Should We Buy “Guaranteed Traffic” or “50,000 visitors”?

By , May 24, 2007

It really is “too good to be true.”  Several dozen web sites promise to deliver 10,000 to 100,000 visitors to your web site, for a low fee — much less than one cent per visitor, which is the cheapest you could ever draw traffic through Google’s AdWords program.

Paying for “guaranteed traffic” is a complete waste of money:

  • Some “guaranteed traffic” services use “pop-under” windows (opening a new web browser window that is hidden beneath the current window, and thus isn’t visible until the user closes the current window.
  • Another common “delivery” method is forcing a new window to open “on exit” from another web site.
  • Frequently, the traffic is generated by “web robots,” which are running on unattended computers (sometimes these are computers infected with viruses which turn the computers into “zombies” when not being used).

The common thread for all these methods is that the end user has not asked to see your site. The vast majority of the time, the end user has no interest in seeing your web site. Even if you pay for “targetted traffic,” you have no way of knowing if it’s actually targetted properly. And even if it were “targetted,” nearly all the users who see the unwanted window will be upset and angry, and won’t want to do business with your company.

I’ve spoken with several clients who have purchased “guaranteed traffic,” and the results have always been identical: the companies “delivered” web-page requests from a variety of different computers, but no meaningful activity resulted: none of these visitors viewed any other pages, filled in a lead form, or purchased any products.

My clients reported that if they purchased completely untargetted traffic, then almost all the traffic came from computers in non-English-speaking countries.

My clients who requested “USA visitors only” (at extra cost) did receive traffic from computer IP addresses in the USA, but many of these turned out to belong to “proxy servers” used to deliver traffic to non-US visitors. The distribution of the remaining traffic was not consistent with normal traffic distribution patterns, but instead appeared almost certain to represent unattended “zombie” computers.

You can only profit from your web site by drawing targetted traffic from people who are interested in the information, services or products offered at your web site. See also: ABestWeb Discussion Thread: Does Guaranteed Traffic Really Work?

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