New Sponsored bid system in the works

The Minecraft-server-list.com will soon release a new type of sponsored system – I expect it to be live from November 1. 2013

I had to scrap the idea about 1 year sponsored for many reasons – mainly I want a more dynamic and fresh looking list. Making the site more useful for the players looking for new interesting servers, while still allowing some servers to get a sponsored placement.

Some of the new things to say about the new Sponsored system:

  1. 10 sponsored slots avaliable (highest bidders).
  2. 1 month sponsored period.
  3. 2 day period to place bids via dashboard. (Will start about 7 days before new period)
  4. 2 day period to pay for the sponsored slot. (must pay the exact amount as your final bid to get the spot)
  5. Minimum bid $100
  6. A server must have been active on the site for at least 1 month before it is eligible to participate.
  7. There will be punishments if a servers participates, but does not pay – look in the bottom of the actual Sponsor page in the menu (login first), for the most recent rules on this.
  8. Sponsored servers will be posted on frontpage and in some handpicked categories (rest of the categories are solely based on number of votes).
  9. If 2 sponsored servers have made the same bid amount, they will be sorted by votes the following month)

All other servers (non-sponsored) on the list will still be ranked/sorted by Votes (current month). Voting really matters, so be sure to use Votifier and inspire your users to vote for your server.
I will release more updates to the Vote part on the site, to ensure it working even better.

Smaller servers:

I really wanted to give the small and new servers a chance also, but after many talks and discussions it does just not seem to be feasible to combine a list like this and sponsored placements with brand new servers.

So my thought is to start a new list that only accept smaller servers (based on max users allowed) – this should be released in early 2014 and give a place for small servers to get new players easily and likewise allow sponsored placements for a lot less.

Updates forward:

All values, dates and similar in this new sponsored system will possible change over the coming months, to find a level that works for everyone.

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26 thoughts on “New Sponsored bid system in the works

  1. we kinda like the new system……gives us hope to target more good players cheaper………. sounds like we can also expect the list to show more different servers now.
    few servers stay at the top for that long in-game anyhows to be able to really hold a spot for a full year (economy wise).

    we will try get a featured spot when you release this

  2. How will this work? We would like to get a sponsored listing on your site.
    Will we get an email when this starts or will it just be active in my server dashboard at the date given —— Bid start: 2013.10.25 @ 0.01am GMT+2 ?

    • I will not send out mails – might be an option later to opt-in for sponsored bid dates via e-mail.

      At the dates given, there will simply come a new visible option in your dashboard/edit server were you can make a bid, including a link to view other current bids from other servers.
      I will try make this very visible so you cannot miss it 🙂

  3. Wow, i’m too busy to do this. I loved the current system, it kept me set for an entire year and I could top if up when/if I had the funds. I have no time for repeat bidding systems, spamming users with requests to make them vote, when the voting system on this site doesn’t even work!

    • Voting should work – it has been updated several times the past months. Also lately just added the option to add another voting IP if needed.
      But if your voting gives some errors, then throw me an e-mail via the contact page and we will get it working 🙂

      • Votifier issues appeared to be that I was using Bungee (I like to think Bungee is hell on earth), which we fortunately don’t use anymore. I’ll give the new system a try and hope it’ll keep the hits coming, you might want to consider at the very least making some kind of subscription payments so that I could automatically pay an amount for a month by month slot, to save our time and dedicate as much to advertising with minimal hassle.

        • For sure try the Votifier again – from the reports I am getting it is working 1000% better now.. Soon a new captcha will also be added for easier voting for your users.

          And thanks for the idea – I will consider that and see how I could possible merge it into my system. (might be tricky as a certain price/bid wont guarantee any specific position). But I read you – any means to make your life easier. I promise to work on that 🙂

  4. Well, $300 is a bit much, I had hoped for something more feasible. Anyhow, if I do bid for a sponsorship I would like to be getting value for money so how many players on average would I attract to my server during the duration of the month?

    • I can see what you mean – I have lowered the entry bid to $100 so more can be inspired to go for a slot.

