I am having a lot of headaches for a couple of days now because of something that I have no control of. This website has been stalked by a “referrer” site for days and its really giving me trouble. To those loyal followers of this site, I want you to take a closer look at what I am about to share with you as this can also happen to your web business.
On February 18, 2012, through my clicky stats, this website’s traffic had jumped from hundreds to thousands of unique visitors per day. This gives me a lot of web traffic and page impressions. But as I surf along with my clicky stats, I noticed that there is something wrong with it. The traffic came from one country – Bangladesh, and from one site – www.skylancers.net.
Now, why would I gain so much visitors from a single site and from the same country? I started to investigate and did a research of my own on what is really going on. What I found out was truly shocking and really keeps me on the confusing edge. Please see the figure below from my clicky stats:
www.skylancers.com and www.skylancers.net are one!
I found out that both skylancers.net and skylancers.com is just one company and it is based in Bangladesh. What struck me the most is their business platform – Paid to Click (PTC). To those of you who are not familiar with PTC, it is a business scheme used by companies that are presenting themselves as “advertising networks”. Its business model is to recruit people to click an advert in exchange of cash, usually costs $0.01 per ad views. PTC is different model from Pay-per-click ads because PPC are more on targeted clicks and people are not forced to click an ad for money.
In general, Paid to Click programs such www.skylancers.com or www.skylancers.net are considered as a scam. Google for example views PTC companies as fraud programs because it is not “legal” practice of an advertising philosophy. People will click an advertisement because they will earn money from it, and they totally have no interests with the actual advertised product that they viewed. The result? The advertiser loses money and the PTC site and its members make money the easy way. Get the point? It is not a good marketing strategy.
To give you a glimpse of www.skylancers.com, please see the image below.
Now the home page of this site is slick and simple. But if you personally visit the site yourself, you can see that there are many grammatical errors and there are a lot of technical bugs all over the site. This includes its contact page where I tried to leave a message to contact them on what is really going on, but after I hit the send button, an error message appears. They also published two of their official email addresses which happens to be both unreachable – how convenient!
If you click the “Click to view Ads” button in the upper right corner of that page, you will be directed to www.skylancers.net page. Below is the screenshot for your information.
As you can see, the log in page appears which is just normal. A business model like PTC is a membership business site, which means that you need to be a member before you can actually view ads. Unfortunately for beginners, membership for www.skylancers.com are not free and are categorized as $10, $100 and $200 joining packages. This means that you have to pay them those amounts to be able to be a member. Unlike other PTC sites which are free to join, www.skylancers.net was able to accumulate thousands of members even though its a paid membership.
Once you joined the site, you can now start clicking adverts as long as you like for $0.01 per view. This is the reason why PTC program is the easiest way to make money online without a website or a blog. Not only that, www.skylancers.net also offers tier membership which means that you may earn more by referring www.skylancers.net to your friends and relatives. If they sign up, then you earn money.
So what is the problem if I am receiving a lot of free visitors?
Receiving a lot of visitors from similar country especially from a Paid to Click site has many disadvantages for you. Well, first and foremost, I didn’t bought any advertising packages from www.skylancers.com so that confuses me on why I am getting so many visitors from them. I have a lot of theory why this is happening. Below are my suspicions why this occurs.
- someone posted my site in www.skylancers.com for free clicks (marketing technique)
- someone paid www.skylancers.com to promote my site (spending his fortune for me! not a good idea)
- there is someone who hates me or my website (why me? there are other who are popular than me..LOL)
- i really don’t know
The last suspicion above is quite direct to the point. I really have no idea what is going on here. I mean why would someone post my site on a PTC program and spends his money while gaining nothing? Well, basically he can destroy my website and my reputation online by doing so. For those of you who are beginners of the game, the list below are some of the crucial effects of this type of online fraud.
- I can be de-indexed in Google
- it will increase my bandwidth usage
- it will decrease my brand’s image (degrading my website value)
Now these three effects are crucial to any website or blog business. I am totally concern about the first two but I will start to explain the third one first.
