when the user hovers over it:

What I Like About Infolinks

Although I’m not too crazy about Infolinks, there are a few things I like about it:

1) Flexible customization and variety of ad types.

As I showed above, I really like how you can customize the number of links that appear on a page.  Also, I’m a fan of the different ad types. To be honest, I didn’t even realize some of these other ad types existed (or maybe I had forgotten) until I went to write this post.  In particular, I like the “related tags” ad unit – ads like these typically have a nice click-through rate (CTR) when placed at the top of a page.

2) Easy to implement.

This is hardly a selling point, considering most ads are very easy to implement, but these are easy too.  You just need to add one snippet of code to your site’s <body> tag, and they take care of the rest.

3) It works well with other ad types.

Because Infolinks has ad types that other ad services don’t have (like Media.net or AdSense), you can use them together.  For example, several of my sites have a Media.net ad block within the content (at the top, justified left or right with the text), and another ad block in the sidebar.

In addition, I use the hyperlinked Infolinks ads within the body of my content.  While some people have become blind to standard block ads,  most people recognize and click hyperlinks.  In theory, this should make Infolinks a solid addition to a website’s monetization plan.

What I Don’t Like About Infolinks

Unfortunately, I have more to say on the negative side.  This doesn’t mean I won’t continue to use Infolinks – it just means, I’d prefer other types of ads to these.  Fortunately, I can have both.

1) The ads can appear spammy.

While the customization options allows you make the sponsored links appear less spammy (either by changing the color to blend better, or by simply reducing the number of links), I can’t help but feel the links are slightly intrusive.  While it’s easy to ignore a sidebar ad block, sometimes these ads are annoying (i.e. when you accidentally hover over a link and the ads pops up).

I’d be more okay with this if the ads were almost always relevant, but sometimes they aren’t.

2) They are surprisingly picky about site approval.

This is a similar problem I had with Media.net, and I’m starting to realize that perhaps AdSense was the least picky of all, considering they allowed you to put ads on any site, once your account was approved.  While Infolinks has approved most sites that I have submitted, they denied my thinner sites.  Basically, this was the reason:

 ”Our quality assurance team has tested your website for Infolinks compatibility and found that the website does not contain enough text for our algorithm to work properly.

Since Infolinks is an In-Text ads provider, your website needs to provide a certain amount of text in it for the ads to work. If the current situation changes, please let us know and we will be happy to approve your website to work with us.”

Clearly, they felt the site was too thin.  Although the site is on the thinner side (5 pages of content), the front page is about 1,000 words and the other pages are 400-600 words each, so it’s not as if there wasn’t enough text to support the ads.   I’m okay with that though – I don’t mind them being strict, especially when they have a good reason.

3) The CTR and earnings are just plain terrible.

Again, I’m comparing this to Media.net and AdSense, the only two ad providers that I have a decent amount of experience with.  So far, I’ve seen some pretty horrible results with Infolinks.

Ever since I started using Infolinks, here are my stats:

  • CTR: 3.38%
  • EPM: $1.37

I’ve seen other bloggers post their Infolinks performance, and it’s typically higher than what I’ve experienced so far.  It may be that I’ve had a bad run, or the 7-10 sites I have Infolinks on right now simply aren’t a good fit.  I definitely plan to keep Infolinks on my sites for now, and will hopefully see some improvement in the coming weeks/months.

That’s All!

While this review wasn’t an overwhelming endorsement of Infolinks, I still believe it’s a good AdSense alternative if you can supplement it with another ad provider, such as Media.net.  You’ll be able to follow my Infolinks performance in my monthly income reports, so stay tuned to see how it performs in the future.

How has your experience with Infolinks been? Are my results typical, or have you seen better (or worse)?  Leave a comment below!

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Connect with Eric Gati on Google+.

36 Responses to “Google AdSense Alternatives: Infolinks”

  1. Hey Eric,

    Even before I was banned from AdSense I began using Infolinks on my niche sites as an additional form of income. While the earnings were only 1/3 of what I made with AdSense (if I was lucky), I kept them on because something was better than nothing. The problem for me wasn’t the click through rates – they were upwards of 10% for me – it was the CPC which was usually around $0.03 per click. That is the reason why I only use the in-text advertisements and used Media.net instead of using an Infolinks text cloud.

