If you have a website and are a new webmaster you’ve probably received a comment that reads something like: “I have found the best kept secret in internet traffic and I want to share it with you. Go here…” and the comment then shares a website address.
Let me be very clear—this solicitation is bogus. Maybe I’m prejudiced because I’ve personally seen how quickly after a new site is launched these solicitations start showing up. It’s true that the solicitation came through a comment form on a site and that a real person may have created the comment—unless you don’t have a way to stop robots from sending you this type of spam (but that’s another story). In this particular case, the “referrals” were to a company using the domain name “gmbal.com.” Interestingly enough, the owner’s information for that domain is protected by the Whoisguard service (a legitimate spam prevention service). What I find ironic is that the spammers are using an anti-spam service to protect themselves from what? Other spammers?
So, here are a few simple scam tips to avoid becoming a victim of anyone offering to bring you “tons” of internet traffic.
- Never click on the link in one of these emails. You might wind up on a page that will download malware or a virus. If you want to use a pay-per-click (PPC) service, get a reference from someone you trust. (Check last week’s post about Facebook scammers if you think all of your “friends” can be trusted.
- The only way you’ll get traffic on your site is by improving your position in the search engines through proper page optimization or by using a legitimate promotion service. Hint: Google offers plenty of promotions for new accounts, so there’s a good chance you can see how well you’ll fare with a pay per click program on the cheap. Just remember, PPC programs are not good for all types of businesses.
- Even legitimate pay-per-click programs only work with specific key words. This means that if the keyword you’re paying for is “audiologist” and someone searches for “hearing aid” they won’t find you. You have to know exactly what your keywords are and pay for every one of them to make this type of advertising effective.