Alpha Inventions???

30 03 2010

I am a little bit perplexed this morning; for the past couple of days I have been getting an awful lot of hits on the two blogs that I run.

Not such a problem on the face of things, however I am not seeing any upturn at all in the number of comments, subscribers or in the amount of time that people are actually spending reading my blog. So I start to do a little bit of digging around in order to see what is going on.

It seems that whilst the number of people reading my blog is continuing to grow organically the lion’s share of the hits are all coming from one site that is referring traffic to my blog: Alpha Inventions.

I hadn’t heard of this site previously so I decided to have a look and see what the story is. This proved to be a little bit more difficult than I had hoped it would; mostly due to the ragtag, obviously homemade nature of the site.

I managed to ascertain that Alpha Inventions isn’t a robot as I had first thought it was but is actually a reading cycle of sorts.

The basic premise seems to be as follows; Alpha Inventions picks up on content that has just been updated or published and puts it into the reading cycle that is currently running.

The person whose blog has been “featured” sees that they are getting hits from Alpha so clicks through to have a look and they then get shown the cycle which is currently running and from here they can choose to promote their blog by submitting it manually.

Now none of this is necessarily a problem, however there are a couple of downsides to this that I can see.

Firstly, the hits themselves are more or less worthless, unless someone happens to actually be paying attention to the various blogs that are being displayed and decides that they would like to read more than there is no real benefit to having an extra 500 hits. Personally I would rather get an extra 10 hits a day from people who had actually been searching for what I was writing about or had an interest in it.

Secondly, the large number of “views” that Alpha Inventions is generating could seriously throw off the stats for a site, if you were trying to show accurate traffic figures then Alpha could prove to be a pain in the proverbial, particularly as there is no readily accessible option to remove yourself from the reading cycle.

In my opinion whilst Alpha Inventions certainly isn’t a scam and isn’t really doing anything wrong, it isn’t really doing much good either; if it was generating an upturn in people actually reading, following and commenting on blogs that would be one thing, but as it stands it just provides empty numbers.

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