How to Get Free Edu Backlinks

Something that always annoys me when I'm visiting Digital Point forums is the way some people like to sell links on sites that aren't theirs to sell.

I'm thinking particularly of people selling lists of .edu sites where you can obtain backlinks by leaving a comment. They aren't really selling links but rather information about how you can build your own.

Some of these sites have "dofollow" comments, which means a link obtained there has some PR juice. Backlinks from .edu domains are also highly prized because of the perception that Google finds them more trustworthy and gives them more weight.

Anyway, here's my tip for getting your free .edu backlinks:
  • Most people who sell these are chancers who have already capitalised on the information themselves.
  • Simply find someone who is selling a list of .edu sites and study their forum profile closely. They will probably have a link to one of their own sites either as their profile homepage or in their signature.
  • Take the URL of the chancer's site and plug it into the Online Utility backlink checker.
  • The backlink checker will show any .edu backlinks.
  • Visit those .edu pages and leave your own comments.
  • Sit back smuggly that you've got that information free of charge.
Try it yourself - it works!

WidgetBucks Paying Good

Remember WidgetBucks?

I've not talked about them for a long time but they've slowly been earning for me in the background. My latest payment of just under $100 arrived today and gave me a nice surprise when I was viewing my PayPal account.

I'm still a fan of WidgetBucks. If you've got a site with some space and traffic then plonk a few widgets on it, sit back and enjoy the profit. That's what I'll continue to do!

Try WidgetBucks yourself and don't forget to tell them we sent you: Try WidgetBucks Now

New AdBrite Inlines

Online advertising giant AdBrite has just introduced a new version of their popular inline ad format.

The new ads, which are better targeted than before, include a pop-up box with 3 or 4 related links. This means visitors to your site are more likely to find an AdBrite ad of relevance, which should improve your click through rate.

A picture of the new ads is shown above. If you want to see how well they work on your site then please sign up to AdBrite and give them a try.


There's a new paid to search engine on the horizon that we'll be test driving over the next couple of months - SwagBucks.

Okay, all you hardened money making pros will realise that SwagBucks isn't actually that new, but the reason I'm visiting it now is to fill the void left my Homepages Friends.

Members of SwagBucks use their interface (or browser plugin) to perform web searches. Every so often they are rewarded with SwagBucks, which can subsequently be exchanged for a variety of prizes or even PayPal funds. One of the good things about SwagBucks is that every buck really does have a value and can be instantly redeemed for an MP3 download or similar. After a few days of clocking up SwagBucks you might have enough for a t-shirt, DVD or book from their online store. Currently you can redeem 70 SwagBucks for $5 via PayPal.

It's early days yet, but I'm hoping I can really bring in some extra SwagBucks by promoting the program over at my karaoke blog. I'll let you know how it goes or you can keep an eye on my progress using the widget in the sidebar.

In the meantime if you'd like to try SwagBucks please sign up as our referral.

Search & Win

Another AdBrite Payment

I'm just back from my summer holidays and what better to welcome me home than another check from AdBrite.

This time it's for USD 351.27, which works out at about GBP 215 in my home currency.

I'm a huge fan of AdBrite and with checks like this landing on my doormat every couple of months it's easy to see why.

Anyone interested in learning more about AdBrite, the best AdSense alternative in town, should read our AdBrite review. AdBrite can also be used alongside AdSense as a complimentary revenue stream.

If you find it useful please consider signing up for AdBrite as our referral: Try AdBrite Now

Text Link Ads Revamped

Regular readers of AdSense4Dummies will know that I'm a huge fan of Text Link Ads (TLA). The nice people at TLA have just refreshed their site and improved the affiliate program.

In the past publishers participating in the affiliate program would earn $25 to their PayPal account for every successful publisher or advertiser sign up. This was a nice little bonus but non-recurring.

The new affiliate program pays affiliates a minimum of 10% of their referrals' earnings over two years. This increases to 15% over two years if the affiliate refers more than $5,000 per month of publisher revenue.

The affiliate continues to earn a $25 bonus for each advertiser sign up.

There has never been a better time to try Text Link Ads for yourself. For further information about how the program works read our Text Link Ads review.

