Good Riddance, Entrecard

July 9, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Before I begin on this rant, let me first say that I’ve spoken to Graham (the owner of Entrecard) on many occasions and have always found him to be a very nice and friendly guy. I also think he’s a great web entrepreneur. So, this post is not a personal attack on him but instead on his creation Entrecard.

I’ve been using Entrecard since November 27, 2007, but was glad to finally remove it from my blog a few hours ago.

Why Did I Stop Using Entrecard?

In addition to the items listed in the Why Did Entrecard Fail? section below, I removed the Entrecard for mainly one reason: it simply didn’t bring in much traffic.

I knew that the system was flawed for a long time now but didn’t remove it because I was still getting some traffic from it and therefore it was still beneficial even though the system is completely unfair.

Ever since the beginning, Entrecard based each participating blog’s worth by the number of drops it received. A drop is determined not by when the ad is actually clicked on, but when another Entrecard user clicks below the ad. Doing this gives the dropper a small amount of points.

You can already see the many problems that that method creates. To be fair, Entrecard did revise their point system a few months ago, but now it’s even worse than before. The solution was always an easy fix to which I suggested to Graham time and time again, and was to simply determine a blog’s Entrecard point value by the amount of clicks/traffic it generates. Therefore, larger blogs with more traffic would be ranked higher than blogs with no traffic.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Small sites with no traffic and visitors are ranked extraordinarily high, and larger blogs like mine are barely even noticed.

For example, take a look at the Entrecard blogs below. These are the current top ranked blogs on Entrecard:

243

Ignoring John Chow, since his blog is obviously massive and deserves the top spot, you’ll notice that every other blog is priced at least 2048. This actually goes on for several pages until the next highest cost is 1024.

Taking a look at the top 3 sites after John Chow, we can see that they are SuperFicialGallery.com (4096), Oilius.blogspot.com (2048), and samsara.ihostyou.com (2048). Surely these must be massively popular and highly-trafficked sites similar to John Chow quality, right? Well, I’ll let you take a look at them for yourself and come up with your own judgement.

So if sites like those are priced at over 4,000 Entrecard credits per day, you may think that my blog might be worth at least 15,000, right. Wrong. Here is what my blog is usually priced at:

Between 64-128 credits per day

That’s right. Sites like those 3 listed above are apparently worth 30-60 TIMES more than mine. This is extremely annoying, unjust, and unfair.

The even more ludicrous part is that if I did just bite the bullet and save up my measly 128 credits per day, it would take me 1-2 months just to be able to purchase 1 day of advertising on their blog! Now how is that fair?

My blog is not an isolated case. If it was, I wouldn’t make this rant. The fact is that most blogs similar to mine fall into the same unfair pit.

That is why I finally removed the widget from my blog. I’d rather sell the 125×125 slot on my blog for $40 a month instead of having to save for a couple months in order to even be able to purchase 1 day on a similar-trafficked blog.

Why did Entrecard Fail?

Well, technically Entrecard is doing just fine. A lot of people still use it and it is still very popular. But is completely unfair, mostly to larger blogs, which is why you see big bloggers such as Problogger removing it.

System does not reward based on clicks

Since the beginning, I’ve told Graham that the system should price blogs based on how much traffic the blog’s Entrecard widget is bringing in. This is the most fair method of doing things instead of how many Entrecard users drop their card.

You could put Entrecard on a massive blog such as TMZ.com or PerezHilton.com but they wouldn’t be worth much, as their visitors would need to be Entrecard users in order to drop their card.

Too much cheating

While Entrecard has recently cleaned up some of the click-farms, the fact is that a lot of users still cheat by mass-dropping their card on other blogs through placing a ton of Entrecard widgets on a page and clicking on them individually or creating a script to do it for them.

Too lenient on spammers

I was receiving a few spam messages every week from the Entrecard system from users who were spamming me with messages to promote their site or a contest they were running. I reported each and every one of these e-mails, but the penalty, if anything, was a miniscule credit reduction, which I doubt was ever even done.

Caters only to SMALL blogs

Entrecard simply isn’t beneficial for larger blogs due to the way the system prices blogs. In my case for instance, it would take me 1-2 months to save up enough credits to purchase an ad for only 1 day on a blog much smaller than mine.

