There are several web traffic referral sources. Organic traffic comes from search engines. Referral traffic comes from other websites. Display traffic comes from ads for your business on other sites. Paid traffic comes from promotions via sites like AdWords. Social traffic comes from social media sites. Each type of traffic can be further divided into individual traffic sources. For example, organic traffic can come from Google, Bing, or other search engines. And social traffic can come from a variety of sites.

Brian, great post as always! Question: Do you consider authority sites (industry portals) a form of “influencer marketing?” e.g. guest blogging, etc? In some niches there are not so many individuals who are influencers (outside of journalists) but there are sites that those in the industry respect. I am in the digital video space and for me one site is actually a magazine that is building a very strong digital presence. Thanks, keep up the good work!
The largest search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, each have fairly simple programs to get started. You determine the key words or search phrase as well as the amount you are willing to spend (per click and/or per day). Most of them offer simple programs that require you to fill out a form and put a certain amount of money down as credit; you can also use a credit card to pay as you go. Like anything new, start small with paid SEM and add complexity (and budget) as you learn more and see results over time.
Websites produce traffic rankings and statistics based on those people who access the sites while using their toolbars and other means of online measurements. The difficulty with this is that it does not look at the complete traffic picture for a site. Large sites usually hire the services of companies such as the Nielsen NetRatings or Quantcast, but their reports are available only by subscription.
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