Supporting Friends - Charity Begins at Home

It seems Homepages Friends (previously My Search Funds) is undergoing yet another revamp, with the recent unveiling of the new Supporting Friends site.

I have written at length about Homepages Friends so won't go into the fine detail of how the programme works. In a nutshell you sign up, install a search bar in your browser, perform searches and earn a few cents per search.

What makes Supporting Friends different is that all the money earnt goes not to the person performing the searches, but to a charity of their choice instead. This should reduce instances of people making searches just to increase their earnings.

It also means people who honestly use the search box to earn a few dollars are missing out themselves.

I think the people at Homepages Friends (Supporting Friends, or whatever they're called today) have scored an own goal with this one. They have removed the very thing that attracts people to sign up to their site - the prospect of earning cash to their own PayPal account. Furthermore they have probable alienated all of their current members, who have been automatically transferred to the charity version of the site.

They say that charity begins at home.

It seems Homepages Friends have made the costly mistake of forgetting this.

Ciao Surveys (Greenfield Online)

I've been using Ciao Surveys for a long time, so it amazes me that I haven't written about my experience of them.

Quite simply they're a winner.

If you're the sort of person who has a little spare time and gets enjoyment from completing surveys then Ciao is the ideal program for you. They'll also reward you with a small payment or competition entry for every survey you participate in.

How does Ciao work?
Ciao is a market research company - businesses pay them to gauge public opinion about consumer products, services and habits. They pass on a small proportion of this payment to willing volunteers - people like you and me - who help them by completing surveys on these different issues.

Once you've signed up to Ciao you'll be asked to complete a profile, which allows them to match you to the different research proposals on offer. If you're a close match they'll send you a survey. The more detailed your profile information the more likely they are to send you lots of surveys.

How does Ciao pay?

You usually earn £1-2 ($2-4) for successful completion of a Ciao survey. A survey typically requires about 15-20 minutes of effort on your part. Most surveys begin with a few screening questions to double check you're the right target audience. You only get rewarded if you complete the entire survey and this depends on your success at the screening questions. I estimate that I get rejected from about half of the surveys I'm invited to.

Payment is by PayPal. You can request payment once you've reached £5, which is after only 3 or 4 surveys.

How many surveys will I get?
I usually receive 2 or 3 survey invitations a day. Remember that I'll probably not get past the screening questions on at least one of them, but I'll probably be able to complete one of them too.

As I said earlier, the more detail you put into your profile the more survey invites (and potential earnings) you'll receive.

Does Ciao pay?
Well, yes it does. I have received money directly into my bank account from them (their PayPal payment option is fairly new). They're a well established company with a good reputation - try Googling them.

If you're the sort of person who enjoys completing surveys then Ciao is a pleasant and reliable way of earning a little extra cash. It probably won't make you a fortune, but will give you a nice little bonus once in a while.

In the meantime if you'd like to try Ciao yourself please sign up as our referral: Try Ciao Surveys Now

My Homepages Friends Payment Received

I was getting a bit concerned about this one because the payment was a few months overdue. I can now confirm, thankfully, that My Homepages Friends (formerly My Search Funds) has now sent me payment. It's only £47 (just short of $100) but now they've proved legit I'll be making much more use of them.

Find out more by reading the AdSense4Dummies My Homepages Friends review. If you fancy a go then please sign up under us and remember to keep searching and wait patiently for payment.

Sign up to My Homepages Friends directly (ref).

WidgetBucks Improves Referral Program

Online advertising company WidgetBucks has just announced changes to their referral program that should make publishers smile in these uncertain economic times.

From now on publishers will earn 15% of their new referrals' earnings for a year. This is up from the previous (miserly) 5% referral rate. Lots of small publishers (like me) make the majority of their income from cost-per-click (CPC) ads and referrals, so I'm pretty pleased with the new rules.

If you've got a large site I recommend now as the ideal time to try WidgetBucks and cash in on the generous referral program. CPC is still paying well too, with most of mine in the 20 cent range.

More details about WidgetBucks (including proof of payment) can be found in my earlier WidgetBucks review.