Evolving the TGP

Cheryl Cain
An interesting new concept is working its way through the adult industry these days, based on an evolution of the ever-popular Thumbnail Gallery Post site. TGPs, the acronym that Thumbnail Gallery Posts are commonly known by, have undergone a series of evolutions since first being introduced on the Internet. The common implementation of the TGP site is a front-end main page containing a series of thumbnails that link out to a series of galleries providing surfers with free images. Included with the out-linked galleries is an upsell link to the sponsor's tour section. The premise, of course, is that if the visitor finds the images to his taste, he will click the tour link giving the sponsor an opportunity for a sale and the TGP operator an opportunity for a commission for that sale.

The most common complaint by TGP operators is that surfers have become accustomed to sponsors' links to tour pages, presuming the tours are just advertisements and there is no more free stuff to be seen. As a result, tour clicks have become fewer and fewer with surfers intent on finding more free porn. "It's impossible to make a sale if you can't get the customer to the store," complains Miles Jefferies, who closed his TGP sites last year in favor of better turnover rates in other pursuits.

The seed material for the TGP sites can come from a variety of sources, the most popular being Free Hosted Galleries (FHG). An FHG is created by the sponsor and is designed to drive traffic to its site's tours. TGP owners populate their sites with a mixture of FHGs and galleries submitted by other webmasters. "It's not a question of quality," Brett Gilliat of, said. "TGP operators have been cleaning their acts up for years, ensuring good quality submissions and elimination of the pop-up hell syndrome. The problem is that surfers are enjoying the free stuff and ignoring the sponsor's upsell."

A couple of variations of TGP have been attempted over the years, one of which is known as TGP2, which is a close relative of the original TGP, but places more emphasis on the tease and provides fewer free images. Image counts on TGP2 galleries are usually in the range of 5-10 images as opposed to the original TGP's 15-20 picture count. There are other differences in the TGP2 design such as banner size and submission specifications. The overall logic obviously is directed at coaxing the surfer to click on the upsell tours to get more materials. Some sponsor's have beefed up their tours to compensate for fewer images on the TGP gallery. Effectiveness of TGP2 is a mixed bag of results based on whom you speak with in the industry. Some TGP operators see the effort as ineffective believing that less free material isn't very popular with the free porn surfer group. Other webmasters say that they have seen a more robust click-through rate and feel that the TGP2 model is a benefit to them. No matter which side of that comparison you find yourself on, the common denominator is still getting the surfer to click the link to the sponsor's tour.

The newest implementation of TGP is just making its way about the Internet. "The challenge has always been that you are trying to coax a surfer to click from the gallery to the site before you've got any chance of selling to him," Danny Watkins of (PAYC) micro payment systems, said. "So let's cut that stage out completely and take the site to the gallery! Then he doesn't have to leave the gallery to start spending money."

Indeed, this new evolution of TGP does just that. Closely resembling the front end of its predecessors, it operates much as a contemporary TGP does. The main difference is in the gallery page.

Calling themselves "Hybrid Galleries" these galleries are formatted like "mini-tours," providing the expected number of free images, plus a number of paid items, all clearly marked on the same page. So without even leaving the gallery page, the surfer has the concept of pay-per-view porn dangled in front of his face - whether it's the hardcore pictures at 1¢ each or longer videos at $2 each - all without leaving the perceived safety of the TGP gallery.

In the PAYC system, users who join the system can view content from hundreds of websites for pennies per image, gallery or video, without any distractions like shopping carts or join pages. This quickly adds up to a very worthwhile income for the webmaster. The benefit to TGP operators is that they also participate in a tiered earnings system that gives the TGP owner a commission on all of the spending of the surfers he brings into PayasYouClick. Once in the system, the user can continue to be courted with extended galleries or videos that not only create income from the pay-per-view sales and shared traffic, but also still provide the upsell potential to the customers for sponsored programs.

The logic behind this new evolution is the mini-tour. Its concept is that if you put an offer in front of a potential customer enough times, it will eventually end up in a sale. With the difficulties in getting the "free porn" group to leave the comfort of the TGP gallery, I would submit that this is at the very least a logical approach to an evident issue.

While this particular implementation is being driven by the PayAsYouClick group, the basis of the concept loans itself to any amount and combination of traditional TGP applications. As with all of our articles, the basic message is one of taking an open-minded approach in the pursuit of broadening your income revenues. A webmaster simply cannot have too many income streams and evolving the TGP is just another way for you to add dollars to your bottom line.