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Sphere Review
Date Added: 7/20/2009     Reviewer: windychris
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Website URL: http://www.sphere.com
Company Name: Sphere
Alexa Traffic Rank: 278,613
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Sphere Description

Sphere is a service that allows you to distribute your content across a large network of blogs. The system works through a plugin that allows visitors to see related content on other websites. The company was founded in 2005 by Martin Remy, Steve Nieker, Tony Conrad and Toni Schneider (CEO of Automattic – the company responsible for Wordpress).

Sphere Detailed Overview

Bloggers are always on the search for ways to bring additional traffic. There are many different methods that are used including MyBlogLog, exchanging links, posting on other blogs and allowing readers to bookmark/share posts. Sphere helps by offering your content on other pages with similar content.

You can use Sphere in many different ways. You can either use their related content widget, display related articles, display related videos or show dynamic contextual links across your pages. These are added to your site as javascript, so sadly, there won’t be any SEO benefits. After submitting all your site details, you’ll be notified if you’re approved or disapproved.

The widget can be added to any blog as a plugin. You can add this widget to the end of your articles and blog posts. It is a small button that says Sphere: Related Content. When readers click this link, they open up a window which shows a list of related blog posts and other blogs they may be interested in. Visitors will also see a list of advertisements on the right side. This widget is very seamless and is the best way to use Sphere as it offers great value to your readers.

The related content display is a small table you can easily blend in to your content. It shows a list of related articles and news like a side navigation bar, which visitors can click on. The related videos display looks the same, but when it is clicked on, a new window will open and a video will start playing.

The dynamic contextual links are those anchor links that are embedded into your content. When you hover your mouse over these links, you get a small window that opens to show a preview of the site you can visit. In my opinion, these kinds of links are very disruptive, especially if you want to monetize your content with affiliate links and Adsense blocks. I’m not fond of this, as my site earnings are more important than getting more traffic.

When I started using the widgets and the related articles on my blog, I was impressed when I saw that the related blogs and posts were very relevant to my post. In fact, the results were related enough for me to click through on the other sites. On the other hand, I found that the videos did not match up with the content and for the most part, were useless.

There are a few things that you have to remember when using Sphere. You must produce quality content to get approved and a catchy title if you want visitors to click through to your site. You also need to think about targeting the right audience with your content, as you want these visitors to become customers or subscribers to your blog/newsletter, so don’t look at Sphere as a quick shortcut.

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Sphere Reputation

In conclusion, Sphere is a great way to get additional traffic to your site. There are many ways to use Sphere, but I think the best ways are the related content widget and related article display. These two methods really blend into your site and do not distract your visitors from other important links on your site. I saw an decent increase in traffic in the 2 weeks since I’ve added it to my blog.

I think it would be great if the company offered a way to target specific sites or pages in the networks with your content. This would be great addition and really allow you to reach the audience you want. It would also be helpful if you can select multiple categories (you are only allowed one). Sphere has a big network (used by CNN, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and more) and is a service worth adding to your site.

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Good but fairly ineffective

I first found Sphere when I was looking for a plug-in that I could install on my gaming blog. Around 3 months ago me and my friend downloaded and installed it. I downloaded Sphere from the service and the download and installation was very quick. Although it gave promises of huge increases of traffic, it did not fulfill them for my blog. It looked stylish on my blog; however, the amount of traffic that it generated was insignificant. The traffic I was able to receive from Sphere did not affect my blog much. Although overall it does work - and is not a scam. Therefore, I have decided to grade it a C!
 
 


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avatar   by rafcan on November 9, 2009 at 3:07 PM CST

 
 
 
Sphere works but ineffective for me

Hello, I have a small gaming website which I first started for a hobby with a friend of mine. I needed more traffic on my website, and so I looked for a program which would help me achieve this. I found Sphere and the download was very quick and easy. I downloaded the plug-in and installed it on my blog about 3 months ago, and I have to say it has not really worked well for me, as it has not increased much traffic. The product does work and is reliable, however the amount of the traffic increase has not been too much and I decided to move to another trafficking program!

I would rate Sphere a C and would not really recommend it to a friend – but overall it does work, even if the result is insignificant.
 
 


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avatar   by Kiron on November 8, 2009 at 9:30 PM CST

 
 
 
Really good for beginners

I started working on a blog and I thought I could make money out of it. Of course to do that I needed traffic to my website. I looked for a few traffic sites and most helped. I signed up for Sphere a few months after I finished starting up my blog. I would say it did help a bit, not too much. Of course you have to have a known blog to be able to make a lot of money. Sphere helped me get that extra push I needed. I also went looking for more traffic sites. I think that really helped a lot. I recommend this. It helped me.
 
 


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avatar 5,000 Credits - Internet Marketing Master   by Hanan_x3 on November 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM CST

 
 
 
Nice, but not for most

I loaded the Sphere plug-in, on one of my blogs a little while back. It was a quick easy install, and the plug-in was not obtrusive on the blog page. The problem I had was that the majority of links it generated were not actually relevant to the post topic. I also found that Sphere did not generate any traffic for me. Since it was really just taking up space, I deactivated the plug-in recently.

This plug-in is geared more toward news and politics. If you have a political blog, this may actually generate some decent targeted traffic for you, but I don't see this being of much use to bloggers in other niches.
 
 


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avatar 2,000 Credits - Top Contributor   by red on September 4, 2009 at 3:35 PM CST

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My homebase is at Blommi.com , and I can also be found at Yankee Kitchen & Saucy News

 
 
 
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