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The Tip Jar – A Different Kind of Paid Link

Wanna leave a cash tip?
Paid links may be taboo, but there’s a new way to leave a cash tip when you like what you read.

You might notice the large orange “Are You in My Top Spots” box in the upper right of my blog, The Web Optimist. That, my friend, is a new take on paid links.

No, it’s not something that Google will frown upon. It’s in javascript, so there’s no direct passing of link juice. And, the owner of this neat little widget says that to make Google really happy, they included no-follow in the actual link.

What makes this any different from other paid links? It’s the concept behind it.

This little widget is called ScratchBack and it’s really a tip jar (as in cash money), just like those little cans you see next to the register at Starbucks or wherever. Visitors to your site can leave a tip, currently $1 on my blog, and get a link to their site or blog. It basically takes those Make A Donation boxes through PayPal to a whole new level. In exchange for the donation, you get a link acknowledgment of it. The way I have mine set up is that as donations are made, that person is in the top spot. The next person to leave a $1 tip gets that top spot and pushes others down.

And, yes, it requires a PayPal account.

Do I expect to make money with this? No, especially not at my introductory price of $1. As I write this the widget has been up for several days and no one has left a tip.

But, I think the timing of this concept was fortunate. It should make Google happy.

So, Google, wanna make me happy? Leave a tip! 😉

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