Doesn’t care about a fair rating system

Graham promised me many times that they were redoing the credit system to make it more fair, and a few months ago they did implement a new system, but this only made things worse.

Contests & Incentivizing ruins the system

I’m normally all for contests, but Entrecard has gone too far in allowing its users to run countless aggressive contests and incentives. As a result, the system gets inflated with blogs that have abnormally high credit costs.

Therefore, whoever spends more time running contests, dropping a mass amount of cards, and being very active in the Entrecard system will ultimately leave their blog worth an incredible amount of credits.

While this may seem fair as these people are putting in the time and effort to do this, the fact is that it leaves blogs that don’t have the time to spend all day mass-dropping and convening with Entrecard users with an unjustly low credit worth.

I managed to actually purchase a bunch of ads on Problogger because his ad was so cheap in comparison to the average blog. This does not make sense and was not fair to him.

Maybe Later

I’m done with Entrecard for now, but I’ll certainly revisit the idea of trying it again if Graham takes a close look at how it is run and revamps the system. It simply is not worth it for me to use Entrecard – I’m much happier selling the slot for $40/month and then using that $40 to purchase advertising on other blogs.

For example, I just bought a 125×125 spot on UberAffiliate.com for $100 and it has already given me much more traffic in a few days than Entrecard would give me in a couple months.

Before leaving Entrecard, I gave the rest of my credits to the 60 Mile Walk for Breast Cancer. Unfortunately it wasn’t very much since my blog was only worth a couple hundred credits…

Anyhow, that’s my rant.

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Posted: July 9th, 2008 under Blog Related  

44 Responses to “Good Riddance, Entrecard”

  1. moolah says:

    Well, as for larger sites like yours, it will be unfair, though (Hmm.. why JC not included, eh?). But for smaller sites, it surely make a good traffic from it ( even though not many )

    Eventually, i do think that Entrecard (and the users) is not fair at all. Hop just to drop their card. I know it’s still consider as good traffic but hey, why don’t they read my posts since they already in it?

    Have a thought of getting rid of it. *sigh*

    Anyway, such a damn kickass theme you got there.

  2. KushMoney says:

    I see how this can be a problem for you and many other bloggers. In my view entrecard is not a good way to get traffic because the traffic sucks. Visitors only stay 1-10 sec.

    I must say its a great tool to buy private ads using ec credits. Their are many bloggers selling ad space for ec credits. This is only for those who have time to do 300 drops a day.

    I would remove it but the ec credits allow me to sponsor contests, buy ads for cheap, and enjoy the traffic and branding of the “KushMoney” name. I believe a person don’t have to click your banner. If they see it enough they will visit and know your blog every time they see your banner. Get that banner out there enough and it will feel like your banner is following them. lol. (felt like this many times from bloggers doing a massive advertisement campaign on tons of blogs.

  3. Tips says:

    I agree with their revised point system.
    It is worse than the previous algorithm
    I also removed it for the same reasons ;)

  4. Jay says:

    I’ve been saying this for quite sometime that Entrecard is just going down the drain. Most, if not all those who defend it are hardcore Entrecarders who drop like there’s no tomorrow.

    And it’s funny how so many people use it and brag about their Alexa ratings which means absolutely nothing. I mean, I dedicated an entire post a while back on “If you didn’t have Entrecard, your blog would have no visitors!”

    Don’t mean to drop links but I’m not a big fan just like a lot of people.

    Jay

  5. You are absolutely right, Tyler. I was really excited at first but the results now are disappointing. According to my Google Analytics data, Entrecard visitors spend a dismal 45 seconds on my site (avg 3 mins), only view 1.32 posts/visit (avg 12 pages/visit) and I only got 14 low quality visitors.

    To add insult to injury, I haven’t been able to log in to my Entrecard dashboard for “server load” issues in the past 5 days. I’ve removed the Entrecard widget from my blog just yesterday.

    Entrecard was okay but not great.

  6. Samsara says:

    Surely these must be massively popular and highly-trafficked sites similar to John Chow quality, right?

