We all know that some of the ‘traffic’ on the Internet is fake but some companies in the field of advertising believe that up to 50% of traffic achieved through advertising could be fake.
In this context ‘fake’ means it’s not a person looking at your website – it’s another computer.
This is the reason why so many websites these days insist you answer a Capcha query to prove you are a human being and the fake traffic problem seems to be getting worse.
The most common form of this scam is where the scammer sets up a website and puts lots of adverts, then cons an advertising network into paying per click, thus earning revenue. How does the scammer get the clicks on the adverts? – by using clickbots
Clickbots are programmes able to click on adverts to produce the desired fake traffic. Advertisers do try to identify and exclude such fake traffic but it’s not always easy to do.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per click schemes such as the Google adverts you see whenever you use Google to search work on the basis that anyone with a website can let Google display ads on their site and each time one is clicked, then Google owes a small amount of money (usually fractions of a penny per click).
Some websites generate millions of dollars by means of these adverts and the same applies to videos on Youtube etc.
As an advertiser, you invest money in displaying ads on different websites and videos using Google AdWords or other online advertisement companies. You expect that all the money you spend will go towards showing the ad impressions to humans – real people, and not clickbots.
Click Fraud is the name for this scam. While advertisers think their advertising money is being spent on real humans, a lot of it is wasted on showing ad impressions to searches by click bots.
Your website may get lots of traffic but it could be largely other computers making the clicks and that’s of no value to you.
How do cheaper suppliers get traffic for your site? – there’s lots of ways, but the most common is called clickbait.
You may visit general information and entertainment sites that have ads saying things such as “10 things you didn’t know about Scarlett Johannsen” or “See what happened to these child stars” or ”Why you must never eat this vegetable”. When someone clicks on the ad they don’t get what they expected but are directed to a website where the owner has paid to get more people viewing their site. Alternatively, they may be directed to a website that does have the relevant content but it is wrapped up such that the user ends up having to view numerous pages (full of adverts) to get to the content.
There are lots of ways to get genuine traffic i.e. real people actually looking at your website, without resorting to clickbots, dodgy companies or anything similar.
These methods include
· Social Media
· Natural Search Listings i.e not paid adverts
· Video clips
· Article Directories
· Podcasting your content
· Contributing to relevant forums
· Press Releases
· Joint Ventures with businesses that are in the same field as you but not direct competitors
· External Links from other websites to yours
However, there are lots of companies offering very cheap traffic. It may or may not be poor quality i.e. mostly people who don’t really want to see your website, but it is cheap.
For example, Yesvisitor.com offers 100,000 visitors for $200. How they get so much traffic so cheaply is unknown.