BlogRush - Cool Tool or Traffic Pyramid Scheme?

BlogRush is a free widget that can be plugged into a blog to 1) display posts that would be relevant to readers, and 2) help bloggers generate relevant traffic to their site.  I.e. a music site like GarageSpin would hopefully attract more readers interested in music, etc.  I can't help but feel there's something skethcy about it..? Here's what it looks like:

It works like this: the widget (see right) displays 4-5 titles of recent posts from related blogs.  For every impression the widget gets on your site, you gain one traffic 'credit' in the BlogRush content universe.  For each credit, a post from your blog is displayed in a widget on someone else's blog.  But wait (here's the ginsu knife offer), there's more.  If someone else clicks on the widget and ends up installing their own on another website, you get credit for page impressions they generate as well.

It's a pretty viral idea, kinda cool, a little pyramid scheme-ish, but not really since it doesn't require an investment of any kind.  I'm intrigued enough that I'll give it a shot -- so far, the posts are indeed music related, so that's good. I think I'll try it out for a week or two...if it sucks, I'll dump it.

If you're interested in trying BlogRush, you can sign up here, so I can get the credit.  :)

Or, wait 1-2 weeks for my update on how it's going -- I'll add the update to this same post.

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We picked up your BRush - we figured what the hey, give it a try.

It's way down the bottom of our main page, but the links do seem to be reasonably related..

Speaking of which, we are working on a few of our own widgets for music blogs like this... check this one out:

Okay, here's my stats so far.. I put up the Brush widget after midnight I think so it's like 13 hours of data??

Looks like we must be giving garagespin some good luv!

Amazingly, 2 other blogs seem to have adopted it from mine as well.
Credits Earned Today: 5,098
From Your Traffic: 4,410
From Your Referral Network: 688
Credits Earned Last 7 Days: 5,098
From Your Traffic: 4,410
From Your Referral Network: 688
Credits Earned Last 30 Days: 5,098
From Your Traffic: 4,410
From Your Referral Network: 688

However... there's also this data and notice:

TODAY 1,102 1

that's what - a 0.01% CTR?

And many people are using the widget to simply send out adsense-like links - BRush posted this:

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Click- through rates are very low right now due to problems with some users cheating the system. We are a few days away from removing all abuse from the system and you will see your click-rates increase. We are also moving to a Manual Review Process for all member blogs which will also increase the traffic you receive. Thank you for your patience -- we're working hard to improve this beta version of our service.

SO, with one click per thousand impressions - gee, if I had run adsense instead and got a 1% that could be around $3 - that's the opportunity cost of running BRush for half a day.

Okay, after another 24 hours here's my stats snapshot:

Credits Earned Today: 22,436
From Your Traffic: 21,148
From Your Referral Network: 1,288
Credits Earned Last 7 Days: 29,771
From Your Traffic: 27,730
From Your Referral Network: 2,041
Credits Earned Last 30 Days: 29,771
From Your Traffic: 27,730
From Your Referral Network: 2,041

TODAY 2,804 4

So in other words, I gave these guys like 23K page views, and they gave me - 2.8K?? Roughly 10% of what I sent out!? And I got only 4 clicks back for all that? Something seems fishy.

Hey Mark,

Thanks for sharing your stats! I just realized, I never added the widget to my post templates...oops! I'll do that now. But so far, here are my stats:

- 4 referrals
- 30,651 impressions generated (most of which from referrals)
- 10,787 syndicated impressions
- 8 syndicated clicks

Not a very high clickthrough rate, ay? It's free traffic, but is the site real estate worth it? We'll see, I guess...

Anyone else have stats to share?

For some reason, in some browsers, the BlogRush module was making my entire sidebar disappear and reappear below all blog posts. Until I figure out why, I decided to remove it for the time being... I'll continue to share my stats, though.

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