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On the right side of the Forum you'll see a box titled 'Sponsored Searches'. This is part of a new program we're trying.
Veteran users of the site may remember that we had Google Adsense links in that spot (and elsewhere in the site) for about 6 weeks last year. Unfortunately, Google decided to black-ball this site (AFTER initially approving it) because we talk about firearms. That was a big financial set-back for the site. We were generating $70-$90/day when Google pulled the plug. Over the course of the year, that revenue could have helped the site dramatically--allowing me, finally, to hire a helper. Everyone suffered when we lost the $25K/year revenue from Google because that meant tests that couldn't be done, articles that couldn't be licensed, site enhancements that had to be shelved.
How the New Program Works
When you click on one of the search links, it will usually bring up a NEW page with specific links to websites (such as Cabelas or Burris Optics). Only when you click one of those specific links (on the SECOND page) do we get paid.
First click = No Money | Second Click = Revenue
Help Us Optimize the Program
Right now, we're trying to get the best list of search words. We've found this site is different than most "generic" gun forums. Our readers are interested in high-end componentry, and custom stuff, so links that might work on a site for a less-well-informed audience might not work so great here.
Please let me know the kinds of things you really want to search for. That could be chronographs, or gun stocks... or it could even be things like Personal GPS units or Life Insurance.
So... please respond below with suggested search terms that you think could make the program work better for YOU.
Overall, I think this program can be a win/win for all Forum members. The 'Sponsored searches' don't add much at all to the page load. They should help readers find stuff they want and need. If the program works out, everyone will benefit because this will help defray the costs of the Forum. As you know we continue to offer 100% free content and free classifieds. We need to augment our revenue sources to continue to make that possible. Monthly user donations (as distinct from sponsor contributions) do not even cover my phone and internet bills related to the site.