front page
daily news
news archive
ask the editor

free scripts
meta tags
search engines

about us
press room

All Content in
Webmaster Techniques
Magazine is
©Copyright 2005.
All Rights Reserved

FFA Blaster 1.6.9
Product: FFA Blaster 1.6.9
Date Reviewed:
November 23, 2000
Full Cost:
Printed User Guide?
No (some online help available)
Webmaster Techniques Rating (1-10):

FFA BlasterI have used FFA Blaster, an FFA submission program, for well over a year. Recently, however, I've discovered a couple of surprising revelations that may raise a few eyebrows for both consumers and resellers of this program. More on that later under the heading Major Revelations...

FFA stands for Free For All and is associated with free link pages. Submitting to FFA pages is a method that many online marketers will tell you is a waste of time. However, these individuals fail to see a greater reason for FFA submissions - Search Engine popularity.

As mentioned in my book, Web Marketing Applied, many Search Engines now incorporate "popularity algorithms," which help in the determination of where your Website ranks. Your popularity is determined by the number of sites linked back to you. Like most Websites, FFA link pages are visited by Search Engines. If your site is listed on an FFA page when it is indexed then that counts for a link back to your site and thus a higher popularity rating. With programs like FFA Blaster submitting to tens of thousands of pages, you can potentially find 100+ FFA pages linked back to you on Search Engines as a result of your consistent efforts. The *free bonus* to this is that you may get 1-2 visitors a day to your site from your FFA submission (this is what I average).

The Product
FFA Blaster, by Submit Ad and SPCK Software, is really two products in one. The most important aspect of the program is the link submissions and as of this writing FAA Blaster submits to over 88,000 free for all pages. The second aspect of the product is the ability to build your own FFA page. The focus of this review will be on the more important of the two - the submissions.

For being an FFA submission program, FFA Blaster has a lot of features including batch submissions, automated updates, stylizing submissions, frequently updated database downloads, easy to follow interface, and even the ability to build your own Web page. FFA Blaster even has its own built in Web browser. It is easy to tell that a lot of thought and effort went into the program.

As you can see from the main menu below command buttons are both graphical and text based. The most important button, Blast it Out, is nice and big. You press this button when your submission is all ready to go.

Here's the basic premise for submissions:

FFA Blaster Main Menu
Enter your Website information (title, URL, Email, Section, etc.).

2) Be sure to select the proper section for your ad. Keep in mind that many may leave the default (Miscellaneous) selected so if your ad goes there, it will disappear quicker due to the majority of other people posting there. (Note: Web Marketing Applied readers - refer to page 161 for a tip on email filtering due to FFA autoresponders).

Download Menu
3) Press the DL button to bring up the Database Download menu where you can download the database lists and each lists database (a two-step process).

Blast it Out window
4) Press Blast it Out to open a new window (see below) that tracks the status of your submissions. Press Start to begin the submission process.

Batch ModeThe program easily saves multiple ads so that you can load and submit. Optionally, you can save numerous ads in the Batch Mode and FFA Blaster can the submit multiple ads, one right after the other, for you.

Every time you start the program, you receive a WebUpdate screen (pictured below). By clicking the Connect button, the program will automatically check to see if there is a new upgrade for you to download. In addition, you can sign up for the FFA Blaster newsletter right from the software (good marketing idea).

The WebUpdate Screen - check for new (and free) upgrades

SubmitAd puts out a lot of claims about FFA Blaster. Let's take a look at these claims and what the reality is based on my use of the software.

Claims and Reality
"It's a powerful submission tool built with one goal in mind: to save you time and aggravation as it speeds you through your submission process..."

Reality: This statement is true for people who have been manually submitting links to FFA pages. With FFA Blaster you set up the initial information, click Blast it Out and let it run in the background as it submits to tens of thousands of FFA sites. But the length of time it takes per submission (over an hour) may cause some aggravation. Further aggravation may occur when you find out that tens of thousands of your ads aren't really being posted (see Major Revelations section further down).

Claim: "The FFA Blaster user interface is very easy to understand."

Reality: This statement is mostly true. The designers made it very graphical and easy to follow. However, mixing submission commands with running an FFA page commands may be a tad confusing to some people.

Claim: "Fast as lightning, using 28 ports simultaneous, the database is posted in just a few minutes!"
Note how port 1 is getting the Lion's share of submissions
This statement is false. Yes the program has 28 ports, but it only uses those ports on a few thousand submissions. The rest of the submissions, tens of thousands via "FFA Net" use only one port. The result is the total submission of just one link taking anywhere from 3-5 hours. This is a far cry from "a few minutes." So unless lighting strikes linger in one place for several hours the claim that it is "fast as lighting" and finished in a few minutes is not true.

Claim: Posts to FFA pages on our ever growing/changing global database.

This is true for the most part. One good thing about the folks who created FFA Blaster is that they update their FFA list often (you must download these updates).

Claim: "Registered version now has more than 26,000+ FFA sites for you to post to, in several databases you can download, and growing fast..."

