TNX.net Review – Text Link Brokering Still Alive?

May 22, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

TNX.net is a text link advertising network that enables publishers to make money by hosting outbound links on their sites and advertisers to easily buy millions of links on relevant pages.

Links emerged as the currency of the web when Google started to heavily weight them as the main factor for ranking in search engine results pages. For a long time, many webmasters were able to buy their way to the top of Google simply by paying for hundreds of thousands of links on sites with high PageRank. However, this is no longer the case.

If you haven’t heard the news, Google is completely against paid links because link manipulation exposes a big weakness in their algorithm. Rather than fixing the problem and adapting their search engine, they are cracking down on link brokering sites, penalizing sites that buy and sell text links that pass PageRank, and messing with the minds of site owners using fear and uncertainty.

The issue of buying links for SEO value has been beaten to death and many of you already know my stance on paid links. Yes, in many cases paid links work in increasing search engine rankings, but they come with a big risk of ranking penalties. If Google catches you, your sites can be bumped from the top spots and cast off into oblivion.

Now don’t get me wrong. I would still recommend buying links in highly competitive niches where the method is still profitable and worthwhile, even with the risks involved. For example, many of the top ranking sites in the insurance verticals are sure to have heavily used paid links at some point in time. In these cases, it’s necessary just to compete – and Google can’t do anything about it.

Links can also be bought under the radar and out of Google’s sight. As much as we like to hail Google as all powerful, its algorithm is still extremely limited in terms of paid link detection. Why do you think they have a form for webmasters to report violations? Because they can’t do it themselves!

The point of that whole spiel above is to provide leeway into a review for TNX.net, a text link brokering service. Link brokering sites have been under much fire lately so I advise that you proceed with caution if you decide to go this route.

tnx

The first thing that I noticed about TNX.net is that the site is very much based on content. It goes into the specifics of paid links and how it works. There are even lengthy sections targeted to both advertisers and publishers about the benefits that they would receive by using the network.

The unique features of TNX are the following:

  • TNX sells links on an individual page by page basis. Publishers paste code on all of their sites’ pages, but advertisers can choose which of the pages they’d like to buy links on – as well as picking the preferred category and Google PR. This is much more effective for site targeting than the all or nothing approach taken by most other link networks.
  • Another interesting feature offered by TNX is the points system. Rather than dealing with actual cash, advertisers buy points (with fluctuating values) which can then be redeemed for links (for advertisers) or money (for publishers).

Publishers cannot set their own prices – they are determined mainly by Google PageRank. This is both good and bad. Since Google PR is no longer a valid indication of the SEO value of a link on a site, advertisers can get some amazing deals if they do their homework. On the contrary, publishers may be giving away valuable site real estate for a lot less than it’s worth.

tnx stats

TNX.net has over 58,000 users and close to 38 million pages in it’s database. 25 millions links have been sold so far and sell at a rate of 14,937 per hour. Pretty impressive stats.

I personally would never use the site to buy or sell links for my authority sites. I would much rather do it my own way rather than go through a network. However, below is a chart of how much I could potentially make from the system if I used it sell links on Winning the Web. All of these figures are based on the PR of my pages.

tnx wtw

Overall, TNX.net might be an effective way to garner some quick links and possibly improve your search rankings – as long as you’re not penalized for it. However, I would not recommend using it for your established sites that have long term value. Does Google traffic mean a lot to you? Then build links yourself. Otherwise, you might want to check out TNX.net.

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Comments

14 Responses to “TNX.net Review – Text Link Brokering Still Alive?”

Thanks for the tip, TNX sounds like it could be a big time saver so I’ll definitely check it out.

 
Joe Cole on May 23rd, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I use TNX for link building only, not for selling links

Gyutae Park on May 26th, 2008

Have you seen any increases in search engine rankings after the link buying?

Joe Cole on May 29th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Yes, for some keywords 😉

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Zedomax on May 23rd, 2008

Looks like TNX got tanked by Google, their PR is ZERO!

My suggestion is to really rely on good content and great blogging than all this link buying/selling crap. It’s like drugs, once it wears out, you are back to ground zero whereas great content will last you because people love readin’ it.

Gyutae Park on May 23rd, 2008

Haha very well put Max. And GREAT analogy. lol

Link baiting with quality content is really the best long term link building strategy.

Zedomax on May 23rd, 2008

For sheezy,

TLA and TNX will eventually go out of business in the long run. (They will take your money and run while you lose your pagerank.)

I don’t know how long that will take but they are still making money off people but in the back of their CEOs minds, they got a backup plan to take millions of dollars and buy an island off coast of the italy or something.

It’s a big link selling scam in my opinion. Look at the top 100 blogs in the world, are they selling links?

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Gyutae Park on May 24th, 2008

I agree with you that link brokering is not a good long term business plan. It is way too dependent on the search engine algorithms.

However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are all scams because up until a certain point, buying links was extremely effective in increasing search engine rankings. In fact, they still are – it’s just that Google is cracking down a lot more on sites that buy and sell links. Top 100 blogs could never get away with it because they are highly visible. Smaller blogs on the other hand might be able to.

Great thoughts, keep em coming. 🙂

 
 
 
 
Warenwirtschaft on May 24th, 2008

I think that is an interesting service, but when their rates are very low. Just for interest i put in one page with PR7 and it brings only 22$ for one link on one page. That seems a bit low to me.

Gyutae Park on May 26th, 2008

You’re right that’s very low – but if you’re a publisher, that’s a great deal. However, most people will buy more than 1 link so it works out for both parties.

 
 
Jason on May 25th, 2008

I thought I remembered reading something from Matt Cutts about how they don’t plan on doing anything about the sites that are buying links…only the sites who are selling them. Could be wrong though.

Gyutae Park on May 26th, 2008

That’s not necessarily true. Google is targeting both link buyers and sellers. It’s just easier to take out the practice if they cut the supply (in theory anyway). If you look at the form for reporting paid links, it can be used to report sites that are buying links to increase their search engine rankings.

 
 
Gerri on May 26th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I was a bit surprised to see that you wrote a review about them. I have seen a lot of bloggers here and there talking about how it really isn’t worth it because of the penalties you may face and I like that you have mentioned it in this post so that people know what they are getting themselves into.

Gyutae Park on May 26th, 2008

Hey Gerri,
It was a paid review, but I tried to be as honest as possible. Paid links are dangerous especially if you are doing it for SEO value. It’s much better to create link bait and have sites link back naturally, buy link links under the radar, or perform other link building methods that aren’t so obvious.

 
 
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