One of the great things about the internet is that new creative ways of using it are found every day. Be it emerging technologies geared at improving communication and sharing, creative tactics in increasing site traffic, or new approaches at generating profit, the internet is certainly a happening place that shows no signs of cooling off and I’m glad to be living in the era.
The current popular paradigm is the free-with-advertisements model where web apps and services are free to use, and the advertisements generate the profit. Some people object to targeted advertisements and advertisements in general but I personally accept and encourage both – ultimately something’s got to pay for the app or service and if it’s going to be the advertisements, I’d certainly rather see something that I’m likely to be interested in.
This leads to the simple relation between site traffic and profit: the more voluminous the site traffic, the greater the profit! The real trick lies in generating site traffic. We have passive SEO, which increases the chance of a site being discovered when relevant topics are queried in the search engine. SEO is important but it’s not the only way of increasing traffic and I classify it as passive because it really is a passive approach; it depends on the user actively seeking said relevant topics.
To truly boost site traffic, SEO should be complemented with active approaches; a few include media sharing, paid advertisement, and incentive through rewards. Active approaches flaunt the site in its target market’s atmosphere, increasing branding recognition and glamorizing the site through image. After all, behavioural studies show that users generally prefer a recognized brand over the unknown. A well promoted site will have users flocking towards it with a high likelihood of repeat visits.
Now with the formalities done, I introduce the guest of honour, this sneaky approach at generating site traffic which you have patiently awaited. An active social engineering approach that I have observed on Youtube recently but likely used elsewhere as well, it’s dirty but effective.
The scenario: you receive a comment on some e-media that you have shared, be it a Youtube video, a blog entry, etc. It turns out to be a rather personally insulting remark, a false accusation of infidelity, or something else vile in nature. Annoying but perhaps you’ll simply remove it the first time, it’s just some miserable individual with poor netiquette. But then, the offender strikes again with yet another inappropriate remark. This time you want to know who the hell the douche is and you click on the poster’s name, which is conveniently linked to some profile. You decide that you certainly do not know this person, that it’s just some douche out trolling, and again dismiss it as not being worth your time. Time passes, and again the douche returns. This time, its open war and you make your way to poster’s profile with a few choice words of your own in mind.
Now let me expose the secret, let me explain why these unsavoury strangers would go out of his way to harass you. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Regardless of the reason that you visit their sites, you’re still visiting their sites. Their advertisements are displayed, they make some money. The more that they harass people, the more that they increase their site traffic. They’re earning cash on your time and you don’t even realize it! Effing brilliant if I may say so. Totally sneaky, but brilliant.
So now that you’re aware of the ruse, now that you know that the best way to deal with these people is to not give them your business by visiting their sites, the best thing to do is to raise awareness. Be nice, pass this around :)