I am sure we are all familiar with the term “If it’s too good to be true…it probably is.” in the world of the internet this is usually the case. I am sure that you have all seen ads or e-mails that claim to get you thousands of hits a day. The internet seems to be full of these companies that are promising large amounts of traffic at a fraction of the cost of normal PPC, but is it really worth it?
What these companies do really depends on the method they use to get traffic. Some use browser tool bars, some use spyware programs, some use instant messenger, and some even use viruses. Have you ever seen a “free toolbar” or some other “free tool” that you install on your computer? That’s them and they are everywhere. Of course not all of these tools are bad but how are you supposed to know which ones are and are not spyware, its simply not possible in most cases. Because of this fact these programs spread across the internet and get hundreds of thousands of users.
The problem is that these users may not actually be visiting your site at all. Once again it falls to the method of choice for the traffic company but it could be pop-up ads, pop-under ads, or even bot traffic. What this means is that if you sign up for a traffic program, your page may now have become spam. Your website would be popping up on thousands of desktops world wide to people who could not care less about your products. With bot traffic, it’s even worse in that the user may not even know they went to a website at all. Their computer automatically visits the site for them, with out them ever knowing.
You can see why these paid traffic companies are often a bad idea, and why you should avoid them. The traffic is so cheap that many only need one sale to cover the cost, but so is its quality.
If you really want quality traffic that converts, the only way is to stick to what works. Stick to reputable companies with proven track records and always research a company before you enter into a contract with them. A simple internet search could save you hundreds of dollars and your reputation. It may take more time and cost a little more, but it’s better than the alternatives.
I can’t remember the last time I reached for an actual yellow pages phone book. Can you? It is typically not for lack of possession. Most households’ receive updated versions at least once or twice a year, although a steadily increasing percentage probably toss them in the trash upon delivery. I think it is in part because most feel a much better experience will occur if a search is done online.
Each of the major search engines today offers a Local Search section on their site, which caters to businesses or stores that have a physical address, as opposed to solely having a web presence. In addition, there are platforms exclusively dedicated to mapping and /or aerial views versus text based directions. Inevitably, all cell phones will be equipped with Mobile Search capabilities, as well. This will provide for a more a visual dimension to streets and landmarks, than you would ever get in a traditional sponsored ad. Just to name a few of the listings currently available: www.yellowpages.com, www.superpages.com, www.anywho.com and many more.
Bill Gates predicts the end of Yellow Pages, according to a May 2007 article from WebProNews and it is difficult to disagree with his logic. If you are a business with an actual location, Local Search is a cost effective solution to help develop and maintain an online identity in the marketplace.
Visiting my parents always opens my eyes to how other generations use the Internet. My parents, being in their 70’s, take pride in being able to do their own research via the search engines — so much pride they always show me their amazing findings and superb deals!
We gathered around their computer the other day as my father typed “european vacations” in the Google search bar. In the sponsored section, my father found his favorite site for booking vacations. But before he clicked their ad, he noticed underneath the paid ads (he now knows sponsored = paid) read “4 results stored on your computer”. So my father decides to click that instead and my mother’s mouth immediately dropped open as it led them to a document that was previously stored on their computer due to my mother’s own personal research.
“Why did Google find my documents?” I saw the Google Desktop Icon next to those results and soon realized that my parents must have installed Google Desktop with one of their last program updates. I briefly explained what Google Desktop is and my mother became very nervous, thinking that anyone online searching for “european vacation” would have access to the documents on her computer. And, she continued questioning the fact that if Google had access to documents, would they also have access to her credit card numbers because she does a lot of online shopping? Before I could respond, my parents already had me searching for the program to uninstall it, to be reassured they didn’t have spies in their computer.
Google desktop allows you to search your computer just as easily as you would search the web. It’s a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, files, music, photos, chats, Gmail, and web pages that you’ve viewed. To read about Google Desktop, you can visit http://desktop.google.com/features.html
Google states “Your Google Desktop index and copies of your files are currently stored only on your computer. The content is not shared with Google or anyone else without your explicit permission.”
What are they going to come up with next?