    * Well thank you for the link reference… even if I am not “quality” or wait; “traffic quality similar to John Chow.” Damn. You mean I’m a blog?? Getting compared to John Chow…?? Where’s the Twilight Zone music coming from?

    …I know what you’re getting at; But doesn’t the number of advertisers who want to advertise influence the price also? Isn’t that why Chow’s is insane? What if no one *ever* dropped their card on him but everyone still wanted to advertise? What would happen in that way?

    I am still new to Entrecard and am giving it a fair go. But I have read other opinions on it before and the same issues come up.

    1. High bounce rate
    2. No one stays to read anyway
    3. Inflated and exorbitant pricing

    *But I *am* a small site. I get [non-EC] traffic from searches and used as a reference; I’ve never been self-promoted as a blog; An article repository yes. So, suffice it to say, this is all quite new to me.

    The irony is that in saying good riddance to Entrecard, you’ve picked up another reader from Entrecard. [Me.] Maybe you should be like Cher and change your mind and then next week have another farewell tour post?

    Damn. I’m a blog? Does this mean I need to start acting like one? I hope not!

    Completely unmedicated,
    Samsara

  7. Samsara says:

    PS. Perhaps why Darren Rowse never jumped on the EC bandwagon but for that short time just to see what it was about?

  8. Melvin says:

    You are so much right about your points… Me, i still use it as a filler on the space but i’ll take it up next month probably..

  9. Tyler,

    Thank you for donating your Entrecard credits to our blog. We appreciate it and will put them to good use!

    ~Debby

  10. I think your comments are what 30% of entrecarders think. The other 70% are consumed with the need to drop more cards to get more ec’s to advertise on the same 70% of peoples websites – which have no traffic.

    Ingenious.

  11. Bravo Tyler, I couldn’t have said it better myself. The system has been flawed from the get-go, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better as time goes on.

    I pulled it from one of my high-traffic blogs a few months ago, as that niche wasn’t really represented well in EC. But I’ve still got it running on my personal blog for the time being..

  12. Peter Morrow says:

    The tipping point for me was when Entrecard started selling credits. It just proves how useless the system is. Why would I want people to be able to buy ad space on my blog, while Entrecard gets the earnings? That doesn’t sound fair, does it?

  13. That is the exact reason I never started using entrecard…. and the fact that I have no idea or time to learn how it works :)

  14. Actually, I’ve been using entrecard for quite a while now, and I’ve found it very useful as you’re starting a new site and directing traffic to it. The credit system really started getting diluted when they started allowing more blogs on separate accounts, imo.

  15. Brendan says:

    I think if you were really cool you would find a way to make the system work for you. Somehow john chow is doing well?

  16. Unknown says:

    Tyler, you really need to grow up. I read that post and basically thought you were a 12 year old.

    BOO HOO, my big blog, cant compete with those itty bitty blogs *goes and cries*

    Dude, those people are the top of the list for a reason, because they get more drops on their blog per day than the rest. Surely their is a correlation between drops and clicks and therefore you have nothing to complain about.

    How about, instead of sitting back and saying “Well I am Tyler Cruz, and I do not need to drop any cards myself, people will do it for me” devote 10-15 minutes per day, to dropping cards yoursef. I guarntee that those 3 droppers, all have very high drop ranks, whereas you (my best guess) never drop cards.

    How is the system going to work for you, if you dont work for the system?

    And before you say Oh, well John Chow doesent drop cards, just remember he makes 10-12x more than you a month, and gets god knows how many more visits, and what 20-30k more RSS readers?

    Just my 2 cents :)

  17. Acadia says:

    I am not going to defend entrecard, but I did notice that you skipped the way the ads are priced. Since I don’t pay attention and needed to look, I found the page here: http://entrecard.com/docs/doku.php?id=advertising

    So apparently my price was so high cause lots of people advertised on me. Why would they do that? Is it because I am little? Could it be because people got a lot of clicks from my ad? I don’t have a clue. But if your blog is as big as you say it is, then I wish you would come back so I could advertise on you.

    I always thought the price should be based on widget impressions as well – but it looks like they will never do it. :(

  18. It will always be a site for the blogs that are just beginning. Slowly as the blog matures the amount of traffic brought in by Entrecard will be less than the value of the actual 125×125 slot as a private ad. When you aren’t selling private ads because nobody wants them, Entrecard does some good.

