Social Or Google Traffic? Where’s The Money?

November 18, 2008

Does social traffic, or Google traffic bring more paying customers to your blog, or website? Some “gurus” argue that plenty of targeted Google traffic, is the only way to make money online. And others say that social traffic is essential, if you want to build a successful online business. So who is right?

Some Google Traffic, Or Social Traffic Promoters Have a Hidden Agenda

When you’re considering whether Google traffic, or social traffic will bring more buyers to your blog, it’s important to remember that some folk will insist one is better than the other because they want to sell you something.

For example, a lot of folk who argue that Google traffic is the only way to go, are usually promoting expensive linking schemes, or some overpriced product.

And some of the people who try to convince everyone that social traffic is all that matters, will charge you $300 per hour to teach you how to use Twitter.

Neither Social Or Google Traffic Will Work If You Don’t Target The Right Customers

In order to get traffic which converts to sales, you need to target folk who want what you are selling. So, if you sell a video on breeding tropical fish and Google is sending you heaps of traffic for “exotic dancing classes, you’re not going to have much luck.

And the same is true of social network sites. If you sell vacations for the 50 plus generation and the average age of folk you’ve friended is 20 something, you’re probably not going to make many sales.

If You Rely On Either Social or Google Traffic You Risk Breaking All Your Eggs

If you rely on getting traffic from one particular source, you’re putting yourself at a huge risk. Your traffic source could dry up if you’re dropped from Google’s front page for many of your keywords. And a social network could ban you, close down, or become unpopular at any time.

So, it’s far smarter to choose a handful of different ways to get traffic and learn how to use them properly.

Wherever You Get Your Traffic From - Learn How To Do It Properly

If you’re getting a heap of irrelevant Google traffic to your site, you need to invest some time in learning about Search Engine Optimization. Also, you need to stop participating in memes. I get a lot of traffic to this blog, by using search engine optimization. And if you want to learn how to do it properly, I highly recommend SEO School.

And social networks can be complicated to use at first. So it really pays to learn how to use them properly from the outset. I’ve found StumbleUpon to be the best social networking site for getting heaps of traffic. And a decent percentage of StumbleUpon users do come back to your blog, if they like it.

Are you getting targeted traffic to your blog or website? Or do you attract folk who are looking for all kinds of weird and wonderful things?

Related Reading

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Blog Marketing: 47 Brilliant Resources To Drive Traffic To Your Blog
The Recipe: 26 Practical Resources For Starting An Online Business

Is StumbleUpon Going Down The Tubes?

May 11, 2008

This week, StumbleUpon emailed me to say I was banned. This doesn’t come as too much of a shock, as I’ve been getting quite a bit of hassle and vulgar reviews since I wrote this post about the StumbleUpon Freaks.

I don’t think it was the actually post that annoyed the folk who like to call themselves StumbleUpon’s anti-spam group. It had more to do with a commenter pointing out that many of the so called anti-spammers are black hat SEO’ers who deliberately thumb down several posts in a row, as this helps their own trashy sites to get Stumbled more often.

It seemed that he was right. Soon the post was given several thumbs up reviews, all at the same time, same pictures. Straight afterwards, a guy who goes by the name of The Bozz commented on here that I had stumbled my own posts using a bot. Now those of you who visit this blog regularly will have gathered that I don’t have the technical knowledge, or the need to vote my own posts using a bot.

I believe it was the blackhat SEO - so called anti-spammers who got me banned and they probably did other things aside from the above. And I think The Bozz is one of them. Here’s why:

1) The Bozz’s comment appeared on this blog straight after the bot votes appeared on my post. Could that really be a coincidence?

2) The avatars on most of the thumbs down votes were plain ugly. If you’ve ever Stumbled upon a black hat SEO forum before, you’ll know what I mean.

3) Most of the negative comments I received from these assholes not only used the same vile and offensive language, but it was obvious that some were written by the same person. It makes you wonder how many profiles some of these idiots have.

4) I checked through a few of their profiles and in between all their thumb down votes are votes for Adsense littered crap and articles of an offensive nature.

5) A couple of days later, the Bozz thanked the moderators from removing all the spam from his profile. Now, I never even responded to any of the crap left on my post or profile, so I’m guessing the same bot was used to generate the spam on his profile - probably by himself.

I doubt whether I’ll appeal against the StumbleUpon ban, although I may send them a copy of this post. Here’s why:

1) I flagged the bot votes and the offensive comments on my profile and post immediately. SU deleted the bot comments pretty quickly, but not so all the filth that was left on there. I am not R rated on StumbleUpon and these comments had the potential to offend a lot of people.

2) The Bozz claimed to have had spam deleted by moderators pretty quickly. Since when did moderators on SU react that fast to anything? So I’m guessing that one of the anti-spam black hat SEO’ers must be a moderator on StumbleUpon. If this is the case, it won’t be long before SU becomes littered with the crap that most of us want to see banished from the Internet.

Now, StumbleUpon didn’t give me a reason for the ban, so I can only guess as to what else The Bozz and his asshole friends, have been up to. This is what StumbleUpon said:

“The most common cause for account suspension is a contravention of the clauses which forbid the use of personal accounts for the promotion of a business, product or service, and also with regard to the sending of ’spam’ messages to other members.”

