16 clicks on 2 minutes. This sort of technique works on everybody, including smart hackers. Its mostly about talking about what you want. Some people want to lose weight, others control their diabetes. Apparently, lots of people want to learn of a little known advertising secrets for startups. I should make a Copy as a Service startup. (:
See how many are suckered into clicking: http://bit.ly/13wOrj2+
Everyone wants to be part of a secret society or have some esoteric knowledge that
makes them feel set-apart from the norm.
How many people usually click on the links in comments? Unless you have something to compare it with, your experiment is not useful.
Assuming facts not in evidence. Are you saying that all HN readers are "smart hackers?" ...or even that there's a greater likelihood of them being one simply by virtue of reading the site?
Also, this context is far removed from any real world scenario. Cracked did a decidedly low brow version of it, everyone clicked through, just because they wanted to see what stunt they would pull.
If you know it's going to be a joke, you might as well see the punchline.
I do find that I click links like this, simply out of the curiosity of seeing what exactly I'm being nudged into consuming/buying.
>Pyramid schemes are a well-known way of
taking bundles of money from suckers. This
paper is not about them. Although on first
inspection, this paper sounds like it is about
pyramid schemes, we promise that it is not.
And a little further down...
>1. Introduction and Related Work
>This is not a pyramid scheme. This is an easy
way for you to make money. It is not related
to a pyramid scheme because it is a polytope
scheme. For a comparison, please see Fig.2
>If you want guaranteed financial freedom and
personal fulfillment from algebraic geometry,
sign up now to invest in our gift-giving invest-
All laid out in beautifully typeset LaTeX. Brings a tear to my eye.
"You do not want to be pursuing some Ph.D. when all
your friends are pouring crystal all over benjamins in
the Cayman islands."
"crystal" should by "Cristal", the much hyped bubbly in hip-hop lyrics.
Cat Basis Purrsuit - http://www.oneweirdkerneltrick.com/catbasis.pdf
Meow miao mew meow mew meow mew mew
meow miao meow meow mew meow meow
miau mew miao meeeow meow, miau meow
miao mew meeeeow mew miao miao miao.
Meow miao mew meow mew (MMM), meow
miao mew meow mew meow, meow meow
miao meow state-of-the-art meow meow.
This, this is lovely
Come on Slate. You think better of your audience than this, right?
In theory the ads are targeted to the content of the site, but I agree that they're often pretty crummy.
The "SPONSORED FROM AROUND THE WEB" section appears to be a standard ad panel from Content.ad.
I thought "From Around the Web" was what we were talking about, but of course there are multiple similar blocks of paid links.
It looks like it worked, cause I clicked and read the article only to find out that it is exactly what I thought in the first place. But still I spent a good 10 minutes on it.
Yes, we were a bit naive.
The sheer multitude of bad actors participating in the ad/marketing world is bewildering. It tooks us a solid month after launch to get processes in place that let us weed out the bozos swiftly without tying up the whole team.
We have many many of these "one trick" people sign up and try to use our tools. We'll keep turning them away and staying vigilant for the next ruse.
I bet there's a trick to that. You should sell an ebook.
They build entire webpages, along with side-stories and article comments that support their product. They look SO real that once I (and I consider myself pretty tech-savvy, having access to Internet for 15 years) fell for it briefly, and then had to explain it to my wife who stumbled upon them as well. I was truly impressed by amount of work these guys went through not only to write a pretty long science-looking article, but to build a whole (albeit pretty static) webpage and write realistic comment sections. Sadly, this whole effort is done to deceive other people.
A lot of those websites are created by affiliates, and not by the product owner. The affiliate commission for digital products is pretty high (75%-85% is quite common), and affiliates often create various review sites for the products they're promoting, or use existing sites they own and add reviews written by "users" of the product.
This is what the original wordpress instance looked like (just the frontpage, which did not carry malicious content):
- However, the malicious page on this wordpress instance redirects to a site named foxrxs, registered a day ago (as of this writing) http://whois.domaintools.com/foxrxs.com - to "Gergo Czako" in Hungary.
- The foxrxs site is made to look like Fox News, but it basically just tries to sell people "raspberry ultra drops" - a diet supplement:
- Most of the links on foxrxs go to onlineslimdiet:
- This site was also registered yesterday (as of this writing): http://whois.domaintools.com/onlineslimdiet.com - in this case to "Uta Kalb" in Germany. However, what is notable is both domains use exactly the same name servers:
So, given the same exact registration date and same name servers, chances are, both are owned by the same entity.
