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Hit Trees - Are They Effective?

By Richard Lowe
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004

I remember my first web site. While I have been in the computer industry for over 25 years, my exposure to the internet was very limited until a few years ago. My expertise was large computer systems and applications, as well as project management. In the mid-1990's none of these systems required access to a global network of any kind.

However, once I found the internet I began searching around (surfing) and found all kinds of wonderful things. However, I was very busy with a very demanding job (on the pager 24 hours a day, 7 day a week), a wife, a kid, 3 cats and a dog. Life was just too busy to do more than jump on the web and download a few files.

One day a few years ago I decided to create a web site. I had no idea how to do it, but it was time. I was very conversant in HTML, as I maintained our intranet (the internet network for our company), but the mechanics of putting a web site on the web was foreign to me.

Looking back, it's hard for me to believe how naive I was at the time! I had some web space that came with my dial-up account and it seemed to me that this would be a fine place to put a web site. No domain name, just a plain, free host type URL.

I put up the web site and waited. Of course, I added a hit counter because I wanted to see if anyone was visiting. I waited, and waited, and waited. Not a single hit. Not one, except, of course, for my own.

Hmm, this was strange, I thought. No one was visiting. At that point, I began searching the web to find out why this was (well, wasn't) happening. Slowly the truth dawned on me - you've got to promote your site! People have to be informed that it exists and they have to understand that it has enough value for them to take a look.

Okay, so now I had to figure out how to get people to come to my site. I looked around some more, and before long I found an interesting page. It claimed that my site would get over 3,000,000 hits! Wow, that sounded great.

The page went on to explain that it was something called a "hit tree". This means people take it from your site, modify it slightly (this is automatic and part of the process) and add it to their site. The new page on their site is then promoted, and other people find it and do the same thing.

How does this help get people to a site? Simple, there is a set of links on the page, basically the URL of the last eight or so sites which added the hit page. When the page is created, the bottom link is removed and the new site is added to the top.

It's called a tree because it's supposed to grow from one site to two, to four, to eight and so on, much like a tree grows from a single trunk to many branches.

Like I said, I was very naive and this really seemed like a good idea. I created my page using the automated tool and obligingly added it to my site.

A few years later, after I had moved the site to a paid host, I looked at the page again and realized that it was plastered with affiliate links. I did not really want a page on my site making money for someone else, so I started looking for a script to do the same thing.

It took some doing, but I finally found a place that sold the script for a few dollars. I purchased it, installed it on my site and before long had my very own, highly configurable hits tree running. I changed the links to my own and promoted the page accordingly.

Here's the page:


One of the major reasons why I wanted the script running on my own site was so that I could get a log of how many of these pages had been created. I was very curious to see if this method of promotion was effective.

The script logs all creations of new pages, regardless of whether or not it was done from my own site. This is because the script must be executed from my site to create a new page. Thus, the log is a very accurate accounting of when and how many new pages were created.

So now I have my answer. Yes, hit trees do produce some traffic. Not a heck of a lot of it (less than a hundred hits a month), but they do get people to visit my site. It seems that about a dozen new pages are created each month, and what amazes me is this is a steady number. According to the logic, the number of pages being created should be increasing, yet it stays the same.

So is one of these hit pages worth the time and effort? Well, I definitely would not recommend purchasing the script - there are better ways to spend your money.

It's probably worth a few minutes to create a hit page, add it to your site and submit it to the search engines. The nice thing about these pages is they tend to just run automatically, producing a few hits now and then without any effort from you at all.

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About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at ( - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.


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