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|Buying Ads For Traffic To Resell Your Traffic as AdSense|
Ok, never done this and always assumed it to be a bad idea. Have come across a remarkably respectable site that sells you traffic (or claims to), by country, category etc etc.
Any experiences or legalities/technicalities with regards to adsense?
A "remarkably respectable" does not sell bulk traffic.
In my early years I once purchase 50,000 visitors over 2 weeks for ~$50. I figured even if they were non-targeted visitors, 100 or so might take an interest in my website.
So I set up a special landing page and according to my logs not one of those 50,000 visitors clicked beyond the landing page. Cheap lesson I guess.
I had a good experience and bought a million exposures on an Arabian Banner Exchange. I bought in the category Egypt, and the U.A.E. and I received a few thousand visitors with a few hundred clicks. I did not had any Adsense code on the landing page but traffic and revenues was up on my Egypt and U.A.E. channel.
If the traffic is irrelevant to your site and generates a bunch of meaningless AdSense clicks you could get the dreaded "invalid clicks" email from Google.
Let us know how this works out for you.
Thanks for responses.
To those who think negatively about the concept of traffic-for-sale could you elucidate as to why you think it a bad thing.
If it is category based, such as only people looking for my type of widget, would adsense have a problem with the practice? I can't find any mention of it in TOS but then, I'm no legal expert.
I've purchased traffic from several places over the years. The ones that say they use targeted pop-unders, pop-overs, expired domain traffic, etc. I've always used a special landing page or tracking URL and I have NEVER seen one sale from any of those clicks. Maybe there are some that deliver but I really doubt it.
Banner exposures or clicks on an ad are different and could be valuable if you could insure the presentation is to a properly targeted audience and there was assurance that click fraud wouldn't happen. As hard as it is for Google to prevent click fraud how rampant do you think it would be when you have no idea who you are dealing with?
It's a good point - you don't know who the company sending you traffic is or how they are doing it (not exactly, anyway). But, that said, you never know where your traffic might come from anyway, and once an individual looking for widgetX reaches your widgetX website, as long as its a human, that is presumably good enough for an advertiser?
|To those who think negatively about the concept of traffic-for-sale could you elucidate as to why you think it a bad thing. |
I've never bought bulk traffic because
a). I'm wary of not knowing where the traffic is coming from (they won't tell you). It is trivially easy to fake traffic.
b) The price is too good to be true.
Look at Adwords or Overture for a reputable source of real targeted traffic. If targetted traffic from there costs $.50 a click, and Mr Bulk Traffic can give you 50,000 hits for $50 (.001 per click), don't you think there might be a reason for the cheapness?
|If it is category based, such as only people looking for my type of widget, |
The key is that is how it is advertised. The poster that bought 50,000 clicks probably got told that it was were "targeted" as well. His log proved otherwise.
|would adsense have a problem with the practice? |
If it causes "invalid clicks", they do. Does that traffic come from people who are "paid to surf"? Does it come from "sneaky redirects" (ie mistargeted traffic)? Does it come from a massive email spam campaign? Does it come from an automatic clicker?
If you think it is none of these, how do you know that for sure?
|It's a good point - you don't know who the company sending you traffic is or how they are doing it (not exactly, anyway). |
Not even approximately.
|But, that said, you never know where your traffic might come from anyway |
Absolutely untrue. Any truly reputable advertising method will allow you to know. And there are your server logs.
|, and once an individual looking for widgetX reaches your widgetX website, as long as its a human, that is presumably good enough for an advertiser? |
I am advertiser. That is not good enough. You have no assurance that the human wanted Widget X. They could have been promised an indecent celebrity picture and just kept clicking out of desperation. They could have been paid $5 an hour to click as many websites as possible and follow a few ads on each.
If after this discussion, you are still determined to buy traffic where you don't know the source, sticky me your url and I will put it in my Adwords blacklist.
jdvjdv, since you seem so keen on it why don't you buy some traffic from latfood's friends and let us know how it works out for you.
Before you do, be sure to read latfood's recent thread, Can i open a new Adsense acc. after Account Disabled? [webmasterworld.com]
Thank you both for your insightful, although unnecessarily hostile, responses. I am neither for or against the idea of purchasing traffic, starting this discussion was part of an ongoing dialogue as to the potential merits and problems. :)
What it seems to come down to is that nobody can know for sure if their traffic is good or not (no, not even you, Mr adwords), but that on the scale proposed (50 000) the risks are 50 000 times higher.
edit: Sierra_dad you must realise that when you and I pay for adwords advertising, we similarly are unaware of 'the source' of our traffic. That is to say, we know the medium and the hook, but we have no idea where the advert is being placed (although now we can be ever so slightly selective in a negative-selection way). We have no way of knowing if the person we paid for is really all that bothered by our widgets; its just more likely, therefore use of the words 'absolutely untrue' is an error.
