Monday, October 17, 2005

onlinegames.net - review

onlinegames.net
content [0-10]: 6
ad layout [0-10]: 2
Made For AdSense: No

The domain onlinegames.net has been registered since 1997, and the Wayback Machine shows a diverse revision history, so instead of focusing on what the site has been, I'll just review what it is now.

Paying no heed to who owned the site previously, the fact is it's currently an a Made For AdSense site - that happens to have every kind of ad imaginable. But that's the thing. Even though AdSense has only been around since 2003, the concept of made-for-ad sites has been around for a long time. It's just that before AdSense, most ads were generic, annoying, blinking, popup, popunder, click-me! kind of ads. OnlineGames.net apparently feels that a mix of old world and new world works for them. To their credit, such tactics really only work when the site has some actual content.

So, what kind of content do they have? Online games obviously, but it isn't a collection of online games written by the webmaster. It's a repository for other people's games. Nothing wrong with that, but keep in mind many of the games can be found at other sites. To set oneself apart in a market like this, one has to have a better user experience. The discussion forum looks to have been recently added, but already has decent activity. That's a plus. As a result, I give the site a 6 for content.

Ad layout is the tricky part. It may seem harsh to say the ad layout is a 2 of 10 based on deception, because the site seems to be playing by the rules. But AdSense rules were made to be bent, and OnlineGames.net is certainly bending the rules. The biggest deception is the blending of AdSense text ads with content. You may not even notice but there's a 234x60 ad mixed in the What's New section. It's an admirable camouflage technique, but for the user experience it detracts from the normal navigation flow. That, and all the other annoying, blinking, click-me! ads.

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