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99% social media traffic -- and yes, I'm worried about it!
Can I get banned or in trouble?
littlecubpanda




msg:4642911
 5:10 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

One of my sites that had basically no visitors at all went viral across a wide range of social media platforms.

Now the traffic is 99% social media (spread out among Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, as far as I can tell).

I got very nervous about this.

This site, despite not getting traffic, usually has a VERY HIGH CPC due to the subject matter, so I began to see some very nice clicks.

The CTR was LOW and has stayed low, which is GOOD, it means these are valid clicks.

Some of those clicks occurred last month and I've yet to have much of anything removed from my final balance earnings, so that is good as well.

I'm just very concerned about it, because I know Google wants to see SE traffic, and to some extent I see why. BUT not all social media traffic is "bad", either!

(As reported in a previous thread, I reported what I thought *might* be invalid clicks when this all first happened and I had NO IDEA what was going on, I reported it to Google cautiously, but heard nothing back.)

My questions:

a) Is this serious? It's about 500 visitors a day, a couple clicks. How worried should I be? It's probably a very small drop in the bucket in terms of volume, in terms of what Google is looking at everyday in the size of their operation, but it's a nice little income boost for me.

b) If I create a LANDING PAGE with NO ADS ON IT that LEADS to my site, could this cloak the social media traffic source -- or will it just create another problem?

Thank you.

 

graeme_p




msg:4642919
 6:57 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

What makes you think that getting social media traffic is a problem? Its not against the TOS.

netmeg




msg:4643002
 1:27 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't worry about it. Some of my sites get tons of social media traffic (they don't tend to click on the ads so much, but it's perfectly good traffic)

I'm just very concerned about it, because I know Google wants to see SE traffic


They want to see *valid* traffic.

avalon37




msg:4643011
 2:30 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Almost every time a site see's a surge in traffic Google is recording it. They have data points that "flip switches" and set into motion auto and manual reviews. If you are concerned, perhaps remove the ads during part of the day? That way the earnings would be gradually building up? Also, there's a good chance the bump in traffic will not last - in which case you probably don't have anything to worry about. But it's pretty certain you are currently on AdSense's radar - make sure your pages are in total accordance with their terms & conditions.

ember




msg:4643033
 4:44 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sites get spikes in traffic all the time. They get mentioned in the media or get linked to from a high traffic site, etc. As long as the traffic is valid, and social media traffic is valid, you should be fine.

hannamyluv




msg:4643054
 6:21 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

because I know Google wants to see SE traffic

I think it might be the opposite. Google already gets a good share of SE traffic. What they don't get is social media eyeballs. In theory, this is why they have an AdSense program. To have access to the eyeballs they don't already have access too.

As long as the traffic converts normally, it should not be a problem at all.

GoNC




msg:4643113
 9:38 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

About 2 years ago, one of my sites spike in traffic unexpectedly like that for a little over a month. The site usually had about 5 million monthly pageviews, and it spiked to a little over 18 million that month.

What I saw, though, was that the CPC went WAY down, so at the end of the month I didn't make anything more than usual. So when the spike went away, I didn't care too much.

You know, I never did figure out what caused that spike...

Either way, there was no negative impact after the spike ended, so I think you're fine. You're a rare anomaly that's getting traffic from social media right now, so I say, just enjoy it :-)

roshaoar




msg:4643122
 10:01 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google already gets a good share of SE traffic. What they don't get is social media eyeballs. In theory, this is why they have an AdSense program.


Not sure about this -- adsense was around wayyyyyy before social.

hannamyluv




msg:4643152
 1:23 am on Feb 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

adsense was around wayyyyyy before social.

Yes, but last time I checked, it does not predate the internet as a whole and search engines are not the internet.

AdSense was created, as I said originally, to have access to the eyeballs they don't already have access too which, yes, did not include social media originally but does now.

I think that many people do not realize how much traffic is out there that is not on a search engine. Google did not buy YouTube all those years ago because they thought cats were hilarious. They bought YouTube because they had a pretty good hunch that the eyeballs that did not go to their search engine had a pretty good chance of going there. And they were right. YouTube is the second most visited website, right behind Google.

But for all that, if you take the combined estimated traffic of the next 3 most visited websites (Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon - all not Google properties), there is more traffic on those sites than on Google and YouTube combined. That's a lot of eyeballs for Google to miss out on. Worse yet, how many of those eyeballs even go to a search engine on the way to one of those 3 properties?

Now take that idea and start counting down the whole list of sites on the internet. How many non-Google owned properties are out there and how much traffic do they collectively bring in?

Back when I was an AdWords junkie, I remember when AdSense was started. And it was billed to AdWords users as a way to get your product in front of additional eyeballs, because while Google is big, it is not the internet.

littlecubpanda




msg:4643408
 12:39 am on Feb 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

hannamyluv,

You make all these valid points, except Google has shown they will ban accounts that primarily get social media traffic for all myriad reasons.

I think my social media traffic is legit, since the CTR is so low -- and that's great. It means they are legit clicks.

I created a portal page, so people arriving from social media may click on the main site they were going to or any other of my sites. That's all fine and well. Then I put two ads on it. I think I will reduce it to one.

It's such a small drop in the bucket. We're talking about 500 visitors a day.

But I agree -- traffic spikes will register "triggers" in Google's system and could lead to a dreaded manual review. I think my site is up to snuff, though I was denied ads by Lijit because the site is "spam" or some nonsense. I find that hilarious since they approved all of my other sites. My site is a little thin and maybe not the best looking, but it delivers on the subject matter 100%.

Anyway, it is a precarious situation. Do I turn off the ads, and eliminate a few high CPC clicks a day, or keep it going? I suppose if my *other* sites weren't doing so bad, I wouldn't care, but they're all down so far this year, mostly due to things out of my control.

littlecubpanda




msg:4643409
 12:46 am on Feb 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

I also put Chitika ads on there instead, and wow it is the most pathetic ad network. 4000+ impressions avg a day, with an avg of 5 clicks and .01 CENT per click. And this is mostly US/Canada traffic.

I suppose you have to give it a few weeks to "settle in", but I've removed most of the Chitika ads, while leaving them up on some of my smaller sites that don't have Adsense. So far it is just awful. Lijit is better.

netmeg




msg:4643501
 3:28 pm on Feb 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

except Google has shown they will ban accounts that primarily get social media traffic for all myriad reasons.


I'm not sure where you got this impression, but it's absolutely not true.

webcentric




msg:4643511
 5:45 pm on Feb 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

except Google has shown they will ban accounts that primarily get social media traffic for all myriad reasons.


Just pointing out that banning for social media traffic (a specific purported reason) is different than banning for undefined "myriad reasons" (could be anything). In other words, if the reasons are myriad, there's no way to point a finger specifically at social. It would be wise to consult with Aristotle before making business decisions based on unsupported conclusions (let alone promulgating them for other to read).

hannamyluv




msg:4643577
 10:25 pm on Feb 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

except Google has shown they will ban accounts that primarily get social media traffic for all myriad reasons.

Based on that logic, Google does not want search engine traffic either because they will also ban accounts that primarily get search engine traffic for all myriad reasons.

Just sayin'

EditorialGuy




msg:4643717
 4:31 pm on Feb 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

AdSense was created, as I said originally, to have access to the eyeballs they don't already have access too which, yes, did not include social media originally but does now.


Given the amount of traffic that originates on Google's SERPs, I'd guess that AdSense is more about offering Google a second chance to reach searchers who clicked on organic search results.

As for whether there's a problem with having 99 percent of one's traffic from social media, there may be, but only in terms of traffic quality.

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