I have bought traffic before, and I had all of the traffic go to one page.
The traffic was 1000 unique visitors over 7 days.
After 7 days of tracking that 1 page as a channel, I had 0 visitors to that page.
I emailed the owner and he refunded my money, and I learned my lesson...
You get what you pay for, and for $2.95 you don't get much.
jdvjdv, no hostility meant. For me, it would be a business decision to block a publisher with questionable traffic; nothing personal.
I know you are hesitant to speak in absolutes, but there is significant difference in what you know about your traffic from reputable sources vs non -reputable ones.
Your original question was "will it cause me trouble with adsense?". Very likely, it could.
A recent "my account was terminated" thread focused on a person who had bought bulk traffic. He apparently was terminated because of invalid clicks caused by "sneaky redirects". He didn't know (he claimed) that the traffic sources were using those sneaky redirects, but said, much like you did, "what's the big deal?; if humans voluntarily clicked the ad, they must be interested". Google is unlikely to buy that argument. At any rate, *you* could suffer loss of account if the *traffic source* uses techniques that *Google* finds questionable.
Sounds like a numbers game to me.
As long as Alexa (or similar) gives the site favorable rankings, then the advertisers will flock to throw money at it.
I highly doubt that, but your mileage may vary.
Secondly, I would remove all signs of AdSense when doing this until after your new friends have left.
This part is just plain common sense.
Why go looking for ways to get booted?
With solid content and SEO tactics, visitors will find you.
I found a fairly reputable company that gave me 150000 visitors but it cost a little over $10K. That came along with 17M ad views for branding, etc.
(Adsense really jumped)
That sounds like a typical CPM ad deal, worth considering but very different from the "bulk" traffic dealers which I would recommend people stay away from.
|As long as Alexa (or similar) gives the site favorable rankings, then the advertisers will flock to throw money at it. |
Why in the heck would anyone use alexa for ad rates?
I'm pushing 2 million pages a month and using Alexa to set my ad rates would put me in the poor house.
i purchased something like this ages ago for a site when adsense wasn't even around.
look closely at the ip addresses that come through, i noticed most of them were open proxies.
if your sending this type of visitor to a page hoping for them to click your ads and google notices all these open proxies coming through, your likely going to get your adsense account canned.
even though i don't think there legit visitors anyway, probably someone loading up a proxy script and sending them all your way, thus why you will never find them leaving past your first page.
you'll find there not actual people, well from my limited experience anyway.
Thanks for responses.
Sierra_dad those are valid points.
Seems to look like the risk is real and not worth it, without a way of being able to validate the claims of the companies in question.
We have had great success bulk buying traffic, our Adsense revenues have increased in record percentages as a result.
This is what we have done. We do what I call 'laundering' the traffic. The traffic arrives bulk and untargeted. I call that 'dirty' traffic, as it is undesirable. If they were to go click happy on Adsense ads we would have problems with Adsense.
We make the dirty traffic 'clean', by laundering it. I drive the traffic to one site, which has NO Adsense on it. On that site I expose those visitors to my own highly targeted ads for the sites that do have Adsense on it. If they click on my ads, they become clean and targeted. That takes them to the sites with Adsense ads, where they arrived looking for a specific topic, and then see the Adsense Ads. There, they click on the Adsense ads of interest to them.
The click through rate on the Adsense ads is varied from site from site, but on one site is runs over 40%.
This is because the ad I have for that site is very specific, finely tuned. Wide ads don't have as high of CTR as narrow ads. That ad on Adwords was a complete failure. It works for me in my own network because the traffic on my own site is much better targeted, than on the Adwords network that showed my ads. Note, this works for me, because of ALL the things in this post combined.
...and don't expect results quickly. Give this two months. See the nice 'surprise' you get at that time, and you will understand. The bottom line? The bulk of the clicks DON'T come from the bulk traffic, but the system works inspite of that. (that line threw you for a loop, didn't it?) There is more to this than meets the eye, when viewed on the surface. That is all I am going to say.
