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Defining Incentivized: What is Incentive-Based Traffic?

Posted on 4.03.2011

It’s useful to revisit some of those core Internet marketing definitions periodically. This enables you, whether novice or seasoned Web professional, to stay up to date on modern meanings and associations of popular topics. I recently came across (again) the term incentivized traffic (incentive-based traffic) and thought a post on the topic might prove useful for a variety of our readers.

Incentivized traffic is when a company/individual compensates web users (or their partners) for visiting a site and/or taking a particular action (one which ultimately leads to profit/revenue). The incentives provided by the business can come in a variety of forms – from cash to redeemable points. The end results of paying for traffic that has been drawn to a Web destination as a result of an incentive is rarely if ever good.

As an advertiser or marketer, the problem with not being aware that incentivized traffic exists and is considered by some rogue marketers to be common practice, you are ultimately compensating people that have no value to your organization – they buy at infinitely lower rates (if they exist at all) and ultimately cause more loss than gain.

There are a variety of examples of incentivized traffic and they come in multiple forms and levels of sophistication. As a basic example, let’s say you ask or direct a group of users (now matter how large or small) to support your enterprise by clicking ads. If the focus is on your benefit as opposed to the enterprise paying for the awareness and activity you are technically incentivizing traffic. Far more sophisticated (some would argue sinister) tactics are most definitely in play on the Web today however. Just look around for a “community” that is offering up points for any action taken by their users and you’ve found one.

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