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Internet marketing is the practice of applying marketing techniques to drive traffic to websites. The business community has developed techniques that can generate traffic to websites; however, little work has been done to develop models that assess the performance of web servers resulting from Internet marketing campaigns. From a computer performance standpoint, one challenging aspect of Internet marketing campaigns is they can instantaneously place high demands on the server(s). For example, many campaigns utilize PPC (Pay-Per-Click) engines to market their products, which can generate heavy loads to their server in minutes. Thus, it's important for system administrators, web hosting services, providers, etc., to plan appropriately for increased traffic volumes during these campaigns since it's well known that user-perceived system performance is often a critical factor determining whether or not customers continue with their online business transaction. In this paper, we develop analytic models that can be used to measure and model the performance impact Internet marketing campaigns on web servers. Our experimental results show that our models work best for highly targeted marketing campaigns; however, the formulations presented can be generalized. We demonstrate our models can be used estimate the traffic to a web site due to SEO and PPC campaigns and show how these models can be used to address web server capacity planning issues.
Date of Conference: 21-23 Sept. 2009