Fraudulent Internet Marketing Statistics:  Spotting What is Real & What is Bogus.

Businesses that embark on an internet marketing campaign are statistically going after one of the largest and most valued demographics known.  But, what are the most common fraudulent internet marketing statistics and how can you distinguish between what’s real and what are bogus Internet marketing statistics? With such an abundance of websites available, it’s almost impossible to not be able to find a website that operates in your niche and is also accepting advertisers. All internet marketing statistics point to web ads as the wave of the advertising future.

Even so, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and spend your entire marketing budget on something that looks good. Indeed, internet marketing is far from a sure thing, especially when you consider how many scam artists are out there looking to make a quick buck. Here is an overview of some of the more common fraudulent internet marketing statistics.

Identifying Click Fraud

One of the most common types of fraudulent internet marketing statistics is click fraud. This type of fraud occurs when you opt for a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy, which means that the website you advertise with gets paid for every click-through. Theoretically, people will see your ad on the third-party site, click on the ad, and potentially purchase something from your business. In exchange, you provide the host website a certain fee per click.

This marketing strategy works wonders, but you have to ensure that the website or agency with which you’re doing business can be trusted. Click fraud occurs when bots are programmed to click through on the ad to your website. Of course, bots aren’t going to buy anything, but this will increase the statistics in favor of the host website. It will look as if they’ve been responsible for numerous click-throughs when, in reality, they just have bots clicking on your link. Some estimates suggest that almost half of all click-throughs are initiated by bots.[1]

One of the most common types of fraudulent internet marketing statistics is click fraud.
One of the most common types of fraudulent internet marketing statistics is click fraud. This type of fraud occurs when you opt for a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy, which means that the website you advertise with gets paid for every click-through.

So, how do you identify click fraud? AdWatcher, ClickForensics, and ClickDefense are all programs that monitor where the clicks are coming from and if they are legitimate. The best defense is to monitor your ad campaign closely, because it can be difficult to determine which agencies are legitimate and which aren’t. You can also apply different prices to different targeted websites. For instance, a website that is squarely in your niche might get more in PPC fees than one that is on the periphery of your focus.[2]

Inflating Internet Marketing Statistics

Ad agencies who try to sell you packages based on inflated Internet marketing statistics or “puffery” are probably not legitimate. If you read the word “hits” over and over again, then you will probably want to avoid that firm at all costs. They are simply clouding your judgment and not providing true internet marketing statistics that you can use to make an informed decision. This type of fraud promises something that can’t be delivered, and it is often referred to as “SEO fraud.” SEO (an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”) is designed to help you get a higher ranking on search engines like Google through targeted keywords, page titles, and other metadata. A SEO company that uses fraudulent internet marketing statistics may try to sell you on numerous irrelevant or impossible criteria like:

  • “We can get you thousands of hits in a few short days!”
  • “We guarantee a significantly higher page ranking!”
  • “Google will index you in just 48 hours!”
  • “We have access to thousands of different search engines!”

All of these claims are unequivocally bogus. Any company who promises “hits” in a short span of time is flat-out lying. Likewise, page rankings and indexing on Google take time. Google does not index websites on a daily basis and it also does not rank pages immediately.

The common claim that they might have access to thousands of different search engines is also largely irrelevant. There are only a few search engines that people really use, with Google being the most popular. In fact, most marketers only use Google for internet marketing statistics as this is the main search engine used by the majority of people surfing the internet. There is no magic formula for getting SEO to work properly. An SEO company simply must know how to do SEO well in order for it to work.[3]

Fake and Paid Social Media Followers

Another way of inflating your Internet marketing statistics is by purchasing “followers” on social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. This might seem like a good idea in that it can increase your profile. In reality, you are getting a bunch of fake and/or disinterested followers who are likely not keen on being spammed by your brand. The only way for social media marketing to work effectively is if you have some kind of engagement with your target audience. Buying followers (even if they happen to be real people) is not the way to go about doing that and is often a waste of money.[4]

In the end, it’s important to ensure that you’re not suckered in by bogus Internet marketing statistics or scam artists. They may be able to deliver what they promised (e.g. 1,000 followers on Twitter), but they often don’t have your business’s best interests at heart.

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