New research from MarkMonitor revealed just how much traffic Websites selling counterfeit and pirated content can generate.
In a study, MarkMonitor searched the Web for sites believed to be offering counterfeit and pirated digital content tied to 22 well-known brands. The results were narrowed down to include 43 unique sites tied to digital piracy and 48 selling counterfeit goods.
What they found is staggering: based on data collected throughout 2010, the top three Websites classified as "digital piracy" sites - rapidshare.com, megavideo.com, and megaupload.com - collectively generate more than 21 billion visits per year. The traffic numbers for the 48 sites selling counterfeit goods were sky-high as well, reaching a combined total of more than 240,000 visits per day on average.
"The operators of these sites use 'best practices' in online marketing, just as a legitimate marketer would," said Te Smith, vice president of communications at MarkMonitor. "The difference, of course, is that they're not following all the rules. Spam, typo-squatting, black hat SEO, linking strategies, sometimes even paid search advertising -- the scammers have a whole bag of marketing tricks that they use to lure traffic to their sites."
For more, read the eWeek article: Online Piracy Web Traffic Reaches Billions.