If you have been following AudiophileReview.com for more than a few months you may have noticed a change over the last couple of weeks. The change is that AudiophileReview.com and its companion site, HomeTheaterReview.com, are no longer featuring paid links. What are paid links you ask? These are links that get injected into the copy of the site with the hopes of while you are reading "bla, bla, blah - speakers" that you click on said speakers link and go to say Amazon.com or Ebay.com for some sort of transaction. The publication was getting paid a pretty nice fee for inserting such links and that helps pay for the free-to-the-consumer content that AudiophileReview.com readers enjoy.
These links also come with a price which is as AudiophileReview.com publisher, Jerry Del Colliano said was "hurting the bounce rate of the site on Google Analytics" and "making readers question the high quality, highly trusted links" that our staff researches and inserts manually into our copy. For example, if you are reading an OLED HDTV review over at HomeTheaterReview.com and you see a link for the word EnergyStar you can trust that its going to take you to a good page on the topic of Energy Star. With all due respect, someone reading about high level audiophile topics isn't very likely to click on a word like "speakers" or "audio"' and buy a $98 plastic, Bluetooth speaker? Sorry, its just not what we talk about here at AudiophileReview.com. And now those links are gone. So is the money associated with the program. I'd call and congratulate Jerry on making the right decision but he's likely on the phone selling ads as I type (I hope.)
Our wish is that our readers understand the need for new and predictable revenue streams to help pay for what many people consider "free content". We are pretty confident many of our loyal readers really get it. They know we need them to click on our client's ads. We need them to mention the publication when filling out warranty cards and so on. We like when they mention or print out our content when they go to their local dealers. At the same time, we hope that our readers know that we do everything we can to make a better user experience for them. In this case, we removed the paid links. But there's more positive changes coming soon to an audiophile blog site near you.
Right now, HomeTheaterReview.com is being redeveloped to be fully HTML-5 based. There will be different (larger) ads, better organization of the content, new and consolidated categories, far better mobile performance and faster site performance. As soon as these upgrades have been implemented at HomeTheaterReview.com - many of the same upgrades will go into effect at AudiophleReview.com as well. Timing on this will hopefully be sometime this summer. The capital for the project has already been put aside for the upgrades while the price of AudiophileReview.com remains the same. Free.
What say you AudiophileReview.com readers? Did you even notice the paid links? Did you ignore them? Did you ever buy anything from them? (if yes, what did you buy?) Can you now trust the links that we pain-stakingly put into the content manually? Let us know below in the comments...