How I Harvested My High Page Rank

    February 16, 2005

I have an online travel magazine with a 5 ranking and I’m always on the lookout for ways to use my site’s advertising space to its best advantage.

PageRank Harvester
Harvesting Your PageRank

So when I discovered the kind of prices that text links on a single 5-ranked page can sell for, I added a “Sponsored Links” box on all 5000 pages of my site, offering sponsored links to people who want incoming links (and a bit more traffic, since I get 175,000 page views a month).

Easy enough to do, since I use server-side includes throughout the site. I just created a file with the links and have my perl program do the rest. (People who use Front Page can do an auto-insert. PHP allows their own includes. And hand-coding HTML on notepad can be made easy using frames or i-frames.) I wrote my program to add the links and interface with PayPal so that it’s hands-off. Wonderful!

And then, inspired by the way some of my associates get carried away with pay-per-click bids, I thought: Why not auction off the top spot? That’s bound to make the space bring in what it’s really worth. But a real auction is a complex affair, even with software to automate it.

My solution? A last-in auction. Whoever is willing to pay to be number 1 gets the slot — everyone else gets moved down. If someone doesn’t like being #2, they can pay again to be #1. The price doesn’t change, just $1 — It’s determination, not finances, that keeps a link at the top. And, as an added incentive, the #1 link is guaranteed to be on every page, #2 on down may or may not show, depending on how long the article is. How long does a dollar keep an advertiser on top? Five minutes or five days, depending on how long it takes for someone else to pay a dollar.

Sure, I can set the price higher, and probably will eventually. But right now I like watching different advertisers fighting to be on top. And I it’s nice that I can let little businesses test the waters for just a buck.

What’s next? Maybe I’ll make a php version of the program and market it. Or maybe a module for the popular content management systems. I’d program it so that it has a credit link that points back to my website and increases my PR ranking even higher.

If you would like to see my Sponsored Links
box, look for it on the lower left side of every page of
Rhode Island Roads magazine at . Feel
free to give it a test run, it only costs a buck!