Ineffective and Unethical Web Site Promotion Methods

In this article I discuss some ineffective and/or unethical website promotion tactics. I talk about them here so that you won't waste your time and resources pursuing them.

Spamming

If you're like me, you're sick and tired of receiving hundreds of spam messages in your mailbox every morning, and you would not consider buying anything they had to offer, even if it's something you really wanted.

Needless to say, spammers are not the most decent people in the world, and it comes as no surprise that many of them are also scam artists posing as eBay or PayPal to steal your credit card information. Everday inexperienced and unsuspecting internet users continue to fall prey to unscrupulous characters from the dark corners of cyberspace.

While spamming is not a completely ineffective promotion tactic, I don't recommend it as a way to promote your site at all. Not only is spamming highly intrusive and unethical, but it could also get you into a lot of trouble. Just imagine how many people you'd have to anger to make a sale or to get a visitor to your site. The search engines will ban your site when they find out that you have been spamming. Various laws are now being made to prosecute spammers.

Pop-up/Pop-under Traffic Schemes

Have you seen ads offering "1,000 visitors for $9.95"?

Consider this: many companies are willing to pay up to $10 or more for every visitor Google or Overture sends to their site. Why wouldn't they spend their $10 to get 1,000 visitors from pop-up ad brokers, instead?

Perhaps they're smart enough to realize that the 1,000 "visitors" they would get from having their sites displayed in pop-up and pop-under windows on other sites are worth less than the one legitimate visitor Google or Overture sends them.

While not necessarily unethical, pop-up advertising is no longer as effective as it used to be. Most web surfers find pop-ups annoying and intrusive, and many now use pop-up blockers to avoid them. Even those who don't have blockers installed on their browsers have grown accustomed to instinctively close pop-ups and pop-unders without taking a glance at them.

A pop-up exchange is a program that allows members to show pop-up windows linking to one another's site. As a member of the exchange, your site would display a pop-up linking to another member's site every time someone visits your site. There is usually an exchange ratio involved. A 2:1 exchange ratio means that for every two pop-ups you show on your site, your pop-up would be displayed once on someone else's site.

Pop-up exchanges aren't especially effective for the reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, they are vulnerable to cheaters who use automated means to fraudulently inflate their credits.

Surfing Exchanges

Surfing exchanges are programs where you surf other people's web sites to get others to surf yours.

In start-page exchanges you to set your home page to a special URL on which another member's site will be displayed every time you start your browser. Alternatively, you may simply bookmark the URL and receive credit every time you visit it.

Click exchanges allow you to earn credits by clicking on other people's links. There is usually a 20- or 30-second timer that counts down the required amount of time you must spend on the site. In return your link will be exposed to other members to click on.

Like pop-up exchanges, these schemes will get you traffic just for the sake of getting traffic-- little of it be of any use. Most people who join these programs are more interested in accumulating credits rather than looking through your site. Many run several traffic exchange programs simultaneously (in different windows) to gain credits on multiple programs rather than exploring a site that they're supposed to explore.

Link Farming

A link farm is a website that has little or no original content and is created for the sole purpose of exchanging links with other websites. Like free-for-all (FFA) pages, link farms have nothing but links to other websites. Link farming has flourished in response to the growing emphasis on link popularity for search placement by many search engines.

Never exchange links with a link farm. Many search engines will penalize or even ban your site for linking to link farms. Obviously, you have no control over who links to you, so you cannot be penalized when link farms link to you. But linking back to them is another story.

Free-for-all (FFA) sites allow anyone to post links on their pages. FFA's generally don't require you to link back to them, so listing your site on FFAs will not hurt your rankings. However, link popularity is not so much as about the sheer number of links to your site as it is about the number of quality links to your site. Search engines are smart enough to tell which links are relevant and which aren't. Securing a handful of inbound links from qualified sites will do you more good than having your site listed on a thousand FFAs.

Article by Oudam Em. Oudam is the webmaster of Web Launch, a free resource for web site promotion, search engine optimization (SEO), and affiliate programs. Please visit his site for more free tips and tutorials on optimizing and promoting your site.

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