  19. Rob L says:

    I have a small blog and have to agree with Tyler on this. The traffic you get from EC is just not that great. Think about it. People come to your site, spend about 5 seconds hunting down your EC widget, then click drop and leave. That is what I do, so I can only assume that is what others do as well. Plus only those people that are signed up for EC can drop. What about everyone else that doesn’t have EC? I would rather spend my time utilizing other marketing methods that actually give me more traffic based on the time I spend and the traffic is much more sticky, which advertisers like. I will leave the EC widget on my site for the time being, but I’m not wasting anymore time dropping cards. You guys want to get traffic to your site go to where the traffic/crowds are at, use twitter, facebook, myspace etc. I get tons of traffic off of twitter and spend a lot less time. Just my 2 cents for what it is worth. If you want to follow me on twitter – http://www.twitter.com/factorfiction

  20. Bro Alex says:

    I have seen hundreds of complains regarding Entrecard in the last 4 months. There is nothing to complain about, this system is only for starting blogs, it gives them some courage and willingness to devote themselves to blogging. Lets not involve John Chow here or Problogger, they might possibly even get paid for advertising Entrecard to the whole blogosphere, god knows.One more thing Tyler there there is no such thing as advertising price is not fair. People actually pay for those ads nobody forces them to ruin those credits.I`ve recently spent 10,000 in an one week campaign for one of my blogs and guess what? The spots I have bought, sent me 700 visitors altogether. Basically this means I have paid around 14 cents for every visit I have received, and it was all bounce traffic, not even one conversion. See what I mean ? Entrecard is an experiment, in my opinion it does no good to the blogosphere but only ruins it. A few days back I have seen an article about a man spending around 2 hours or so everyday dropping cards everyday, until his wife actually got out of her mind. So Entrecard does no good to the blogosphere, nor to bloggers , pretty sad. I am not going to remove my widget there is no reason , as long as there is plenty of advertising space on my blog.

    I read your blog at least every two days, I pretty enjoy your marketing campaigns , has anything improved yet?

    Good luck !

  21. exgrafix says:

    Everything must be done wisely if you want to be successful online, it is all about knowledge and the way you see things. If you think a bit deeper you might come with great ideas that will contribute to your success.

    Entrecard is a system that offers traffic exchange basically. I agree with you Tyler prices are too spicy the system must be recoded , the small blogs deserve a chance too.

    What I do is collect the points and instead of spending 1000 points on a 3 day campaign I simply use the 1000 to buy ad spot on a blog for a month.

  22. Thorsten says:

    Just because many people use a certain system, it doesn’t mean that it is good or fair or efficient.

    Take digg.com for example. Surely it’s on just about every blog, but in the last few days i have spent more time on navigating that then I should.

    A good system should be intuitive and transparent.

  23. The Net Fool says:

    It is a bit ridiculous how some low-level blogs are able to get 1000+ EC pay rankings. I think your advertising slots were generally fairly valued, but there are many many times when this hasn’t been the case.

  24. Georgia says:

    I think Entrecard sometimes working well to boast traffic. But it does not guarantee that they left comments.

  25. Thanks for bringing this to light. I’ve been way to busy to even look at my Entrecard account but also have found that finding other Blogs to ‘advertise’ on is difficult in terms of actually getting good traffic.

    I don’t have time to click around and drop cards all day, but for smaller blogs I can see that as an advantage.

    One thing I always noticed was that Entrecard slowed down my site load times, and I was going to drop it because of that. Now that I read your rant, I think I’ll probably drop it as well.

    Thanks, Tyler.

  26. Puneet says:

    value on my blog is also fluctuate around 64 to 120 … need to increase it .. there must b some way to get it increase …

    and its sad that entrecard do not give value to better blogs

  27. […] Everyone likes some Entrecard bashing. Well, Tyler Cruz finally got rid of the Entrecard widget from his blog. Read why at “Good Riddance, Entrecard.” […]

  28. Acadia says:

    I subscribed to the comments for this thread and they are honestly killing me. I don’t get what the issue is. The more people who advertise on your site, the more your ads cost.

