Tag Clouds Drive Traffic, Revenue For Small Web Business

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Innovative advertising ideas seem to come around once a year or so on the web. Last year was the year of the "pixel ad." This year is all about "tag cloud" text link advertising.

Innovative advertising ideas seem to come around once a year or so on the web.

Last year was the year of the "pixel ad." This year is all about "tag cloud" text link advertising.

Most new online advertising schemes are marginal performers at best, but phenomenons pop up from time to time that can make advertisers a tidy fortune in traffic and profits.

The latest phenom appears to be tag cloud advertising.

Advertisers basically buy their most relevant text links on sites that run 200-500 word tag clouds focusing on general or specific industry topics.

The promise is that surfers will visit the page and click your link, with a side benefit of more search engine attention.

The danger is that advertisers can buy duds on sites that have no intention or no power to send targeted traffic to the pages they create.

"You really have to pay attention to where you are buying these links," says Jack Humphrey, Editor of The Friday Traffic Report. "Most people promoting this tag cloud system right now have absolutely no ability to drive targeted traffic which defeats the core purpose of the system."

Humphrey makes it clear that the best buys will be on sites that clearly have the power to drive traffic and search engines to the tag clouds they are promoting.

"Watch for thousands of these pages to pop up much like the pixel ad phenomenon of 2005," adds Humphrey. "The only good advertising buys with tag cloud pages will be with the sites that really take an aggressive approach to driving targeted traffic to these pages."

Tagging and social bookmarking continues to pick up steam and there is a growing interest from the surfing community in finding interesting sites with tag clouds.

This despite the fact that they are what many experienced surfers consider more chaotic and random than traditional link directories or classified sites.

"It seems counter intuitive that millions of surfers would enjoy clicking through a disorganized, seemingly random page of links rather than the traditional sites that are well established on the web, such as search engines."

But apparently surfers find a kind of beauty in the simplicity of surfing through tag clouds.

"Fact is, tens of millions of people use and enjoy tag cloud-style navigation as evidenced by the incredible rise in popularity of social bookmarking and "tag engine" sites like Del.icio.us and Technorati," Humphrey noted.

As with any major buzz about new internet advertising opportunities, there will always be people who take advantage and seek to separate advertisers and their money with no real ROI possible.

While there are great deals to be found in tag cloud advertising, advertisers must make sure that sites selling it are reputable and capable of sending them visitors to avoid wasted time and money.

For more information and an example of a reputable tag cloud page, visit Content Desk's Top 500 Tag Cloud.


Peter Lenkefi


peter @ contentpropulsionlab.com

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