The concern is written all over his face as Mr. Katsikopoulos, a businessman who owns the water and refreshments industry “Kristallinos” somewhere in north Greece, painfully reads the reports on the sales revenue and the expenses made on advertising.
Just before he faints, his secretary gives him cold water “Kristallinos” to avoid the inevitable.
Mr. Katsikopoulos has spent his entire life setting up his company “Kristallinos” and dreaming that one day he would become greater than the owners of Coca Cola.
Mr. Katsikopoulos lived with the dream that “Kristallinos” industry would overshadow Coca Cola. He believed that he would succeed like Onassis, Niarchos, and Latsis did.
“Why them, and not me?” he wondered daily in front of his mirror.
If you put the poor man (and naïve at the end of the day) against the backdrop of a bankrupt Greece, you will soon realize that beyond the corrupt clientelistic state, businesspeople like Mr. Katsikopoulos also contributed with their naivety to the bankrupt of both their own business and the country as a whole.
How can a man like Katsikopoulos go bankrupt? If it is a family business, the shortest way is to quarrel with the other relatives and spend the rest of their life in court paying lawyers.
An even more effective way of committing business suicide is to trust your money for advertising your product to the self-claimed experts.
That is, the advertisers and the media shops that will distribute Katsikopoulos’ money to the media.
(Beware! Not all media shops in Greece are irresponsible or disrespectful of their client’s money)
However, the majority of them puts the critical and vital case of the real readers-viewers and their stay in media in the hands of the so-called programmatic advertising companies.
The way these numbers come out in terms of online media will concern us later in this article.
Let’s see how the numbers of visitors come out and how the positions in Alexa list are won.
The website orebeskes.gr, which is not read even by the ones who write it (because it is not readable), must appear on the top 25 to 30 sites, in order to go to the media shops asking for advertisement. Since, orebeskes.gr will never get advertising with its non-existent content as a weapon; its owner takes one of the following actions to deceive the advertised candidate Mr. Katsikopoulos.
How some crooks deceive the advertised entrepreneurs
The specious term “promotional movements” is used to describe such deceitful acts.
First: They recruit someone to be in charge or assign a company to promote their site to the search engines (Search Engine Optimization and Marketing). These people in charge undertake to bring orebeskes.gr first on search engines counterfeiting and altering data with the use of specific techniques and software.
As a result, the site orebeskes.gr craftily is in a more favorable position than, for example, “Kourdisto portocali” (one of the most widely read sites in Greece) since the latter uses no tricks and scams to promote its content and be ranked high on search engines to then be included in the research of programmatic advertising companies.
This is out of respect for both our readers and other businesspeople like Mr. Katsikopoulos.
Taking into consideration the information presented by the media shops, Mr. Katsikopoulos chooses to advertise his products in the site orebeskes.gr, although the latter cannot grasp reader’s attention more than a few seconds due to lack of substantial content.
Even though, the owner of orebeskes.gr pays for Search Engine Optimizing and Marketing and it appears first on the search engine, no one watches the banner or reads the advertorial for “Kristallinos” refreshments.
Second: They pay –mainly black –money to pages on Facebook that appear to have 600,000 to 700,000 followers. Many of them are nothing but fake profiles that belong to the so-called robots. Visitors are increased when a post from orebeskes.gr appears on the Facebook pages with the million robot-followers (many of the real-followers’ profiles on these facebook pages have been intercepted by Yahoo). Even robot-followers, however, leave orebeskes.gr immediately when they face its content. In the meantime, orebeskes.gr has gained a large number of thousands of non-existent visitors.
They got inside and left in no time. Programmatic advertising companies, however, will suggest that Mr. Katsikopoulos and other big company owners advertise their products in orebeskes.gr.
Third: A handful of local crooks exploit in secret a global research giant that went bankrupt, but in the meantime thousands of friends had been acquired in Greece.
These crooks sell the services of the ex-global-search-giant’s fake page to local web publishers.
Forth: The owner of orebeskes.gr website hires 7-8 developers who act as robots altering the amount of site visitors. These developers do nothing but viewing posts on orebeskes.gr that no one reads, yet the site appears to have hundreds of thousands of readers! As if this was not enough, some website owners hire more than 7-8 developers to play the same game and result in more visitors. They may have the editors themselves do the same trick.
In this way, Greek websites appear to have even more readers than the German site Bild.de does, which addresses 120,000,000 German-speaking Europeans.
No informational website can have more than 80,000 REAL readers per day in Greece. The “hundreds of thousands of readers” that sites like orebeskes.gr appear to have are just a big scam. This is about the “Greek statistics” of the advertising market. Alas! Businesspeople like Mr. Katsikopoulos trust these numbers and commit business-suicide.
It goes without saying that there are many advertising shops that prosper through this absurdity of altering site visitors’ numbers.
“Kourdisto Portocali” is read by 20,000 visitors in average every day and it is one of the most widely read sites in Greece. Visitors remain in our website for eight to ten minutes per day. Throughout 2016, “Kourdisto Portocali” was ranked second in terms of the time readers spend in our website. Only one site was ranked higher than ours.
Yet, hundreds of naïve businesspeople like Mr. Katsikopoulos trust programmatic advertising companies and media shops, and waste money in sites like orebeskes.gr at the expense of their pocket and their company.
It seems as if we are in Colombia of Europe. Soon there will be nothing left.