Getting Bots to Increase your traffic, The Black Hat way

Saturday is the day when I take a hot steaming cup of coffee and start looking at how my blog has fared over the week. This is one time which I allot to all personal projects. As some of these projects come to a closure, I would be more than happy to talk about these here.

So, I open up Google Analytics and boom, I see a small surge in traffic. Curious to know the source, I look at the Source/Medium acquisition report –

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Google Chrome updates for Ubuntu

I have a dual boot machine, a Win 7 Home (and this is for my family usage and if I want to test apps using iTunes) and a Ubuntu (which serves as my primary development machine).

When Google Chrome updated on my Windows 7 OS, the people manager module seemed pretty nifty.

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Why to use GOSF Coupons

Great Online Shopping Festival is an exciting event; it is a Mecca for online shopping lovers. The GOSF 2014 is scheduled to start from 10th and better than the previous two edition. If you have been waiting to go on a shopping spree, wait till the festival begins and use the GOSF coupons for shopping. The coupons are a great way to save money. Some of the best uses of these coupons are discussed below:

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A month without Ad Block

As a person who literally lives off the internet, one of the first things I do when I get a new machine is install Chromium or Chrome and then go and install the Ad Block Plus plug-in. Fortunately, I am well past Windows, so I do not have to go to the trouble of removing IE!

Having said that, I thought, it would be interesting to see the world from the eyes of a non-power user and see the internet with it’s full glory … yes without an Ad Blocker!

How to Get Ad Blockers

For those of you who are new to this term – Ad Blockers, these are small plug-ins within your browser that stop Ads from displaying on any of the sites you visit. Those elements are not rendered at all! I strongly recommend Ad Block for this purpose.

Just follow the simple instructions on the link provided, and voila! No Ads … you can thank me later .. the web will be a different place for you. But enough of that, this is about seeing those Ads.

A World with Ads

As someone who runs Ads on his blog, I still do not bother to see Ads .. why? Because a lot of these Ads are poorly made … very few Ads these days are awesome enough to catch your eye or even better make you click! Why do we require Ads? Well to pay for all this cost of content creation of course!

Mainstream Media does it all the time! Why cannot the Internet follow suit? Put up Ads, write content, generate traffic … the simplest formula in the series of crazy get rich schemes :-)

What Prompted me to do this?

Sheer curiosity of checking how the Media agencies of the world are creating Ads was one. Some of the clients I was working with wanted to run Ads and I wanted to see how the Ads are going with the design of the site was another.

The third reason was the most important. I believe that users (yes, that’s you and me!) develop a certain immunity towards unpleasant experiences over time. Ads are generally ignored .. users learn to ignore them as time goes by, click through rates (CTRs) drop … that’s why it’s so important to keep changing your creatives!

The month starts!

I did this experiment in the month of February and ran it through till the middle of March. A little over 40 days. What did I observe? Well there are beautiful ads (naah, not Cilory ;-)), and the blockers are removing a bit more of the mark-up. Quite a lot of times an otherwise empty page suddenly looks fuller due to these display ads.

For e.g the Facebook layout looks marginally better with Ads. However, with Ads such as these, I’d still start running the blocker.

Ads on Facebook
I do not see how this creative is adding to building a list of leads!

Social Media networks were fine, the worst places I experienced without an Ad Blocker were surprisingly not Pr0n sites, but gaming sites! The sheer amount of wtf-ery in Ads that I saw on gaming sites was outstanding.

What took the cake was an Ad by Gurudas Kamat on my own blog asking for support in elections. Ughhh … one quick shift to Adsense and I blocked the entire category out. That Ad shook me :-) … I prompty turned out the Ad Blocker.

Conclusion

Before I experienced the internet without an Ad Blocker, I was happily running multiple Ads on my own site. After those 40 days, I trimmed down the number of Ads (I believe there are two simple Ads in the sidebar and thats that).

Setting up advertising to bear the cost of content creation is good, but if it is destroying the user experience (HBR are you listening?), is a no-no.

Rise of Social Media in E-commerce

rise-of-social-media-in-ecommerce-mobstac-infographic

If you have an e-commerce start-up and are just starting your marketing outreach program, then this is a great infographic which can be of help.

Social Media can be used by organizations for ATL activities such as branding and for BTL activities such as promotions. The visual and witty element inherent in social media helps brands to sell well. The infographic above shares some stats which are quite high and make a marketing manager relook at Social as one of their channels.

For some sites such as Pinterest where the look of the product on display really matters, e-commerce becomes a natural extension. Go to any of the boards on the site and you will find atleast a series of photos which turn the social media site into a catalog of retail products.