I've been publishing Collectors' Corner for 20 years. My readership isn't huge but its not small either. I turn out a good product on a regular basis and I consider myself to be an honest and straight forward person. I never fudge my numbers or write misleading copy. But others do.
I find it strange and suspicious when other sites, who have only been publishing for a short period, suddenly boast of huge 'unique' visitor numbers. I also find it suspicious when sites that only review a couple times a week claim their readership is in the 10's of thousands or more. Sounds bogus to me. Could it be that some people are faking their numbers? Megatags and keywords only get you so far. Registering with web browsers bring in numbers, but not that many.
After a little research I discovered that there are programs that allow websites to generate false hits on their sites. This is done by creating false browser hits. Websites can even determine the number of hits (unique or otherwise) that 'visit' their site. Counters can even be set up to record such false numbers.
It is very discouraging to me that as a honest review website I see other 'questionable' sites reap the benefits of false numbers. Please understand, I'm sure there are legitimate and honest sites out there-especially those that have been around a long time and have honestly accumulated large audiences.
But, as consumers, and manufacturers and publishers, I would suspect large audiences on some review sites, or social network sites, such as huge numbers of 'views' on sites like YouTube for some of the most ridiculous videos imaginable.
I've worked long and hard to provide honest and timely reviews and it upsets me that there are those out there that stoop to 'cheating' just to draw attention to themselves.