Many websites today want to send us push notifications. Website XYZ wants to send you notifications? We all know this question, which we are asked more and more often while browsing. After that you may get strange messages on your smartphone. So intrusive, as if they were SMS or Whatsapp messages. “You’ve won an iPhone” or something like that.

In the last few days, since I’m a person who enjoys experimenting, I’ve gone down into the depths of this scene. Now I have the knowledge that I could also send you such spam messages without any problem. Instead I want to warn you – on the one hand as a user, on the other hand as an advertiser.

So here’s the story.

A story that shows how bad these push notifications from websites are, I’d like to tell from two perspectives today.

Chapter 1 – Push news from websites: The risks for website visitors

When you come to a website and that website asks you if it can send you notifications, say for heaven’s sake: NO! You can’t be sure if it’s really this website that will send you notifications later. And these notifications are very penetrating. They come as push messages on your smartphone. In terms of attention level, these push messages are similar to incoming SMS or whatsapp messages. They really invade your everyday life.

So: Don’t get caught by such notifications from websites.

This can be caused by malicious ad networks that send spam to your smartphone afterwards. If you’re interested, you’ll find out below that there are providers of online ads that tempt website operators to activate push ads. These ads are a means to an end, so that the website operator can earn something when you visit his site. But sometimes the site owner doesn’t even know what he’s doing when he allows such ads.
The bad thing about it is that website owners who don’t pay attention allow spammers to flood you and your smartphones with spam messages – possibly without even wanting to. Then you’ll get one push message after the other, which will say, for example, “[taq]”:

[taq]”Congratulations! You have won an iPhone”. – This is what a push message can look like, sending you spam-contaminated websites. You can read more about why this is so.[/taq]

In the past few weeks I have delved a little deeper into the scene behind it. From time to time I like to experiment. Yes, I always like to watch what the “dark side of power” does on the web. From NLP trainers to marketing pseudo gurus to spammed ad networks. I also have dubious SEO experts on my hands all the time.

It’s terrible how many really criminal experts, consultants, sales gurus and charlatans are on the move on the web.

Chapter 2 – How website owners are seduced into sending push messages on their behalf

Facebook Ad, in which publishers are offered push ads - pure spam

Facebook Ad, in which publishers are offered push ads – pure spam

Currently I have a new hobby project at the start. It’s a magazine which is about everything around WordPress. Since the website is still new. I don’t have time to produce enough new content. The website has no organic visits. And because there’s no business involved and I just enjoy trying it out, I decided to look into two things.

The two questions were, each for a completely new website that has no organic traffic yet:

  1. How can I buy traffic?
  2. How can I monetize traffic at the same time if I’m already buying it?

So in the end, of course, the question about the money donkey or the money printing machine. But you can, if it is only a hobby project, just try it out.

It is difficult with bought traffic.

The first question is for the usual candidates to choose from. Outbrain and Taboola delivered traffic at CPCs that were relatively low, 10 cents per click and below, but the time on page and bounce rate were devastating. What on earth are these for sessions that have an average duration of 7 seconds? I can gladly do without such traffic.

The qualitative values of Facebook traffic were better – thanks to targeting. It’s always fascinating to see how cheap international Facebook traffic is compared to campaigns that are only booked internally in Germany.

All in all, here again confirmed: It is difficult with purchased traffic.

How good that I didn’t get the idea to book ads with push notifications for my hobby project. Details will follow soon – pure spam.
In addition, you can book pop-ups, pop-unders and so on within such networks as above. The whole Pandora’s box.

Okay, I thought, if I already buy traffic, I can monetize it again right away. However, my AdSense account had fallen into a deep sleep years ago and had to be reactivated. That’s why I was looking for other monetization options. In the process, I came across a provider that offers various ad formats that allegedly offer a high turnover for websites. It was shocking what happened then.

Five-minute experiment with ads of the Push Notification type – earning as a publisher with it is possible?

For a period of less than five minutes, I had allowed the playout of Push Notification ads. I was the only visitor to my experimental website at that time. So nobody came to harm. What happened afterwards was shocking:

  • I visited my own (hobby/test) website that I had enabled for this type of ad.
  • I was immediately notified: …. (my own website) wants to send you notifications.
  • I accepted the request.
  • In the following days I received regular spam messages on my Android device.
  • Thereunder was a lot of absolute bullshit – like: “Congratulations, you won an iPhone”. So really worse spam.
  • After a few days it became too colourful for me. I checked once.
  • Result: In the Chrome settings of my Android device I disabled the push notifications I had allowed on my own website. This put an end to the spam messages.

The conclusion of the story: Keep away from Push Notifications. This website wants to send you notifications? Says no.

  • Please be careful and don’t sell your website to questionable Ad Networks.
  • You could damage your reputation permanently – permanently.
  • Whenever you are impatient and buy traffic, watch values like bounce rate, time on page, pages per session.
  • Purchased traffic is just bad in 90 percent of cases.
  • To be honest: Even if I don’t love Facebook – the traffic is in many cases of better quality than the one I see, for example, when I book one of the so-called Discovery Networks like Outbrain or Taboola. Then it’s better to pay 50 to 100 percent more on Facebook and get better traffic for it.