(ScribeFire is a powerful, free Firefox browser plugin that lets you manage multiple blogs including posts, pages and more all from your browser. I personally am a big fan of the plugin and have been covering their attempts to monetize it on this blog for a while.)
We speculated a few months ago about what the death of ScribeFire’s QuickAds meant for them but apparently they are not throwing in the towel on monetizing their service just yet! The newest ScribeFire update included a notice of their partnership with InLinks.com.
When InLinks.com debuted, it was rather controversial. Amongst the complaints of it were that, unlike most inline ads (including the ones on this website) InLinks ads have no preview or other features identifying them as ads. In addition, InLinks ad links are nofollow which means that advertisers can use them to manipulate search ranking on Google and that InLinks ads can damage a site owner’s search ranking. Google has already come out to say that using this service may be a violation of their guidelines.
If you want a crash course in the nitty gritty of this debate, here is a great article to get you started from TechCrunch: Insidious New SEO Ad Product Will Be Hard For Google To Detect
How do I feel about a service like InLinks?
As a web publisher, I would never use this service. I may have ads all over my site but, by golly, I make sure that they are labeled as such and I think an intext link that isn’t labeled is just plain sleazy.
As an advertiser, however, I am intrigued. If use of these ads really gives you the SEO advantages it would seem they do, it may be well worth giving it a shot, esp if it is cheap.
What do you think?