Remember Netscape search, Yahoo, MSN, AOL… and all the other ‘content rich’ web search portals nobody used…
Yeah, I can’t either.
Before Google I remember I was using Altavista as it was uncluttered and when Google came along with its even less cluttered interface (just a search box!) and relevant search results… well, the rest is history.
Despite this universal trend towards an uncluttered search engine page (hell, even Microsoft gave it a second crack with Bing), ViraDyne have decided that there’s still a market for cluttered horrible looking search pages.
Combined with a MLM style compensation plan, they even think there’s some profit to be made with it too.
Viradyne is (for all intents and purposes) the marketing arm of the web search portal Link180 (link180.com). Both the Viradyne and Link180 domains are registered to a one Mr. Paul Koury.
Other than that, neither the Viradyne or Link180 pages contain any information about who owns or runs the company. Infact the Viradyne website shows you nothing but a search box unless you’ve clicked through on an existing affiliate link.
Link180 similarly fails to disclose any information about the company itself or who is running things.
Infact it seems Viradyne and Link180 would rather you didn’t ask any questions. at all. Describing their compensation plan, Viradyne claim that you’re
wasting time trying to get a complete understanding of the very complex ViraDyne compensation plan before you get started.
This is a big waste of time (a.k.a. paralysis of analysis). Spend all of your time referring more people, which will make you money. You’ll learn it as you go.
Apparently knowing anything about Viradyne or Link180 is not advised.
Link180 solely relies on advertising as a business model, and as such there isn’t a product here. Everything on the Link180 search portal is outsourced and makes use of third party systems with neither Viradyne nor Link180 providing any product or service of their own.
The Viradyne Compensation Plan
The basic idea behind the Viradyne compensation plan is that you yourself use the web search portal (you need to create an account with link180) and then by getting other people to use the website (set it to their homepage in their browser), you earn a commission.
Straight up it’s worth noting that unless you get five people to set Link180 and use the search portal, you don’t make a cent in commissions.
What Viradyne and Link180 define as usage is also a bit vague. Link180 state that
When we say “use” your Link180 homepage on a regular basis, we mean that you should use it just as you would normally use a Yahoo®, Google®, or MSN® homepage.
If you do a search, use Link180 Search. If you read news, read it on Link180. If you watch YouTube® videos, watch them on Link180. Just use the site and all of its features.
They of course acknowledge that this is a widely vague description of the usage requirement, but claim that attempting to define what it takes to become an active homepage user (would) ‘jeopardize the legitimacy of our homepage users in the eyes of Link180’s advertisers‘.
With the advertisers paying the bills and in turn their members, fair enough.
The best way to understand the rest of the compensation plan is to think of each person who creates an account and is an ‘active user’ of Link180 as bringing in a 100% revenue amount which is then broken up in the compensation plan.
Viradyne prefer to work with percentages in the compensation plan most likely due to the non-fixed nature of advertising networks and their payouts (I’ll go into this more later in the conclusion of this review).
With that out of the way, here’s how the rest of the Viradyne/Link180 compensation plan works.
Viradyne Membership Ranks
Within the Viradyne compensation plan are several membership ranks members can achieve based on certain qualifying parameters. There are five membership ranks in total (1 star to 5 stars) and the qualifications for each level are as follows;
- Viral Marketing Director – referred at least 5 members who are active.
- 1 Star – referred at least 20 members who are active with 5 of these members having reached the Viral Marketing Director level.
- 2 Stars – referred at least 30 members who are active with 5 of these members having reached the 1 Star membership level.
- 3 Stars – referred 40 members who are active with 5 of these members having reached the 2 Star membership level.
- 4 Stars – referred 50 members who are active with 5 of these members having reached the 3 Star membership level.
- 5 Stars – referred 60 members who are active with 5 of these members having reached the 4 Star membership level.
