Scrapbooking Top 50, the website that bills itself as “ranking and providing the highest quality websites related to Scrapbooking Industry [sic]”, has stopped offering free listings in its directory to website owners. Instead, Scrapbooking Top 50 is now requiring that websites pay a fee of $9.99/month to take part in the rankings. Owners of previously ranked websites are being given 14 days to pay up, or they will be deleted from the rankings.
Consumers need to be made aware of this change because up until now, the site has served as a fairly good directory of what the top-trafficked scrapbooking websites were. Most major sites took advantage of the free sign-up and installed the tracking script on their sites. The result was a fairly complete ranking of scrapbooking websites by their traffic count.
However, the advent of pay-for-play on the site transforms the listings from being a fairly pure index of the most popular scrapbooking sites into an index of “the most popular scrapbooking sites that were willing to pay us $10/month.” It changes the whole purpose of the site, from a service to consumers that is supported by accompanying advertising (just like Google’s search results pages), into one single gigantic billboard.
As of yet very little change has been made to the site to reflect the fact that the content consumers are seeing is all paid ads – the site is still presenting itself as a “comprehensive” guide to scrapbooking sites on the internet. The only change is in one spot on the FAQ page that lists the new cost and on the “add a page” section – places many users are not likely to visit. I hope consumers visiting the site are made aware of the overall change in the site’s mission when companies start to get deleted due to the new payment system.
I’d love to hear from site owners about how they feel about this change – Do any think it is worth it to pay the fee?