Revised 30 Jan 09
I've been keeping a close eye on this new starter for the last month or so to see what the opinion is at Digital Point forums. They're an astute bunch over at Digital Point - all experienced webmasters who have seen traffic monetisation methods come and go over the years. WidgetBucks is getting good reviews over there from a lot of people at the moment - let's have a look and see why:
What is WidgetBucks?:
WidgetBucks is a promising new semi-contextual advertising program. Their attractive widgets advertise products of relevance to the website on which they are placed. Widget advertisements are geotargeted so that visitors see products available in their country. Payment is earned either on a per click or impression basis, depending on where the traffic originates from.
How does WidgetBucks work?:
Publishers sign up to the program, generate some advertising widgets and embed the widget code on their site. Ads are displayed immediately and begin to earn CPM (impression) revenue right away. They also pay on a CPC (per click) basis for clicks generated in the US, Canada or Europe.
What do WidgetBucks ads look like?:
Just like this:
The ad size and colour can be customised to blend in with your site. Remember that the ads are dynamic so they will cycle through a range of different products during each impression.
What does WidgetBucks pay?:
Over at Digital Point people are saying it pays as well as AdSense. That's a very steep claim and I couldn't possibly agree to it - I guess it depends on your traffic and niche. A combination of North American traffic and electronic goods (PDAs, flatscreen TVs) seems to pay particularly well.
WidgetBucks pays in two ways - for clicks from North America and Europe (CPC) and for impressions from most other countries (CPM).
In my experience their North American and European clicks are paying around 20 cents each. CPM earnings are not great at the moment - somewhere in the range of 10 cents per thousand impressions. WidgetBucks hopes to increase this rate once they've gained global advertiser confidence.
Is it AdSense safe?:
The widgets are non-contextual and dynamic - they don't look or work in the same way as AdSense ad units so are perfectly safe to use alongside AdSense.
What about a referral program?:
WidgetBucks publishers receive a very generous 15% of the earnings of their referrals for a 12 month period.
How and when does WidgetBucks pay?:
WidgetBucks pays by either USD check or PayPal. Payment is sent within 45 days of the end of the month in which you reach the $50 minimum payout. As with similar programs if you don't make the $50 minimum payment is rolled over to the next month.
Do they pay?
WidgetBucks issued their first payments at the beginning of December 2007, so have proved they pay promptly. I've received payment (shown below) so they're definitely a legitimate company.
How do I join?
If you've found this short review useful please sign up for WidgetBucks as our referral using the banner below.