Direct Referral Commission
Viradyne claim that 7% of the commission they are paid by advertising networks goes towards direct referral commissions. That is, a commission paid to you for every person you get to set and use Link180 as their homepage.
Matching Generational Bonus
The Matching Generational Bonus is an income match that runs seven generations deep. It pays out 7% per generation making for a total of 49% proportion of the total revenue each new member brings to the Link180 portal.
The Matching Generation Bonus applies when you get someone to use the Link180 website, who gets someone else to use it and so and so forth down to seven levels.
Each generation is counted as being 5 members long, so for seven generations you’d be looking at a continuous downline of 35 members.
Note that the Matching Generational Bonus is only on the Direct Referral Commission earnt by your downline and excludes any and all other bonuses.
Using a star ranking system (1 star to 5 stars), Viradyne members can earn an infinity bonus (each worth 4% of the total revenue each new member is worth to Viradyne for a total of 20%).
For each star rank a Viradyne member has, the bonus jumps an additional 4%.
The Infinity Bonuses are tied to your entire downline organisation and are split into five generations based on your downlines membership ranks.
Each generation is defined by finding a corresponding qualified member within your downline and you are only able to earn an infinity bonus per generation depending on your own membership rank.
The percentage earnt per generation and the number of generations (up to 5) you can earn on increases with your own membership rank.
For example, if you are a 3 star member you can earn an infinity bonus on three generations. A 3 star member earns 12% on their first generation, 8% on their second and 4% on their third.
The first generation is defined by going through your downline until a 1 star member is found. The second is defined by continuing down until a 2 star member is found and this process repeats for the third generation by looking for the first 3 star member.
The ratios paid out on the Infinity Bonus per membership ranks are
- 1 star members – 4% on the first generation.
- 2 star members – 8% on the first and 4% on the second generation.
- 3 star members – 12% on the first, 8% on the second and 4% on the third generation.
- 4 star members – 16% on the first, 12% on the second, 8% on the third and 4% on the fourth generation.
- 5 star members – 20% on the first, 16% on the second, 12% on the third, 8% on the fourth and 4% on the fifth generation.
The Jump Start Bonus Pool
The Jump Start Bonus Pool is only made available for new members who sign up and has a qualification period of thirty days.
Within this thirty days, Viradyne members must sign up five new members to the company in order to gain one share of the pool.
Once this is achieved, additional shares can be earnt at the rate of 1 extra share per additional member you sign up after your initial five, and one additional share if one of your sponsored members becomes active within your thirty day Jump Start Bonus qualification period (30 days from the time you sign up).
The Jump Start Bonus is comprised up of 4% of the revenue each member is worth to Link180 company wide.
The Director Bonus Pool
The Director Bonus Pool is composed of 20% of the total revenue each member is worth to the company and is split into five 4% pools matching the five membership ranks available to Viradyne members.
To earn a share in a pool, each member must recruit a new member themselves or have someone in their downline recruit a new member to the company (sign them up and get them using the Link180 webpage).
For each new member brought into the company, a share of the Director Bonus Pool (only one, corresponding the relevant membership rank) is awarded to the qualifying member.
Joining Viradyne is free however for the purpose of the compensation plan you do need to sign up with an affiliate invitation code.
After creating an account at the Viradyne website you are then also able to login to the Link180 search portal and start working towards active status.
Any members you sign up must be then referred through your own affiliate link too.
Analysing the Link180 web search portal, you’ve got your usual clutter – generic news, weather, advertising, Youtube… feature rich but ultimately useless, which is why these style of portals never really caught on.
Performing a search is even more cluttered as contextual advertising kicks in and the end-user becomes bombarded with all sorts of advertising units;
Infact there’s so many of them that they even overlap eachother, reminiscent of a 90′s porn site or warez portal. All in all far too many units to say that they don’t negatively impact the end-user experience in using the Link 180 portal.
Additionally it’s worth noting that by using Link180, you’re essentially just using a customised version of Google search, with the same search results you get from using Google.com (or your localised version).
