Suspect Traffic Sources

I spend a lot of money buying traffic online and I have worked with dozens of companies online that sell traffic over the last decade.  So when I came across this article “The Six Companies Fueling an Online Ad Crisis: Suspect Traffic Vendors“, you can bet that it piqued my curiousity.

In fact, this article was written just a little over a month ago from the writing of this blog post.

Take a few minutes to read the article and let me know what you think.

shockDon’t be shocked.  There are hundreds of companies selling bogus traffic every single day.

Some of the fake bot traffic sold these days is so sophisticated that they can mimic real human traffic (i.e. fake a click or even fill in a short form), making it more difficult to figure out which visitors are real and which ones are not.

Here is my take on the six companies listed in the article.

AdOn Network: I have had an account with AdOn Network for the last 7-8 years and I can agree that over the years the quality of traffic has considerably declined.

In fact, they have so much bot traffic, you can easily blow through a lot of money if you don’t know what traffic partners to block before you start an ad campaign.

To make matters worse, for some bizarre reason, a few months ago they stopped giving advertisers the ability to block poor performing partners.

Adknowledge: I am not to sure I agree with the article with regards to Adknowledge. I have had some decent results with some ad campaigns, but the key to making it work with Adknowledge is to have your conversion pixel placed on all your campaigns so your dedicated account manager can optimize your campaign for you.

Without placing their conversion pixel, it may be next to impossible to make their traffic profitable because they do have some suspect traffic partners.

eZanga: Horrible traffic results when I used them years ago and I have never gone back.

Jema Media: Just bought over 600+ clicks a few days ago for a little less than $10. Not a single conversions. I won’t be using these guys again. I shouldt have thought twice when I saw them offering $0.004 pay per clicks. You are generally not going to get good quality traffic for less than a penny.

MGID: I have never used this source so I can’t really comment.

BlueLink Marketing: I have never used this source so I can’t really comment.

Now the reality is that a lot of these companies are just traffic aggregators and some of them are proactive in removing bad partners and crediting back advertiser accounts (i.e 7Search, Bid4Keywords), but ultimately you will get bogus publishers within these network sending bad traffic.  What frustrates me is when companies don’t take action against these publishers or have sophisticated click fraud technology to weed these partners out.

So how do these companies stay in business?  It is a combination of new advertisers joining their platform and sophisticated marketers who can take advantage of this fake traffic (I am not going to get into that as it will open up an entirely different can of worms).

The reality is that although you may hate to pay premium prices for traffic on platforms like Google, Bing or Facebook, at least you can have comfort knowing that their traffic is real and can convert extremely well.

If any company is advertising premium traffic for a penny per click…. think twice.

What are your thoughts?  Can you share your experience with other suspect traffic sources?

Please comment below.

Gauher Chaudhry

34 comments

  1. pradeep

    What about 7serach,it seems they send only junk traffic?

  2. Hi Pradeep, all my campaigns are profitable on 7search. 7search does have suspect traffic partners that you can easily block using their blocking feature in their “tools” section on campaign basis or account wide.

    Gauher

  3. Jon

    I have had this experience too, from cheap traffic.
    A ton of fake clicks were sent and it was clearly bots because these bots would click on weird things like images and places where people very rarely click, according to my stats.

    This was with Exoclick, but I am not saying Exoclick is bad. Many people do well with it. I suppose you have to know how to target only the best sites, and that is an essential skill.

  4. Tim Cronin

    Gauher- I (stupidly, perhaps) didn’t buy into your CPA program last year, but last week decided to give Adrian Morrison’s Mass Traffic X program a try. I guess I thought that by attaching the tracking pixel as per the instructions and placing the ad on the CPV network recommended, then I could monitor my ad(s) to tweek where the best traffic is coming from, and then scale up. I plan on setting up my first campaign soon, but I’m not sure that I’ll be using any of the suspect paid traffic sources you mention in your post here. Thanx for the heads up. I always look forward to your expertise.

