Who is Sarah Williams of TrafficMagnet?
By Ed Kohler, 4/16/2003
Have you ever received an email from Sarah Williams or Christine
Hall of Traffic Magnet? If you have a website and an email address
you probably have. We receive around an email a week like this
from TrafficMagnet. They're also often forwarded to us from clients
asking whether this service is worth using. Hopefully this puts
the issue to rest for our clients and anyone else who stumbles
across this page.
Lately, the emails have looked like this:
The real Sarah Williams?
They used to look like this:
What kind of salesperson
doesn't include a phone number in their messages?
Ten things you should know about Sarah Williams and TrafficMagnet.
- There is no Sarah Williams. The site is
hosted by a company called PDHost which
doesn't exist at their stated location in Silicon Valley.
- Before Sarah Williams was Sarah Williams, she was Christine
Hall, as you can see from this from this
Spam Abuse posting from June 2002.
- TrafficMagnet says they will submit your site to 300,000
search engines and directories, yet there are only a handful
of true search engines and few directories will accept automated
submissions. In fact, running a reverse lookup on their domain
show even one directory listing for their own site -
only links from messageboards they've posted their spam on.
- They claim they can submit your site for a one-time
fee of $89, yet submitting to three important search
engines (Inktomi, FAST, and AskJeeves) costs $103
per year. Yahoo costs an additional $299/year.
So, they are obviously not submitting your site to places
where people actually run searches online.
- Google is the most important search engine to submit your
site to and you don't need to pay anyone to
do that (just click
here and fill out the two line form). Search engine optimization
professionals do not charge for this. Their services are for
achieving high rankings on relevant search terms for your business.
- TrafficMagnet is clearly spamming website owners. Here
is a link to over
400 posts on Google Groups from other website owners who
share our opinion on this. Not surprisingly, the majority of
those posts reside in the following groups:
- They say they will resubmit your site very month, which is not
necessary. Once a search engine knows your site
exists you do not need to resubmit it to search engines. This
will not improve your rankings. You improve your
rankings by aligning your site's info with the terms your
potential customers are searching for and increasing your
site's link popularity.
- Never trust a company that doesn't place a physical
address or phone number on their web site.
- By submitting your site to thousands of 3rd, 4th, 5th tier
and beyond websites, you'll probably end up with an inbox crammed
with spam from other companies like TrafficMagnet collecting
your email address. Remember, TrafficMagnet has already proven
they do not respect your privacy by sending unsolicited
email to you. It seems probable that you could lose more than
$20/month in productivity cleaning your inbox.
- Creating a high ranking website involves time consuming work
seeking out relevant links for a website. This process cannot
We hope this clarifies the value of that service.
Ed Kohler is the president and founder of Haystack
In A Needle - a full service web marketing and search engine
positioning firm based in Minneapolis, MN. Ed has a rule set
up in his email program to filter trafficmagnet emails directly
to the trash.