Don't listen to those who tell you this a bad idea. They have NO idea what they are talking about, having not done it 'right'. Failure is a result of half baked plans, and superficial thinking.
I haven't bought bulk traffic because I figure the people selling it are scam artists. Other people didn't succeed because the sellers were in fact scam artists.
You have come up with a scheme that succeeds in spite of the fact that bulk traffic sellers are scam artists. You acknowledge that their claim of "targeted traffic" is a complete lie.
That's fine, but it is important to note that the traffic you receive must be at the least human, and unique humans at that. So if you are reccommending this scheme to the original poster, you should at least sticky him with reccommendations for scam artists who at least provide human traffic.
There are tons of scams out there, in all industries on the web. That is a given. I don't think this should be news to anyone in this forum.
As usual, you have to use your brain. You explore many possible trading partners, use common sense, and go from there.
I have tried dozens of providers, and of those found one really great provider, and several who are honest and clean, but have very low traffic to provide. I run a B2B site, and so having other business owners visit my site irregardless of their original motive, is very much targeted traffic, even in bulk. If you present something of interest, inspite of their desire to 'rack em up', then will click and browse. Again, it requires more than surface thinking.
You watch your logs. If the traffic is surfing your site, in a logical manner, it is human. It is not rocket science. However, it requires more work to find a good trading partner and cultivate that relationship into a profitable marketing technique, than most people want to invest.
Lack of effort = failure.
They want it quick, and easy. That is a short term solution, that might be good for somebody who is 80 years old and has no heirs. It is not pratical for the rest of us.
You will be careful of my posts...
When I say things are easy, they are easy to me, compared to digging ditches in 110 degree or -50 degree weather. Anything that can be done with a brain is 'easy' to me. But, keyword in that sentence is BRAIN. You have to use it. That is all the warning anyone will get from me.
"Laundering" is the word for it. You can't turn low-quality, random, involuntary clicks into legitimate traffic by having them click on link A or link B or link C. That sounds more like an attempt to hide the source of the traffic from Google. IMO this is still a scam through and through.
P.S. Looking at the site in your profile, it looks a lot more complicated than A, B or C. Nonetheless I can't believe that popunder and spyware traffic can be rehabilited into legitimate B2B traffic.
"Laundering" is the word for it. You can't turn low-quality, random, involuntary clicks into legitimate traffic"
I didn't say anything at ALL about 'involuntary clicks', nor did the OP. We are talking about BULK traffic, which is NOT exclusive to mechanical hits.
Far from it.
Maybe you can't convert bulk traffic, but I can, have, and do, as do many others. This is nothing more than Chicken Little Syndrome. Before you scream the sky is falling, you should research your facts. To be ignorant is not a crime. To accuse somebody else of an ethical crime, ("this is still a scam through and through.") because you don't understand it, is a civil offense. It is called Liable, when it is in print.
If you have a product of general interest, to a specific, yet wide, target market, you can convert ANY traffic into interested buyers. This is OLD marketing.
I come into the store to get out of the 110 degree air, and suck up the air conditioning in a store. I am in the market for nothing, and can't afford to spend a dime. I strole past the hardware department, and see an end cap promo, that says CLEARANCE. I venture towards it, out of curiosity (click to my site) and find circular saws, name brand, in sealed factory boxes for $2.00 (ads on my site). I have never used one, will never use one, don't know anybody who will use them, but this seems like a really super deal, so I check out the box anyway and think about how much I might make on this (click ad on my site)Now convinced that it is worth doing, I open one box to make sure there is actually a real circular saw in the box, and it doesn't say REMAN in the docs. (click Adsense Ad), I load up the van (buy on Adsense publishers site).
Was I interested in hardware? No. Do I know anything about hardware? No. What I do know, is whatever the MSRP is, it is MUCH higher than $2.00. That is all I need to know. At that point, I know I can list those on an auction site, with instant buy and pay, and have my money back, and much more, within a couple days.
Did that store turn a "low-quality, random" visitor into a closed sale? You bet. I have been that shopper many, many times, and there are millions out there just like me, so it happens millions of times a day around the world, whether you believe it or not. It has always happened, and will always happen. It has happened so much, there is actually a term for it...yes, funny thing. It is called IMPULSE marketing to IMPULSE shoppers.
This is marketing 101, not fraud. Targeting impulse shoppers is an extremely effective way to promote a product line, and you CAN convert any person, given the right presentation of the right product, at the right moment. That is what I have been doing, for over 30 years.