Well, I haven’t used StumbleUpon to promote a business product or service, nor have I sent spam messages to any other members. But if it’s possible for the StumbleUpon Freaks to use a bot to generate false votes, I’m guessing they can probably generate spam messages too.

They also said I can appeal but: “be aware that we will only have imposed the suspension if we believe it to be warranted.”

To be honest, I’m not sure whether I’m going to appeal. I wasn’t using StumbleUpon all that much before the ban, as I simply wasn’t getting time. Also, the quality of stumbles was deteriorating fast.

Do you use StumbleUpon, or do you use it less now than you used to? Do you believe the quality of Stumbles has deteriorated? What do you think will happen to StumbleUpon if it continues to be dominated by the so called anti-spam group?

*Comments from the assholes mentioned above will be put in the spam folder. You may have been able to litter my StumbleUpon profile with your filth but you’re not welcome on my blog.

Are You Sick of The StumbleUpon Freaks?

April 1, 2008

Image by Karol M
StumbleUpon Stalkers

If you use StumbleUpon, I don’t need to tell you that it’s a great resource for networking. You get to meet new people with the same interests and share great articles, photos etc with them. It’s also great for marketing your blog or website. If you write something great, many of your friends are liable to Stumble your post and drive traffic to your blog.

But, there’s also a dark side to StumbleUpon. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but some people don’t seem to like the fact that Internet marketers and bloggers use StumbleUpon. Some of these tossers deliberately thumb down posts we vote on and give them awful reviews. And lately I’ve noticed that it isn’t always done on a random basis either.

For example - a few days ago, I noticed one Stumbler had deliberately followed my stumbles and given the thumbs down to several posts in a row that I’d voted or reviewed. And I’m beginning to wonder if these StumbleUpon freaks are a new type of stalker.

Now they don’t always give the thumbs down - some of them just don’t vote at all, but leave a mean review. This week, I received this review criticising a picture I’d used in a post (the review at the bottom of the page). The user obviously hadn’t read the post at all and she complained that the person in the picture didn’t look as though they’d hit rock bottom.

Now, I’m not great at choosing pictures to go with my posts, but to me, the picture represented a blogger who’d hit rock bottom because they were so desperate to blog that they sat on the street to do it. What did the critic want me to publish? Someone lying on the street in their own vomit with a syringe stuck in their arm?

I just don’t understand the mentality of these people. We’re not there to spoil StumbleUpon. Most of us vote on topics that include self improvement, business and Internet marketing and we also vote on a whole heap of non-business related topics that interest us too.

Fair enough, we may get a bit of traffic from StumbleUpon, but we’re also there to share information and network too.

So how does that make us any different from other folks using StumbleUpon and what right do these StumbleUpon Freak’s have to stalk and harrass us? We may not like all the posts they enjoy either but, we don’t follow them round and accuse them of spamming, or deliberately give bad reviews on the posts they like.

Have you suffered attacks from some of these StumbleUpon Freaks? Did you confront the stalker, or just ignore them in the hope that they’d go away? Or are you one of the StumbleUpon stalkers I mentioned? If so, what is your justification for doing this and why does our presence on StumbleUpon bother you so much?

* The hate comments and abuse by spammers have been deleted and no further comments can be allowed on this post. If you care to read the comments, Frank gives a pretty good insight into how these spammers work.

3 StumbleUpon Mistakes To Avoid

February 16, 2008

Do you use social networking in your business? Recently I began using StumbleUpon - a great social networking site, which allows users to network and share great content they’ve discovered. And I’ve benefited from a huge increase in website traffic from StumbleUpon. But, I’ve also made some newbie mistakes, and here’s three you should try to avoid:

Stumbling Too Much:
StumbleUpon is addictive and in my first few days, I stumbled way too many posts. The trouble is, when you stumble too fast, you bury all the posts you’ve just stumbled. And the post authors miss out on the benefits of being stumbled, as nobody gets to see their posts.

Accidentally Deleting Votes:
You can vote the profiles of other stumblers. But, it’s hard to keep track of which friends you’ve voted as the pics keep moving. And if you click to vote someone you’ve already voted, it removes your original vote. So, if I voted you, and the vote has gone, I’m sorry.

Stumbling The Same Site Frequently Can Get You Banned:
One of my readers also joined StumbleUpon. The trouble was, he tried to cheat and paid someone to stumble his blog pages. He also decided to stumble a heap of my pages in a row. And this was bad news for me, as someone marked one of the pages he’d voted as spam.

Now, StumbleUpon can actually ban the voter and the recipient if you vote the pages of a website too many times. So, I was pissed off, as I don’t want to be banned because someone else has decided to abuse the system. And I’ve emailed StumbleUpon to explain those stumbles had nothing to do with me, so I’ll just have to hope I don’t get banned.

Check Out These Great Stumble Upon Resources To Avoid Making Your Own StumbleUpon Mistakes

Skellie Explains how StumbleUpon Works in This Great Article.
Maki at Dosh Dosh Explains Five Ways To Grow Your StumbleUpon network.
Caroline Middlebrook Shows How the StumbleUpon Voting System Works.
Copyblogger Explains How to Write High Impact Content For StumbleUpon.
RobDogg Shows What Happens When Penguins Spam StumbleUpon
Terence Chang has some great info on StumbleUpon and how to avoid getting banned.

Do you use StumbleUpon? What StumbleUpon Mistakes have you made? And have you got any great StumbleUpon tips or advice to share?

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