- And, this seems to be a common scam:
Basically, an email address is hacked one way or another, which then often links to a compromised wordpress blog. That redirects to a new domain that is made to look like fox news. The fake fox news site appears to endorse this miracle diet supplement, with all links pointing to another site where you can actually order the product. People apparently do receive the product, but I'm guessing the product itself is a scam. Nice way to make money - only $60 for two ounces of snake oil!
This is exactly what I had in mind. A web page stylized as a news website with an article that subtly points to some diet pills. If one didn't read the URL he could really fell for that.
Flogs and farticle sites are so 2006 though. Now they use markov chain based generators to generate sites based on content scraped off other sites.
The crappy, hand drawn ads, the dire videos, and the bad production have the same effect. The punter needs to be a gullible fool, since a fool and his money are soon parted.
If there is a technique that successfully weeds out false positives, then such a technique can be used profitably.
One of the guys is the most caring, liberal, loving person you'd ever meet; he justifies being involved in this sort of skeezy marketing work as "I can take a small amount from a lot of people and amplify the result to do good with a lot of money."
He genuinely believes this. A lot of the other guys simply try not to see the "punters" (potential customers ) as real people, they are disconnected through the impersonal nature of the internet.
We can turn off the user's pop-up blocker right? What do you mean we can't get around it? How are we supposed to get them to see our side offers if we can't do pop-ups?
And the constant discussions about how to keep our emails from landing in spam folders. Since we weren't running a scam, there had to be a way to get our emails in the inbox right? Even though we don't know the person... bought their address from someone (who bought it from someone)... sent them 3 emails this week already...
I'm glad to not be involved in some of that any more.
At least in other business likes we could easily track the direction the program was taking and which bits were causing the most problems.
All the end-line employees gated it to various degrees. We
just had to hope we could convince the owners we were rigth.
We did our best to deliver what was requested and not blatantly illegal. When one of your top sales people gets a good deal, you'll find you're doing it to make money, not because anyone thinks it will make things better. Without anyone actually able to figure out what might makes a difference you end up with guesses and snake oil.
With no dada or time to expiremet, all they were left with are terrible ideas like pop-ups and spam. Combine that with the sales guys who talk to buddies elsewhere who report that spam "totally works"! and you end up resenting a large chunk of your job.
Is it more desirable if it doesn't exist? Perhaps - if you really hate it all then fine, that's your opinion, but do you really hate it enough that you would prefer every website that is financed by advertising to either bill you for usage or shut down, every public transport subsidised by advertising gets more expensive, every TV channel price goes up, cinema tickets, everything...
And as to my interest being antagonistic to yours, I disagree. I (personally) want you to buy a laptop or a PC and I want you to, when you next need one of these items, consider my brand. I target audiences very tightly to try and ensure that people who see my adverts are likely to be interested, and do rather a good job of it if I say so myself. If you end up being interested in what I am advertising (as plenty of people who view them do) then great for me, great for you. If you don't, then you can ignore my adverts, I don't buy any that are overly annoying or evasive, so even without adblock installed they won't cause you any problems, you can just ignore them.
End of the day, my goal isn't to trick you into buying something you don't want, it's to make sure the people who do want to buy these things know about them, and to avoid other people as much as possible. Feel free to hate bad adverts - I do. Even feel free to hate all adverts, including mine, if you wish, though I disagree with you on this. But don't go so far as to call them offensive. They just aren't.
Anyway, this is how I think of the poker economy.
 has some different research which claims that people average the arguments made, rather than summing them up, which most expect. It won't make any difference if you have a whole bunch of low value arguments, but will if there a combination of strong points and weaker ones.
None of those images look like the were drawn by a small child. The ones in the screen cap vary from "kind of crappy, but obviously done by an adult" to "probably the work of professional illustrator".
For this same reason, peppermint oil is, at high doses, an abortificant.
I'm sure there's a pretencious band name in there somewhere :)
"One weird trick to improve your SEO/conversions/customer satisfaction/whatver KPI" which links to a page with a crude, long-form, un-pausable video. After that, you could probably at least get them to create a trial account.
Has/would anyone try this?
I don't think so.
I've never clicked on any of those ads, and I'm sure that millions of other users of Ad Block, etc, have never even seen these ads.
