A pyramid scheme for web traffic?
December 11, 2001 8:43 PM   Subscribe

A pyramid scheme for web traffic? ExitBlaze apparently sends traffic from one member's site to another's (or, no doubt, to other sites they must sell hits to): Bob doesn't know it but a pop-underwindow displaying an ExitBlaze member's site has just shown up underneath the main browser window. And Bob owes it all to you!
posted by mattpfeff (5 comments total)
You might notice the little aesop.com logo at the bottom of the page. This is from the same company that developed its own aesop meta tag. The idea behind the meta tag looked like a good one over a year ago. It doesn't seem like they've made it as a search engine. The search engine response page for a search on aesop for metafilter gave me twenty results, as compared to 129,000 on a google search.

ExitBlaze seems more like a popunder based link exchange program than a pyramid scheme, possibly with some of the results being paid for placement. Some other Aesop companies include startblaze which looks even more like a pyramid scheme, and ROIbot , which makes the following statement on their site:

You are just a few automation steps away from being rich. ROIbot gives you all the automation tools you’ll ever need. Picture yourself with your business on auto-pilot. Do in minutes what it took you days to accomplish before.

Sometimes when something looks too good to be true...

Any other companies out there like aesop.com that make you question their business practices?
posted by bragadocchio at 9:58 PM on December 11, 2001

How exactly does Bob not know it, when he can see the "pop-under" pop up, reposition itself, and shove itself forcibly to the back of the window stack, thereby changing the focus in the frontmost window?

I'm rarely fast enough to close a "pop-under" before it manages to wriggle behind the other open windows, but most of the time I can still find it, bring it to the front, and close it before it manages to load its target URL.

posted by Mars Saxman at 7:49 AM on December 12, 2001

damn. I was going to link to the inside page where they actually describe how the pyramid works and entreat you to get all your friends to join ("You get 100 percent of their traffic! Down to four levels!" -- though of course you in fact only get 100 percent of 1/6 of their traffic, thankyouverymuch), but the site is down, some "software error".
posted by mattpfeff at 10:05 AM on December 12, 2001

ah, they're back. (What a relief.)

the "How the Math Works" page, where they explain the pyramid, is here.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:50 AM on December 12, 2001

Still puzzled. Why would anyone want this sort of "traffic" unless he's still paid by banner ad impressions? How else can the "hits" they talk about translate into something valuable?

When my site got slashdotted (fark.com), I paid (in dollars, not "hits") for the extra bandwidth. Ideally, I would get _less_ traffic (bytes), but more "visitors with a face" -- people who either respond with comments or new info, or who are silently interested, informed, or entertained. (Page optimization issues aside.)

This popunder thing would just create more traffic of lower quality. Lose, lose.
posted by kurumi at 5:03 PM on December 12, 2001

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