opinion

Traffic Buys: A Fast Way to Lose Money

Stephen Yagielowicz

All adult webmasters want more traffic for their sites, but the available pool is being held by an increasingly smaller group of companies, leading many operators to purchase traffic as an easy solution for boosting their site’s visitor volume.

Unfortunately, the old saying “You get what you pay for,” may seem quite optimistic when applied to the realm of traffic buying.

If you play your cards right, buying traffic won’t be a fast way to lose money.

While understanding the best mix of countries, devices, days and times, for your site is required in order to maximize the profitability of purchased traffic, learning about its source is also vital — with heavily recycled “circle jerk” visitors being swept from one blind trade to another, to outright fraud with falsely reported clicks and heavy bot volume as part of the deal — although working with reputable traffic brokers can greatly reduce these issues.

Other pitfalls of traffic purchases include a potential loss of organic search visitors due to de-ranking over violations of search engine terms prohibiting paid link services. Likewise, the value of leveraging fake social media profiles to drive Likes, Tweets and blog posts is overstated at best and downright counterproductive at worse — with telltale blocks of identical “friends” appearing on countless sites and devaluing their worth. Automated search queries designed to determine a site’s ranking is also frowned upon by some search engines, which won’t be shy about penalizing sites for using such tools.

There are other problem areas arising from a lack of knowledge and testing of your actual results, with the major takeaway being that traffic buying can be profitable if you obtain the right visitor mix and you know what you can afford to pay for each new user. Start small and increase your spends only when it makes financial sense to do so, based on your measured ROI, and be sure to rely on your own stats and analytics to determine where visitors are coming from and what they’re doing on your site when they get there.

If you play your cards right, buying traffic won’t be a fast way to lose money.

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