Craig Silverman wrote an article for BuzzFeed titled These Hugely Popular Local News Sites In the US And Canada are Fake.

«Since 2004, more than 2,000 newspapers have closed in the United States, and many local news outlets are struggling to build a digital business. But one remarkable success story is the Albany Daily News, a website that clocked nearly 10 million pageviews in August, roughly five times that of the 160-year-old Albany Times Union newspaper, according to analytics service SimilarWeb.  »

« The most popular news site in Albany has a simple secret to success: Fake just about everything and rake in the advertising dollars. The Albany Daily News is an empty husk of a website filled with old content that for months was showered with questionable traffic as part of a digital ad fraud scheme, according to new research from Social Puncher, an ad fraud prevention consultancy. »

« The Albany site has a Canadian counterpart, City of Edmonton News, that’s generated more pageviews than authentic local news operations such as the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun, according to SimilarWeb. »

« And yet, based on their traffic and digital ad rates, the Albany and Edmonton sites at their peak may have earned more revenue from programmatic ads than the leading news outlets in these cities.  »

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