    So if this blog generated clicks- people would buy ads, and his price would go up. It must not have – so how it this entrecard’s fault?

  29. Acadia says:

    If that is the case, then it would seem as though there must have been something wrong with the code and you should look into it. According to their pricing model:

    “The formula to calculate a members’ advertising price is 2 to the power of your queue. What this means is that your ad price doubles for every ad in your queue, both Pending and Approved.”

    So if people were lined up to advertise on your site, your price would go up. That’s how it works. So if your ad price was what you said it was, there must not have been that many people lined up to advertise on your site. Perhaps they were missing the boat?

  30. OddRachel says:

    In case anyone missed this he doesn’t have the blogs up there listed by popularity. They are listed by ad price. I know this because my blog is up there in his screen shot and I am definately not on the first page of EC. Never have been. Look at the numbers in the top right of each ad. Those are the rank of our blogs. The highest rated blog isn’t even on this screenshot. Just something to keep in mind when looking at what was written here.

    Apparently the guy that wrote this doesn’t drop much. You have to do the work at Entrecard to get the results you want. I spend a lot of time dropping every day which earns me Ec’s so that I can advertise and THAT is why my ad prices are high. The more you advertise the more clicks you get and in turn the more clicks that other people get from you.

  31. Lee Doyle says:

    You do realise that there is no way you could have been sold out?
    If your price was 64 credits, its because only 6 people were in your que
    And the reason john chow costs 2048 is because 11 people are in his que!
    And that price is determined only by the number of people who want to buy your ad space….

    The que system changed when the price system changed. The que can never be full anymore…

    Maybe you should also mention that the reason you left is because only 6 people wanted your adspot.

  32. Tyler,

    I don’t know you and I don’t know your blog, but it seem to me that every single advertising method you can find on the internet is meant to be a piece to a larger puzzle. If you use entrecard wisely you will recieve traffic, credits, contact, etc – but, if you think that you are to “big” and shouldn’t have to do anything other than sign up at a site and then everyone will somehow do the work for you, this is where you end up. Like you said, you paid $100 for advertising on another site, well you could spend $90 on ebay and get about 70000 ec and then you can advertise on jChows site more than a few times. Do you think that just because you are a larger blog that you shouldn’t have to do any work and earn a spot in EC? WHO ARE YOU? You either have to spend money or time, you didn’t want to do either.

    EC Got me to your blog, by the way -

  33. Talen says:

    Larger blogs like yours? Sorry I guess I missed something somewhere. Superficial Gallery got over 1 million page views last month and you had?

    Most of the blogs you list show around the same traffic or higher traffic than yours and your que was never sold out because it can’t be sold out.

  34. Dave Starr says:

    Congrats on the great contest results, Tyler. It’s good to see that many people showing up and actually making measurable money … gives the rest of us hope ;-)

    Also congrats on booting Entre Card. Like you I found many features I liked but I dumped in months back becuase it provides mostly useless traffic. Trafic which doesn’t read your blog and has no affinity with what you are writing about is like driving a car on a treadmill … a lot of noise, wasted gas, but you get absolutely nowhere.

    Traffic, by itself, is only overhead on your server … it has no value toward making money unless it connects with what you are trying to accomplish with your site.

  35. evilwoobie says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how the so-called i-know-how-to-make-money bloggers DO NOT know what to do with a network full of bloggers who

    1. check their entrecard dashboards/messages/inbox and blog visitors regularly.
    2. are keen on making more money online
    3. still don’t know you exist and what you do online
    4. could be blogging for their big companies and have the money to buy a more permanent ad slot on your blog

    Stuck inside the “I’m-so-great” box eh? LOL

  36. frjessie says:

    A very keen observation, very scientific. I am new to this entrecard game and I am keeping it for exposure. I am not good as you are. It is still one way to advertise my blogs. I hope I could also earn some as a little of what you are earning. There is a lot of things I could learn from you. Thanks!

  37. Zak Show says:

    I use EC credits to rewards my readers and to make contests! I don’t like the new pricing system, my blog is pretty popular, I get nice SE traffic and vistors and my blog is priced for xx EC per day, Unfair !! I used to be priced x,xxx

PeerFly

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