How To Catch Blog Scams & Traffic Cheaters
Over the past decade I have seen a lot of scams, I had one client who made $4M a month and had signed up for so many blogging scams that I covered my whole first years contract fee ($80k) by finding them out through using Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.
How Exactly Do These Bloggers Scam People?
The most common way is to publish a major blog, such as a blog about fitness & health, that is filled with cheap content done by India or some other cheap source. It looks legit because it has hundreds or thousands of pages in it filled with content relating to health and fitness and the blog owner has either told you or show you how much traffic they get as a means to ‘sell’ you on advertising with them.
Some of these blogs are legitimate and worthwhile but most do not pan out.
The idea for the blog is to make money through advertisers. So the blog goes to fitness professionals, gyms and other health related big brand names, hoping to get these companies and individuals to pay for Ad space in their blog.
What You Need To Request From These Bloggers Before Advertising With Them
- A live in-person showing of, or access to their Google Analytics account for a day (Screenshots can be faked)
- A live in-person showing of, or access to their Google Webmaster account for a day (Screenshots can be faked)
Realistic Blog Advertising Statistics
What can you expect from advertising in someone else’s blog? Below are some industry average numbers (rule of thumb)…
- Average Case = 1/1000 (Clicks/Impressions) – This means that for every ‘page view/session’ on the blog, you can expect 1 click
- Worst Case = 1/100 (Leads & Sales/Clicks) – This means that for every 100 clicks to your site, you can expect 1 sale or lead.
- Best Case = 5/100 (Leads & Sales/Clicks) – This means that for every 100 clicks to your site, you can expect 5 sales or leads.
Do the math, if someone tells you their blog gets 20,000 visitors a month, you can expect 20 clicks, at at best, 1 sale/lead.
Actual numbers depend on the type of blog, the industry, how educational the blog is and where the ad placement spots are. This is to give you a general idea, in case someone tries to sell you $500/month on Ad space for a blog that gets 2500 visitors per month.
Real Blog Scam Case Study
The inspiration for this article came from a client of mine who had someone sell him Ad space on a new (1.5month old) financial blog, boasting 2600 visitors a month and over 900 pages indexed by Google in that time. My client is two months into this already, so $1000 has been spent on advertising in the blog for 16 total clicks to my clients website. The numbers seemed too far above average to be true at all. I love busting cheaters, so it got my feathers completely ruffled. I dug deeper.
- I ran a keyword report and found the blog ranked for 9 keywords, which is nothing for 900+ pages
- Over 90% of the site Google wasn’t even listing/indexing
- He claimed 2600 visitors per month and Google analytics said 2600 visitors but Google Webmaster tools showed no search queries (means Google is telling us that his website is not getting any traffic from the Google search engine)
That’s odd. If he got 2600 visitors per month but none of it was from Google, where is it coming from? I checked Google analytics and it showed that 91% of the traffic was coming from an unknown source and going straight to the homepage, which I knew from experience meant he was buying traffic directly to his homepage in order to make it look like he was actually getting traffic, in order to be dishonest to get my client as a paid advertiser.
If he was even remotely intelligent about it, he would have not used ‘www.fiverr.com’ to get the traffic and instead used a premium fake traffic generation company that sends traffic to all the pages in the website to make it look legit with real IP addresses instead of an ‘unknown source’. Fool!
Even if this scammer had been generating intelligent fake traffic and fooled some professional company marketing managers or business owners…. you can always double check by making them show you the Google Webmaster Tools account, and looking at the ‘search queries’ & ‘indexed pages’ sections.
What His Webmaster & Analytics Traffic Looks Like
Below are some screenshots of what real traffic looks like and what his fake traffic looks like so you get an idea. I don’t have more time to make it fancier on the page, but you get the idea. I don’t want you to get cheated, and neither do you.
Spotting a Fake Traffic Buyer
One of the easiest ways to spot a fake traffic buyer is to look at the homepage traffic. Natural homepage traffic is usually about 35% of the total traffic to a website, here 91% of the blog scammers traffic is to the homepage, which indicates a cheap paid robot program for like $5.00 for a two week ’80 visitors a day’ service.
Intelligent programs will deliver traffic that looks real, but that can be discovered by looking again and Google Webmaster Tools to verify real rankings.