    -1
  5. Tim should have bought from you Gauher.

  6. Thanks for the advice.I am planning to start with paids traffic ,and 7search is one platform i want to do it with.

    Thanks
    Winchel

  7. Bob

    Gauher, thanks for the heads up on dodgy traffic sources. Regarding 7search, l can never get their traffic to convert. Recently ran two campaigns with about 400 clicks on each, and not I conversion. When checking where the traffic was coming from, it was mostly from sites offering a similar service for free, that l was trying to sell!! Maybe that’s the reason.

    Do you think when creating your campaign, that the campaign category is important?

    Thanks
    Bob

  8. Adrian Morrison eh … good luck bro!!!

    -1
  9. Bob

    So true. Actually, 7search are always running promos. Last time I used them, I got $50 if I deposited $100. I think their platform is really good. Unfortunately you need to be really good at optimising your campaigns, even with blocking some of their partner affiliate Id’s. I’ve had some success with them, but I think it depends on the niche

  10. Ketth

    I used eZanga a few years ago and the results were pretty abysmal, and this was with a proven landing page and keywords. I wasted several hundred dollars “testing” their traffic. This brings up a point, every time you go to a trade show (Aff Summit, Ad Tech, etc.), every ad rep will hype up the quality of their traffic. Yet almost none of them are willing to give you $100 in free traffic (or at least a matching deposit). They always want you to assume all the financial risk based on their assurances. Whereas if they give me a free credit and I saw good results, I would buy as much traffic as I could get.

    -1
  11. When I do my affiliate marketing, whether its a paid product or CPA, I have always used buysellads.com It is a great banner network of real high traffic sites that you can get really cheap…. like $30 for a month on a site that gets 250,000 real visitors. That is my go to website for traffic.

  12. I’m new to the CPA world. This is, I may say, pretty difficult to differentiate good from bad traffic sources in this wild internet world. Gauher, I think I’m going to purchase your Quantum course. You sound like someone I can trust and learn from. So far I entrusted my website’s marketing with one presumedly large company for the past four months and it’s a pity to see the results. Few thousands of dollars are just running in deep waters. I guess this is what you call bot traffic. I need more knowledge to succeed online, especially when it comes to traffic sources.

  13. Oh man! This is an awesome and potentially explosive topic. Hahaha, Wouldn’t, it be super duper cool if once a month people got together and compared effectiveness of these sources?

    This week I’m doing some, let’s just say experimental, stuff so I’m reviewing all my 2008 traffic places like 7S, findology, ABC (now called advertise), adknowledge (used to be miva right? or maybe it was a bought out) and even AdOn (still got 9 bucks sitting over there).

    And I was on the phone today with Latrice over at 7S to reactive my dormant account. And we laughed when I told “Gauher’s the only one out there says your traffic works.” I’ve made it work too, but with LOTS of experimenting; that’s why I usually advise people not to-unless they’re backed into a corner and ready to do that kind of tracking/filtering/account/management. They DID eventually make some youtube help videos a few years ago so those are mandatory if you’re going to use them (and you did one too on this blog, right G?).

  14. Hi Gauher,

    Yes AdOnNetwork was the reason I stopped doing any PPV since 2010. I told them this is bot traffic and I want my money back before I put any new campaigns with an insider to help avoid bot publishers. They gave me my money and advised me not to use their platform 🙂

    Since you mentioned facebook, I noticed that I am actually getting less clicks than what I pay for, and the refund rate is scary compared with my favorite bing ads.

  15. lorenzo

    AdOn Network… about one years ago. Most of it really smell like fake traffic.

  16. khoren

    thanks for this article.
    is there a good list of networks where we can buy ‘valid’ traffic?

    -1
  17. karl M

    You say all your campaigns in 7 search convert so let me guess, you are the one who know the exact way to make a campaign in 7search to work even though i bet someone like you probably is also making good money with those sources.

