It never ceases to amaze me, how people fall for the cheap advertising offered in forums and on various spammy-domains, so what I am going to write is based not only on mine, but also on experience of my friends and partners. The common misconception is that paying $5 for 10,000 will result in great sales, your $5 will pay out thanks to Adsense clicks, CJ sales and other conversions. However, this type of traffic will never convert and this is why:
*** PTC advertising (Paid to Click, or paid to surf). This is often advertised as the “best” traffic solution since there will be real people surfing your website and viewing your content. These guys and girls are paid to visit your website and stay there for a minimum of 30 seconds. The pay off depend of the network dealing with this type of traffic accumulation but the average payout is 0.01 USD. So we do a little math, with 0.01 USD per 30 seconds, we are paid 1,2 USD in an hour. Assuming we won’t be able to do the surfing non-stop and we have pauses checking the emails, loading the website, and so on — we come down to an average rate of 1$ per hour. That’s like 7-10 times LESS than a regular low paying job of any type, even serving cheeseburgers in MacDonnald’s will bring you 8 times more green.
So we obviously deal with people who are more likely to be poor, than rich. Or they are more likely to be from less-developed countries, where $1 per hour would be a high payout. Either way, now think: would this type of traffic actually BUY your product? They are paid $1 per hour, they need to sit by the computer the entire working day just to make $7-$8, will they really spend $50, buying your anti-virus program, ordering your T-Shirts or subscribing to your premium, over-priced email marketing solution? Of course they never will. The only thing PTC traffic can do is click on Adsense ads, and yet again in only one condition, if the ads happen to be related to “Make money online” opportunities, but here comes a surprise, PTC traffic is against Adsense Policies and whoever tells you otherwise, simply leads you astray or didn’t do his homework.
Advertising your site in PTC program is against Google Adsense Terms. Period.
If you came up with this groundbreaking idea of paying a few bucks that will convert to hundreds of dollars — you are at high risk of losing your account. So many people tried it before, the clock didn’t tick long.
*** Traffic from Expired Domains. While this is somewhat better than all the other sources, and apparently is Adsense safe, people close the window before the page even had a chance to load, this is what happens when you looked for a particular domain, realized you landed on the wrong page and you close the window. Not all expired domain traffic are of a high quality though, some simply redirect traffic from PTC, which bypasses the Adsense barrier, but results in less than 0.0001% response rate. Buying traffic from expired domains will be much more expensive, but often has no guarantees or desired effect.
*** Pop ups and Pop unders. Buying the cheapest type of traffic, that is popups, popunders, and the likes is a bad idea either. You can’t have adsense inside a newly generated window — so this type of traffic won’t be useful for monetizing PPC programs. Most people close the popup window, or a popunder, as soon as they notice it, without even looking inside because they KNOW it’s an annoying advert. The only thing this type of traffic can do it bring your Alexa down, but once again, it takes years of steady traffic to achieve the desired Alexa effect so you will need to purchase so many thousands of hits every month to keep the Alexa bar happy and the question is — won’t you find a better use for your hard cash?
*** iFrame Traffic method. This is the least legitimate, black-hat method used by people who want to sell advertising space, of the domain itself, based on traffic rate. Unlike the other methods listed above, in the iFrame case, the person never gets to see the site, they browse something else and small, 1 pixel frame is loaded with your website URl, making your server think that someone paid a visit. If you are buying a domain with high traffic or paying for advertising on a site with millions of hits, always ask to see the full stats and get a general idea of visit length, traffic source and how steady was this traffic over the time.
*** Bot traffic. Similar to iFrame traffic, no human eyes get to see your website, bots are directed to visit your website which gets you nothing beside Awstats hits, and its up to you how maliciously you are going to use these stats further.
Needless to add that the 2 last methods mentioned here can result in penalties from Search Engines, not to mention PPC advertising agencies such as Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher, Bidvertiser, and others. This post was not meant to crash anyone’s business and many businessmen who run traffic-generating websites may object and say I was wrong. I don’t think I am nor I say that buying traffic is bad, it just doesn’t lead you anywhere.