Unexpected Traffic

I woke up this morning to find a nice little surprise waiting for me in my Google Analytics account:

Fake Name Generator Visitors

Woah! Where did all that traffic come from? After looking at the referrers, I discovered that the Fake Name Generator was featured on Existenz.se (sort of a Swedish version of I Am Bored, I think..).

So how much money did those extra 20,000 visitors earn me? $0.

The thing is, people that visit the big “look at this” sites (Reddit, Digg, Slashdot, StumbleUpon, etc etc) don’t click ads. Based on my stats in Google AdSense and ValueClick, a surprisingly large number of them don’t even see the ads. I don’t hold this against them though. I use AdBlock and on the few sites that have ads that aren’t automatically blocked, I am rarely tempted to click an ad.

So why bother getting your site listed on Digg or Existenz? One word: backlinks! A backlink is a link to your site from somebody else’s. Getting listed on a big site like Existenz comes with several backlink advantages:

  1. News sites tend to be ranked high in search engines. When they link to you, they share some of that ranking love with your site.
  2. Bloggers blog about things from the news sites. With a little luck, you’ll get dozens of links from all sorts of blogs with all sorts of keywords. This can be a major boost to your search engine rankings.
  3. News sites tend to “steal” content from reach other. This means that if you get on Digg, there is a good chance you’ll get on another site (like StumbleUpon) in the near future. This is great because you’ll get more of #2.

These backlinks are where the money comes from. People that find your site through someone else’s blog are likely to click ads. People that find your site through your newly improved search engine listings are likely to click ads.

So get your site on social media sites. Submit it to StumbleUpon, ask some friends to blog about it, and make some money!

One comment

  1. I so hear you there! When I got a traffic spike when my blog was featured on MSN.com I earned $0 from it. No one bought anything from my affiliates, no one clicked on ads, nothing. Traffic is nice when, but money is even nicer!

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