  18. Victor

    Gauher is THE authority on CPA marketing. And I can testify that he is honest, honest, honest. Anything he puts out there is tops.
    Adrian Morrison is Anthony M’s little bro…..oh well TIM said it best when he said ‘I should have taken your course’ G.
    Hey Tim, get on board!

  19. Dave: The only reason I started advertising on 7Search is because I was tipped off that someone was spending $150K a month on their traffic. So something was working well.

    Karl: Yes, it comes down to optimizing with their partner block tool, custom bids, and custom headlines/descriptions.

    Victor: Thanks!

  20. 7search is and has always been a great network for me, but only for offers less than $10. I agree with AdOn, its junk, and so is Miva & Pulse360. Any others to be weary of?

  21. Oh, I don’t doubt you Gauher. Like I said I’ve made it work too, but I had get deeeeeep into their systems before I understood how to profit from 7S.

    But the reason I advise people to weigh their options is really about time management and reducing trial and error time and having some success sooner. i.e., would you rather spend 2 hours fooling around with their system doing all the stuff I describe in my comment above or 2 hours doing something like mobile cpa and/or pay per call—methods that are so much easier and profitable.

    I’ll give you and example; back in…I want to say early 2009 I discovered AdOn. I was having a TERRIBLE time with it, but I could see it could work. Just couldn’t figure it out. Around the same time I had found Sponsormob and IMMEDIATELY started making money. But I wanted that AdOn thing to work. So later that year I gave you almost a 1k for ppvf. And I finally understood how to work pop-up traffic. But by that time I was like….100 days in a row profitable on mobile (now I’m like 1200 days in a row). So even though I know HOW to do pop-up traffic and people like Greg D. swear by it, to me it’s “hard money.” So it’s something I only do if I have extra time or want to run a specific experiment.

    (those few words in caps aren’t me being loud, just too lazy to do the html for italicize). Also thanks for heads up on IDX this past week. I’m gonna test them and compare them to my list of remotes.

  22. orestes

    Hi! Gauher,

    Thanks a lot for the info as I wanna start doing CPA marketing and that will help me not
    to make a mistake to waste my hard earned money(which is not much)

    You are one of the few I always hear!

    God bless you!

  23. Just to add one more:

    Bidvertiser is almost complete fake traffic. Doesn’t seem to be more than 5% real clicks.

    Once also I bought some drive-by traffic. That was a mistake, they used Bidvertiser to drive the fake traffic. Not a single conversion. You learn.

  24. Inger

    Thank you Gauher!

  25. luis rojas

    Thank you Gauher
    Every day I learn more from you.

    Luis

  26. Eric

    Thanks a lot for this information Gauher. I think I’ll be looking for a refund from Adon…This confirms what I figured from having a terrible conversion rate…WITH a profitable LI campaign.

  27. I have heard a lot about CPA but have not made a dime out of it.
    My problem is traffic. I would like to have Gauher’s ebook, course or whatever.

    How do I start and where do I get it?

  28. Terry

    Gauher, I have an idea. What if you create a special Forum, better with Membership Fee, for people who need help, advise, who want to discuss and share own experiance, and share Real personal results. It will be very useful especially for Beginners and Newbies ( like me), because in fact nobody want to help and teach beginners in Internet, mostly it is great scam. It will absolutely Great Forum Place and so many people will be happy and appreciated to you.

  29. Terry

    Oh, by the way, Thanks for Article! Great info, will be more careful choosing Ad Network!

  30. Hi Terry,

    I have a special IM forum for my IMstealth.com members already.

    Cheers
    Gauher

  31. As usual, great information. I’m trusting no one else to tell me anything about CPA Marketing and traffic generation!

  32. Mohamed

    Hi there,

    Do you provide Real Human Online Traffic solutions. If so pls do provide the details.
    Thanks

  33. Sorry, we don’t sell traffic.

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