The Sleazy Side of Website Promotion

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Scores of online marketers are reeled in by scam artists selling everything from "targeted traffic" to email "blasters". Before you donate any of your hard-earned cash, proceed with caution.

Buying Targeted Traffic- If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

10,000 targeted visitors for just fifteen bucks? With about a 1% conversion rate, your sales conversions will be through the roof! Sounds great, but let's ask a few questions.

Where does the traffic come from?

Traffic scammers are generally very secretive about their traffic sources. One standard answer is that the traffic comes from expired domains. If they have legitimate traffic sources, they should be able to give you some verifiable details. Ask for examples of some of their expired domains. Be advised that many of these operations get porn or "free stuff" traffic and sell it as "targeted" traffic for different categories.

How is it delivered to your website? A couple of techniques used:

Pop-Unders- Your web page is displayed under another page (sometimes in a smaller window). Now, pop-unders can work on a limited basis. The problem is you are led to believe that you are paying for visitors who will see your page directly. Since you aren't getting a direct page view you're not going to convert at 1%. Any conversion rate under 1% is sure to lose money.

Image Tags- An image tag html code is created which points to your web page. A group of these tags are then inserted into a web page that may get heavy traffic (i.e. a porn site). Whenever the "host" page gets a hit, the image tag tricks your server into thinking that your page had a visitor.

So now you've purchased the "traffic" and your page stats show that you've had a lot of page hits. But what gives? Your advertising banner has been displayed 1,500 times today but you haven't had a single click. Hey wasn't this supposed to be targeted traffic? You email them and (if you ever get a response) you're told that results were not guaranteed. You paid for the traffic and they delivered. You then realize you just flushed your money down the toilet.

Submit your site to 100,000 search engines, classifieds, and FFA pages.

This sounds impressive but, 100,000 submissions doesn't mean much if no one visits the pages that your site is being submitted to. Aside from the major search engines (which you can submit to for free), most of these submissions are useless.

Blast your email message to hundreds of thousands.

If you have ever set up a junk email account, or if you have a bulk folder in your email account, you can get an idea of where your email message is being blasted to. That's right...straight to the trash folder.

The 100% useless money back guarantee.

"All orders come with a 100% money-back guarantee. If you do not receive all of the traffic you ordered, we will issue a refund for undelivered traffic."

"We guarantee that you will be absolutely thrilled with the results: if for any reason you are not able to send out an average minimum of 1000 promotional messages every day we will refund your money, no

questions asked."

What are they really guaranteeing? Neither offers a satisfaction guarantee. In the first case, you may get 10,000 useless page hits but no real visitors. In the second they aren't guaranteeing that a single person will actually see your promotional message. Any legitimate service should offer a satisfaction guarantee. But these are generally hit and run outfits. They don't operate to get repeat business. Caution: don't assume that because a service offers an "operator" available or a phone number, that it is legitimate. Test them out by calling. If you can never get through or if the phone representative refuses to answer detailed questions, be wary.    

In conclusion, the best defense against getting scammed is to do a little homework. Check the search engines for comments regarding any company, product or service you have questions about. For instance if you're thinking about buying traffic from Traffic Seller Guy, go to google and enter (with the quotation marks) "has anyone" together with "Traffic Seller Guy" and see what comes up. You may find a discussion forum posting asking a question about this service such as; "has anyone ever bought traffic from Traffic Seller Guy?" Another search you can enter is "scam" together with "Traffic Seller Guy". This will bring up any instance of these two search phrases appearing together; i.e. "Traffic Seller Guy is a scam artist, so stay away!". By doing this, you may be able to see what experiences others have had with the company or service. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if they have negative comments. If you've been the victim of a web promotion scam, report it to the proper authorities like The National Fraud Information Center, The FTC's Consumer Pages or the Better Business Bureau. To get tips for shopping safely online, visit (http://www.nettfinds.com).

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Lee Babin

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