Of interest to me was the author's reluctance to click on links due to malware threats.
Even when I used WinXP, years ago, I never have been infected with any malware, but then, I'm not the average PC user.
Adblock just feels like bad faith to me - there is no 'give and take', it's just 'take'.
In fact, I'd been waiting until the next DuckDuckGo thread came up to throw out the idea that DDG could further differentiate itself by having an option to only return results from sites without advertisements. I would love such a feature, even using Adblock, because I think the quality of the results would go up immensely.
People can't afford to pay for every single blog or bit of news they read and authors can't do anything substantial or meaningful without making it a job(and needing money to do it).
I think it's more likely that the mental overhead of choosing whether to pay for something (which is roughly constant, even for small amounts of money) adds enough friction to the process that charging small amounts never works.
Citation needed, please.
I'd much rather see news alongside ads or behind a paywall than news which was paid for by a group with "something to say."
Two years ago (or so) I installed adblock and set it to only block those annoying little social share buttons which started infecting everything. Eventually I had to turn the main rules on. As more sites started to put more and more obnoxious "Take our survey!" and "Hey, why not sign up before you view the site!" pop-ups and JS-hover-ads and such, I couldn't stand it any more.
I make an effort to support the sites I like. I have subscriptions to Ars, Reddit, LWN, and a few other sites. I turn the ad-blocking off on sites that act reasonably (Reddit and LWN are two examples).
It amazes me to use other people's computers (or my own iPad) sometimes. I'll go to a site I see links from now-and-then and realize just how much ridiculous crud is getting filtered out by AdBlock.
I understand your point of view, I still largely feel that way. But things were getting so intrusive I finally gave in. I like that AdBlock has a "good ads" program, I hope it succeeds.
(And yes, that's how I parsed the link title at first glance.)
Instead the author just clicked on the ads and watched the videos. Well, I can do that too.
I don't know if they emerged or if the remains were bought, but the "current" X10 never got anywhere near as aggressive as their pre-chapter 11 self.
There's likely two reasons why so many follow the same pattern. It's possible that many did enough A/B testing to determine the best direction that provided the best results. More likely one person came up with the pattern, the rest decided that it seemed a successive effort, and they all copied that one person's pattern.
I can't tell you how many times I created a landing page and/or email that was built in one specific way that originated with one guy that the rest perceived as the most successive guy in their type of marketing. If he said it, then it was gold. It was a tad disheartening as there was no real design involved. "Copy is king!" was the mantra and a nice design was not necessary. Even a decent design that made the copy easier to read was not considered worth the time. This was typically the type of landing page that uses the funnel method of long, sensational text with call-to-actions sprinkled down the page leading to a short order form at the bottom.
This insistence of copying everybody else because of perceived success, no data to support that perception of course, made for interesting conversations. "We're doing it this way." "Why?" "Because that's how they did it." "Why should we do it because they did?" "If they're doing it then it must work."
Although it was always fun to introduce a new kink to the marketing pattern and watch everybody else copy you. Especially when we hadn't yet decided if the new method even worked or not.
My favorite story that shows how locked into a pattern they would be until something shattered their illusions involved one sales email. For the longest time it was the rule to use as few images as possible in emails. The reasoning being because modern email clients do not automatically download images so you don't want things hidden from the potential customer before they interact with the email. I fought that quite a bit using legit companies like Apple and NewEgg as examples in that they successfully sell stuff and use images quite frequently through their emails. No dice. So one day I design a new email template that did use images heavily, our products were displayed in a grid that looked like stickers placed on the email. That meant that the copy listing details and pricing of the products were in the images, which was a no-no. I didn't tell anyone I did this knowing that all of them had their email clients downloading images automatically that came from us. The email was approved and sent out. A few weeks later I asked how that email did, "Best money-making email we've ever sent out!"
I then confessed to what I had done to their totally shocked confusion. After that I was able to actually design stuff that looked nice instead of the scammy look they insisted upon. And of course most of those newer designs, not all mind you, made more money. Interesting that I didn't see many other companies copying the new pattern. I guess it broke the mold enough to not be perceived as successful.
Anyway, even with the occasional moral problems, it was a good learning experience. Almost everything I know about SEO, ads, email, marketing, analytics, customer relations, and much more came from this company. Kind of gives me a somewhat unique perspective at my new job at a more traditional agency.