Beware Link Clicking Schemes & Guaranteed Visitors offers
As a member of the web site optimization and internet marketing profession, I am constantly helping clients avoid scams. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some even make me sick. Their deceptive, manipulative methods are a blight on our profession. Tonight I was on LinkedIn, where I look to answer legitimate questions regarding areas I specialize in. I saw a question entitled
Get 1 Million Real Visitors For Free!
Of course, I knew it for what it was without having to read the “question”, but of course, I love seeing the newest spin on the oldest scams… Here’s what the person who sumbitted it wrote as the details to the “question”:
The operative words here as far as I am concerned are “REAL visitors to your site”.
So just to confirm my intuition, I went to the site listed. Before I did, I made sure my McAfee SiteAdvisor browser tool was operating properly (a great free tool that shows the status of a site you’re visiting on your browser’s status bar – green is safe, yellow is questionable and red is dangerous. In this case, the site was “safe”, but only because they don’t have hidden software ready to automatically download without your knowledge…
And here’s what this site says about “how it works”:
So is this really a scam? Or should I get sued for even putting this up on my blog?
Now why would I slam this guy’s posting at LinkedIn, and why would I label it as a scam, deceptive and manipulative? After all, I have no desire to be slapped with a lawsuit for libel or slander right?
Well let’s consider the posting. It was at LinkedIn, and the category was in the Internet Marketing category. I suppose if there was a category for “Click fraud” or “Shady ways to get millions of visitors that don’t really come to your site for any other reason than to build your traffic statistics”, I wouldn’t have a problem here.
So if all you want is to get people to show up at your web site for 15 seconds then leave, then I suppose you can if you want to. but obviously if you want people who are going to come to your site to buy your products or hire you for your services or read your blog or participate in your social network in an interactive and return-visit way, then the offer is most definitely in my opinion, deceptive and manipulative.
Update: when I saw this question posted and did my research, I felt obligated to supply an “answer”, to help warn potentially unsuspecting small business owners who might see it and out of desperation, think they should participate. I essentially said what I say here, but in a synopsis. I also flagged the question to alert LinkedIn staff to this issue.
It’s now two hours after the original question was posted and I am happy to report that that question is “no longer available”.