Have you ever been Slashdotted?
It sounds painful doesn’t it – but its actually quite fun. Being Slashdotted basically means that you’re linked to by the mega-blog – Slashdot. The cool thing about the experience is that if you chance upon being mentioned on Slashdot that you are about to have a deluge of traffic.
This morning I awoke to find that one of my new blogs had been mentioned in a post – just 6 hours after it was linked to the blog had had over 25,000 unique visitors. Pretty cool stuff – I mean traffic is the key to making a fortune online isn’t it?
Does 1000 times the traffic = 1000 times the income??
Wrong – Buzzz – Please Try Again….
You see each time I’ve been linked to by Slashdot (and other mega-blogs) I’ve noticed a pattern. My traffic goes up massively (in this case many thousands of times over) but my income (from pay per click ads) goes up only slightly – if at all. How can that be so?
Well you see I have a theory that some traffic is more valuable than other traffic when it comes to pay per click advertising.
Slashdot is a megablog in more senses than it has a massive readership – it is also fairly general in topics covered. Mostly it posts on techy topics, but within that scope anything goes – it posts on Science, Gadgets, Robotics, Computers – everything. As a result its readership has a pretty general interest in a wide variety of topics also. So when they follow a link to your blog they are doing so out of general interest and not searching for particular information. They are not surfing with intent and are less likely to click on an ad.
On the other hand there are web surfers out there who are surfing with intent. They want to buy a product or find a service. They know what they are looking for and they go straight to the source where they will find it – Google.
Google traffic in my opinion is more valuable than traffic from a megablog like Slashdot. (Don’t get me wrong – I like the slashdot traffic too – for one the link can’t hurt my page rank – for two (is that an expression?) a certain percentage of them will click an ad (a lower % but a % non the less) – and for three its nice to look at your traffic counter and see 6500 people surfed your blog in one hour.) Anyway – I digress – the Google traffic is more valuable in my mind because it brings targeted traffic to your blog.
Example Joe is on Google searching for information on ‘Gizmo A’ – he’s in research mode for a purchase he’s about to make. He types ‘Gizmo A’ into Google and is presented with 4,973,235 results. Because of all your hard work in Optimizing your site for search engines, your blog is the first result listed – the title is ‘Gizmo A’. He clicks the link and surfs on in. He reads your quality content but as he does so he also notices a contextual ad on your site which is conveniently for ‘Gizmo A’s’. The chances of Joe clicking that ad are a whole lot better than a slashdot reader who has come to your site out of general interest.
I know a lot of bloggers who spend most of their time trying to get links from blogs or websites higher up the food chain – their hope is that one of their emails or submissions to the big sites will make them rich – as a result they don’t pay much attention to the simple things like optimizing their site for Search Engines. Whilst I understand the temptation of their approach I believe that a more balanced strategy would actually be more beneficial in the long term.
Build quality traffic to give yourself a stable base income and when the opportunity comes for the big link ups ride the wave of traffic that it brings.