This week, a company called ChallengerX launched a new product on its CXSports platform aimed at amateur and semi-pro sports clubs. That product is a little something called sponsored Money Pages and, despite the somewhat confusing name, it makes a lot of sense once you understand the problem they’re solving.
Let me explain.
To Understand the Solution, First You Gotta Understand the Problem
If you’ve ever done a Google search for something semi-but-not-insanely popular, you’ll know how the results are polluted with shoddy content. You know the type — generic sites that have nothing but inaccurate information at best, and no information at worst.
No? You’ve never seen something like this!?
Here, I’ll show you quickly.
The Michael Jermaine Cards Step-by-Step Guide to Google Search Results Hell
The first step is to find a random YouTube channel. Here I’ve picked “Wonderbot Animals” because… animals.
Next task is to head over to Google and search said YouTube channel’s name.
Here’s what I got on the first page of the results.
That’s right. This useless excuse of a page made it to page one on Google with absolutely zero content.
Why the Heck Would Anyone Make Pages Like This?
Good question. Why would anyone bother making pages like this?
The first part of the answer is that this is low-hanging fruit. In other words, until someone or something starts getting a bunch of press attention (and the subsequent Wikipedia articles and whatnot), ranking on Google for its name is dead simple. That’s how so much junk still makes it to page one, despite how good Google’s algorithms are getting at identifying cruddy stuff.
But that only explains the “why not bother to put anything worthwhile on the page” part.
As for the second part — the motivation part — well, that would be money.
What I failed to show you in my screenshot above is the Google Ad that popped up at the bottom of this page.
Now of course, I didn’t click on it. It’s against my values to support such rubbish. But not everyone is as virtuous as I. That means that the creators of the Wonderbot Animals Similar Channels page are probably making money off of it.
You see, people search all kinds of stuff on Google. And they click on all kinds of ads on all kinds of pages. The extension of this is that the most obscure things can be big money spinners.
You just gotta make page one.
This Problem Goes Deeper Than Just YouTube
Don’t think this problem is limited to small-time YouTube channels. This problem is absolutely everywhere, including in amateur and semi-professional sports. Yes, that’s right — the very market CXSports is going after with its Money Pages.
Let’s try our first experiment with a sports player. This time, I’m using the name Dato Okriashvili, a Georgian rugby player who’s carved out a life for himself playing the sport in France.
Are you ready for the first page one Google result? (Brace yourself, it’s bad.)
Boom. This eyesore of a page adds absolutely zero value to my life and it takes up the number one spot on Google. And I’ll bet my most precious pair of cotton socks that it’s raking in some pretty decent money for this lazy, slapdash assemblage of ads, ads, ads, and… do I spot ten words about Dato amongst this mess?
Alright Alright. Enough With the Problems. Tell me What’s a Money Page Already!
If you’ve been paying attention, you already know the basic foundation of a Money Page. To reiterate what we’ve seen above, it’s a page that’s made to rank on Google for a semi-but-not-insanely-popular person. And it has ads on it to, well… make money. Money. Page. Money Page. Get it?
But there’s a twist.
CXSports isn’t setting out to litter Google with a bunch of empty content. Even if it wanted to, that strategy wouldn’t work anyway — too many people have already beaten it to the punch.
Here’s what it’s doing instead.
Well would you look at that! Actual content. And a nice photo. And a design that doesn’t have me reaching for the nearest fork with which I can gouge out my eyes.
Here’s Why Money Pages Are About to Rock Page One on Google
In case you’re not aware, Google’s ranking algorithm loves two things above all else these days: content quality and website usability. If you don’t believe me, check out the official word from the search engine bird yourself.
What this means for CXSports is the handful of Money Pages it launched quite literally just a few days ago are already ranking on page one of Google. FYI, Dato’s is sitting in fifth spot.
Also FYI, getting this sort of traction this fast is actually kind of insane. Seriously. Go search “how long to rank on google.” The top result says three to six months… that’s months, not days.
Okay. Right. But Does it Scale?
Of course, at first glance, the CXSports Money Page model might look like the kind of thing that doesn’t scale well. After all, researching a sports team or athlete for which scant information exists is time-consuming.
But here’s the secret sauce.
CXSports is creating these pages in partnership with athletes and sports teams on a revenue-sharing basis. That means the hard work gets taken care of by someone who can rattle off all the information while twiddling their thumbs behind their back. Yeah, that’s right — the athletes and club members themselves.
In other words, CXSports has effectively found a way to guarantee it’s always got a massive edge on the content. It literally has insider information.
Now it just has to wait a few months for the Google algorithm to really do its work, and guess what? It’s gonna leapfrog all those cheap, no-value pages. And it’ll probably knock off a few better ones, too. This will probably bring bigger teams and athletes to the platform in time.
But Does Anyone Even Search These Clubs and Athletes?
Now let’s be honest. A single Money Page isn’t about to generate anyone a full-time wage. But you’d be surprised how much money this kind of thing can rake in. After all, athletes and clubs are pretty active members in their communities, and they usually have decent social media followings, too. And don’t forget, agents (and even the competition) are constantly checking them out.
The net result of this is there’s actually a bunch of Google search traffic on their names. It’s just, no one has had the time or ability to build decent pages to capitalize on it yet.
To give some idea of what this traffic means in real terms, CXSports seems to be estimating an average of about €150 in net revenues per month per athlete. That’s a pretty good deal.
For an amateur or semi-pro athlete, earnings from a Money Page make an excellent little supplement to what little they make from their sport. As for CXSports, scaling this product to thousands of pages multiplies that €150 to hundreds of thousands of euros per month. Not bad.
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