Pay-for-traffic sites? Rip-off?
June 13, 2004 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone had any good success with using one of those pay for traffic sites? I have read horror stories where you pay some amount of money to then realize that the 10,000 visitors you just paid to have visit your site are all from a small farm in China when my site is designated for people from the US? Is it really worth it?
posted by thebwit to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Well, if you pay ME, I'd visit your site, but that's not going to mean I'll care about what's there. Wouldn't that money be better spent in doing what is needed to make people seek your site out?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:15 AM on June 13, 2004

I have some experience with them... they are worthless. I don't know how they generate your "Traffic", and whether its real people, or some server farm generating hits, or poor people infested with adware unwittingly being taken to your site. I got conned out of some money by . They are all scumbags.
posted by ac at 8:38 AM on June 13, 2004

Well... it's pretty obvious that they'd all be scumbags, really. Where the heck is that traffic supposed to be coming from? Anyone who can provide traffic to order obviously isn't legit.
posted by reklaw at 9:39 AM on June 13, 2004

With all due respect, ac and reklaw, I actually work for one of those sites. While I have my quirks, calling me a "scumbag"... that ain't right.

At any rate, the answer is something like "it depends." Usually, the traffic is delivered by popping up your site as a regular ole popup ad. (Or, a popunder, if you want to draw a distinction.) Some of the newjack folks sell services that place classified ads on various sites and the traffic is measured by clickthrough. There are also traffic rotator sites and all kinds of bizarre variations on that concept. There's even a site that enters you into a lottery, one ticket for every paying site you view for 30 seconds or longer.

The relative quality of these services can vary, as can the price, but the obvious rules of internet shopping apply -- avoid anyone without a published phone number on the site, etc... They also vary quite a bit in terms of how much control you get over the traffic stream and things like start and stop time, number of visitors per day, and geographic location of visitors.

If you're looking at any type of internet advertising, be it keywords or traffic or whatever, you should always have some basic system in place to monitor any incoming advertising sources. You want to be track whether a given source of visitors actually delivers in terms of real numbers. Do they stay on the site? Do they come back? Do they purchase anything? Once that's done, you can easily test different services without sticking your neck out.
posted by ph00dz at 10:49 AM on June 13, 2004

I have a website selling a product. I usually sell something to one in every 150 or 200 people, and this is from vague Google Adwords, word of mouth or just plain web searches. I ordered "10,000 visitors" from one of these sites, not a SINGLE CUSTOMER spending a single penny. Out of ten thousand alleged "visitors" It's a crock of sh*t.
posted by ac at 5:38 PM on June 13, 2004

Also, phoodz, I didn't call you a scumbag, I called a bunch of scumbags. But now that you mention it, you are probably a scumbag too.
posted by ac at 5:39 PM on June 13, 2004

If the bag fits...

I think that the poster needs to understand that all traffic is not created equal. You can get tons of traffic, but if they don't like your site, or don't care about your site, or if they use your resources, and provide you with no value, then they aren't worth having. Targeted traffic, on the other hand, comes to your site by choice, because they think that they'll find something of interest there (content, stuff for sale, whatever). Targeted traffic is worth having, but it costs more than cheap traffic. Since cheap traffic is basically worthless, targeted traffic ends up as the better deal. You can buy targeted traffic from google, or pay-per-click search engines, or perhaps by advertising on sites pertinent to your content.
posted by websavvy at 5:56 PM on June 13, 2004

I guess you probably want me to get off your mom, then.

In all seriousness, websavvy is right - traffic comes in many flavors and a lot of it, quite frankly, is junk. If a potential vendor isn't absolutely upfront about how they bring people to your site, avoid them at all costs.

A tiny bit of research would have revealed that even says this on their site: "JustVisits provides the best traffic available. Our traffic comes from expired domain names. When someone creates a website, they also register a domain name. The owner must pay a nominal fee to keep their domain name (about $9-$30). If the owner does not pay the annual fee, the registrar will drop the domain name. We then will register the name if it will generate traffic."

Now, it's entirely possible that that type of advertising could pay off for a site -- I dunno what you're into -- but the odds are stacked against it for most "normal" products.
posted by ph00dz at 8:12 AM on June 14, 2004

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