– Text Link Advertising With a Twist

I’ve been testing-out an ad network on a couple of my other websites. It’s called It’s a text ads network, but with a twist.

You buy “TNX Credits” which can be used to advertise on other sites (and can be redeemed for U.S. Dollars via PayPal). It costs $10 to buy 6800+ credits, and the sites you advertise on can redeem them at $0.74 per thousand credits. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but they add-up pretty quick. The cost of an ad is determined by the TNX system, so it’s pretty fair to both advertisers and publishers (since it’s in TNX’s best interests to please both parties). The whole credit thing reminds me of EntreCard a bit (so I think of TNX as a cross between EntreCard and Text-Link-Ads).

I tested the network for a couple weeks on another site, and I accumulated 25,615 credits, which can be redeemed via PayPal for about $20 USD. Not bad for two weeks, eh?

The TNX admin page is nice, though there are a few rough edges, and it has the usual things you’d expect from it. It shows your credit count, it lets you remove ads you don’t like, and it has facilities to buy/sell/transfer credits.

For the ads to display on your site, you need to paste-in a large chunk of code from the TNX site. There are PHP, Perl, and ASP versions of the code, so chances are it will work with your site. I recommend putting the code in a separate file and including it in the correct place (e.g. with PHP includes), so as to keep it out of your way when you edit your templates. Also, PHP users can cache the ads on their server to decrease load times.

TNX is a great service, though there’s one part that worries me. It’s a text ad network, so you may be subject to Google’s wrath. If you’re not a maniac about your PageRank, and you don’t mind a little risk, go for it. TNX assures their users that they won’t have any negative effects (despite not carrying nofollow tags), but I’m a little paranoid. The links are formatted interestingly, having plain text surrounding the links, which would make it hard for Google to detect automatically, but you never know (so long as you don’t label the segment “advertisements,” or something of the sort). My fears may or may not have any validity, but they’re worth stating. If you don’t mind a little risk (believe me, there are still plenty of people who use Text-Link-Ads, despite the risk), go for it.

Overall, I like the TNX service. It pays well, and there’s not much work involved.