I’ll follow this up once all of the statistics are in and I’ve looked over everything objectively, but here’s a quick teaser on how I’ve been getting 200-300 new visitors to this blog EVERY DAY for the last 10 days. And why I probably won’t be doing it again!
Shortly after I first started out in my own business (2003!) I discovered the “power” of popups and expired domain redirects (I’ll explain in a minute) to increase website traffic. At the time monitoring traffic was very basic, so I just took the traffic and accepted it.
It appeared good and for a short time I was a reseller of the expired domain traffic. I advertised it on a stand alone traffic website and bought it wholesale from another seller. Complications with payment, more to the point a quick succession of failed payments, tied with difficulties of advertising what I was reselling cheaply enough to make a profit meant that I eventually dropped the product.
But then a few weeks ago I stumbled across on offer of free traffic, which was in return for writing a quick post and mentioning the company I could get a free 10,000 visitor campaign.
What is Expired Domain Traffic?
Simple. If you own a website and then don’t renew the URL, what happens to the people trying to find the website? Although the search engines should drop the listing between you not renewing it and someone getting to buy the URL, there will be bookmarks, links in forums & blogs etc.
So people are trying to visit this website, but finding it no longer exists. What happens if then someone buys the URL and redirects the traffic to another, similar, website?
That’s the theory. It should be highly targeted traffic looking for specific information to read. What could be better?
For the first week Google Analytics was reporting just over 200 sessions a day to my site and the last couple of days around 300 new sessions.
But, is that real traffic? Does it have a benefit to my website? How do I measure it?
Well, during the campaign I’ve not had any increase in Twitter followers nor new subscribers to the newsletter that I would attribute to this traffic. I have seen new followers (and I sincerely thank you guys and welcome you to my site!), but concentrated around the day when a guest post was published on Mostly Blogging.
How about actual page views? I’ve typically seen page views from this traffic running around 110%-115% of number of sessions. It would appear at first glance that 10-15% of visitors are viewing a second page, or various combinations of maths around that.
However, that’s just the headline rate. When I looked at what pages have been viewed and their hit count, every single page view is of the home page. Instead it looks like 10%-15% of sessions are refreshing the home screen, which looks strange.
As I’ve said the campaign is still running, but I’ve noticed that the number of visitors through this source that are using Internet Explorer is over 90%. This to me isn’t “normal”. It’s a long time since IE was that dominant. These days IE is lucky to be around 40% of users.
It could be that there’s a problem with their software that means there are a lot of redirects going on and it’s only possible to do this with IE. Maybe.
However, the campaign to date has been 100% desktop. I usually expect 70% desktop and the remainder (see my earlier post The Importance Of going Mobile for a breakdown).
So the supporting figures are very strange.
It’s Not Finished Yet
The campaign isn’t over yet. It’s still got a bit of time to go and once it does complete I’ll analyse it fully and see which sources seem to have done what. However, the biggest problem is that the traffic providers can never provide example links etc to look at, so you can’t test for yourself that it’s doing what it says.
I’ll come back once I have had chance to analyse it fully, but later this week I need to go back to my little experiment with Article Directories as the traffic from those articles has now dropped to a background level so I can say what’s happened there with confidence.
If you want to make sure that you don’t miss the follow up of the full traffic analysis or want to read about my traffic generation through article directories, follow me on Twitter or sign up to the newsletter.
Or why not really make my day and Stumble this page!