It will decrease my brand’s image
Promoting your site through a Paid to Click program certainly will reduce the value of your website or blog. It is not the best advertising platform to choose when planning in advertising your web business online. Your site will look cheap and begging for traffic which gives your brand less value.
It can increase my bandwidth
Now this is the problem that causing me headache right now. Bandwidth is the representation of your files when someone views your web pages online. This includes your photos, images, flash, videos and many others. If an individual visits your homepage, it serves bandwidth to that visitor, hence increasing your bandwidth usage. In short, the more visitors, the more bandwidth your site needs.
Now bandwidth is a natural requirement when running a website or a blog. You really need to upgrade your hosting account once your site became popular and gains more recognition online. This is the reason why big time bloggers and webmasters do have large or unlimited bandwidth space on their hosting providers or accounts.
For me this is a major problem. Why? Because my site is not that authoritative and I am only getting 300 to 450 visitors per day which results to 600 to 1000 page views. If my site is getting thousands of visitors from a single country (not to mention from Bangladesh) and from a single site, it will be a big burden for me. Below are the reasons why:
- traffic are not targeted which means the volume of visitors won’t convert into sales
- I don’t have the funds to purchase an upgrade for my hosting account
- this site will soon be deactivated if not upgraded
- they are just visiting for the sake of earning from www.skylancers.net PTC scheme
That’s right! This site will be deactivated if I may not be able to upgrade my bandwidth capacity. Take note that this site will not be deleted, it will only be deactivated for a month. After a month cycle, the bandwidth limitations will reset and this site will be live again. So to those who are loyal followers of this site, I am reaching out to you right now that this site might be deactivated in the coming days or maybe sooner. I am now doing all the possible solutions I can to stop this www.skylancers.net fraud in hurting my site. For the mean time, please remember that this site will continue to exist even you see a deactivation message in the future.
I can be de-indexed in Google
This is another big and very important effect that can be given to my site. First off, Google publicly says that it does not support Paid to Click programs and sites that are advertising on this types of business schemes. I am afraid that once Google learns that people flock to my site through www.skylancers.com (which is a PTC site), my website could get penalize or even de-indexed in the search results. Especially that I am monetizing my site through Google Adsense, this is in direct violation of Adsense terms of service.
But what can I do? I am totally innocent about this issue. I actually contacted Google to help me out on this but until now, I am still waiting for their reply. These can highly affect my website and I hope that the people from www.skylancers.com will read this blog post and stop sending me traffic.
My advice on www.skylancers.com’s members and advertisers
To all members of www.skylancers.com or www.skylancers.net, please wake up to your senses as this program is obviously a fraud. You’ll never earn money by just clicking and viewing websites because quite frankly, they don’t have advertisers yet. Why would they publish my site on their advertising list for you to click while I myself is not an advertiser of that program. Come to think of it, www.skylancers.com is still in the development phase and it does not have enough advertisers to pay you for your efforts. Please, I am asking all of you to stop clicking on those links because you will never be paid.
For advertisers, I am speaking to you right now that you shouldn’t avail any services of a Paid to Click program such as www.skylancers.com. Your investments are worth somewhere else such as Google Adwords and other legitimate advertising networks. As I have explained in this post, I’ve been receiving thousands of visitors from www.skylancers.com and there is really no conversion going on, not even any clicks on my Adsense ads. So why spend money to a worthless advertising scheme? Plus, it can degrade your website’s value and you may get penalized in Google and other search engines. So please don’t support this types of PTC programs.
So before I finish this post, I want you all to know that www.skylancers.com or www.skylancers.net are the same company and its from Bangladesh. It is a Paid to Click program and its a fraud and a known online scam! I encourage you to spread the word about this scam site and let people know the truth about this website. If you have similar experience about www.skylancers.net and have been getting thousands of visitors for your website, I urge you to join me in my quest to stop this online fraud and give justice to our web business.
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