With an average reach of over 680 million users during the last three months, it is likely that unless you are living in a cave or not connected to the Internet, you have probably heard about the Million Dollar Home Page.
Launched a little over three months ago, the site sells pixels for $1 in minimum blocks of 100 (10x10 pixels). Alex Tew, the 21 year old student from the UK who launched the site, started with 1,000,000 pixels. To date, he has sold over 630,000 thanks to extensive press coverage, viral marketing and persistent buzz. Although some have questioned the long-term viability of the advertisements placed on the site, which remain there for five years, most have agreed that the ads have proved highly effective. Some advertisers have claimed 50% to 100% increases in traffic to their site, while others have cited specifics such as 1,000 clicks within the first evening an ad ran.
The consensus is that most of the clone sites that have popped up around the Internet will not be nearly as effective as the original, but there are bound to be exceptions. An example of one such exception appears to be the Great Pixel Giveaway which, according to Alexa, has seen a 1,500% increase in site traffic during the past week. Unlike the original Million Dollar Home Page, the Great Pixel Giveaway site offers both free and paid advertising.
Another site to watch, and support if you are a business owner, is the Pixel Challenge. Although the site is too young to have any traffic statistics at Alexa, it has been creating buzz online as the site states as its goal the sale of 1,000,000 pixels in only 30 days. To date, the original Million Dollar Home Page has not been able to achieve this goal in over 90 days.
The Pixel Challenge just may meet its goal though, as the site is attempting to raise funds for a worth cause - Stand Up For Kids, a national not-for-profit organization that provides assistance to homeless children nationwide. Like the original Million Dollar Homage Page, the Pixel Challenge is selling the pixels at $1 each in blocks of 100 pixels.
Only time will tell the lasting effect these million pixel sites have on the internet advertising arena, but there is no doubt that in the short term sites like the Million Dollar Home Page and the Pixel Challenge will offer a substantial return on investment for those businesses that choose to purchase their pixels wisely.
Jack Sullivan is a freelance writer specializing in articles of interest to technology savvy internet users.