And... as I said, very few of those bulk visitors click on anything. I can use one hand to count them in any given week, and have fingers left over. Having them click when they are at my site TODAY, is NOT the point. It runs much deeper than that, as pointed out. It is not a short term instant gratification marketing plan, it is a long term marketing plan. One that works, very well.
From your description, "laundering" is what it sounded like. I mitigated my comments in the follow-up post after visiting your site, which is pretty elaborate.
If you're talking about making sales via affiliate programs, I say go for it, and if it works - great. AdSense clicks, I'm not so sure. Advertisers are then taking the risk, and only they would be in a position to say if those clicks were worth paying for.
Can you comment on what mechanism drives people to your site when you're buying bulk traffic? I called it involuntary traffic because that's the term I feel applies for visits due to spyware, popunders, and blind links/redirects. The user never asked to go there and in fact doesn't want to be there.
thanks for your posts they are very informative. Feel free to answer or not - roughly what % of the bulk traffic do you find scrubs up? - i.e how much 'dirty' traffic do you lose in the laundering process? So long as you have eyeballs you're playing the numbers game - presumably you try and cover all the prospective avenues of escape.
What kind of figures are we talking (ball-park)?
This traffic does NOT immediately convert. As I said, in any given week maybe...maybe, we see two or three that click the first ad, to go to another site we own.
That does not indicate they will click an Adsense ad seen on our second site. If they do, they must actually be interested in the product, because technically, they are at that point, on site #3. The adwords advertiser is site #4.
When trying to route traffic, each time a visitor has to click, to move on, fewer do in increasing numbers. This means, those who do ultimately arrive at the Adsense ad, do so because they have interest. You can not expect to have a high CTR from site #2, to site #3, to site #4. We peak their interest on site #1. If they continue through our system, to site #4, that is fine. But, it is not the goal with the bulk traffic, the day the visitors come to our site. All we want to do is get him to our site. If he stays there and looks around OUR first site, and doesn't move through the system at all, we have reached our goal. So, we are never disappointed with the bulk traffic.
If I had to guess, I would say maybe one in a million, yes, a million, actually make it through to the Adsense ad, to the Adwords advertiser site. It is extremely low. But, at that point, that visitor is obviously squeeky clean, and very targeted to the Adsense Ad.
You also have to understand our purchased traffic, as a ratio to total traffic, is very low. We use it selectively, when it is prudent to do so. Bandwidth is a huge concern. We are financing that bandwidth for around 3-4 months before we get income from it. That alone tells you something about the process. If we relied on them clicking on ads to day, we would have that money in about 30 days. That doesn't happen.
I can tell you this. Even considering the squeeky clean highly targeted one in a million visitor who makes us a dime in Adsense, comes nowhere near to paying the bandwidth bill that the purchased traffic generates, that day. This is not one of those flood the site with traffic and rack up the Adsense clicks 'scheme'. 99.9999% of our Adsense revenue in any given week originates organically, not through paid advertising, that week. $200 spent this month on advertising, will likely yield us $700-800 extra next month, or the second month... because, we do this right.
The mistake many webmasters make; they purchase traffic for instant gratification. Then, they are disappointed when the paid traffic doesn't instantly convert. Their motives are all wrong. The 'laundry' is not finished today.
I don't think I can explain this any more clearly than this.
I would also like to say, we do not pay for pop-up, pop-unders and other 'sneak-it-in' advertising. We ourselves only have maybe a dozen pages, if that, out of over 1,000 with a pop-under ad, that are triggered within our site. We don't use them because they hinder seo on 'marginal' sites. Our sites are marginal, in terms of seo. The pop-up/pop-under is counter productive to the goal, and is on pages where we have extremely low traffic. This means only pages we don't want to rank, we use a pop-under on. Flatly, I don't like them. I would never buy traffic that orginated that way. Though clearly they convert very well in most markets and can be one huge cash cow. They annoy people enough they don't want to come back, and are counter productive to our goals.
IMO, there are three types of "purchased traffic":
1. Machine generated clicks, obfuscated to look like humans.
2. Actual humans from countries so poor that click-click-clicking 18 hours for $1 is best job in the town.
3. "Forced" pageviews like popups etc., these may even come from developed countries.
In all 3 cases important subject is missing - a person genuinely interested in what you sell, advertise through Adsense etc. Unless you want to brand your widgets in Bangladesh ;)
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