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Scamming the system: buying web traffic

An investigation by The Pew Research Center found that Facebook has become a player in the news industry as the popular social media site is driving an increasing amount of traffic to news web sites.
An investigation by The Pew Research Center found that Facebook has become a player in the news industry as the popular social media site is driving an increasing amount of traffic to news web sites.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A growing number of websites out there are offering to sell views to any webmaster, YouTube channel, or news organization that will have them. The views are cheap too, selling at as little as $1 per 1,000 views. On websites where content creators are paid per view, these services can seem enticing.

Why waste time spamming your friends and family through email, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler when you can purchase views without ever talking to anyone? Wouldn’t the public seeing your increasing views make them want to check you out?

Well, the problem is that scamming the system is against the rules. Most pay per click websites have terms of use agreements that strictly forbid the buying of views, because they fear that the paid for views are made by robots or disinterested people who won’t continue into their site.

A website called Virool claims to promote YouTube videos to real people. They start by asking for your email. If you change your mind they can email you then.

Another site called Max Visits lets you actually just fill out one simple form and enter your payment information without ever talking to a real person. The site offers page views for regular websites, videos, adult websites, online shops, and they offer email marketing.

They claim to be able to offer these services by redirecting real people who have searched websites incorrectly to your website.

Yet another site called Traffic Masters claims to be able to boost page views, bring adult traffic, and manipulate the site metrics provided by Alexa. All one needs do is click once, fill out a form, and provide Paypal information.

Jon Morrow a popular real estate blogger has warned against the “sins” of selling links and buying web traffic.
“Getting a link from them is kind of like going to a job interview with a letter of recommendation from a well-known crack dealer,” said Morrow of sketchy Search Engine Optimization firms or SEOs that operate outside the U.S. to spam people into viewing your webpage.

Morrow says he was “blacklisted” by Google for buying views when he first started out. In other words, his blog was completely taken out of Google’s search results.

There is even a question of whether these sites even work, but in the end the point is that bought views are like empty calories: they artificially inflate you and you’ll pay for them later.