The only difference is that Link180′s custom search will show you relevant contextual ads. This service is available to anyone with a website and is not unique to Link180. Note that there is no exclusive partnership between Link180 or Google either (along with any of the other content providers or advertisers featured on the Link180 website).
Looking at the compensation plan, if you add up all the percentages from the various components, it’s interesting to see that they add up to a round 100%. Viradyne themselves proudly state this fact in their compensation plan declaring that 100% of the total revenue each member brings in value to Viradyne is paid back to affiliates.
This obviously begs the question of where the company then itself makes its money.
To answer this question I’ll first make a distinction between the various advertising that features on the Link180 search portal.
The first type of advertising is ‘CPM’ (or CPI, which stands for ‘cost per impression’). This type of advertising pays out a certain amount per a set amount of impressions (instances) a certain ad is shown (typically 1000).
If I had to take an educated guess, I’d say this is the advertising revenue shared amongst Viradyne members and also plays a part in determining whether or not a member qualifies as active for any given month.
If a member has used the Link180 search portal enough for a particular month and racked up a minimum amount of advertising impressions to bring in revenue to Link180 (so that they can distribute it amongst the compensation plan), then that members counts as qualified.
If not, well obviously no money comes in for that member from the advertising networks and subsequently they don’t get to participate in the compensation plan for that month.
As for how much revenue is paid per member or what the minimum amount of impressions needed are to count as ‘active’, I’ve got no idea. The amount paid to Link180 by advertisers will be a variable from month to month I believe, depending on how many members qualify as active for a particular month.
The impressions needed to qualify as active will also likely change as it will be less the more members Viradyne has in total.
The second type of advertising is CPC (cost per click) and I believe this is the revenue Viradyne are keeping for themselves and the 10% charity payout (paid out on top of the 100% CPM payout given back to members through the compensation plan).
Cost per click advertising means that everytime someone directly interacts with an ad (clicks on it) Link180 will receive a commission. Basically if I’ve guessed the business model correctly this means that Viradyne are counting on their users to click ads and generate enough revenue (separate from the CPM they don’t see) to make the company viable.
Or to put it another way, Viradyne is an elaborate compensation plan designed around both CPM and CPC advertisements with Paul Koury relying on members to spread the word and send enough traffic to Link180 to generate a decent enough income for himself via advertising.
Given the fact that the Link180 portal is horrible to use because its cluttered to buggery, the incentive to use the site comes down to participation in the compensation plan. Koury knows this and it’s what he’s relying on.
I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to what he’s paying each member (what that 100% he splits in the compensation plan adds up to).
Unfortunately, not being a member I’ve got no idea what this is but rest assured we’re not talking huge numbers here – more probably the real money will be made in the numbers of recruits, as evidenced by the heavy recruitment requirements to get anywhere within the Viradyne compensation plan.
That and the compensation plan itself is kind of subtle;
Refer, Refer, Refer – The more you refer, the more money you make! Refer everyone you know and meet, and never stop referring.
Encourage all the people that you refer to refer others!
Things that will hurt you: Not referring everyone you know and meet. If you don’t, someone else will!
With the 100% dollar armount that each member is worth to Viradyne most likely fluctuating from month to month it’s also impossible to put it down to an exact consistent number either. Well, unless Viradyne cap the CPM amount brought in per member and pocket the rest.
This then would not only produce consistent month to month profits (providing members qualified as active meeting the minimum impression requirements for that month), but would also reduce long-term digruntlement from developing in the memberbase due to fluctuating commission checks.
Unfortunately Viradyne themselves are the only ones who know what their actual agreements are with the advertisers featured on Link180, and wanting to protect those agreements and the integrity of the site, I doubt very much they’ll be making public soon exactly what they are.
With Viradyne launching in the US just a few weeks ago on the 1st of September, I guess there’s no real accurate way to judge how much this opportunity pays quite just yet.