Amazon.com’s AST vs Snap.com’s SPA

Do you have a website with links to other sites? Do you want people to preview the target site’s homepage without leaving your page? The solution is to offer a thumbnail preview. But how do you get these thumbnails? There are two solutions. One is Amazon.com’s Alexa Site Thumbnails. The other is Snap.com’s Snap Preview Anywhere™.

So, which is right for you? That’s what I want to discuss here.

1. Cost: AST charges $0.20 per 1000 impressions while SPA is free. So, obviously this is going to play a big role in your decision.
2. Code: With SPA, you just register and get a snippet of html code that you put in your page. This actually accesses a javascript. With AST, you write code on the serverside, get the links to the thumbnails and generate your page.
3. DHTML: Say you generate content on your page dynamically on the client side (because of mashups or whatever it is), then with AST, you will have the full control. However, this will not work with SPA (I need to findout if I am wrong by doing more research), as their javascript gets invoked when the page is loaded.
4. Tracking Preview Actions: With AST this is possible, because, once you get the link on the serverside, you can substitute it with a redirection url so that the preview image will first hit your website and then redirected to AST’s actual link. With SPA, you can’t do this.
5. Homepage or Any page: AST only supports the homepage of a website. SPA supports any page. Ofcourse, if SPA doesn’t have a particular page as a thumbnail already in their system, they just queue it up.

Hope this helps in deciding the right service for your site. Anyone who thinks the above statements for SPA are wrong, can please post a comment with a solution on how you can achieve with SPA.

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