    I’m surprised that your sites weren’t accepted into the Infolinks program – all my sites were and they were pretty think 5-10 page sites with outsourced content. Never had that problem with Media.net though. Maybe they have raised their submission standards since I last submitted a site, as it’s been a while now since I am focusing on authority blogs now and I definitely won’t be using Infolinks for them because of it’s “spammy” feel like you mentioned.

    Thomas
    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon recently posted… My Past Experience with Creating Mobile Apps and What I’ve Learned From It

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Thomas, thanks for sharing your experiences with Infolinks. 10% CTR is pretty nice, and I agree, the CPC is pretty terrible. I know I could probably increase the number of links I display to increase CTR, but I’m not sure I want to do that.

    [Reply]

  2. Interesting Eric. I have always disliked the user experience of info links but sometimes it’s best to let the numbers do the talking, especially with thinner sites. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Dan!

    [Reply]

  3. Eric,

    I have used Infolinks quite extensively and in some niches they do perform better than Adsense. For example, I have a bunch of sites related to the tattooing industry and with Infolinks the earnings are more than triple what Adsense earnings are.

    Adam
    Adam recently posted… My Business Moving Forward And What Am I Up To

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Adam – that’s very interesting. I would have never expected Infolinks to perform better than AdSense in any circumstance, but I can see how it could vary by niche (I noticed this with certain niches for Media.net).

    [Reply]

  4. Eric,

    Thanks for the information on this. I’ve seen these ads implemented on other sites in the past. To me, they seem REALLY annoying and spammy. However, that could mean that CTR may increase thanks to the placement of the ads in the content.

    I haven’t been banned from the Big G (yet), but these post are definitely going to come in handy in the future.
    Vin recently posted… The Penguin Solution: Link Building Strategy Changes Going Forward

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Vin. Yeah, the ads are somewhat annoying, but I think as long as you don’t overdo it, you can keep it from appearing TOO spammy.

    [Reply]

  5. I’ve seen infolinks in different sites.It looks nice. And i gree with Thomas,something is better than nothing.Even it has a small percentage,see how it roll up to big bucks.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Agreed, something is better than nothing! Thanks Becca.

    [Reply]

  6. I gave infolinks a try but removed it fairly quickly. Not only were the earnings fairly low but I felt it reduced the quality of my sites which wasn’t worth it for me in the end.
    Matt recently posted… The E-mail Worth Over $800

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s how I’ve felt, Matt, although I will probably stick it out a bit longer. I would never put Infolinks on this blog, for example, but I’m a bit more flexible when it comes to my micro niche sites.

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Eric,

    I have a similar experience as you describe, however I have sites that are way over 10$ EPM, some are even over 20$ EPM. Maybe the following tips will be of help. My experience is that the EPM will increase over time, since the smart algorithm does some optimization on selecting the keywords. Be sure to not change to many configs too soon, leave the algo do its work. Also the CTR increased to appr 5-6%. To get higher EPMs and CTRs, you should use the “related keywords” and the “tag cloud”. However, be sure to optimize your overall EPM together with your media.net EPM. Clearly if for a certain site you’ll have an EPM of 35$ with media.net, don’t use infolinks at all. Try to look for the overall best performance.

    Best regards,
    Mark
    Mark recently posted… This Is What I Do With Annoying Penguins

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the tips Mark! Seems like you are doing pretty well with Infolinks.

    [Reply]

    Mark Peeters Reply:

    You’re welcome.

    Yes, Infolinks is rather complementary to media.net for me. The bulk of my income is from media.net, however, Infolinks performs as the cherry on top ;-)

    [Reply]

  8. These infolinks are really a great way of advertising. But, sometimes they are so irritating when too many are inserted in just a small passage.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree – that’s why I usually set it at fewer links, so that hopefully the links aren’t too annoying.

    [Reply]

  9. There are lots of alternative for Google adsense and infolink is one of them. I have been using Chitika and now quite interested in using infolink as well. Thanks for providing the detail description about info link.
    Katrina recently posted… Young Nepalese Environmentalist Wins Prestigious International Award

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    No problem, thanks for the comment Katrina!

    [Reply]

  10. I have also tried infolinks and chitika. But Google adsense is always better for me
    Marie recently posted… Mother of the bride dress plus size

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Agreed, Google AdSense will probably always be the best…unfortunately, it’s no longer an option for me!