      Though it is very hard to give you any estimates in how many will join your server – This site alone have had more than 1 million unique visitors coming by the current month (october) – and frontpage being the main paged viewed.
      But things like a nice banner, a good description and interesting functionality on the server (described), will determine how many feel your server will be worth a look.

      $100 will for sure give you a lot value for your money – I can guarantee you that 😉

    • It is the same 🙂 All the old sponsors/featured servers run out oct 31. and this new system will take it’s place.

      main deifference is the old featured/sponsored servers had the spot 1 year. Now it is 1 month at a time.

      • Hehe, glad you found it. I did also get a request from another server owner about having the bid field on the actual sponsor page. I can see the logic in that.
        It will be a future todo for me to move it from the Edit Server page to Sponsored page.

  5. I’d just like to say how dissapointed I am in the new system. We were promised something to help the little guys, but actually I used to pay $2700 for an entire year (in increments, when I had the donations) to get somewhere stable enough to have a constant flow of users on the home page. It wasn’t heaven, but it was entirely economically viable and sustainable enough to continue growth of our community. Last month I paid $300 for #10, and I was happy- I got a short term boost and it was a lot more than previous- fine, I guess you want to show off 15 donators and highest voters and not 20 pages of highest donors. However, this month the bids averaged $2000 for a MONTH. I can’t tell you how quick a month goes, the slot that we had the month before more than quadrupled in value- and I certainly aren’t hating on the site and work that goes into it, but I think you have to realise that there are a lot of people who want these slots and being googles top (or second top, I’m not sure where you are right now) you have to accommodate more advertisers than currently. At the moment the system is accommodating for a small number of overbearing communities that are even struggling themselves to decide whether these slots are worth it. Ultimately I think I could continue to do once every few months, but the community would be somewhat depressing in the months between- and from experience, you need continual and repetitive server awareness rather than the occasional advertising spree.

    I hope my comments are reasonable, i’m not trying to sound butthurt, I respect bidding when I think there’s enough of a capacity to make it fair 🙂

    • what you forget in all this – I do not decide the prices, you guys do. And I suspect it was lower the first month because many was not aware of the new system.
      That said, I also think the bids are to high – but there is no way I can stop that – it is in the hands of the advertisers.

      This new system have just been running less than 2 months – it is to soon for me to evaluate anything out of it.. But my guess is people will relax a bit more the coming months with bidding.

      And if anything I am thinking more of reducing it to 10 advertisers instead of 15, as I am not sure the 11-15 get value for their placement, compared to the amount being bid atm.
      And you were not promised anything Liam, I just mentioned what way I really liked to go with the site, but it was just not possible to accommodate all the different kinds of servers.

      Quote: you have to accommodate more advertisers than currently
      What? I HAVE to? You misunderstand, no I do not have to, I can 100% decide if I want any advertisers at all on my site or not. Just as you decide what you want to do on your server or site.
      And maybe I got a good placement on Google as I was more or less the first list to be made for Minecraft back in 2010? and moved to this domain in 2011. All the other lists you see out there, have been made after this one.

      If you really want to do anything, you could give a suggestion on how you would think the smaller server would fit in on as an advertiser on a site like this – and still give meaning to the players looking for servers.. It is not as easy as you might think. Why I have noted that I will make another list for smaller servers only – seemed like the “easiest” way to give smaller servers some exposure..

      • Oh, please don’t get me wrong, I just wanted to provide my opinion and disappointments and explanation and as a website admin I felt you would appreciate that. I didn’t mean to be as forthcoming as you may have taken it, I do not blame you- I was just providing some feedback from what I have seen. I wouldn’t call my community small, I would say that I am mid-level to large, but with the site in its current form I feel like the disadvantage some of us may face is to decide if I want to be “big” or “miniscule” as it’s either pay loads or pay nothing. The way it goes are not down to you, they are down to us- I agree with you, but you do have control to a certain extent. You are right in your comments, as I believe I am in mine too- we are not clashing, just raising points. I think this site has a bright future- but maybe caters for medium-large servers of a variety than it used to. If I see a drop in competitiveness or feel in a month or a few that the circumstances have changed, I will again be happy to share my opinion. The only reason I commented here is because I know the system is new and that feedback would probably be welcomed, good or bad. Kind regards.

