Don’t always believe the stats web publishers quote when trying to persuade you to advertise on the sites – there are some dishonest publishers out there…
Firstly let me point out categorically that we NEVER employ this (or any other underhand) technique. We deal honestly and openly with all our clients. The stats quoted here come from a project we have under development (not a Lanzarote site) and I did this just to illustrate this article.
If I was trying to sell you advertising, it would look pretty impressive wouldn’t it? Really, it’s not. It’s a very simple deception technique used by unscrupulous web site owners.
Now – how did we take a site from 16 page views to over 9,000 in less than 48 hours?
Simple – I bought the hits from a website – for $9.99. There are a number of sites where you can do this, and on some you can even set a daily rate (which if you are using this to be deceptive) which you can control to show an upward trend – one such site is “Buy Hits Cheap” (www.buyhitscheap.com)
The thing to note – is that hits from this type of source are worthless. In this instance, I haven’t shown you it of course – the vast majority came from China, so even if they were real and not just automated or users tricked onto the site by some means – they would not be able to read your content anyway!
There’s four reason people might use this…
1. They are stupid, and believe they are buying genuine, worthwhile, human visitors
2. To improve their rank on the Alexa website (or similar sites) that measure sites by traffic rather than more thorough means
3. An SEO company can use tools like this to deceive less knowledgeable clients and impress them with improved performance
4. Most commonly, a small web site owner hoping to sell ad space can create charts like the one above to deceive prospects. Picture a site with 200 visitors a day (or even less), if the owner was to ‘buy’ 1000 hits a day they have a chart which has 1200 hits a day (and they only need to do this for a week or a month occasionally to get a nice print out for their sales folder. Simple, but very effective to a potential client with little or no understanding of the internet.
So – next time someone comes knocking on your door selling advertising – don’t take their impressive statistics as gospel.
Here’s a couple of things that you should be aware of…
1. The term hits means files loaded which includes images and other files – each page can contain many items. For instance a hundred hits a day could simply be a couple of pages viewed!
2. Unique visitors, is exactly what it says – as is page loads. The ratio of visitors to page loads is crucial – lets say a site gets 1000 visitors a day and 1000 page loads, it means that anyone who his getting to the site is jumping off right away, they are not reading the content. If its 1000 visitors to 10,000 page loads – obviously users are finding the content useful as they are reading 10 pages each.
3. Ask where the hits come from geographically – does it reflect your target audience?
4. Ask where the inbound links in come from – they should be from quality sites – not “I’ll click yours if you click mine” type sites like Twitter!
It’s a simple thing. Statistics, charts and spurious numbers look great – but they can be formed and twisted to say whatever the person sat in front of you wants to say if they are less than scrupulous!
Ask questions! Even better have a look at who’s advertising already and talk to them!
And the big question is – have you ever heard of the site before someone walked through your door or that email arrived in your inbox?