While leaving a comment on a very popular MMO(make money online) blog, I noticed that the "Subscribe to thread" plugin was still removed. At first, I thought it was just deactivated for an upgrade. But the current result is that it's artificially increasing the overall stats.
Of course, I don't mean he is sending fake traffic. I mean artificially because it's a very commented blog thus people will do many refresh to see if someone responded to a comment or added a comment. If you got 100 comments and it's refresh 10 times, that's 1000 comments more. Let's say that people were refreshing 2 times even by subscribing, it's still an increase of 80%.
The comments are not artificial unless he write fake comments. I don't think he is doing that in this case.
The number of unique visitors did increase based on the graphic but some if it could be because the IP of the commenter changed. With DSL or Cable, it's less an issue unless some are using proxies or telephone connections. On my blog, it's 2% that are using a telephone.
The other increase was by using the Aweber feature that will also artificially increase the number of readers. People might subscribe to the RSS feed and a newletters thus increasing the total number of RSS readers. Instead of 1000, it might be 700 real RSS readers. The die hard reader would also subscribe to the RSS by email because of the contest he is often running. ;)
Also, it does help to get a better Alexa rank with all those refresh and people having to visit the site. Since it's a MMO blog, many have the Alexa toolbar installed.
Up to now, I did not have a problem with that. It's when I saw that he was claiming a huge number of page views and record breaking traffic for the blog. Of course by doing that, the numbers will increase. However, the advertiser might not know that it's partly true. He did not mentioned that part.
He could be upfront by also mentioning that by just removing the "Subscribe to thread" plugin, the advertiser ad will be more often than not in the face of the readers.
Also, forcing people to come back might encourage them to leave another comment thus creating new content for search engines. :D This method would work on a big established blog like he has.
Personally, I don't like to leave a comment on a new blog, for me, when the plugin is not there. I will forget about it and the blog. But if I'm using Fast Blog Finder(free/paid), it's less of an issue because I get a backlink while giving new content(no spam) for the blogger.
Btw, I got a email that v2.5 of Fast Blog Finder is available.
Keywords: Alexa, Aweber, Blogging, Comments, Internet, Money, Page Views, Ranking, RSS Readers, Traffic, visitors