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Cashpile

It's a pile allright.

But a pile of what?

Have you ever wondered why some web sites you visit are covered with banner ads and others have almost no advertising at all?

The answer might not be as obvious as it seems. It's probably not that the site is unable to find advertisers. The answer may be that they're turning them away.

More and more web site owners are realizing a seemingly illogical truth - placing advertising on your web site may not always be such a hot idea.

The argument?

Every banner you place on your site is an open doorway out of your house.

Does it make sense for a small web site to hand out an invitation for visitors to leave before they've had time to try out what you have to offer?

Nope.

If you're a massive web portal like AltaVista or Yahoo - with tens of millions of daily impressions, you can be reasonably certain that your visitors will be back. Small web sites may not be as lucky.

Many larger brands, including names like Amazon.com and E-Bay have reached the conclusion that the benefits of keeping customers in the store outweigh the added revenues banner advertising can provide.

Neither company places banner advertising on internal web pages. The reason? Every person who clicks on an ad and leaves the web site is a lost sale.

Obviously, neither company is about to swear off advertising. Both Amazon and E-Bay run massive advertising campaigns, both in traditional print media, on radio and television, and of course, online. According to an estimate reported in The New York Times, Amazon will spend $100 million promoting its services during the holiday season alone.

While neither company is too keen on the idea of putting your banners on their site, they'll be more than happy to have you put one of theirs on yours.

In fact, they're depending on it.

Amazon was among the first to develop an affiliate program, the tremendously successful Amazon Associates program. The development of the program was a major reason the company was able to grow so quickly. The temptation of easy money lured tens of thousands of web sites into the fold. God knows how many people placed Amazon banners on their sites, and developed programs that directly plugged Amazon's books and compact discs.

The exposure the company gained was invaluable. But the cost to Amazon? Almost nothing.

Take a look at the specifics. The Amazon Associates program pays only for sales that can be directly traced to a visit from your web site.

If a customer doesn't buy anything during their visit you don't get paid.

The truly nasty part? Lets say the customer returns to Amazon next Thursday and spends a thousand dollars.

Guess what happens? You don't see a penny.

All this having been said - one note of caution. There are plenty of cases where implementing a sound advertising strategy is the sensible thing to do. Information providers can often make a logical case for accepting advertising.

Online merchants on the other hand, should mull the question over very carefully before making a decision.

http://www.cashpile.com

Editor's note: Cashpile has been upgraded from a one webly rating to two after several readers pointed out that this review opens with a pretty vicious line.

Which is true.

Several pointed out that many smaller web sites rely on affiliate programs like the ones available through this site for revenue.

We're still not we like the whole idea. But o.k. fine.

The weblies have spoken.

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