This is a review of the Zergnet traffic boosting or article promotion service based out of Indiana, USA.
The system works with you promoting some of the other sites on the Zergnet network on your own site via a widget. When a user clicks through that will register as a click from your site. They are then led to a intermediate page where they can continue to the article they cliked on or one of the many others that are presented. This is the key part because Zergnet get far more than one click per visitor you send, this lets them then send you back more than the one you provided. So you might send 1000 clicks and get 1500 back.
Currently and in the past I’ve used a number of these services including CrowdIgnite, Wahoha, Mgid, Hexagram (formerly Scribol) and 2leep. They all have good and bad points and slightly different target sites as well, I will try and review them all over the next while either from current or historical data.
Zergnet’s network is made up over 1000 publishers including the likes of AOL, MTV, Answers and Cafemom. They say that over 90% of sites are rejected, keeping the quality of member sites high. This is important for you as a publisher as these are the sites that will be sending you traffic back.
Getting Started with Zergnet
The signup process is fairly straightforward and once you have been accepted you can login to the administration area. Here you can check your statistics, edit websites and add new ones, create new widgets and add new articles for promotion. There is also a help area and a referral program.
The first stop is the widget screen and this allows you to tailor a promotional unit that fits you website. You can alter the size, thumbnail size, fonts and colors and the categories of articles you want to display. At the moment these are Video Games, Movies, Entertainment News, Men’s Lifestyle, Food and Drink and Sports.
Once you are happy with your widget just copy the Zergnet code and place it on your website. They provide some layout guidance, with the best area being right at the end of an article.
This probably is the best spot if you want to maximise your click through rate. Some things to bear in mind are that you might well have advertising here, so the likes of any Adsense units are probably going to experience an affect from Zergnet being there. Similarly if you promote your own related content then that is going to suffer as well. However, the point here is to get back more than you send and to expand your audience so there has to be some sacrifice.
Now that you have your widget in place you can add some articles to Zergnet. Now the team there will add some themselves if you leave it but always a good idea to choose your own if you can. Certain articles might have much lower bounce than others or perhaps the advertising there has a much higher eCPM.
Now that all this getting back more than you send sounds great but sometimes with this sort of service you could send them a prime US visitor and get back 4 from a developing country. The more the merrier you might say but not so good for advertising revenue and they might not even be English speaking thereby bouncing off the site immediately. The later being bad for business and a negative signal to search engines like Google.
Now Zergnet have their own statistics area where you can check what you are sending them and what they are sending back, as well as geographical data on the visitors location.
However, you will want to check this yourself. This is where your analytics program comes into play. I use Google Analytics and, having gone over the statistics in Google Analytics it is pretty obvious Zergnet are sending traffic of equal quality back and from the same geographic regions. In terms of the amount I have averaged a return rate of about 3 to every 1 visitor I send. So if 1,000 people click on a Zergnet link then I have usually gotten around 2000-3000 back, which is pretty good going.
How are visitors behaving when they reach my sites from Zergnet links?
Well on Monsters and Critics.com a bounce rate of 87%, with page views at 1.19 and average duration just 21 seconds. Organic traffic on that site has a typical bounce rate of 65%, page view at 2 and duration of 40 seconds.
A List a Day bounce rate of 78%, with page views at 1.4 and average duration 1 minute 40 seconds. Organic traffic on that site has a typical bounce rate of 80%, page view at 1.19 and duration of 41 seconds.
So not too bad really, both these sites have fairly high bounce rates anyway as they tend to be people either reading news stories or checking something like “what is the most venomous snake” etc. Other article promoting services I have used have been similar and performed just slightly below organic traffic. So on casual games sites might typically have a bounce below 40%, 5 page views and maybe 10 minutes on the site.
Zergnet provide a pretty good return on your traffic sent and the traffic they send back will be of good quality and similar geographically to that you sent them. The sites in their network are pretty high quality themselves so you are not going to get al to of spammy links appearing. Also they do not do risqué content, so you will not find articles featuring busty babes or russian brides. Also, they are pretty honest with thumbnails and headlines. So users are not going to click on one thing only to find something else is at the other end, something that does happen with a few others I have used.
Support has always been swift and helpful, so when the team had promoted some articles I did not want to push…they removed them within a day.
They also have a referral system where you will get some free traffic if you refer other webmasters, as do most of these services.
Zergnet do not have Casual Games or Auto as categories so if you have those types of sites you may be better off trying something else, though they did tell me an Auto channel is due soon.
If you have a good quality site that fits one of the categories mentioned earlier I’d have no hesitation in recommending your try Zergnet.
Note: Some of the links have affiliate codes so if you are signing up you can either click with those and help me out or just search and go direct, they have not impacted the review.
Have you used Zergnet or any of the other article promotion services?