Reality: True and then some. The database of FFA lists for FFA Blaster grows often. When I first purchased the product well over a year ago it was submitting to just over 11,000 FFA lists. As of November 23, 2000 it is submitting to over 88,234. As you can see, this is just over three times more than the advertised 26,000. That's quite a big bonus until you find out one of their secrets revealed in Major Revelations below.

Claim: "FFA Blaster manages your promotion and marketing all the way through to completion."

Reality: This is an exaggeration. It manages your FFA posts all the way through to completion, but not all your "promotion and marketing". FFA links should only be one small part of your overall Web marketing strategy.

Major Revelations
I have two major revelations to present that I discovered concerning FFA Blaster. The first is aimed at consumers and the second is aimed at resellers.

Consumer Alert: When downloading the databases, I always noticed that a database called "FFA Net" took up more than 80,000 of the 88,000 submissions. I never gave this too much thought until one day when I was downloading the latest files I saw, in the title area, numerous ads for FFA Blaster displaying. Hidden amongst the ads was the following message which is very easy to miss:

"IMPORTANT: FFA Net requires you to register your email address."

FFA Warning

Knowing that FFA Net is 90% of all the databases, I immediately when into investigation mode. Come to find out, all my submissions in the past never made it onto the FFA Net link pages (the 80,000+) because my email address wasn't *registered*. The links were being submitted, but not being published. The dozens of hours in the past I used FFA Blaster to submit my site were to practically no avail. What's worse is that I would have never known had I not come across the well hidden announcement of this important fact.

There's a reason, I believe, that FFA Blaster hides this announcement. It is because when you visit FFA Net at and go through the process of confirming your email address, you discover that you can enter your Website info at FFA Net, hit a Submit button, and have your ad automatically submitted to FFA Net's 80,000+ pages for free. The process takes less than two minutes, versus over an hour with FFA Blaster.

If you already own FFA Blaster and have been using it for awhile, this news may come as a major shock to you since FFA Blaster makes no attempt to promptly notify users of this requirement. You only see the requirement if you are on the Download page and happen to be reading through all the text ads.

Another thing you should be aware of concerning FFA Net is that the site requires you to authorize your email address once a week in order to continue using the 80,000+ database of FFA pages.

The way I now handle this situation is:

1) I disable the FFA Net option on FFA Blaster (Download menu).

2) I use FFA Blaster to submit to all non-FFA Net sites (less than 2,000 pages).

3) I do my FFA Net submissions directly from FFA Net's home page. I then go to the FFA Net Website to submit to its database. I find this process to be much faster overall.

Reseller Alert: I have an equally shocking alert for resellers of FFA Blaster. Webmaster Techniques Magazine resells a lot of software programs for Webmasters, including FFA Blaster. We noticed, however, that FFA Blaster was making us very little money. We found out why from an alert individual trying to make sure we were credited with the sale (which shouldn't be a difficult process). Here's the story.

When a person clicks on your reseller page, he/she is taken to your coded order page where you are given credited for a completed sale. The trouble is that the order page requires a Registration number from the downloaded software. So if the person hasn't downloaded a trial version, he/she must do that first.

Upon downloading the software, even from your reseller page, the user is prompted to click an Order or Registration button from within the software. This opens up a page that credits SPCK with the software sale. SPCK happens to be the owner of the product. This ends up being a convenient way for you to introduce a person to the product without getting any credit. If the person does not come back to your Web page and load the order form then you'll never receive credit for the sale and not get an affiliate commission.

I was very concerned upon discovering this and wrote Submit Ad, SPCK, and one of the developers an email asking about the problem and how it could be resolved. I received no answer. I sent four follow-up emails and didn't receive a response or even a note to say they were looking into the problem. This is terrible customer service for resellers who have been dedicated to letting others know about the FFA Blaster product. It appears deceitful (even if accidental) and is simply wrong.

Let's look at this situation another way...

Many Webmasters are affiliates. What if a person clicked on one of your book links to order a book from and was instructed that they had to register first; upon registering they were redirected to the same page, except without your code!? The person orders the product and you don't receive credit even though the person followed your link with the intention of purchasing the book. There would likely be an investigation into such practices and a lot of upset resellers.

If I ever do get an answer back from the creators of FFA Blaster, I'll pass it along as an addendum to this review.

FFA Blaster is a good product and if it wasn't for the two Major Revelations, it might score fairly high. But the two Major Revelations knock the score down quite a bit. So much, in fact, that I have personally decided to STOP using FFA Blaster!

When I've had problems with FFA Blaster in the past, technical support has responded within a few days. However, when I pressed for some answers to the Major Revelations problem, the company gives me the go around and refuses to answer my emails. Shoddy customer service like this and the continued problems with the Major Revelations I revealed results in my giving this product a final poor review score of a "3". I cannot, in good faith, recommend this program to anyone.


Joe Tracy is editor of Webmaster Techniques Magazine and author of "55 Vital Web Marketing Strategies for Marketing Your Website"

» Return to Reviews Page
» Return to Webmaster Techniques Magazine Front Page