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Generating Online Website Traffic

Internet traffic has become the online currency of the internet today. Where it used to be simply a means of keeping track of how many people visited a web site, these days it has evolved into a much bigger and meaner monster. The traffic running though a website can make or break it, irrespective of how much money a site makes through it’s other transactions. While the ultimate goal of any website, like any business, is to make money, generating traffic has become a bigger indicator of success than income alone.

The first step towards this process was when internet websites started to pay other websites to add links for their site. Payments to these other sites were made whenever anyone would click on a given link and transfer to the payer’s site. The idea was to generate traffic so that people would buy items on the main site, or view paid advertisements being sponsored there. This quickly evolved into paying monthly fees to other web sites to post banners and advertisements on their web site, and even included paying individuals who had their own blogs to make referrals. Ultimately, the goal was simply to generate enough traffic so that people would eventually purchase something or conduct a transaction that would lead to income for the paying site.

However, the value of generating online website traffic became even more powerful as time went by. As search engines became more complex, people started to pay attention to optimizing their site content so that they would always be included on search engine results whenever certain key words were typed in. Higher keyword densities in web site content led to their getting placed near the top of lists where people could easily and quickly see their site. This led to another evolution of search engines, which also ranked web sites not just by key word density, but also by the number of hits a site had within a certain time period. Given that, the volume of traffic going through a site became just as if not more important than the keyword matches within the site content. This meant that in order to remain “visible” and stay at the top of the search engines websites were now pressured further into keeping their traffic volume consistently high.

This later led to ranking systems for websites within certain niches where traffic became the main indicator of success. Like “bestseller” lists for books, video, and music, the emphasis switched from the actual revenue made by a website over to the amount of traffic that went through it. With traffic becoming a major indicator of a website’s success, it became part of the bargaining power of websites whenever their owners negotiated contracts with other web sites, and even when they were approaching “physical” companies in a bid to advertise their products online. The web sites which saw the highest volume of traffic had the greatest bargaining power in these scenarios. Just like a TV or Radio station with a broader range of people watching them could demand higher rates for air time on advertisements, so too could high traffic websites swing better and more lucrative deals. This situation has persisted to the present day, and it is for all these reasons that a website’s traffic is crucial to it’s existence and success.

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