    [Reply]

  11. I think as more and more people are either finding their accounts being banned, or the many others (Like myself) who are afraid to keep the AdSense code on our sites for fear of Google pulling us (especially since they like to ban you for life) having an alternative that works is great for a backup plan. Lately I’ve been trying hard to diversify my online income as much as possible in order to survive the many challenges that face us! :)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    The idea of Google banning you from AdSense is frightening, especially when it can seemingly happen for no reason and is essentially permanent.

    All you can do is make sure to play by the rules, and keep in mind all of these alternatives, in case you do ever lose AdSense. Until then, enjoy it!

    [Reply]

  12. Hi Eric, it’s Pamela again from Infolinks. Thanks for taking the time to try out our system and review it. I’m sorry to hear that Infolinks wasn’t exactly what you were looking for, though I want to mention that In-Text ads in general are viewed to be the least intrusive ads of all, since the reader has to hover over them to even see them. I’m glad to hear that you will be sticking with us, as we’re improving all the time. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to shoot our customer service team an email, or one to me directly.

    Happy blogging!
    Pamela :)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for commenting again, Pamela, I really appreciate it! I’m definitely not giving up on Infolinks, as I do see a lot of potential with it, especially in supplementing other ad networks.

    [Reply]

  13. Something IS better than nothing! I am surprised that they didn’t approve your site with that much content in it.

    [Reply]

  14. I’ve been using Infolinks on all of my sites for over a year now, and I have determined that the amount of money I make from it is directly linked to my traffic. If my traffic is good, my Infolinks earnings go up. If my traffic is down, I can see the drop in my Infolinks earnings.

    I have decided this is probably because the only people clicking my Infolinks ads are the ones who find me through search. My regular readers know to avoid those ads.

    They’re great to use along with something else, but I would never recommend using them as your only means of monetization.
    Anna recently posted… About Closed Captioning From Home

    [Reply]

  15. I started up my computer this morning to see that my site was populated with infolinks. I had never ordered any infolinks so i can only assume it was a browser doing it, or some wordpress update that had. It looked awful, dozens of links including my homepage title.

    Personally even with customization, invasive, horrible and I never asked for it either. Found an “opt out” somewhere and they disappeared! I find this kind of bullish ways to show you new products very invasive and was most disappointed.

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    Hi there, this is Pamela from Infolinks. I wanted to let you know that Infolinks is not capable of putting its script (and therefore ads) on anyone’s website without their permission. If you did not apply and register for Infolinks ads and personally place the script in your site’s source, then this was not Infolinks’ doing. Sometimes we find, unfortunately, that some of our publishers place their codes unlawfully onto other people’s sites hoping to earn money from their clicks. If you could do a search in your source for Infolinks and let me know if you see a PID number there, we’ll be able to ban that user, as it is against our T&C. I apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your help!

    [Reply]

  16. i am using infolinks now since google adsense disapproved my account. considering my traffic is low. i just earned 7 cents wihtin a week as of today. perhaps if my traffic increases, my earnings will also increase
    marilyn cada recently posted… My Top Five Sites for Free Images

    [Reply]

  17. [They are surprisingly picky about site approval.]

    NO, they are not picky about site approval, if the keyword of your site can reach the first page on google search result, despite your traffic is very low.

    [Reply]

  18. Hello..

    I just try infolinks today.. i have 1000 unique visitor a day.. what best cpm for my site..

    Thanks
    Galih Prasetyo recently posted… Canon Eos 550D/Ribel T2i Review. Best Camera Low Price

    [Reply]

  19. Sir ,Please help me I am confused should i use info links or not my post are looking crowded after using info links .
    Nikunj recently posted… What is the federal budget for2013| Top10 Key Highlights & Review for the federal budget 2013

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    There should be a way to reduce the number of links on a page with Infolinks…take a look at the settings.

    [Reply]

  20. Thank you for the information you provided. I just started blogging and applying for adsense. Unfortunately I was disapproved. Your info helped a lot.

    [Reply]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tools Tuesday – adsense alternatives and social networking recommendations — Internet Marketing Gourmet - May 22, 2012

    [...] continues his odyssey through the alternatives to Adsense – this week, he’s testing out Infolinks, the in-context paid link provider – “While some people have become blind to standard block ads, most people recognize and [...]

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge

Subscribe to my awesome newsletter and receive The Ultimate Backlink Tracker for free! (Don't worry, I'll respect your privacy.)



The owner of this website, Eric, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking http://www.my4hrworkweek.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Loading...
Get my blog posts delivered straight to your e-mail >>
(I'll respect your privacy, don't worry.)