By Mohamed Fowzy and Mohamed Mostafa
Competition between news websites has become muddled due to the purchase of visits and subsequent forgery of website traffic. The situation calls for an intervention from the Consumer Protection Agency to protect advertisers from websites that have purchased fictitious visitors to improve their rankings, according to Youm7 editor-in-chief Khaled Salah.
Youm7 is in conflict with news websites that buy fake visits. It is placed fifth locally amongst most-visited websites in Egypt, and first amongst most-visited news websites in Egypt, days after Al-Masry Al-Youm announced its position as the leading news website in Egypt.
Salah stated on his Facebook Saturday that Youm7 maintains an advanced ranking in terms of most-viewed websites despite other news websites’ purchase of traffic and fake visits. These purchases are unfortunately made by large and small news websites alike, in order to improve their local and global rankings and mislead advertisers that pay for the running of these websites.
He asked for the Consumer Protection Agency to intervene in order to protect advertisers, pointing out that he had met with leading journalists, members of the Press Syndicate, and press editors in order to discuss how this crime can be stopped.
Youm7 is negotiating with Promo Media to find technological ways to determine the correct number of visits and traffic rankings of news websites.
He said Alexa Internet, which provides data on commercial web traffic, is inaccurate and that Google is more precise in its data and rankings as it seeks to develop its content constantly.
Hany Shukri, chairman of the JWT ad agency, has stated that ad agencies rely on Alexa for its independent research on rating websites, indicating that ad agencies look at the size and influence of a website before advertising on it.
Mohamed Fathy, an administrator at the Al-Masry Al-Youm website, stated that Alexa is not a measure for determining the most-visited websites. He added that the newspapers’ visits are mostly accounted for through social networking, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram.
He added the Al-Masry Al-Youm website depends on the news, reports, and issues that interest people, such as the electricity and oil crisis. He explained that the website has fallen in rankings in the past two days as a result of Youm7 purchasing and publishing the results of the high school examinations.
He also added that he expects Al-Masry Al-Youm to shoot to the top again due to its credibility, and that it is normal for rankings of news websites to shift.
According to Fathy, websites that buy visits rank higher globally due to the increase in foreign visitors, but Al-Masry Al-Youm does not practice this.
Yahya Tharwat, engineer and managing director of Link Egypt, stated that websites rely heavily on Alexa’s statistics sites in promotion and advertising campaigns, and that the conflict in the industry now lies in creating content capable of bringing in more and more advertisers.
The cost of buying fake visits to websites does not exceed buying 10 shares in the companies that specialise in selling these visits to websites.
According to Tharwat, Google and Alex are competing to determine the correct statistics of website traffic.
Daily Traffic, Revisitor, and Lots of Visitors are amongst the websites that offer fake visits. They offer between 2,500 to 100,000 visits for a price ranging between $20 to $400.
Translated from Al-Borsa Newspaper.
Website Rankings in Egypt on July 19, according to Alexa Internet
|Al Masry Al Youm