        • all critique is of course very welcome and it is what helps me make the site better 🙂 didnt meant to seem to protective. personally I would like a few more months to make some final conclusions. But I can see your points

          what is your suggestion to make it better? – so it can be used for big, medium and small servers together.

          Another model could be to make sponsored 3 months and everyone can bid in and get the placement won in an auction.
          Or think in ways of making an auction for individual categories. Then the big servers would focus on frontpage, and medium and smaller could get a chance to grab a category placement.

          But both models will cause issues with specific server owners – and i’v been through a lot of different models, but i’v yet to find the perfect one.

          • Well, in response to missing out on a slot I have been browsing other lists (I know, adultery!) and they are all using short-term bidding- so I think you made a great choice in turning your back on the annual system. One system I have grown fond of is another which has a fixed-price (I won’t mention the website) $150 for 15 days banner, and as many people can pay for it as they want and it just rotates between however many have been purchased. They show 5 at a time, so the page looks clean, and they also have a side banner which costs $60 for 15 days and another below that for $30 for 15 days, all rotating (on page reload) if multiple have been purchased. It’s benefits are that timed bidding systems are avoided. The drawback of that site is that people submit their banners to it multiple times, and they have no detection to see if the same ones are being shown multiple times so from a hit perspective they are going to be blasted with the same banner up to 5 times. If you were to consider (although i’m just plucking an idea out of my head) merging that system with your system, you could have up to 20 (or more) slots being bid for and only 5 are shown at any one time, with each page reload it refreshes. The beauty of that is, the big guys would have got there first and paid as much as they could and the little guys would battle-it-out for the last remaining ones. The downside of that is, everyone would be paying different amounts for essentially the same random positions. This could be avoided by having perhaps 5 tiers of bids, the top 4 bids are given #1 and they rotate between themselves, the second-heighest bidders get the next one (and rotate between them) and so forth. This, I think, could be a simple but effective system.
            Kind regards

          • I appreciate this – gives me a bit to think about. There are several possible ways yeah. Tier system might not be a dumb idea really.
            One thing to consider is it gives no real meaning to show a 30 player server on position 1. I think I will brainstorm a bit on the Tier one (500 player slot ones can bid for 1-10, 100 and above can bid on 5-15, 30 and above can bid on 15-20 (or something like that). Not sure yet how to even implement such and it will take some time.. But I am for sure willing to rething everything and put in the work needed for a better model.

            Again thanks for your input – means a lot to me!

  6. This new system is killing the small servers. I hate, I mean HATE to be the guy that feels the need to comment with criticism, but I am just really becoming worried about the well being of small servers, including my own. My server has around 5 people on at most, and all of them came from MSL before the system changed. I knew the system was going to change, but I still put in $25 because I had a feeling that it was only going to be more expensive, and I was right. As of right now, around the lowest you can pay for ONE MONTH of placement is $600. And yeah, for big servers, that’s a steal! You get to be in the same place as people who had put in thousands for a TON less, and that one month will most likely get you your money back! Great! But what about the little guys, the guys who have only gotten one donation of $25 and their only source of new players is PMC or people bringing friends. Which together can add 3 new people a week at most! And they won’t stay because it’s too much of a small server. And let’s not sugar coat it, the only websites that REALLY get more players to your server is MSL and PMC. And now, for 95% of servers, it has turned into just PMC. I’m going to leave out other servers for now, because let’s face it, I don’t really care about other small servers, just mine. But I can say that I am truly worried about my server failing, even though I KNOW it’s a great server, and it has insane potential. Right now, my only thought is that maybe i can save money for the next like 5 months and maybe afford the 15th spot to gain 20 players to my server. Which makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I don’t know why I took the time to write all of this, I guess I just needed to get it out. I’m sorry if I sounded rude or ungrateful for the website, but I hope me, and everyone else, can find a new way to advertise. -Michael

    • It is impossible for me to please everyone – I am just one guy, but luckily there are many alternatives out there (Or even make your own server list like others do).
      I see the point, but all I can really do is what I have proposed = To make a new list that will only list smaller servers.

      • since time passed i wonder wether we can go for this to, we used to be a big server but we stopped and started over although that was an age ago

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